Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Reflections on New Year, Seaport Village, San Diego

Just a simple post to greet the world and everyone a Happy New Year. May 2010 be filled with peace, love, joy and happiness. Hope everyone have a wonderful start for 2010.

Though the picture below is not very recent, this was taken summer of this year, but I am sharing this with you for the peacefulness this picture brings.

Lassen Peak Reflected on Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Greetings!!!! And the Answers to My Confusing Quiz :)

Christmas Greeting 2009
Sending everyone some warmth from our side of the globe. When most of the country perhaps are being hammered by winter storm, we are enjoying a beautiful "golden" Christmas here in San Diego. The picture above was taken last night, it may be a typical "San Diego" evening, but it is special for me since I took it at Christmas eve. I was actually thinking of making some Christmas greeting picture. However, while I was looking into my winter wonderland pictures, they just did not inspire me to make them my greeting picture. Somehow, it felt cold, and I wanted to make a warm greeting with a typical San Diego touch. Though I have lots of sunset pictures by the sea, but then, I wanted one that is the most recent, so, off to the ocean we went to take a most recent for "Christmas greeting" sunset picture. The one above was the picture I finally settled to make a Christmas greeting among 163 pictures I took :) Here are some more pictures from yesterday.
La Jolla Cove
The picture above is looking North East from the La Jolla Cove. Part of the cliffs that you see at the other side is Torrey Pines State Reserve, you probably see or hear often about Torrey Pines from me in this site. Torrey Pines is to Betchai as probably Cerok Tokun is to Rainfield :) . However, I decided to just simply stroll at La Jolla yesterday because of its proximity to REI since we needed to buy some items from them. Resting on the rocks that you can see below are sea lions, they kept on barking as if singing some "Christmas" song. Winter is pupping season, so you can see here a mom and pup pair, sweet!
Sea Lions
How I wish I know some clip-art, so that I could make one cool Christmas greeting by the ocean, Santa is probably riding a kayak, with the sea lions probably navigating Santa around. However, that is one aspect that I still have to learn. Ratty should watch out if I get to learn how to do that, and my sea lions can become reindeers too like his cute squirrels! Check out Ratty's Christmas post, the Christmas greeting he made with the squirrels as reindeers is really cute!
Walking west from La Jolla Cove is the Children's Pool. If la Jolla cove is to sea lions, the Children's Pool is to harbor seals.
Harbor Seals Resting on shore @ Children's Pool
I probably have written a lot also about harbor seals and sea lions, you can check out my mother's day's post about A Mother Seal's Love here. This is where I shot the Christmas greeting picture I made in the first picture above, only that I was shooting at the opposite direction of these harbor seals. The opposite side of the picture above is looking West, where the sun sets. Whereas, that picture above with the harbor seals is looking East. Here are some more pictures from the vantage point where I shot the harbor seals and the Christmas greeting pictures above.

Christmas Eve Sunset 2009, La Jolla
this was the other greeting card I made
( the 2 rocks you see above are the same 2 rocks in the Christmas Eve 2009 picture, just shot at different angle )
 this shot is almost similar to the Christmas greeting picture I chose above, just wider angle
and this is the beach ( or little cove) at the other side of the rock in the above picture
If it is probably summer, there would be a lot of people in this beach. Though there were still some who gets into the water without wet suits, but I believe they are visiting tourists. For San Diegans, 50s F ( or in the 10s C ) is way too cold to get into the water! I only take a swim and boogie board when it is late summer.

My many thanks to those who joined my kind of fun in my last post and guessed for the answers. I really appreciate your comments and your answers. Especially hearing from Icy, Ratty, Rainfield , Melissa and Rochelle, who I believe had been following since this site started :) But, it is not their fault if they did not get all four correct answers, after all, I posted confusing pictures. The microclimate weather in California makes it even more confusing, when the beaches don't get snow and shows warmth, the mountains and the higher elevation desert are totally different! This is where you probably can enjoy both snowkiing and snowshoeing in the mountain slopes and surfing at the beach in one day.

Here are the answers:

Picture A - @ North Lake, Bishop, California. Picture taken November 25, FALL
Ratty, Rainfield, Rochelle, Liss and AVCr8teur got this one correct. Though the lake is already frozen, but there is too little snow yet on the slopes, at this time of the year, the place must have several feet of snow already.

Picture B. @ Big Sur, Califirnia. Picture taken April 7th, SPRING.
At first, only Rochelle guessed this right, but then, she changed her answer from spring to summer, so now, no one got this correct :) I actually purposely chose this one to camouflage as the summer picture, like what Karen said, because of the fog :) But then, the last summer I was in this place, I did not see any at all, because of the very thick fog, it was like I was walking up in heaven, all clouds! all white stuff!

Picture C. @ Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA. Picture taken June 22, summer!

No one got this correct. Though this looks like a winter picture, but then, the clue here is the trail is open for hiking :) Starting November, or sometimes October, the trail here closes for hiking but is open for snowshoers, and opens again middle or late of June, or sometimes, even July, when the trail can at least be already defined. The place gets very thick snow accumulation in the winter ( several hundreds inches ) that even in the summer where the temperature has already warmed up, there are still a lot of snow left covering the slopes. Though this picture looks cold, but I believe, it was colder last night when I took the sunset pictures without the snow :)

Picture D. @ Toothrock, Poway, San Diego County. picture taken March 7, Winter!
Again, no one got this correct! But a lot were close enough, since March 7 is so close to March 21st, the official start of spring. This probably is really the most deceiving picture of all the pictures above! Along the coast, and the other lower elevation places in California, spring comes early, the hillsides especially along the Southern California coast explodes already starting February! Whereas at the higher elevation, or the mountain sides, the wildflowers peak usually July or even August, which is summer. But then, for me, I call this already, SPRING, if not for the allergies it brings, this could be my favorite time of the year, when life abounds everywhere! Probably the best time to observe wildlife, not only wildflowers.

Again, many thanks everyone for joining the fun and guessing with me :)

We'll be off to LA today, and then, we'll be up in the mountains tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly.....Tra La la

I felt like having fun right now, after all, this is the season to be jolly, tra lalala...lalala. Though this is not April Fool's Day, but I feel like having a confusing game. But maybe, what I have in mind is not really that confusing, after all, if you have followed my blog well enough, maybe, you will remember very well when these pictures were taken. But then, I am not up to date with my postings, so I know these can still be pretty confusing even if you may have followed this blog for some time already.
This would be like a matching type game, where you will match the 4 pictures with the 4 seasons, whether the picture was taken at spring, summer, winter, or fall.
Picture A - North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, California

lake was frozen, and the snow frosted rocky slopes of the Sierras were reflected on the clear ice of the lake
Picture B - Big Sur, California

waves were pounding the shore, the fogs were disappearing to greet a sunny sky!
Picture C - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

where is the afternoon sun?
Picture D - Tooth Rock, Poway, San Diego County, CA

orange California poppies and blue canterbury bells blend well with the blue sky

How well do you think will you fare in this matching game? Are you very confident with your answers? Which picture do you think is the most revealing and why?

Anyway, I would want to greet you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, may you all have a blessed and joyful celebration with your family.

Friday, December 04, 2009


It's a wonderful Friday again, and it's time for our Blogging for Fun Friday, where the topic is A to Z challenge. Though I don't get to join each week because of my schedule, but whenever I get the chance, I love to join. This week is for letter I, and since we just came back from our desert trip last week, I thought of posting something from our trip. While on our way to Kanab, Utah, from Zion National Park, we saw a water sprinkler where the wheels no longer turn because it was deep in ice already.

Iced Water Sprinkler in the Desert

Iced Water Sprinkler in the Desert (2 )
Probably, without the ice in the picture, this place would look warm because of the blue sky, the warm red rocky hills and the almost barren terrain. This picture was taken early morning where the air temperature was 22 degree Fahrenheit ( -5.6 degree Celsius ). It's no wonder why the water freezes as soon as it came out from the sprinkler.
And here is a picture of the road we took inside North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Quick Post from Death Valley

A few of our pictures from yesterday at Death Valley National Park. When we get back home, I will write more and will have a chance to choose for my favorite pics to post. I do not have time even to put signature in my pics :)

Common question about the desert is, "is it hot?" When it is summer, definitely, Death Valley is one of the hottest if not the hottest place on Earth. However, this hot place cools down after summer, and how cool does it get? Let me answer with the picture below.

Hiker in the dunes, sunrise ( at low 30s F, or close to 0 C )
 In the vastness of things, we are just but a dot on the Earth.

Can you find the hiker in the picture above?
Is there life in Death Valley?

Arroweed, Surviving the Harsh Environment in the Desert

Salty Meadow
( yes, saw tiny creatures swimming in these creek, will post next time about wildlife at Death Valley captured by our lens)
Saturday, we were at 282 ft below sea level at Badwater Basin, Sunday, we were gazing at it at more than 5000 ft above sea level.

Dante's Ridge, Death Valley National Park, CA

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting Better

Once again, my one day late entry for our Blogging for fun Friday. The theme for this week was anything that starts with "G". At first I thought of "geocaching", then, I thought maybe I'll feature "Grand Canyon", or "Gray Whales" or "Gorillas", but then, since I am actually one day late, I decided for "Getting Better".

"Me and My Signature Back Pose " :)
I am really very thankful for "getting better", after waking up my husband at 1:00 am in Friday, him driving me to the Emergency Room in the nearby hospital, and us leaving the ER with hopes of feeling better at 3:30 am. I was out from school Friday, and just simply slept, rested, and followed up with my doctor in the afternoon. And since I can not do strenuous hiking yet, I spent part of my day experiencing the healing powers of the ocean.

The ocean has shared my failures and triumphs since childhood, since this is the place where I would ran whenever I felt crying or celebrating.

The sound of its waves seems like a soothing music that brings healing for me. For some couples, maybe a walk by the beach at sunset seems to be magical since I always see a lot of couples walking on the shore when it is close to sunset.

And since there is no hiking picture for me this weekend, I instead shifted the lense to focus on the city where I live.

Though maybe I had shared here a lot of pictures from San Diego, but they were mostly pictures from the trails, mostly nature photos from the ocean bluffs, canyons, mesas, valleys, and mountains. So, here are something different, the city instead of the trails.

Though this may be not as peaceful as nature photos, but am very thankful I am able to take all these pictures today, a sign, of really "getting better" and hopefully, next weekend, we'll be really better for "hiking"!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blogging For Fun Friday- B is for Butterfly

Okay, it is Saturday now, and I am one day late :) I know my Blogging for Fun family will understand why my post is a day late, and why I only thrive on weekends now :(

This week's theme is anything that starts with "B", and with so many "B" in my mind, starting with over 30 pictures of "bees, birds, butterflies and blossoms", i finally decided to just focus on butterflies so that your screen won't get pictures overload :)

From 30 pictures, I finally decided to just share these ten butterfly photos :) . I am copying Icy's style in giving captions to the photos in this post, though my captions are not as catchy and as witty the way she presents her wonderful photos, but I believe I tried hard enough :) Here goes, hope you will enjoy them!

1. Black Loves White

2. Look at Me, Please.....

 3. What Are You Looking At?

4. Can you please give me some privacy?

5. Eyes on Camera, please :)

6. Side Glance

7. I am working......

8. I am a Happy Brown!

9. I spread my wings!

10. Though I have been whipped by the wind, but I can still spread my wings and fly!

PS....I am glad to see several of my friends into photography now, Cher has her new Cher Sanz Photoblog, congratulations to you Cher! Also, Tes and Eng have been wonderfully sharing their photos, so proud of you dear friends. Truly, the gift of nature is all around us and is free, it is up to us if we take them.

Also, congratulations to Che for having also a new blog, Uncovering a Culture, which focuses on Filipino culture.  Thanks Che for showcasing our very own.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Brown Visits Pink

Brown visits Pink!
Brown Butterfly Visiting Pink Flower
As you may have observed, I can't update my blog as often anymore as I used to. Since I sort of shifted career ( not a 100% shift since I am still in teaching, but just at different level, from college to high school, and different subject, from Chemistry to Math) and had to manage between new responsibilities at work, and doing my own assignments for my teacher credentialing preparation classes, I had to choose which ones first. Of course, family, work and studies come first, relaxation comes next ( that is beach and hiking ) and blogging has taken a backseat.

However, as some of you may have known, I am a part of the small blogging group, The Salitype Society. As I have shared to you before in my post here, together with some of my friends, we worked together to come up with a blog, The Salitype Society, where our goal is to be able to send a child to school from our blogging earnings. Our blog has gone a long way and we are proud to say that we are very close now to realizing our dream of supporting a scholar from the Philippines. Like what Tes ( one of the members of The Salitype Society ) of The Craftista said, education is freedom, it is liberation from poverty! Unlike in US where there is a law on "No Child Left Behind", sadly, we are not yet at that level in our home country. There are still a lot of our young children not able to access education. It is our wish to empower some deprived kids and bring them to school.

And since this blog has been skipping a lot of earning opportunities, I decided to invite my friends at Salitype Society to be guest authors in this blog to write for some assignments that will help us generate more funds at Salitype. Whatever opportunity I can not write because I hardly have no time to write on weekdays, I will share to them. And Eng, one of the authors behind Salitype, started today to write for this blog. You can find her post about stem cell research here. Eng's favorite color is brown, my favorite color is pink, thus the title, "Brown Visits Pink".

Also, as most of you have known, another typhoon had hit our country, thankfully, it is not the same region that was heavily devastated by the last typhoon. Some of my Filipino blogging friends, like Cherie, Tes, Ebie and Cher, has dedicated several of their posts and also their time for the victims of the recent typhoon. I know there are a lot of areas in the Pacific devastated by natural calamities right now, and if you wish to help for the Philippines, you can visit the Philippine National Red Cross site, and for other countries, Cherie has the listings on how you may be able to help not only the Philippines but also the other countries that were recently devastated by natural calamities.

Again, I thank you for your time visiting my site, and I hope you won't be surprised if sometimes, you would see some posts here which are not written by me, but by some of my friends, who share my goal to give the gift of EDUCATION AND FREEDOM to the kids who need it most.

Was It Hot?

In my previous post, a picture of the Wild Wild West, there were several questions if it was hot, and they can almost feel the hotness and dryness of the place.

To answer, here are some pictures that has "us" in the pictures, and probably you can find the answer if it was hot.

The Thumb, Monument Valley
( looks hot and dry, right?)

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley
Hmmmm, why do we all wear sweaters/ light jackets? And what is that white strip at the back of the butte? Let us take a closer look.

Monument Valley
And even closer

Snowcapped Mountain Surrounding Monument Valley
To answer the question, it was not hot when we were there, which was spring 2009, about mid April. It was not cold either, at least, it was not below freezing. The temperature was in the 40s- 50s ( below 10 degree Celsius). It can be below freezing here in the winter, yet hot in the summer. But being in the desert, it was very dry as we needed to apply lip moisturizer more often.
The best time to visit Monument Valley and other interesting places in the Grand Circle is actually fall and spring (winter can be too cold for some), but the peak visitation would you believe, is summer? This was our best trip so far in terms of weather, we did not have to turn on any air- conditioner nor heater. It was neither hot nor cold, just comfortable.