187: Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean

(Point Reyes, California.)

I could never stay long enough on the shore, the tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.

~ Helen Keller

This week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post is Ocean.  I love the ocean.  If I had my druthers, I’d live near the ocean.  East coast, west coast, it doesn’t really matter.  I am probably most familiar with the Atlantic Ocean, having grown up on the east coast and vacationed there frequently as a child and as an adult.  But I do love the Pacific as well.  I think the advantage of west coast living would be the proximity to mountains and desert as well as the ocean.  Just think of all those different worlds and climates to explore.

Since I obviously cannot step outside or take a short drive to gather new photos of an ocean, I decided to dive into ye olde archives and bring out some photos from a place I visited briefly and would love to return to someday.  Point Reyes, California.  M and I were given a quick tour of the area by a friend back in 2006.  Our trip west was to San Francisco and nearby areas, and it happened to be a very rainy spring that year.

It rained off and on the day we went out to Point Reyes with our friend.  Even with the rain, the clouds, and the fog, I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Point Reyes is a peninsula that was first inhabited around 5,000 years ago by the Coast Miwok Indians.  There are over 120 known village sites within Point Reyes National Seashore.  The first European explorer to land at Point Reyes was Sir Francis Drake, in 1579.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

The Point Reyes Lighthouse was built in 1870 and retired in 1975 when they went to an automated light system.  We were not able to visit the lighthouse that day because the stairs were closed.

The views from where we stood when I took these photos were incredible.  You could turn in any direction and fill your eyes and soul with beauty.

Point Reyes National Seashore is home to a wide variety of plants and animals.  The animals range from large marine mammals such as the northern elephant seal to small butterflies.  The area is characterized by Mediterranean vegetation.

We did see quite a few animals that day.  Unfortunately, most of the photos I took of the wildlife (including a number of birds, some seals, and tule elk) did not turn out well.  Those that I did capture fairly well, such as the fallow deer, turned out to be non-native species.

If I could, I’d like to spend at least a month there, exploring and hiking around the area.  I’d better start playing the lottery.  😉

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

Not much has changed.  It’s another chilly, blue-sky day with a brisk north wind.  We woke up to frost and fog, and another pretty sunrise.

I had a lovely walk today.  We had a few visitors to the pond.  The mallards, who seem to have decided to stay for a while, were swimming around. They let me get closer than usual.

We also had a great blue heron stop by for a few hours.  The swallows, of course, are swooping and swirling around, catching insects near the water.  I did not see any of the turtles today.  I wonder if the frigid nights have driven them back into hibernation?

Sunlight on a tree limb

I stayed out for a while.  I thought I should enjoy the sun and clear skies while I can.  It’s supposed to get cloudy tomorrow.  And snow on Friday.

Perhaps we put away the cross-country skis too soon.

99: Still playing

Still off somewhere playing and meeting up with friends.  If this auto-posts, it means I don’t have internet access.  Rest assured that I am meeting my commitment to get outside.

The above photo was taken in Mission Beach, California back in November.  As much as I’d like to be on a warm, sunny beach, that’s not where I’m at this time around.  It wouldn’t be fair of me to ask you to guess where I am since I haven’t given you any clues.  No worries.  I really will tell you all about it.  Tomorrow, maybe.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will be moving into the triple digits with my commitment tomorrow.  100 days.  Wow!

97: Frigid

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I had to go outside in ten minute increments today.  It was bright and sunny, but painfully cold.  The wind seems to cut right through the layers of clothing and skin and go right to the bone.


(Tracks on the pond.)

I think this might be the first day this month that we haven’t had so much as a flurry.  From the looks of things we may not get any more snow this week.  There is, however, rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.  That will likely make a big mess of things once the temperature drops again and everything freezes.

Well, this is a dull post.  How about a visit to the beach just to warm us up a little?

We can take a walk at sunset.

All you have to decide is which way to go…

93: Christmas Eve

(Shelter Island Marina.  San Diego, CA.  November 2010)

I finally finished uploading the last batch of photos from San Diego.  Although this is not particularly Christmas-y, I do like the star effect.  I’ll bring you something a little more seasonal tomorrow.

(Shogun.  Shelter Island Marina.  San Diego, CA.)

Having had our family Christmas celebration last weekend, it’s quiet here today. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature is stirring… etc., etc., etc.


The Great Outdoor Adventure — Day 93

The cross-country skis are FAB.  And brilliant.  And hard work!!  M and I skied for about 20 minutes yesterday.  The nice thing about owning our own skis is that we don’t have to push ourselves to utter exhaustion just to get our money’s worth in one day.  We can take our time, get used to gliding and skiing, and maybe even learn how to turn.  And stop.  Stopping, it seems to me, is important.  This is especially true when you’re speeding downhill and there are brambles at the bottom.

I fell once yesterday (coming down a hill and running into said brambles).  My legs were a little sore today but not so much that it was uncomfortable.  Just enough to let me know I’d worked them yesterday.

(Warm & fuzzy in the snow.)

Today I watched a video about a few of the basics of cross-country skiing and then tried to put what I learned into practice.  Knowing the proper way to go uphill made it so much easier.  I practiced a few drills (such as skiing without the poles).  I still fell down.  This time I was speeding down a bigger hill than the one I was on yesterday and M was at the bottom.  I was sure I’d run right into him so I threw myself on the ground.  So maybe that doesn’t count as falling??

Yes, I think learning how to stop will be a very good thing.

We skied for about 35 minutes today.  I went out for a short walk after that, mostly to fill the bird feeders and to take a few photos.  The camera will not be taking ski trips with me.

The weather has stayed pretty much the same for the past two days.  A balmy 26 degrees, cloudy, with the occasional snow flurries and squalls.  We will have a white Christmas, for sure.  A storm with more snow is expected to arrive on Sunday.

Yay!  Fresh snow!

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I doesn’t seem right to leave you with such a cold view when I’m feeling all warm and glowy from the exercise.  How about a nice, warm sunset instead?

Merry Christmas Eve!

76: Shhhh…

(A tree in San Diego.)

It’s 3:00 in the morning on my birthday, and I’m trying to be (relatively) quiet.  I’m working on the laundry.  I figure if I can’t sleep, I might as well be productive.

(Mission Bay trees.)

I’d rather be sleeping.  To be honest, I’m feeling pretty miserable.  Sleep is not possible because I’m dealing with the consequences of the prep.  I’m exhausted.  And hungry.  And exhausted.


I figure I can sit here and have a whinge or I can be grateful.  I’m alive, I’m well (except for the purposely induced problem), and I have another year to celebrate.

(Kite in tree.)

I truly am grateful.  My life is filled with blessings and gifts of all kinds.  Sometimes I don’t always recognize them as gifts.  Right now is a good example.

(A burst of sunlight in the tree tops.)

Instead of sleeping, I’m counting my blessings.  Instead of sleeping, I’m getting my blog post for the day written up and posted.  Instead of sleeping, I’m looking at bright, sunshiny pictures.

I have time now to gather my thoughts, to catch up on email and other blogs, and to look at flowers.  I have time to sort of relax and just enjoy the quiet.

I’m not sure when I’ll fit in my outdoor time today.  Perhaps before I go to the doc’s place for the birthday fun.  I’m pretty sure I’ll want to nap this afternoon.  I know!  M and I can go sledding this evening if I’m up for it.  That will be a fine and fun way to spend time outdoors, don’t you think?

So.  What would you be doing with your time if you had to stay up all night?  Something quiet?  Something fun?  A little of both?

71: Doors and windows

(Bench and window in Old Town San Diego.)

It’s still snowing here in the Bogs.  Mostly light flurries with the occasional snow squall.  So far we don’t have much in the way of accumulation.  The ground was probably too warm at the start.

(Through one door and out the other.)

My outdoor time today was pretty uneventful.  It was mostly about moving from one place to another and trying to stay warm.

(Commercial Restaurant)

I could ramble on about the cold and the snow but in deference to my visitors who have had enough of winter, cold, and snow, I decided to post some more sunny California photos.

(Pitcher window.)

These are all from my brief visit to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  To be honest, even though I like the snow (so far), I’m enjoying looking at all the sunshine in some of the photos.  It’s very warming.

(Red doors.)

(Yellow doors.)

Not too long ago I posted about my passion for doors, windows, gates, and other portals when it comes to photography.  You can find it here if you missed it (or want to read it again).

(Green door.)

Someday I may gather them all together — all these photos of doors, windows, gates, and other portals — and put them in a book or something.  I’d like to do something with them.  I’m just not sure what.

(Green window with fringe.)

(Framed with succulents.)

I can’t completely ignore my outdoor time, though, since part of what I’m blogging about on a daily basis is spending time with Mother Nature.  If you’ve had enough of cold, snow, and gray weather, leave now.  I’m about to post a snowy photo or two.

Read the rest of this entry »

68: The speed of time

(Floating in Mission Bay.)

Every now and then time drifts by slowly, the day seeming to stretch out forever.  On other occasions, it speeds right on by and you wonder what happened to the day.

(Riding the wave.)

It can be difficult to keep your balance on busy days.  The waves of busy-ness can knock you over if you’re not paying attention.


I’m on my way out for my outdoor time.  I’ve had a lot to do today to make up for lazing around all weekend and the day has flown by.  I still have lots to do but need a break.  Being outdoors will slow things down a little, allow me to regain my balance.  It’s a nice day for a walk.  Sunny again.  And mild, with temps in the 50’s.

(Making a splash)

I’m posting now — before my walk — because I’m not sure I’ll have the time later.  The next week or so is going to be a little hectic, I think.  With one holiday just behind us and another coming up, I suspect time is going to speed right along at a merry pace.

I’m going to try to go with the flow and keep up as best I can.  Hopefully I’ll have some things to share with you tomorrow from my walk today.  I’m going to try adding an hour or two to my day by not being such a lazy slug in the mornings and getting up at a decent time.  Sleeping in has become a mini-habit of late.  I don’t regret it, but it is time to change that habit.  I like early mornings, and getting up a little earlier will give me more time for my yoga practice and morning meditation.  I don’t like to rush my way through those things.

Getting up a little earlier might also allow me more time for blogging.  Priorities, you know?  😉