Photography . . . Travel . . .

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Few Images From Sunday in San Diego

I spent a few hours wandering around San Diego with a friend on Sunday. Our first stop was the Scripps Aquarium.





After lunch we met a few more friends at Balboa Park. We stopped into the Art Museum, then over to the Botanical Building.

   

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ring-Tailed Lemurs and Black-Crowned Night Herons

My favorite bird at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park (formerly known as the Wild Animal Park) is not even really a part of their collection - the black-crowned night herons are a local bird species that takes advantage of the free food and a pleasant place to hang out. 


The shoe-bill storks are a strange looking bird. It's always fun to watch the reactions of first-time visitors to the Park when they first spot this thing.


There were quite a few good looking birds out there on Saturday afternoon.



Several of the larger exhibits were closed, and the tigers (one of the main reasons I stopped there in the first place) were not out. It was mid-day, so I wasn't really expecting the ring-tailed lemurs to be very active (I usually see them active late in the day), but it turns out they were the highlight of the day. Zoonooz Magazine ran an article on these 2 lemurs a few months ago, but I just can't remember their names. I do recall that they are sisters though. If I had to pick a favorite furry animal at the Park it would have to be the lemurs (or maybe the meerkats - they're certainly my favorites at the San Diego Zoo).




In that last shot she looks to be deep in thought, but in reality she's deep into a snack that she's holding in both hands and chomping on.


The meerkats were not all that active, and it was dark and cloudy when I happened by their little area, but I did manage to get one good shot.


Click here to see more images from Saturday afternoon at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park just outside of Escondido, CA.
     

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Experimenting With a New Lens - Late Afternoon Light in Balboa Park

I had about an hour and a half to wander around before we met for the full Moon photos on Saturday night, and I had a new lens to play with. Balboa Park seemed like the perfect spot. It was sort of gray and hazy when I first got there, but then the clouds opened up some and the sun came out, very low in the sky. Here are few shots from my new Nikon 80-200/2.8 lens.






This next one was shot almost straight into the setting sun, mostly just so that I could see how the lens handled that. I wasn't expecting much, but seeing the picture now I think that it conveys a pretty good feeling of what it is like in Balboa Park in the late afternoon as the sun is going down. 




The saxaphone guy was out, he does a very nice job of providing some great background music for an evening walk in the Park.






The music certainly seemed to be working for this guy.






Click here for a few more images from Saturday afternoon in Balboa Park.
    

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Full Moon Over San Diego

On Saturday March 19th the full Moon rising over San Diego was closest it has been to the Earth in 18 years. Depending on which websites you might have been reading, this was going to cause all sorts of mayhem. In the end it turned out to be an easy excuse for a group of friends to get together on the shore of San Diego Bay and hang out visiting while taking the occasional photo. The Moon never quite came out from behind the clouds.






While we were waiting for the Moon to rise we did get a few shots of the Bay and the downtown skyline in the blue twilight.






We were also out there on Friday night, when the Moon rose much earlier in the evening.


Click here to see more images from Friday and Saturday of the closest Moon in 18 years rising over downtown San Diego.
     

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

San Diego Skyline from Harbor Island

I made a quick stop on Harbor Island tonight on the way home from work to try a few shots of the downtown San Diego skyline from the west end of the island.




The lights on the USS Midway make it easy to spot.




As do the sails on the Star of India.




This last one is hangers with helicopters in the front, at North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado, almost directly across the channel from where I was standing.


    

Monday, March 14, 2011

Anza Borrego - Fish Creek, Wind Caves and Sandstone Canyon

On Sunday Heather and I met up with a couple other members of SCCX, the Southern California Club Xterra, for an off-road drive in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park of Eastern San Diego County. We traveled up Fish Creek Wash to Sandstone Canyon, with a stop along the way for a hike to the Wind Caves. The weather was about perfect on Sunday, with a high of about 80, but there was cool breeze to temper that nicely. 


It's about a one-mile hike up from Fish Creek Wash to the Wind Caves. The views are quite spectacular, in all directions.






Here's Heather and Karen checking out the scenery.




Looking back down from the top of the Wind Caves towards Fish Creek Wash, where we parked the Xterras. 




After our hike in the hot sun we were ready for some shade and lunch, including a fresh apple pie from the Julian Pie Company that we picked up on way over the mountains earlier that morning. Since we had a small group (7 of us, in 3 Xterras), I took the group to my favorite lunch spot, a large sandstone boulder with a flat spot on top, that is nicely shaded in mid-day. Most people just drive right past it, without realizing there is a nice flat spot on top, with a nice bed of soft sand up there too.




After lunch we drove into Sandstone Canyon, walked around a bit, then turned around and headed out in the late afternoon.






Here's me, followed by Mike and Justin, in a narrow part of Sandstone Canyon.






Click here to see more images from Sunday, March 13, 2011 in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
    

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2011 - San Diego

On Saturday I joined the local photo club for our monthly group get together, this time it was the 31st annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in San Diego. They say it is the largest parade in the US west of the Mississippi.


The firefighters lead off.






After the firefighters came the Marines.






I shot almost the entire parade with a fairly long lens (300mm) so many of my images are close-ups of the people. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick were out in force. I had no idea there were so many of them. I wanted to ask if there was also a group called the Unfriendly Sons of St. Patrick, but everyone seemed to be having such a good time I didn't want to bring up a potentially sore subject.




Lots of Irish dancers.






Lots of Irish Setters.




And a whole lot of interesting characters, although I'm not quite sure what some of them had to do with St. Patrick or Irish culture. But, it's a parade, everyone was having fun, and that's all that mattered.


















One of the two Irishwomen of the Year, she sure was having a good time.




In fact, everyone was having a great time. The weather was perfect, you couldn't ask for a better day in San Diego.




Click here to see more images from Saturday, March 12, 2011, at the San Diego St. Patrick's Day Parade.
    

About Me

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at frank@frankbaiamonte.com to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.