Photography . . . Travel . . .

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Renaissance Faire - Escondido, CA - April 2010

We went to the Renaissance Faire in Escondido on Saturday. Our friend Bobby was in town visiting for the weekend, and this was the first time any of us had been to one of these. There was quite a variety of genres going on, from Elizabethan England, to the Pirate theme, to the Lord of the Rings theme. Beyond that, there were some characters that pretty much defied categorization. 

The pirates were an interesting bunch, and if I had to pick one, the group that was probably the most fun to hang around.

Most folks came prepared, both with tankards and weapons. We felt quite naked being unarmed, and apparently it turns out that the participants of these fairs use the term "naked" to describe those not in period costume.  It was observed more than once that we were "naked".

I thought about getting Heather one of these chain-mail dresses so that she could be in costume, but then realized that she would probably want a sword as well, and then I might be in real trouble.

There was a lot to see as we wandered around the Faire, and lots of interesting people. I'm still not sure what some of them were supposed to be.

Of course, we did have to try the turkey leg for lunch. I think it weighed several pounds.

There was plenty of entertainment for the whole family. Here's a few kids practicing tossing severed heads through a board with holes in it.

The big event of the day was the battle between the English troops sent to collect taxes and the Irish and Scots who felt they were being oppressed. I'm not quite sure who won in the end.

After the battle was over the dancing girls came out. 

All in all it was a very fun day. I would certainly go to one of these again, and I'm even working on an idea for a costume of my own. I just need to find someone to walk behind me with a set of coconut shells.

Click here to see more images from the Renaissance Faire on Saturday April 24, 2010.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Wandering In The Desert - Anza Borrego - Sunday April 11, 2010

Heather and I spent the day wandering around Anza Borrego Desert State Park with some friends on Sunday. When we stopped at the State Park Visitor Center in the morning we learned that Sandstone Canyon (where I was on 3/23 and 3/27, see the earlier posts) was completely blocked about halfway in due to a massive rockslide during the Easter Sunday earthquake. We thought it might be a good idea to stick to the sandy washes and ridgeline trails for a while.

The drive down the Montezuma Grade (County Road S-22) is pretty spectacular this time of year with the huge bloom of yellow flowers.

We started off by heading southeast down Palo Verde Wash from S-22 at the northern end of the Park, and connected up to Fault Wash and Military Wash continuing south. The ocotillo were in full bloom, and were fiery red.

Lots of interesting geology in Fault Wash and Military Wash.

We continued on towards Buttes Pass and found a shady spot for lunch.

After lunch we backtracked a bit and then went up Blow Sand Canyon to the Goat Trail, and followed that back around to Buttes Pass Road. Blow Sand Canyon goes from sandy and narrow to a sandy ridge line trail.

There are some pretty big views from along the Goat Trail, which is a generally easy drive with a few blind crests where all you can see over your hood is sky.

Our vehicles sitting at the top of Buttes Pass looking north towards the Badlands.

We saw lots of wildflowers along the way, including a whole bunch of Desert Five Spot in Hawk Canyon.  We also stopped at the Cactus Garden off of Kane Springs Road and Harper Canyon to check out the blooms there. Thanks to the wet weather this year there are still lots of flowers going in Anza Borrego.

One more group picture, then it's time to head for dinner and the drive home.

The last stretch of trail, looking west in the late afternoon sun on Kane Springs Road, ending up another great day in the desert.

Click here to see more images from Sunday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Seaport Village - SD-DSLR April Group Shoot

The San Diego DSLR Photo Group met this morning for its monthly Group Shoot, this time at Seaport Village, which is alongside the Bay in downtown San Diego. I tried to look for creative ways to get shots of what is really just a shopping center.

There were a whole bunch of baby ducks in the ponds. Sam tried out his new compact camera on them. 

Some of the photographers in the group take this stuff pretty seriously.

The didgeridoo player was a popular subject (and a great guy to talk with, by the way). He's usually over in Balboa Park on the weekends, but was asked to attend the Busker Festival that was going on this weekend at Seaport Village.

Click here to see more images from this morning.  

Friday, April 9, 2010

End of a Long Week

My cousin Joe drove down from Huntington Beach and we took a short walk around the Zoo early this evening. Wandering the Zoo at dusk is always fun. I packed away my camera and just enjoyed the close up views of all of the big cats in Cat Canyon. They were all right down at the front of each enclosure, and all were up and about. It really is the best time of day to be there, even if it's not a great time for photos. (I did shoot the one peacock shot in the previous post tonight.)  

From the Zoo we headed over to Coronado to shoot the downtown San Diego skyline from the walkway in front of the il Fornaio Restaurant.  Afterwards we had a nice dinner of grilled calamari, shrimp and scallops, and a very nice beet salad.  It was a great way to end a hectic week.


Some Recent Zoo Images

Here are a few shots from some recent (4/3 and 4/9) trips to the San Diego Zoo.

Click here to see more images from the gallery.

Easter Sunday

I meant to put this up on Easter, but got sidetracked and I'm only now getting around to posting. Heather and I went for a late afternoon walk around Balboa Park on Easter Sunday. We were walking through the Rose Garden located off of Park Boulevard when the earthquake hit, but didn't even notice it. In fact, we didn't even hear about it until much later that evening. It turns out I took this shot of an Easter Bonnet rose just a few minutes after the earthquake.

Click here for a small collection of flower pictures from around San Diego.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tartan Day in San Diego - Saturday April 3rd - Balboa Park

Tartan Day is celebrated by the Scots in San Diego on the first Saturday in April. I happened to be wandering around the park today and thought I would stop in, especially since my wife Heather is partly of Scottish heritage.

They had some music going on the little stage by the International Houses. I arrived pretty much at the end of the celebration, but did get to hear a bit of music.

The closing ceremony consisted of the Black Watch taking down the colors. Here they are lined up and ready to go.

I felt bad that Heather wasn't with me to see this, so I found a little surprise for her, a bear with her clan tartan. Here he is sitting under the official Friendship Tree that is just outside of the International Houses complex in Balboa Park. 


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. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

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.