Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Alabama Hills - Lone Pine, California

We stopped for the night in Lone Pine, California while on the way home from a recent road trip to Mammoth Lakes.  Our plan was to leave Lone Pine early in the morning in order to try to avoid as much traffic as we could on the 300 mile drive home to San Diego.  The light in the sky was just too good to pass up a quick detour out to the Alabama Hills for a few pictures.

Click here to see a few more images of the Alabama Hills area just outside of Lone Pine, California.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Do Tigers Climb Trees?

Do tigers climb trees?  Yes, they do.

Here's Cinta, one of the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo, at around 6:30pm one evening about two weeks ago.  There was no one else around, it was really quiet.  He was just sitting there, probably watching his older brother who was in the next enclosure.  I'm sure he had a pretty good view from up there.

Here's a closer crop of the same image.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

50 Artists 50 Fish

There is a great little art exhibit currently on at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego.  50 different artists were invited to produce an artwork of a fish which would be placed each on a 2' x 2' black matte tile, laid out in a grid pattern on the floor of the exhibition pavilion.  Here are just a few of them. 

The exhibit runs through July 15.  Click here to see a few more images.

Amur Leopards and Malayan Tigers - San Diego Zoo

I got to spend some quality time this morning with Connor, the Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo.  I also got to see the new Amur Leopard cubs for a bit as well.  

The little Amur Leopard cubs are growing quickly.  The Zoo announced last week that they are both girls.  It's going to be fun to watch them grow up.

Meanwhile, their mother Satka was keeping an eye on all of us.

Click here to see more images of Connor the Malayan Tiger and the new Amur Leopard cubs this morning at the San Diego Zoo.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Fishing Cat - San Diego Zoo

Here's a shot of the female Malayan Fishing Cat at the San Diego Zoo today.


Connor - Malayan Tiger - San Diego Zoo

Here are few new pictures of Connor, one of the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo, this morning June 2.

Click here to see a few more images of Connor, one of the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo.

Malayan Tigers - San Diego Zoo

Cinta and Berani, the two 4-year old Malayan Tiger brothers at the San Diego Zoo were having a bit of discussion about something a few weeks ago.  

Here's their older brother Connor earlier in the day.

Click here to see a few more images.

Monday, May 28, 2018

More Amur Leopard Cubs - San Diego Zoo

Heather and went to the San Diego Zoo first thing on Sunday morning; we got there right as they opened at 9:00am and headed straight to the Asian Cat exhibit, where we stood around in front of the enclosure for well over two hours - and the Amur Leopard cubs never once even poked their little heads out.  Some friends were there waiting as well, so at least we had someone to talk with.  The mother, Satka, was wandering around some, but the cubs were staying in their den out of site.  Around 11:30am we finally decided it was time to head over to the International Food Festival in Balboa Park.

Heather still wanted to see the cubs in person, so we went back again this morning.  We got down to the enclosure just a few minutes after 9:00am, and proceeded to stand around waiting, and talking with a bunch of friends, for over an hour.  But, then they came out, and for the next 20 minutes or so it sounded like paparazzi at a red carpet event.  Here are a few pictures of the Amur Leopard cubs from this morning.

It was't foggy, that blur on the sides is actually the out-of-focus sleeves of two friends; I was trying to shoot between them to get the view.  I cropped away some of it, but the rest is there to stay.

Satka let them wander as far as they wanted in the enclosure, but always kept an eye on them.  At one point one of them wanted to check out all the people by hanging out right at the fence, but she came over, grabbed him (or her, they don't know yet) by the scruff of the neck and did a quick "relocation".  

Click here to see a few more pictures of the new Amur Leopard cubs at the San Diego Zoo this morning, May 28, 2018.  All images taken with a Nikon D500 and Nikon AF-S 300 f/2.8 VRII.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Amur Leopard Cub - San Diego Zoo

Here's a shot from this morning of one of the new Amur Leopard cubs at the San Diego Zoo.  They're about 7 weeks old now.

Click here to see a few more from the San Diego Zoo this morning.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Road Trip - Lone Pine, California - Part 1

Heather and I recently went for a four-day 790-mile road trip to the town of Lone Pine, California.  Lone Pine, located on US-395 about 280 miles north of San Diego, sits in the high desert Owens Valley at about 3,700' elevation, between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains.  The town dates back to the 1860's, and since about the 1920's the area (including the nearby Alabama Hills) has been the location for the filming of many movies and TV shows.  We've been driving past this little town for years but have never stopped.  This time we spent three nights there, and it was great. 

I refreshed the maps in the navigation system . . .

. . . packed up the Xterra . . .

. . . activated the speech-recognition and turn-by-turn direction features of the navigation system . . .

. . . and we hit the road.

Our first stop was the visitor center at the Rio Tinto US Borax mine outside of the town of Boron, California.  A giant hole in the ground (California's largest open pit mine) can actually be quite interesting.  The open pit is over two miles long, and even with my ultra-wide lens I could not get all of it in the frame.

They don't use the Twenty Mule Team rigs to move the borax these days, now it's giant haul trucks with 12' foot high tires.

I had to do it, the sign did say it was a "selfie station".

Later we stopped at Fossil Falls to check out the rather interesting geology.  This geological feature was formed 20,000 to 10,000 years ago, when melting glaciers in the Sierra Nevada range flowed down over and eroded a basaltic lava flow from a nearby volcano.

We stayed at the Dow Villa Motel, which was built in 1957 alongside the older (1923) Dow Hotel.  The rooms have been modernized, and this is probably the best hotel in the area, and very nice.  It's also very well located, walking distance from several very good restaurants including Seasons, the Merry Go Round, The Grill, and the Alabama Hills Cafe, all of which we can recommend.

It was a little on the cool side (almost raining actually) on Tuesday morning, and our first stop was the Alabama Hills for some wandering and hiking in the rock formations.  Film production companies have been filming here since the 1929's, and many famous movies and TV shows were filmed here, including The Lone Ranger, Gunga Din, Tremors, Star Trek  Generations, Iron Man, and countless Westerns.

The Alabama Hills today are at about 4,500' elevation, and close to the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  On Tuesday when we were there the Sierras and the Inyos were pretty much covered in clouds and mist.

From what I hear you can frame a view of Mt. Whitney in this arch, which would make for a pretty cool picture.  Not on the day we were there.  It's somewhere in that direction, under the cloud cover.

Eventually the clouds started to break up, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains came into view, more or less.

We decided that was a good sign that it was time to get back in the Xterra and head up to Whitney Portal to check out the trailhead to Mt. Whitney.  As we climbed in elevation the clouds came back.

Continued in Part 2.

This blog post is in five parts.  Click on Older Posts at the bottom right side of the page if they don't all show up.  There are links to galleries with more photos in the last post.

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 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.