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Making up for lost time photo dump

All photos I will dump for fun from the last year have been taken with my phone. I will make posts for the high quality camera shots. A lot has happened in the last year.

For instance I got a lens ball

For instance I got a lens ball

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I’ve done some cool hikes

I’ve done some cool hikes

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It’s a me! Last November

It’s a me! Last November

It’s me this May

It’s me this May

Went to Northern California

Went to Northern California

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Saw the California desert superbloom

Saw the California desert superbloom

Attended the local cherry blossom festival

Attended the local cherry blossom festival

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Attempted mediation in a salt rock spa

Attempted mediation in a salt rock spa

Bought a lyre

Bought a lyre

Found some local hidden gems

Found some local hidden gems

Went to Boston during a heat wave (I will make a separate post about Boston)

Went to Boston during a heat wave (I will make a separate post about Boston)

Enjoyed the beach a lot

Enjoyed the beach a lot

And so much more

And so much more

I’m sorry I went MIA for a year, but your mostly caught up now and I plan to post many many more photos of the last year and everything from now on.

Until next time ❤️

DISCLAIMER: the photos posted are in no particular order nor is this a complete list. This is just sharing a few cool highlights of the last year of my life while I disappeared

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MOON

I know it’s been over a year since I last posted… my bad… enjoy these pictures of the Harvest moon.

Harvest moon rising

Harvest moon rising

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Going into the clouds

Going into the clouds

Sail boat went by

Sail boat went by

Coming back out of the clouds

Coming back out of the clouds

The harvest moon in its full glory

The harvest moon in its full glory

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Paris

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Sometimes the world intervenes in your plans. Sometimes your plan a vaction to Hawaii and nature throws you a hurricane, forcing you to get a refund and rebook a trip with in 12 hours. And you end up looking up last min flights to anywhere in the world and end up in Paris. 

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So you and your friend have a pocket of refund money, a hostel and a flight with no plans only dreams.

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These are the memories you will take with you for the rest of your life. The “I can’t believe this is happening” 5 hours into a 11 hour flight.

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life is about the journey

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The adventures you didn’t expect.

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the friends you make along the way 

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It’ll be scary sometimes, but whatever your faith may or may not be your soul will guide you to wonderful adventures

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You’ll do weird things in life (like kissing Oscar Wilde’s grave)

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The magic is not knowing and trusting your gut. 

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Not everything will always go right, but lifes not about the bad times, it’s about how you chose to handle them, just keep trying. You’ll get it right.

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Bad things can turn into the best unplanned week that will forever be remembered. 

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It turns out for us, Paris was our silver lining at the edge of the clouds of a hurricane. 

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Small Zoo Day

So I went to the zoo with a friend today for a couple hours, we both used to work at the World Famous San Diego Zoo so we spent the day wandering around checking out the new exhibits and renovations before she had to run to work.

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Another day I'll write a really fun informational post about the World Famous San Diego Zoo and all her wonderful exhibits and animals but today I am just going to post pictures of the activity we saw today. Below are some African Penguins and I love these little guys so much, they just got a brand new large exhibit and they are so cute as they run around in it. 

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They where swimming too fast of me to get a good photo!

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Okapis are amazing they look like a child was going to make up an animal but couldn't decided which horse like animal was their favorite to base it off of! They have the butt of a Zebra, the body of a horse, and the neck and tongue of  giraffe. I know he is peeing in this picture but it's the only one I have that shows his full body.

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It was a nice overcast day today at the zoo and on days like this the big cats tend to be active. We made our way over to the Tiger exhibit and saw him eating and walking around instead of napping in the warm afternoon sun! I was so excited I forgot to take off my polarizer lens so I am sorry the photos are a little dark.

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Fun Fact! a group of Falmingos is called a flamboyance 

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The hidden gem of the zoo is the humming bird house, its tucked in the corner of the zoo and surrounded by trees so almost everyone misses it. But inside are beautiful plant and tiny little birds flying all around you because you get to enter the exhibit!

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On the opposite side of the zoo you can find polar bears and other arctic animals.

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Just a cuddly group of meerkats! 

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Did you know for every foot a giraffe is in height it has about and inch of tongue!? So an 18ft tall male giraffe has about and 18 inches tongue! You can eat a lot of leaves with that.

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When we went by the cheetahs one of the keepers was talking to people out side so the cheetah came very close to her and rubbed his head on the fence. I love these guys because I used to work a special event at the zoo and take pictures of them for guests as they learned about the animal while getting up close, but not touching it. So I spent a lot of time enjoying their company.

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The last thing we did was go into one of the aviaries and we got to hang out with a very friendly and photogenic Tucan.

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Then it started raining and we had to leave because we didn't have jackets, anything to protect the cameras and it was close to the start of work for my friend. 

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A Month out for Work

I spent the whole summer traveling America and Canada for work, I didn't have many days off but every now and again I was able to snap a photo, even though it wasn't as much as I hoped for.

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Above is a bayou in Louisiana, 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity. Not to many pictures from the south because while one of us was kayaking getting data in the water the other was on Alligator look out! And we saw some, so its a good thing I was paying attention and not taking pictures!

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This is one of the many corn fields I saw while working. Corn fields are beautiful and memorizing with the perfect rows, but they scare me because thats how you get murdered, walking around alone in a cornfield....or at least thats how it happens in scary movies. 

Corn is one of the biggest cash crops in America, farmers who plant corn get paid a small reward to buy corn and paid again when the corn is harvested. Most corn in America is genetically modified and not actually meant for human consumption, its made to be a part of animal feed or processed into sugars. Corn also leaches a lot of nutrients from soils so farmers tend to rotate corn fields some seasons into soy bean field so give the soil a break and let it replenish nutrients so the field can be productive longer. 

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This Church was on the Ottawa River in Canada, it was beautiful and I don't know much about it because all the information signs where in french...all I know is that they have public bathrooms inside and we stopped here everyday for obvious reasons while surveying this river. 

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I wanted to end this post with a sunset on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada, for no other reason than it is beautiful and and the river was calm that day giving a nice reflection upon the water.

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Photoshop photo dump

Last week I went home from work sick, this led to a lot of sleeping, in-between naps I would try to muster up energy to do something. I ended up having the urge to edit some pictures on my computer and they turned out nice. I never post anything photoshopped on my website, I always show the raw beauty of the world. But sometimes its nice to enhance that beauty.

This is the main church in downtown Reykjavik, gonna ruin the magic here but in my whole week in Iceland I never saw the sun shine in the city, that blue sky is #photoshopmagic 

This is the river leading to a waterfall in Iceland, lot more subtle photoshop here just a few color enhancements.

This cute foot bridge over a sulfuric hot spring in Iceland is my favorite edit, as a person who studied a bit of geology I adore rocks, and the rocks in the spring looked dingy and dull in the photo when in reality they where vibrant and diverse! If you know what your looking at you know how cool and colorful these rocks are! When I edited this one I wanted to convey to everyone else the beauty in these rocks that people who study the earth see when they look at these rocks.

This was taken 3 years ago in Anza Borrego State Park and its just touched up so you don't have to look through shadows.

This last photo is on the Saint Clair river in Michigan. The river splits in the middle one side belonging to America the other to Canada. This is the view of the houses on the American side as the storm clouds rolled in, I took this photo shortly before the US Coast Guard issued a lighting advisory an we we back to the docks.

I feel this view sums up America quite nicely, picture perfect houses in a perfect line with million dollar views of the river, manicured lawns held back from the river by a steel wall insuring the houses safety from the waves and making it easier to build river front property. Yet all is not as it seems, the steel wall intensifies the river flow along it making swimming impossible on this shore, it also does not absorb the waves very well. When winds or a boat throw a wake upon the wall, instead of being absorbed by the natural banks of the river and becoming wave on the sand they are forcefully reflected back causing boats to rock a second time. First by the original swell, then again by the water being reflected back. Its a beautiful use of technology allowing development upon the shore and longevity of the houses where taken into consideration, but it has potentially dangerous effects for those close to it on the water.

I don't know maybe I read to much into it, maybe we should test out the comments section on this web page and you can tell me if I'm crazy for over analyzing or if you agree or not! Or tell me which edit is your favorite! Or tell me I suck a photoshop to which I'll reply, "cool story bro".

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Boats and Lumberjacks

I should start off by saying I got this cool new job where I spend a lot of time traveling to cool new locations around the United States doing some river depth mapping. This in turn gives me a lot of cool opportunities to go check out beautiful places and cool events. We move a round a lot but the past few days I've been in Mackinaw City and we got to enjoy a half day of work which also meant a half day of play. 

Next to the marina where we are storing our survey boat was a GIANT decommissioned US Coast Guard Icebreaker!

83 the Mackinaw was in service since the 70's till 2006, she was the hard working girl on the great lakes breaking ice allowing safe passage. 

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The "Mighty Mack" used diesel electric engines and a three prop system to break the ice of the great lakes. Two props in the back one on the port one on the starboard side, like a typical vessel, but a third prop in the front. This forward prop was how she broke the ice, Mighty Mack never used sheer brute force to break ice sheets, she would use the front propellor to suck the water out from under the ice sheet making the ice sink lower and become less structurally sound with its base being pulled away, then the boat would smash down on top of the ice breaking it a freeing up a path.

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The Icebreaker was powered by a diesel electric motor, the electricity for it was powered by two locomotive engines!

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This floating museum was a total treat! The only sad part is, since we came straight from the boat I forgot to take the polarizer lens off my camera so not all the photos came out nice. 

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Did you know that two of the competitors in this years lumberjack games live in Mackinaw city? I didn't, we simply stumbled upon a tourist pamflit that said lumberjack show and immdeitly went to go see it.

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The show was your typical tourist attraction, with stadium seating, music (actually just cotton eyed joe on repeat), food for purchases, the announcer gave us some history of the lumber jack competitions and news about the competitors and the future competitions, witty banter from the competing lumberjacks and audience participation. Over all a super fun show.

The show began with a who could cut a cookie off a log faster contest.

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Then log chopping

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Then the ever impressive axe throwing event 

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One of the games the lumberjacks competed in was where they had to chop a notch in a tree place a board to stand on and continue this pattern until they reached the top and they could start chopping at the top!  

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Climbing 40ft into a tree and down the fastest

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The fan favorite, LOG ROLLING

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Then the final game was a relay race.

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Even though the other team won it was a blast! The crowd was hyped and the lumberjacks where phenomenal it was an amazing time! Good Luck to these boys in the televised competition this year in October. 

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Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July, back in 1776 we said sent the worlds best break up letter to the King of England, which started a war, which got The United States of America our freedom. Today we celebrate this with fireworks, BBQs and beer! I hiked Cowels mountain and looked down at the fireworks from Lake Murray.

Sunset over Lake Murray

Sunset over Lake Murray

Watching fireworks from above is a really unique experience, it give you a sense of awe in a totally different way.

If you look behind the lake you can see other firework shows from around the county of San Deigo

Happy fourth of July! Hope you also had fun watching fireworks tonight!

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I'm in Iceland!

I'm in Iceland!!!  This country looks like you took it straight out of a fairy tale, it's gorgeous! I will be posting a ton of photos once I get back home where my laptop is. I only brought my Camera and my iPhone, so I can't download pictures. BUT I can share a few photos of Iceland that I have on my phone before I get home. Of course the camera is going to be a way better than the phone so enjoy some beautiful photos from my phone until I get home and post the AMAZING ones on my camera. I'm at the half way point of my trip so here is the adventure thus far! 

 

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The Lutheran church is the iconic church I. The center of the capitol city Reykjavik, the back side has a cute park behind it and it frames the church nicely.

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Every single building in Iceland is the most adorable building.  

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A prefect reflection on a still glacial lake

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Geothermal activity in Iceland, oxidizes and stains the rocks.

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Waterfalls in Iceland are mighty beasts that carve through land making a statement to how wild this country is. 

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Glaciers are retreating in Iceland but they are still a sight to behold. 

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This pillar basalt is one of my favorite rock formations 😍

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Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a power water fall that not only you can walk right up to you can walk behind it as well.

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Just prepare to get soaked! 

 

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The inside of harpa music hall is naturally lit form the sun outside shining though the glass walls. At night in the winter time they light up to mimic the northern lights. 

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I did not take this last picture. I do not have a water proof camera. This though is the reason I came to Iceland. This is the Silfira, this is where the North American and Eurasian plates are drifting apart. And you can snorkel and scuba in the rift where continental plates divide! 

 

Thats a breif summary of the things I've seen this trip, once I come home I'll upload the ones from my camera so stay tuned! 

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Yosemite National Park

For Earth Day weekend I got to take a trip up to Yosemite National Park for a class field study to meet with the park, hydrologist, planner and fire ecologist to learn and talk about the park. It's pretty astounding that I got class credit to go to my favorite place in the world but its true, it happened. Out of the four days we where up there we only had one non class day to do what ever we wanted. So for that day my self and a friend got up and started the upper Yosemite falls trail at 8 and went all the way to the top and across the river to Yosemite point for the valley views. I do not have a whole lot of photos that aren't class related so here is just a sample of what Yosemite looked like on earth day! 

I mentioned earlier that this was for a class and that is very seriously true, so true intact I have to keep this post short because I have to get back to doing my homework for said class and others.  But while I am on a break from studying I wanted to share a small photo journey of the park.

All the animals in National parks are protected and because of their protection they can wander anywhere they please, and that lead to people feeding them even though it's against park rules. This (most of the time) creates very friendly animals who are not shy and will walk right up to you. This though does extend to bears who will walk right into your campsite and eat your food if your not careful!

Although this is a stunning picture of a meadow with half dome in the background I don't believe these flowers are natural considering they where the only ones in the meadow and the only other ones where planted by the ranger station housing. Maybe an animal buried a seed in the meadow?

Another animal trying to get free food, this guy was right near the village gift shop,I assume he is there all the time because the park staff talk to him and he squawks back. They also have seemed to have named him becauseI heard someone call his name and he hopped over, it was quite the sight although I regret not being able to remember his name.

Side view of upper falls

Upper falls view point is a little over half way up the upper falls trial just after columbia rock. Its a stunning view and this past snow season the Serria Nevada received a dense snow pact and the water flowing in the park was at an all time high, It was so much water that the water falling sounded like thunder clapping. while taking a break and talking to a local man who hikes this trail once a month he said it was very special to hear that sound because he has not seen this much water or heard the falls that loud in over 10 years!

Once your at the top of the falls the view of the falls its self was a little lack luster, but understandably so, you where kept far back from the cliffs edge and the fast water falling for purely safety reasons, the water was flying at least 10 feet up into the air before falling and was around 40 feet out from the cliff face! But if you take the time to turn your head back up river you get this awesome view pictured above!

We then set out for another mile of hiking to find Yosemite point!

After we crossed the river from this bridge I had to put my camera away because the next mile of hiking was through about 2-3feet of snow and I didn't want to drop my camera!

Looking back in the the Yosemite high country

At the top of Yosemite point you can see the whole valley in a new breath taking manner. Its stunning, and looking out at the valley your able to get a glimpse of the sites John Muir had when he laid eyes on this natural wonderland. The calm breeze at the top is enough to make you stop and stare for hours on end just looking, and truly seeing the valley for the wonder that it is.This vantage point gives you the opportunity to look around and see the geologic history of the park. But explaining that would be for another post when I don't have homework to do and study for finals!

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Spring Break 2017

For spring break this year a couple of friends and I jumped into my car and drove to the desert to camp, hike, and look at the sites of the spring time desert. We went down to Anza Borreggo State Park.

First off we went to see the super bloom of flowers in the desert, we had a crazy rain season in California during the middle of our 7 year drought and this made the desert wild flowers bloom like crazy 2 weeks ago, but by the time we made it out the caterpillars had eaten most of the flowers and there are only a few left.

Ocotillo flowers

Ocotillo flowers

Desert sun flowers

Desert sun flowers

Beaver tail cactus

Beaver tail cactus

Also in Borreggo springs there are these giant metal statues just off the roads and are worth stopping to see. The towering rising metal statues are awe inspiring and life like its hard to to stop and stare.

Next we went off roading, which was a horrible idea because we had a little Volkswagen Jetta, so after a very bumpy ride (thank god I knew the road and how to drive on sand) we got to fonts point and got to see the badlands!

Finally we got to go hiking, we did the simple Palm Canyon hike starting in the Anza Borreggo campground, which wakes you hiking back into the mountains following the river bed until you find the water actually flowing and palms.

Doesn't matter if you have 1 or 7 days available to play for spring break, get out and have an adventure! There is always something cool close by that you can do. Go enjoy the time you have.

“Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.” 
― Richard Louv,

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Sakura Blossom Festival

It's that time of year! People are debating about if daylight savings is a valid idea, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming!

This past weekend was the Sakura (cherry) Blossom festival in Balboa park. Balboa park in San Diego is a wonderful beautiful and big park with many different areas to explore, including museums, parks, stages and gardens. The Japanese Friendship garden in Balboa park is a hidden gem, koi fish await your visit as you make you way down the hillside of winding trails through the plants and over streams. 

During this time of year the Cherry Blossoms bloom and create a sight many come to marvel at in the park. And this year San Diego received quite a bit of rain so the flowers are in full bloom and more vibrant than ever!

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The park also has a tea garden you can take a break in and sit down to gaze upon the the hillside dotted with pink blossoms.

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Just because the festival is over doesn't mean the flowers have stopped blooming, so go grab your camera or your phone and head down to Balboa park with a friend and go to the Japanese Friendship garden to take pictures have tea and maybe even take some selfies.

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Iron Mountain

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Two days ago I went to go hike Iron Mountain for the first time with a friend. 

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The hike was a blast with awesome views from the top. But the real show stopper was the fact that the little streams actually had water in them. 

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Now if you live in Southern California you are aware of the fact that we are in a historic 7 year drought. So seeing running water even in small quantities is a very exciting experience. Last week we got a good amount of rain and now the little seasonal streams are following.

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I for sure recommend this hike to all San Diegans. 

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It's Grey Whale Season

The Eastern Pacific Grey Whales do a yearly migration down the coast from Alaska to Mexico to give birth to their young in the warm waters and then swim all the way back up. This happens December -April along the coast. Right now the whales are all traveling south still and its really easy to spot them of the coast of San Diego as they travel. Gray whales have distinct heart shaped blow and beautiful tails that they showcase when they go down for dives. Below are two photo sets of a grey whale going for a dive, on from behind and another from the side. You'll be able to see the rolling of the back, the lifting the tail out of the water, the water running off of it, and the sharp angle into the water for the deep dive.  

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Every whale tail or fluke is different form another just like a humans finger prints, they are individual to each person, so every time you watch a whale fluke its a whole new experience.

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Joshua Tree

In October 2016 I took a trip to Joshua Tree, I never got around to posting the pictures from that trip. Well it's 2017 now so better late than never I guess. 

If you've never been to Joshua Tree let me explain little bit about why its so special. First off this funky looking trees are only found one place in the world and thats the Mojave desert, and there are only 3 types of subspecies of them and still they all reside in the Mojave. Then you add in how they look as if they are from another planet and it gets better, they can grow 14 -40 feet tall and almost 3 feet wide with roots that can grow up to 30. The name came from the 19th century Mormons who crossed the desert and thought it looked like the prophet Joshua pointing up to the sky to the promised land. The Joshua tree can live up to 1,000 years old if properly taken care of but have an average life span of 200 years. 

Camping out here is a special treat for sure, its a dark spot so you will see the stars clearly at night (during my trip is was cloudy at night so I have no night sky pictures) and you are most likely are to be treated with awe-inspiring sunset, the sunset here in the desert was one of the most beautiful desert sunsets I have witnessed.

When you make your way into the park your met with an expansive open space to explore. Joshua Tree is the only National Park with no real designated trails. You are allowed to roam where ever you'd like and climb anything you feel comfortable. 

So when visiting pack that daypack full of water, lunch and a first aid kit because you'll end up climbing everything is sight and are bound to get a few cuts.

The park is full of magnificent rocks and natural structures exploding with life.

When climbing the park its best to leave the big cameras in the car and just throw your phone in the day pack and take pictures with that, trust me, climbing while holding a camera and worrying about a expensive piece of equipment is more stressful than rewarding in this case. I learned that really quick and swapped out my heavy camera for my phone and began to just roam the whole park.

You'll find lots of cool wind tunnels and sometimes you'll even find some cute things in the rocks made by nature. Joshua Tree is a place where your childhood dreams of climbing everything in sight can come true all the while you'll get blessed with some striking views.

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Submarines are cool

When working on the water in San Diego you get to see the Navy do a lot of cool maneuvers and watch a lot of vessels go in and out of the bay. My favorite ones to watch move about the bay are submarines. On the horizon they look like little sticks in the water, but when they get close they majestically push the water off their bow as they sail by.

notice the seagulls on the back of the sub

notice the seagulls on the back of the sub

These photos are of a inbound Los Angeles class submarine to Sub Base San Diego. When you see anything Navy make its way back to dock (or off it for that matter) they are accompanied by tug boats. They help them get on and off the docks safely.

Its so cool to see the sailors on the outside of a moving  submarine

Its so cool to see the sailors on the outside of a moving submarine

Los Angeles class submarines are 360 feet in length and take a crew of 133 to pilot them, and even though part of this sub is above water there is still just over 30 feet below the water line.

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Fun Fact

Sunglasses make awesome filters to jazz up any photo that you want to take but are  looking to add a more of an artisict touch. I use this technique with my phone camera all the time. 

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Think about it. You buy a polarized lens for your camera, which is basically sunglasses for your camera. You also buy polarized sunglasses for your eyes. Why not use your resources and create art?

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The closer you hold them to you phone camera the more subtle the filter. You get the same effect you see when you wear your sunglasses or if using a polarized lens. 

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And if you hold them further away from your phone and tilt the angle of your glasses you can get some pretty trippy effects.

It's a very simple way to take your photos to the next level. 

 

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Impromptu trip to San Fransisco

The family took a 4 day impromptu trip to San Fran! I didn't bring the camera because on a short trip with no plans it would have been too heavy to carry. So all of these where taken on the iPhone. 

Jelly fish at the California Acdemy of Sciences  

Jelly fish at the California Acdemy of Sciences  

Lillies in a pond

Lillies in a pond

Light peaking through the redwoods in the Muir Woods National Monument  

Light peaking through the redwoods in the Muir Woods National Monument  

China Camp  

China Camp  

The Bay Bridge with no fog!  

The Bay Bridge with no fog!  

Boats at China camp

Boats at China camp

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The Living Coast Discovery Center

At the end of the San Deigo bay (South Bay) is the Living Coast Discovery Center. A beautiful but small wildlife refuge and aquarium. Where you can walk among the marsh. Pet bat rays, feed sharks and feed endangered green sea turtles.  

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