Travel theme: Illuminated

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Remember my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) are still available for sale. Look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a starving artist (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “illuminated”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I love how the morning sun illuminates the sky slowly through the trees behind my house. Sometimes the light can be yellow when the sky is covered with gray clouds.

Travel theme: Illuminated golden sunrise in San Diego
Travel theme: Illuminated golden sunrise in San Diego

Other times, the sun illuminates the whole sky at once, making the blue bolder than ever.

Travel theme: Illuminated sunrise with blue sky in San Diego
Travel theme: Illuminated sunrise with blue sky in San Diego

I love how the sun shines down on water and can brighten up a whole ocean.

Bright sun shining on the Pacific ocean waves
Bright sun shining on the Pacific ocean waves

I enjoy photographing the reflections of light on small water ripples, especially when they include colorful reflections of the surrounding bushes and trees. If you’ve ever seen liquid mercury, this water almost looks like it, doesn’t it? I have more photos of the ducks swimming in this pond and I hope to share them soon.

Reflections of light and tree leaves in pond water
Reflections of light and tree leaves in pond water

At night, artificial light can illuminate our dark surroundings to make them more friendly. I love Christmas lights and this is probably the brightest Christmas light display I saw this past holiday. Now, that’s illuminated!

Bright Christmas lights: Rudolph and the reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh
Bright Christmas lights: Rudolph and the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme is rainbow colors. Photos must display at least four strong colors.

Well, this is quite a challenge for me because I like to keep my photos as simple as possible, with the least distraction. Most often, a large amount of colors can make a photo look busy. I think I managed to find a few photos that fit this theme well. Let me know what you think.

Remember you can click on each image for a larger view.

Here’s a colorful tiger swallowtail butterfly on bougainvillea: yellow, black, red, green and blue.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors - tiger swallowtail butterfly
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors – tiger swallowtail butterfly

I love California wildflowers and I can’t wait to see them pop up everywhere in the spring. Here’s yellow, red, purple, pink and green.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors - California wildflowers
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors – California wildflowers

The sumac tree can display very colorful foliage in the fall. Here’s some yellow, orange, red, green and blue.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors - sumac foliage
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors – sumac foliage

The next photo is a lemon blossom. It’s featured in my 2013 photo calendar for the month of February. Here’s white, pink, green and blue.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors - lemon blossoms
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors – lemon blossoms

Finally, what’s more colorful than Christmas lights? Oh, so many colors… Ho, ho, ho!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors - Colorful Christmas lights
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow colors – Colorful Christmas lights

Sunday Post: Concept

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

I’d like to start this post by reminding you that the contest to win my 2013 photo calendar is still going on and it’s easy to participate. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Today I’m participating in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Concept. It took me a while to figure out what type of photos I’d use for this challenge. But then, the idea simply showed itself to me. Yesterday morning, I took a look outside in my garden after I got downstairs and this is what I saw: very tight spider webs covered with the cold morning dew in about a dozen spots on my artificial turf.

Remember you can click on each image to view a larger view of these spider webs covered with tiny rain drops.

Sunday Post: Concept - raindrops in spider web on grass
Sunday Post: Concept – raindrops in spider web on grass

What’s interesting is, until that morning, we didn’t know the spider webs were there. The dew made them appear. Now you see it, now you don’t. What a concept!

Here’s what a spider web with tiny raindrops look like from up close.

Sunday Post: Concept - tiny raindrops on spider web on grass
Sunday Post: Concept – tiny raindrops on spider web on grass

Here’s another photo that shows you how well and tight the spider web was built.

Sunday Post: Concept - raindrops on spider webs, green grass background
Sunday Post: Concept – raindrops on spider webs, green grass background

I like the concept of mixing two natural elements, in this case a spider web and dew drops, to create an interesting subject. I also like the photographic concept of close-ups, so here are a few photos showing the tiny raindrops on these spider webs even better.

Sunday Post: Concept - close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass
Sunday Post: Concept – close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass
Sunday Post: Concept - close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass
Sunday Post: Concept – close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Would you have guessed I can’t stand spiders? They really gross me out but they can create some masterpieces if you look closely.

By the way, if you like these photos of spiderwebs, take a look at another set of photos I took of a spiderweb with large raindrops over colorful river rocks here and here.

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My 2013 calendar pick for June: a bee on a wild rose

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

View all of the pictures I selected for my 2013 photo calendar.

My 2013 12-month photo calendar is now available for sale on my Zazzle online store. Thank you for your support!

This past June, I took my kids on vacation to the small mountain town of Idyllwild in Southern California. 90% of the forests in San Diego County have burned down over the past 10 years so there’s not much greenery to enjoy, something I terribly miss living here. Idyllwild is just two hours away and very green, full of large pine trees, manzanita trees and other local species.

A small creek runs through the town. It must be a pretty good size in the winter and spring but by the time summer comes, the water barely runs. Still, Strawberry Creek is a beautiful place, mostly in the shade, and you can walk the trail right by its side.

Strawberry Creek owns its name to the many, many wild strawberries that grow throughout the town, but it could just as well be named Wild Rose Creek since the area features many wild roses too. And bees love them. They love them so much they don’t mind you taking pictures of them at all. I ended up with several good photos of bees on wild roses, but I picked the one below for my 2013 photo calendar. Of course, I used it for June since it happens to be the time of the year I took this picture. Let me know what you think of it.

My 2013 calendar pick for June: a bee on a wild rose
My 2013 calendar pick for June: a bee on a wild rose

You can also view my 2013 photo calendar picks for JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril and May.

My 2013 calendar pick for May: a tiger swallowtail butterfly on bougainvillea

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

View all of the pictures I selected for my 2013 photo calendar.

My 2013 12-month photo calendar is now available for sale on my Zazzle online store. Thank you for your support!

I admire any photo that can capture an animal in flight without looking blurry. Most flying animals don’t take a long enough break to allow the photographer to take a worthwhile snapshot. They also don’t like people to get too close to them, which makes the task even more difficult.

But I’ve also noticed tiger swallowtail butterflies are a little different. Unlike other butterflies, they’re not very shy and don’t mind as much if you stand right next to them while they go about their business. Tiger swallowtails are very active in the spring in Southern California and their bright yellow and black pattern makes for great photo opportunities.

So to represent May in my 2013 photo calendar of Southern California, I picked this beautiful tiger swallowtail butterfly busy sucking up the nectar out of a bougainvillea flower. With the bright blue sky in the background and the red bougainvilea blooms, this made for the perfect mix of colors. What do you think of it?

My 2013 calendar pick for May: a tiger swallowtail butterfly on bougainvillea
My 2013 calendar pick for May: a tiger swallowtail butterfly on bougainvillea