Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: the color blue

Today I’m participating in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and her theme is “the color blue”. I encourage you to click on each photo to see a larger view.

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Blue is by far my favorite color, from very light to very dark, just as it is or with a bit of green or a bit of red in it. I love blue skies, blue waters (where blue skies reflect in), blue jeans – anything nature-made or man-made that looks blue. Here are a few pictures I took this summer that feature the color blue.

The first thing that comes to mind is how blue the sky can look here in San Diego. Well, maybe not downtown San Diego, which tends to be overcast many days out of the year. Inland, where it’s warmer and hotter, the sky can be the brightest blue on good days. This is a mountain peak I photographed while hiking in Idyllwild this summer, a couple of hours northeast of San Diego.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: the color blue - blue sky in Idyllwild, California
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: the color blue – blue sky in Idyllwild, California

I took this next picture with my cell phone camera. That’s all I had available at the time and I thought the very rare clouds and their reflection in the water presented an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

Blue sky and white clouds reflecting in water - water reflections
Blue sky and white clouds reflecting in water – water reflections

Spend a few hours in an aquarium and you’ll see a lot of blue. I love taking pictures of sea jellies (aka jelly fish), especially when the tank light keeps changing colors. Here’s a blue jelly fish for you!

Blue sea jelly - blue jelly fish
Blue sea jelly – blue jelly fish

Blue and yellow are complementary colors, so what’s not to like about yellow seahorses in an aquarium with a bright blue background?

Yellow seahorses in blue background aquarium
Yellow seahorses in blue background aquarium

Finally, this is one of my favorite photos of a duck I took this summer. This female mallard duck was swimming in very still water, mostly in the shade. The water almost looks like a sheet of bluish metal.

Mallard female duck swimming in still, blue water
Mallard female duck swimming in still, blue water

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “adventure”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

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Our adventures this summer kept us close to home. The most adventurous we were was probably the week we spent in the small mountain town of Idyllwild, California. During our visit, we tried a hiking trail new to us called the Ernie Maxwell scenic trail. Scenic is the word because it gave us beautiful views of the mountains and the valleys all around, while hiking mostly in the shade.

Wordpress weekly  photo challenge: adventure hiking in the woods of Idyllwild
WordPress weekly photo challenge: adventure hiking in the woods of Idyllwild

 

View of Mount Jacinto while hiking on the Ernie Maxwell scenic trail
View of Mount Jacinto while hiking on the Ernie Maxwell scenic trail

Of course we had a lot of other hiking adventures, mostly in the woods so we could hide from the baking hot Southern California summer sun.

Hiking in the woods
Hiking in the woods

And we enjoyed small adventures by the water, such as this lovely pond where we got to see a lot of birds and some fish.

Walking by a small pond
Walking by a small pond

Talking about birds, we spotted this beautiful violet-green swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) outside our cabin window. It had built a nest right underneath so we got to see it fly back and forth a lot over our week’s stay.

Violet-green swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)
Violet-green swallow (Tachycineta thalassina)

And you can’t hike without meeting cottontail rabbits. This one wasn’t too scared of us, as long as we stayed on the other side of the fence.

Cottontail rabbit hiding behind a wooden fence
Cottontail rabbit hiding behind a wooden fence

Finally, our biggest adventure probably happened at home this summer, when this red coachwhip snake visited our backyard for the third year in a row. Its babies may come visit us next year, but this guy won’t, as it met its end getting tangling in our netting (I guess it didn’t learn its lesson from the first two times…). That was enough adventure for one day!

Red coachwhip snake
Red coachwhip snake

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Horizon

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “horizon”. You can click on the photos below for a larger view.

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Here’s the horizon at Coronado Beach, hidden between the dune grasses.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: horizon at Coronado Beach
WordPress weekly photo challenge: horizon at Coronado Beach

I enjoyed taking this photo of pink grasses as they shoot across the horizon in the foreground.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: horizon with pink grasses in the foreground
WordPress weekly photo challenge: horizon with pink grasses in the foreground

Here’s the horizon on top of the mountains in Idyllwild, California. On that clear day, you could see up to 100 miles away.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: horizon at Idyllwild Park, California
WordPress weekly photo challenge: horizon at Idyllwild Park, California

How about this moon going up the horizon in the daylight?

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: moon at the horizon
WordPress weekly photo challenge: moon at the horizon

I love the beauty of the horizon at sunrise.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: horizon at sunrise
WordPress weekly photo challenge: horizon at sunrise

And at sunset.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: horizon at sunset
WordPress weekly photo challenge: horizon at sunset

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up

I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is up. You can notice quite a lot when you look up, and here are just a few things I captured on camera. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

A dog in the sky

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Clouds in the shape of a dog
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Clouds in the shape of a dog

A red-tailed hawk in a sycamore tree

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Red-tailed hawk in a tree
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Red-tailed hawk in a tree

The moon rising in the broad daylight of the afternoon

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up - Moon rising during the day
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Moon rising during the day

The highest mountain peak around

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up –  the mountains of Idyllwild, California
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – the mountains of Idyllwild, California

The many branches of a tall pine tree

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up - Looking up a pine tree
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Looking up a pine tree

Or the sun shining through the poplar leaves in the fall

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up - Yellow poplar leaves in the fall
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up – Yellow poplar leaves in the fall

What’s up?

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Distant

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and outdoor photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is distant.

I have a 12x optical zoom on the camera I take with me most often. It doesn’t allow me to zoom very far but it’s usually good enough to capture what I can see with the naked eye. For this “distant” theme, I decided to focus on animals that fly (but are sitting still at the time), since they are the ones I mostly have to zoom on to capture on camera. Here are a few recent shots, and a couple of older ones. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

I took the first photo this past weekend at Dos Picos County Park, not far from San Diego, California. This red-tailed hawk was sitting at the top of a tall sycamore tree and being very noisy, so I thought he deserved to have his picture taken. We have a lot of red-tailed hawks around and it’s always a treat to watch the male and female hunt for food for their young together.

Let's be wild weekly photo challenge - distant red tailed hawk
Let’s be wild weekly photo challenge – distant red tailed hawk

I took the next photo last week at the San Diego Zoo. I believe this blue heron is a local freeloader since they water basin was mostly occupied by reptiles – turtles and crocodiles. This big guy was eyeing the little fish swimming in the water and slowly walking towards them for a taste.

Let's be wild weekly photo challenge - distant blue heron
Let’s be wild weekly photo challenge – distant blue heron

This little guy below is a Stellar jay bird. Isn’t he beautiful? I took his photo in Idyllwild, California, where there are a lot of these birds. What’s interesting is, we only live two hours away from Idyllwild and we have regular blue jays here, but no Stellar jay birds.

Let's be wild weekly photo challenge - distant Stellar jay bird
Let’s be wild weekly photo challenge – distant Stellar jay bird

I love this last photo of a blue dragonfly. We have a lot of orange/red dragonflies here and I still have to take a few photos of them, but this is the only blue dragonfly I’ve seen. I feel lucky to have been able to capture it with my camera, since dragonflies can fly for hours without taking a break.

Let's be wild weekly photo challenge - distant blue dragonfly
Let’s be wild weekly photo challenge – distant blue dragonfly

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