WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “the golden hour”, that first or last hour of the day that gives such a special light to everything around. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I love the glowing effect the rising sun rays give to these puffy clouds.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour - clouds at sunrise
WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour – clouds at sunrise

On a winter morning, I love how the sun rays do their best to shine through the fog and make the fall foliage turn gold.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour - fall foliage glows through the fog
WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour – fall foliage glows through the fog

The morning sunlight right after a night of rain has an interesting effect too. I love to capture that special light on raindrops.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour - morning sunlight lights up raindrops on leaves
WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour – morning sunlight lights up raindrops on leaves

We don’t get a lot of frost in San Diego and when we do, it starts to disappear as soon as the sun comes out and exposes its warm rays. So it’s a race against time to capture the frost in the sunlight before it melts.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour - morning sunlight lights up raindrops on leaves - frost on the edge of a leaf
WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour – morning sunlight lights up raindrops on leaves – frost on the edge of a leaf

The late afternoon sun in the winter can give a nice golden look to yellow leaves, and the scene looks even nicer if you can capture the moon in the background.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour - the sun lights up fall leaves with the moon in the background
WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour – the sun lights up fall leaves with the moon in the background

Finally I like how bright the sky can still be while everything on the ground is getting darker as the sun sets.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour - bright skies as the sun sets
WordPress weekly photo challenge: the golden hour – bright skies as the sun sets

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Green

Let's be Wild Audience Award February 14, 2013 update: I just found out I won the Let’s be Wild Audience Award for this photo challenge on Green! I want to thank everyone for their kind comments on my photos. This is the first time I’ve been recognized for my photo work, so this is a big deal for me. 🙂

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

You can click on the photos below for a larger view.

Green isn’t something you see a lot of in San Diego. The outdoor scenery is gray, brown and yellow most of the year. Still, you can be lucky and capture some green on camera, like that spring day when I stumbled upon this patch of surreal green at Dos Picos County Park. You can view more photos of Dos Picos County Park here, and here.

Let's Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green grass
Let’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green grass

Green is the color of grass, even when it’s covered with dew and spiderwebs from grass spiders. You can view more photos of these spiderwebs with dew in this post.

Let's Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green grass covered with spider webs
Let’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green grass covered with spider webs

I love the bold green on the plants below, even when covered with winter frost. You can view more photos of plants covered in frost here, here and here.

Let's Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green plants covered with frost
Let’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green plants covered with frost

Even the rain can’t wash out the green of this tree branch. You can view more photos of raindrops on these tree branches here and here.

Let's Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green branches and raindrops
Let’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green branches and raindrops

There’s plenty of green at the San Diego Botanic Garden, including on this beautiful topiary of a dancing couple. You can see more amazing topiary in this post.

Let's Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green topiary at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Let’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Green topiary at the San Diego Botanic Garden

How green is it where you live right now?

More photos of frost in San Diego

This is the rest of the photos of frost I took these past few weeks in San Diego, California. You can find my other photos of frost here and here. I think this may have been my last opportunity to photograph frost this winter, since we’ve been experiencing a warming trend. And what a warming it has been! While the rest of the USA is suffering from subzero temperatures, we’re enjoying afternoons in the low 80s. How crazy is that? Of course, there’s a chance the warmth won’t last and we’ll have a few more frosty mornings before the end of winter. We’ll see, but in the meantime, I’m pretty happy with the large set of photos I got.

Remember you can click on any photo below for a larger view.

I think this may be my favorite frost photo of all. What do you think?

Frosty plants in San Diego
Frosty plants in San Diego

Here’s some frost on a spider web. And what a messy spider web it is!

Frost on spider web
Frost on spider web

I like the look of the frost on these dried flowers, covering every petal. And I really like the bluish gray tint from the winter morning’s light.

Delicate frost on plants and flowers
Delicate frost on plants and flowers

Here’s a dusting of frost on dried leaves. Did somebody sprinkled powdered sugar?

Frost on dried leaves
Frost on dried leaves

Here’s the last photo, showing not only frost but also small ice crystals on this leaf. It almost looks like a hairy leaf!

Frost on the edge of a leaf
Frost on the edge of a leaf