Mother Nature draws trees – can you guess what this is?

I took this photo earlier today. If I told you where I was, you’d probably figure out what this is pretty quickly. So let’s play a little game. Can you guess what this photo is? You can click on the photo for a larger view.

All I can say is, Mother Nature is a wonderful artist, especially when it comes to drawing herself. It will blow your mind away.

Mother Nature draws trees
Mother Nature draws trees

I’ll reveal the answer in my next post, along with a few other photos I took at the same location. If you like what you see, please subscribe to this blog to receive updates of the new photos I post, usually 3 to 5 times a week.

Note: you can find the answer to this guessing game here.

Macro Monday: the hairpin banksia shrub and its blooms

Today I’m taking part in the Macro Monday photo challenge. You can click on each photo for a larger view.

If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

I ran across this shrub over the weekend and I had to take a few pictures of its very peculiar blooms. This is the hairpin banksia shrub, part of the protea family, originally from South Africa.

Macro Monday: hairpin banksia shrub
Macro Monday: hairpin banksia shrub

Take a closer look at the shrub’s blooms. I don’t even know if you could call them flowers. Aren’t they something?

Macro Monday: hairpin banksia shrub bloom
Macro Monday: hairpin banksia shrub bloom

Here’s an ever closer look at a hairpin banksia bloom. Nature sure had fun with this one!

Close-up of a hairpin banksia shrub bloom
Close-up of a hairpin banksia shrub bloom

Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “simplicity”. 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 try to keep my photos as simple as possible and that’s why I like doing macros a lot, focusing on one subject and keeping the background a blur. But I also like the simplicity of some landscapes, especially when they involve water. For this theme, I decided to feature the beautiful Lake Hemet in Southern California. Considering the small lakes and ponds we have in the San Diego area, Lake Hemet is a lot larger. There’s something very peaceful about standing in front of a large body of water. Here’s just one little part of it.

Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet, Southern California
Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet, Southern California

I like the simple landscape around the lake: the shore, some grass and then trees and a mix of shrubs and brush.

Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet
Travel theme: Simplicity of Lake Hemet

Even in hot weather, you can enjoy a little breeze right by the lake, which causes a few simple ripples by the shore.

Travel theme: Simplicity of lake water ripples
Travel theme: Simplicity of lake water ripples

The trees around the lake provide a welcome amount of shade. In the morning, before the sun rays heat up the atmosphere, you can witness a beautiful blue sky – a sign of the purity of the air at 4000 feet away from most civilization. Simple and beautiful.

Simplicity of blue sky above the pine trees
Simplicity of blue sky above the pine trees

The beautiful pear blossoms of San Diego’s Balboa Park

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to photograph the many ornamental pear blossoms in San Diego’s Balboa Park. It was one of those perfect days to take photos: beautiful blue sky with just a few clouds, warm temperatures and a slight breeze. I shared a couple of photos in previous posts, but today I’m displaying the best shots I got on that day in one single post.

Enjoy and remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

This is what the ornamental pear blossoms look like from underneath the tree.

Ornamental pear blossoms
Ornamental pear blossoms

This is what the pear blossoms look like from up close.

Beautiful pear blossoms of San Diego's Balboa Park
Beautiful pear blossoms of San Diego’s Balboa Park

I love how these pear trees reach high up to the sky.

Ornamental pear blossoms
Ornamental pear blossoms
Pear blossoms of Balboa Park in San Diego
Pear blossoms of Balboa Park in San Diego

I think this is my favorite photo of the whole lot.

Close-up of the pear blossoms in Balboa Park
Close-up of the pear blossoms in Balboa Park

These pear blossoms have a pretty repulsive smell but bees seem to love it and were very busy collecting nectar.

Bee on the blossoms of a pear tree
Bee on the blossoms of a pear tree
Bee on the pear blossoms at San Diego Balboa Park
Bee on the pear blossoms at San Diego Balboa Park

A closer look at the Baccharis Sarothroides bush

A few weeks ago, I gave you a glimpse of the Baccharis Sarothroides bush when I took part in a photo challenge on texture. Today, I wanted to share a few more of the photos I took that day in November while walking through Mission Trails regional park in San Diego County.

The Baccharis bush is very large and tall (probably 7 to 8 feet both ways). Besides its significant size, it doesn’t really stand out, except when it blooms, apparently in late fall. Even though the blooms of the Baccharis Sarothroides bush are not specifically colorful, they’re very numerous and fluffy, and that’s what got my attention.

Click on any image to view the slideshow. To see a larger view of my Baccharis bush photos, scroll down while in slideshow mode and click on “view full size”.

I hope these blooms don’t make you sneeze!