Carmel By The Sea

There are few more scenic regions of the United States than Northern California.  Meg and I spent 3 glorious days driving through and photographing the California Coastline, visiting Carmel and driving along Big Sur.  As a mother, life doesn’t get much sweeter. As an amateur photographer, even my limited skills are bound to capture some of the beauty of the area.

This photograph of the bluffs, the water and the sky , is my favorite photograph from the trip.

Carmel

Carmel

Evening in Carmel has its own beauty.  The softer colors of the sun and sky at dusk are worth experiencing.

Sunset in Carmel

The Green Lantern was a bed and breakfast located an easy walking distance from the ocean and the downtown restaurants. Definitely a great place for mother-daughter bonding.

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Kauffman Garden’s Smallest Critters

It is a glorious season at Kauffman Gardens.  The fall flowers are in full bloom or blooming.  The air is cool.

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It is a busy time of year in the garden.  Not only are visitors spread throughout the garden, the insects are everywhere. they seem to thrive in the cooler weather.  In their ways, the insects are as fascinating as the garden that attracts them.

Monarch butterflies are in abundance, with their brilliant orange and black wings and spotted bodies.

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While incredibly destructive in large numbers, this grasshopper was all alone, enjoying the banquet that surrounded him.

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This wings of this moth were so pale in color they seem to have disappeared from the page.  However, the photograph reflects, its yellow body matched the flowers that surrounded it.

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Not as vibrant as its neighbors, this moth is a sharp contrast to the colors of the vibrant pink and green.

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The bees everywhere were busy as they darted from flower to flower.  None of the insects paid the slightest attention to each other or the human visitors.  All of them worked hard as though their own survival–and the beauty of the garden–depend on their work.  Probably they do.

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Hope you find a bit of nature to enjoy and explore.  Happy weekend.

Sonoma Mountain, From Mom’s Camera

After a beautiful morning hike in Helen Putnam Park, and an afternoon of wine tasting in Sonoma Valley, we ended our day of girl bonding by driving up the Western slope of Sonoma Mountain to watch the sunset. It was a stunning view.

Barn on Sonoma Mountain Road

Barn on Sonoma Mountain Road

It’s a rough and windy road going up the side of the mountain, but all the views along the way are incredible. From rustic barns to glowing valleys to old fences, it’s a beautiful way to end the day.

Sonoma Mountain Road at sunset

Sonoma Mountain Road at sunset

Happy sun-setting.

 

For The Birds

Pelicans are among nature’s most unusual birds.  They look prehistoric, dinaourish in fact. Graceful in flight, pelicans are cartoonish on the land.

If you want to see pelicans up close and personal, visit Florida.  I photographed this handsome specimen at Lake Okeechobee.  Half the size of Rhode Island, Okeechobee is the largest fresh water lake in Florida.  For reasons unknown to me, tourism is nearly non-existent around the lake.  When we visited a nearly abandoned dock there were a dozen or more men and women fishing for supper.  The birds and the fishermen occupied the dock in harmony, presumably with the birds anticipating scraps of food.  It made it relatively easy to get a few photographs of these wonderful birds.  DSC_0153

Habana: Sunrise Over a Once Forbidden City

Habana, Cuba.  In the states we refer to the city by the name Havana.  But it is their country and it seems they should receive deference in how to spell it.  Long forbidden to U.S. citizens, it is a place like no other.  Just 90 miles from the United States, it is shrouded in mystery.

The sunrise over Habana Harbor on the second morning of our visit was as dramatic as the city.  The sun was an intense reddish-orange and the clouds were dark as night.[1]

As I watched, the sunlight produced a softer image of the city around us illuminating the sky and the Atlantic Ocean in muted shades of grays and blues.

Within just a few additional minutes, the colors and the texture of the city were in full view.  This photograph reveals the contrast of the beauty and the decay that have enveloped Havana since Fidel Castro’s revolution. A revolution that has resulted in changes that continue to dominate life in Cuba more than 60 years later.

I had anticipated our trip to Cuba would be an exciting and a constantly changing experience for me, and for all the members of our tour.  I was right.

Our journey had really just begun.

[1]  These photographs were taken with my Nikon D5100 camera using a Tamron telephoto lens.  They are not altered or enhanced.  Their beauty and their flaws are all my own.  To stabilize my camera for these slow shots, I leaned against the railing on my 17th floor hotel room and held tight.