Memorial Day

Memorial Day is this coming Monday. It’s an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it began after the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
It’s also the unofficial start of summer here.

Re-posting a shot taken in Reagan National Airport a few years back.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Colors of Kauai

I just spent a week on the island of Kauai and it was spectacular. San Diego is indeed lovely, but the colors in Hawaii are so intense and so beautiful, they’re almost on another level….

A plumeria tree in Hanapepe.

Produce at the farmers market in Hanalei.

I took this shot across the street from where we stayed.

Vintage pickup filled with bougainvillea. I posted this on Instagram and the artist contacted me! He’s @sethcre8s on Instagram if you want to see more of this work.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Wisteria Three Ways

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you’ll know I love wisteria. It’s not as easy to find in California, but I’ve managed to scope out a few. The above shot is one of many I took last year, and one of my favorites.

Then I played around with the image and added a white Florabella overlay:

Last week I visited the same place and found that the wisteria were nearly done, but I managed to get this shot….

So different, huh? It’s amazing what changing light and perspective can do.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Borrego Springs

We visited Borrego Springs, the small town surrounded by the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, another time a few years ago, but I never posted the photos. The landscape on the drive there is unusual and beautiful…

The first glimpse of Borrego Springs.

There’s not a lot to the town, as the population is only 3,429.

We had lunch here both visits. Didn’t have to wait too long for a table in spite of the crowds there to see the wildflowers, but the wait for our food was nearly an hour. It wasn’t that bad when we went the first time. I heard the town wasn’t prepared for the Superbloom two years ago and they were completely overrun.

This is Christmas Circle at the south end of town. A good place for a picnic.

The local newspaper.

The art institute had some nice works when we were there.

Artist/welder Ricardo Breceda has created 130 metal sculptures that are scattered throughout the desert near Borrego Springs.

The mountains are so beautiful there. Borrego Springs is an official International Dark Sky Community–the only one in California–dedicated to protecting the night sky from light pollution. Would love to see the stars sometime, as I’ve heard they’re incredible in the desert.

Great weekend, everyone, and Happy Easter!


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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Anza-Borrego Desert gets its name from Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, who crossed the desert in 1774, and the Spanish word for sheep (“borrego”). Those would be native bighorn sheep. This desert preserve is California’s largest state park, more than 600,000 acres.

We drove out last month to check out the blooms in the desert and at first were disappointed. After the Superbloom in Walker Canyon, everything else kind of paled. But when I got home and reviewed my photos I realized the desert is really beautiful in its own way. Plus the yearly annual rainfall is only 6.18 inches, so it’s unfair to compare.

Still we did manage to find a few wildflowers….

White flowers don’t show up as well.

I really like those little clouds that look like puffs of smoke. The sky was deep beautiful blue as usual.

Not sure what the white stuff is, but it looked like a salt flat from a distance. We went the other way, so never saw it up close.

The landscape is so different out there….

The weather was beautiful while we were there, but the average temp in July is 107F (41.6C).

This reminds me of the Badlands in South Dakota.

Here you can see how sandy the terrain is. It’s very soft, loose sand, so you have to be careful if you’re not driving an SUV.

We were curious about the Salton Sea, but didn’t have time, so got this shot from a distance. The history of this body of water is pretty sad, which you can read more about here.

A few more purple and yellow wildflowers. Next time I’ll focus on the town in this park, Borrego Springs.

Great weekend, everyone!


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The Almost Forgotten Video

Oh, I meant to attach this video to my last post and just plain forgot. I hope you don’t mind one more look at the poppies. Not sure why the video’s a little jerky–the version on my iPhone isn’t at all. I’m not really a video person, but should really try shooting one on my “good” camera.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Superbloom 2019 Part II

Welcome back to Superbloom, or as some are calling it, The Poppy Apocalypse.

Here’s another shot of the Elsinore Mountains with the poppies in the foreground.

Really can’t get over the colors.

The terrain is so unusual too.

This is the trail I was hiking.

I’m hearing that the Walker Canyon poppies are getting trampled, but there are other sites where you can view them, according to Condé Nast Traveler:

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve in Murrieta
Harford Springs Reserve in Perris
Box Springs Mountain Reserve in Moreno Valley and
Hidden Valley Wildlife Area in Riverside

All in California. I have not visited these areas, but hopefully they can handle crowds better.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Superbloom 2019 Part I

As I said, I took a lot of photos at Walker Canyon, so will divide them into two parts.

I forgot to mention that the sky was insanely blue that day. We have such beautiful skies in the winter. I love the contrast between the green and orange here.

Someone said the orange looked like Nacho Cheese Doritos or Cheetos dust and I have to agree. 🙂

You may have seen on the news that they had to close the canyon one day because enormous crowds were showing up and they couldn’t handle them. The parking situation is pretty bleak–just a one lane road with cars parked on both sides. I got there in the morning, but was still concerned I wouldn’t get a spot. Luckily some people left right as I was driving by.
When I left, the backup on the Interstate was five miles long. Now it’s much worse.

It was strange to see a dried up riverbed when we’ve had so much rain.

A closer look at the California poppies.

Gradually more people showed up and were taking lots of selfies. I was glad to see that they were being careful to not trample the wildflowers. I was happy to stay on the path, because rattlesnake season has started and someone got bitten last week.

Then across the freeway, the Elsinore Mountains. Not quite as colorful, but lovely still.

An artist was carrying an easel and paints when I was leaving. Wish I could see his finished painting.

More next week….

Great weekend, everyone!


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Poppy Superbloom Preview

You may or may not have heard of California’s “Superbloom” that happened two years ago. They’re pretty rare–there must be adequate rainfall and moderate temps–but we have another one this year. I missed the last one so was happy to catch the amazing poppies near Lake Elsinore. Here’s a preview….

The colors really are that intense. I’ve never seen anything like it. Reminds me of those pyramids of spices you see in India. The tiny dots at the top are people.
I took a lot of photos, so will post them next week.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Lit From Within

I haven’t been doing much photography lately due to all the rain, so I’m digging into the archives for this shot of Gerbera daisies.

The Gerbera is named for German botanist and doctor Traugott Gerber who was a friend of Carl Linnaeus. It is the fifth most popular cut flower in the world, according to Wiki.

“Linnaeus” seems to be a common answer on the TV program Jeopardy. I was saddened to hear that the host, Alex Trebek, has Stage IV pancreatic cancer. I hope he can beat it. We so enjoyed the live taping.

Great weekend, everyone….


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