Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wandering Around Balboa Park

In the middle of our visit to the Ethnic Food Fair, we took a little walk around the rest of the Park, rebuilding our appetites for the next round of food. Our first stop was the Botanical Building.

From the Botanical Building we wandered over to Spanish Village to see if anything might be happening there. It was pretty quiet except for this one little dog who was having his portrait taken by his owner. I managed to get one shot myself. I think his name  is Baxter.


Ethnic Food Fair - Balboa Park San Diego - May 29, 2011

The House of Pacific Relations, otherwise known as the International Houses or Cottages in Balboa Park, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. For over 30 years now they've been holding an Ethnic Food Fair, with booths from each of the member countries serving food from their home countries. Heather and I try to attend this every year, it's generally on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Lots of tasty food, and good music and folk dancing as well. It's actually pretty tough to get decent photos at this event, so this year I'm only going to post one, and a link to the rest. 

Somewhere in between the Irish shepherd's pie, the Argentine choripan sausage sandwich, the Norwegian waffles (and really good coffee), the Finnish cinnamon roll, the Swedish marzipan thing (Heather's description - I must have missed that one), the German struedel, and the Turkish baklava, we managed to squeeze in a bowl of Puerto Rican rice and pinto beans. It was all good.

Click here to see more images from the Ethnic Food Fair in Balboa Park today.

A Few From The Zoo - San Diego Zoo, Saturday May 28

I spent about an hour and a half walking around the San Diego Zoo late Saturday afternoon. One of the nice things about getting there after 5PM is that many of the animals that spend their days sleeping are just getting going in the late afternoon. Baby hippo Adhama and his mother Funani were out swimming in big circles around their pool. Adhama seemed like he wanted to ride on his mother's back (that's not a rock under him).

I think the hippos like watching the people as much as the people like watching the hippos. I've seen them right up against the glass like this many times.

I think this guy is still mad at me from the last time I took his picture.

The meerkats, on the other hand, seem to really like having their pictures taken.

The flamingos are always fun to watch, no matter what time of day (but early evening is still the best).

The San Diego Zoo has one of the best botanical collections around.

Click here for more images from my short walk around the San Diego Zoo on Saturday, May 28, 2011.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some New Edits From The Bernardo Winery Group Shoot

I went back and converted a few of my images from the SD-DSLR May Group Shoot at the Bernardo Winery into black & white. I'm not sure why, but I think some of this old stuff just looks better in b&w.

See a few posts down for more images from our morning walk around the Bernardo Winery.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wandering in the Desert - Anza Borrego - Sunday May 22, 2011

On Sunday I took a drive out to Anza Borrego Desert State Park with some friends. Robert rode with me in the Xterra and Mark drove his new Nissan Frontier. We were just out wandering, not looking for anything in particular, just enjoying what would likely be the last daytime trip to the desert until it cools off again after summer.

We started out by exploring Clark Dry Lake, which is north of County Road S-22. None of us had ever been there before. I've been wanting to check this area out for years, but in the winter there is generally a large herd of land yachts parked at the start of the trail, so I've never bothered. There is an unpaved road that runs a little over 10 miles, first along the edge of the dry lake bed, then up Rockhouse Canyon. At the very end it gets really rocky, at which point it pretty much ends, and you turn and come back out the same (and only) way. Just before the road heads up the  canyon it crosses the edge of the lake bed, and you can get a close look at the dried mud surface.

After exploring around Clark Dry Lake and Rockhouse Canyon for a bit we wandered over to 17 Palms Oasis in search of a shady spot for lunch. Here's the view from my chair.

We checked out the scenic overlooks at Vista del Malpais and Fonts Point, with a few stops in between to get a closer look at some of the desert geology. You can see Clark Dry Lake in the distance from our parking spot at Fonts Point.

It wasn't really all that hot for being close to the end of May, probably only in the very low 90's. There was lot of wind, and it was a fairly cool breeze, which kept it comfortable.

Click here for a few more images from the day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Little Seahorse

While on our way to La Jolla to meet up with friends Rae and Robert, Heather and I made a brief stop at the Scripps Birch Aquarium to check out the seahorses.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bernardo Winery - SD-DSLR Monthly Group Shoot - May 2011

The San Diego DSLR Photo Group held its monthly Group Shoot for May at the Bernardo Winery this morning. The winery, in Rancho Bernardo, was founded in 1889. It's a fun place to wander around with a camera, and the restaurant, Cafe Merlot, has a great lunch menu.

Click here to see more images from our morning walk around Bernardo Winery on Saturday, May 14, 2011.

Balboa Park Evening - Friday May 6th

On Friday, May 6th Heather and I were joined by a few friends for a picnic dinner of take-out from Phil's BBQ, followed by a little photo-walk around the Park after dark. Here are a few images.


Lions and Tigers and Bears . . . Oh My!

Here are a few images from some recent trips to both the San Diego Zoo (5/8) and the Zoo's Safari Park (5/4). We saw a lion up close.

The tiger had a very large fresh bone to chew on.

The grizzly bears were wrestling.

We waited a bit, and eventually Nindiri the jaguar finished her nap and went for a prowl.

I doubt that these next guys would have been too happy to see the lions or the tigers. Even I seemed suspicious to them.

We stopped in to see the hummingbirds.

The images above were all from the Zoo on 5/8. Earlier in the week I spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park (formerly known as the Wild Animal Park) in Escondido. It was getting towards the end of the Butterfly Jungle special exhibit.

And now something a little bigger.

Click here to see more images from the San Diego Zoo on Sunday, May 8, 2011.

Click here to see more images from the Safari Park on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Lily Pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden

Heather and I took a walk around the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas this morning. It was already pretty warm and bright when we got there at 9:30, but we did manage to walk almost the entire property. Here are few shots from the lily pond, and a link to a few more images from other parts of the garden.

I got lucky with this frog, there are only a couple of spots around the pond where you can get right up to the edge, and this frog just happened to be facing exactly where I was able to get to. Later he turned to his left, and I got a nice profile shot.

The flowers were equally cool.

Click here to see more images from our morning at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Backyard Birds

We always have a great selection of birds in our backyard - I'm sure the large bird feeder that Heather keeps well stocked has something to do with it. Here are few, all shot this morning, starting with my favorite, the California Quail. They're great to watch as they hop their way down the hillside, or along the fence.

The doves are equally beautiful.

This time of year the hummingbirds seem particularly active.

Click here for a few more shots, and I'll be adding to that gallery as I get more.

Anza Borrego - Hiking in The Slot - April 30, 2011

I lead a trip to Anza Borrego Desert State Park with SCCX (the So Cal Xterra club) on Saturday, April 30. We wandered around the Buttes Pass area, then traveled up Borrego Mountain Wash as far as you can drive (it gets too narrow) then went on foot through The Slot. After that we drove up the very sandy Blow Sand Canyon and up and over the aptly named Goat Trail. Later we explored up Harper Canyon. I'm just going to put up one photo from the trip, and a link below to the rest of them.

This is Acuma, a Boston Terrier. He belongs to a club member named Brian, and has been on 3 trips with us to Anza Borrego. He's a very good natured dog, and likes to explore, but he wasn't about to try to climb up this one really steep narrow spot in The Slot, so he got to take easy way.

Click here for more pictures from Anza Borrego on Saturday.

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.