Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wandering In The Desert - Exploring in Anza Borrego Desert - Sat 19 Nov 2011

A few of us got together on Saturday to go exploring around Anza Borrego Desert State Park, on the eastern end of San Diego County.  We wandered around an area known as Borrego Mountain, traveling up sandy washes, then narrow sandstone canyons, back into the sandy washes, up and over a rutted ridgeline track, and finally north across the edge of the badlands - getting back to pavement a little after a spectacular sunset.

Here we are lined up in a narrow sandy wash right near the spot where the Anza expedition was said to have made camp in 1774.

My friend Robert snapped a picture of me driving over a rocky spot in Borrego Mountain Wash.

Looking north towards the badlands, there's not much but desert all the way to the mountains in the distance.

As you come to the crest of this hill, which is on a trail called The Goat Trail, all you can see is sky over your hood. I wonder how they came up with the name.

Earlier in the day we drove into the narrow canyon you can see at the bottom of the picture and found a spot for a lunch break.

Our vehicles parked on the ridgeline trail overlooking the slot canyon in the shot above.

Looking north across the Borrego Badlands towards Fonts Point, as the sun gets low in the sky behind us.

About 1/3 mile from the end of the last trail we stopped for a bit to admire the sunset.

It may look pretty, but it is still the desert. These things can hurt.

We got to the pavement just as it was getting dark. We re-inflated our tires and headed for home. Another great day in the desert.

For anyone who is interested in the specifics of the route we took - we started out crossing the Borrego Sink area and heading eastward into San Felipe Wash. We turned south into Borrego Mountain Wash and drove that until the point where it becomes too narrow to drive, then walked for a bit up The Slot. We drove back out Borrego Mountain Wash the same way we came in, then turned east in San Felipe Wash until we got to Blow Sand Canyon. We followed that up to the Goat Trail, taking that west to its end at Buttes Pass Road. We took Buttes Pass south to the spot overlooking The Slot, then turned around and came back the same way, taking Buttes Pass north to its end in San Felipe Wash. We continued east again, this time until we got to Military Wash, which we took north to its end, then jogged east until we hit Fault Wash, which we took north to where it ends in Arroyo Salado. From there it was east again for a short distance to Ella Wash, which took us north to the pavement on County Road S-22.

Click here to see more images from Anza Borrego Desert State Park on Saturday, November 19, 2011.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Point Loma Lighthouse at Sunset

After my walk around the Zoo on Sunday I drove out to the Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma, which is also the site of the old Point Loma Lighthouse.  My main reason for going was to try for some shots of the Star of India and the other sailing ships from the Maritime Museum which were out sailing this past weekend.  By the time I got there the Star of India had finished her sail and was being towed back into port. Some of the sails were up, but it really wan't all that impressive.  The HMS Surprise was out, with most sails up, but running on it's engine as well.  It looked kind of funny at one point, with the mainsails blowing backwards as the ship moved forward.  You can see a few images of the sailing ships by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

It turned out to be a beautiful evening, so I hung around and took some shots of the lighthouse as the sun went down.

Another beautiful evening in San Diego.

Click here to see a few more images, including the sailing ships from the San Diego Maritime Museum - Star of India, Californian, HMS Surprise, from Sunday, November 13, 2011.

Sunday Morning at the San Diego Zoo

Apparently San Diego got as much rain in the 24 hours up to Saturday evening as it usually gets in the entire month of November.  It continued raining during the early evening, and then Sunday morning was bright and clear, and not even all that cold. Perfect day for a walk around the Zoo.

On my way down the Tiger Trail I stopped to check in on the crocodiles, but they were way back in their heated caves.  I did spot this one turtle sticking his head up above the surface of the water.

Bullet the Fishing Cat was wandering around, looking rather relaxed now that he has the place to himself.  I did have to wait quite a while for him to get into the sun, and then quite a bit longer for him to open his eyes and look towards me.

The Malayan Tiger cubs and their mother were in a jumble in their heated cave.  Every now and then one of them would look up for a second, then it was back to sleep.

Here are Christopher (r.) and Conner (l.) out in the sun waiting for some chunks of fresh beef heart.

I spent a couple of hours up with the Polar Bears on Sunday.  According to the Zoo website polar bears are patient hunters who will often wait hours for a seal to emerge from an air hole in the ice.  It seemed like I had to wait hours to get some of these pictures, but that's part of the fun.  Here's Kalluk playing in the water.

Tatqiq seemed like she wasn't sure she wanted to go into the water, but she did eventually.

Kalluk came over to the new feeding area to get some fresh fruits and vegetables from Lindsey.

It took her a while but eventually Tatqiq decided she should join in on the snacks, and swam over to the fence.

Visitors to the Zoo just love to get right up to the glass when the bears are in the water. You do get quite a view if you're in the front row.  So does the bear.

Click here to see more images from Sunday, November 13, 2011 at the San Diego Zoo.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Liberty Station / Former Naval Training Center San Diego - SD-DSLR Monthly Group Shoot - Nov 2011

We had a nice-sized turnout for our monthly group shoot this morning, despite the rain.  We met at Liberty Station, on the site of the former Naval Training Center San Diego. Many of the buildings have been restored and are now used as offices, galleries, shops and restaurants.  As usual, we wandered around for a few hours taking pictures and visiting, and then met for lunch.

Since the sky was fairly gray and dull, I concentrated more on smaller objects and details of sorts.

I think these hallways look a lot better at night when the lights are on, but today this was a way to get out of the rain.

There are a few anti-aircraft guns out on display.

For lunch we went to Tin Fish. For anyone visiting San Diego I can highly recommend this restaurant. It's primarily a seafood theme, but with a selection of Portuguese items and a few non-fish items as well.  I had the Ervilhas, a Portuguese stew of sorts, with potatoes, peas and linguica sausage in a light tomato base, served with a poached egg on top.

One of my friends had the brownie for dessert. Of course we had to get some pictures of it.

Click here to see a few more pictures from my morning walk around the former Naval Training Center with the San Diego DSLR Photography Group on Saturday, November 12, 2011.  
You can also click here to see photos from the rest of the group.  Look under Group Albums.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Renaissance Faire - Escondido, CA - November 6, 2011

It was cold and gray when we got to the Renaissance Faire on Sunday morning. Many of the participants were quick to point out that the weather was pretty much what one would expect in Olde England, and thus made it quite authentic. I have to say, the shivering did look real.

It's always fun to start out with a visit to the pirates. They're generally the most boistrous group, and since most of the others were still just waking up, even more so. Someone asked this guy if he was the captain. He said no, he had a better job - he's the Keeper Of The Rum. It's always nice to meet someone who enjoys their work.

It rained more than it didn't, and there weren't really all that many people there, so I didn't get a lot of pictures this time. One of the good things about the lack of crowds was that we were able to spend some time talking with the various guild members. The Swiss pike men gave us a great demonstration and history lesson on the use of the pike as a weapon, and on the history of the Swiss as mercenaries.

Along the way I stopped to visit with the Vikings. They were all sitting at a table in their camp playing a game of dice.

They explained to me that they craft much of their own clothing and furniture, since you can't just go down to the local store and pick up authentic looking Viking clothing. At least, I think that's what they were saying - I'm not sure I understand old Norse all that well. They could just as easily have been telling me that they planned to plunder my home and cart off my women and sheep. Maybe giving them my card wasn't such a good idea after all.

I think this was one of the Spanish soldiers. He was showing us the suit of armor that he had crafted.

The Germans are always a fun group to check out.

Here are a couple more random shots from the morning. We only stayed until about 1PM, by then it was raining pretty hard. The parade and battle were both cancelled. Check out the links at the bottom of this post to see pictures from the Faire in April of 2011. The sun was shining, and there were a lot more people.

I think one of the most entertaing people of all was the Town Crier. It's worth going to the Faire just to listen to him, especially early in the morning.

Even with the cold, wet (and, as they said, authentic) weather, it was still a lot of fun. The participants are what make these things, and they weren't going to let a little rain (and a lot of mud) ruin their day or ours.

Click here to see more images from the Renaissance Fair in Escondido, CA on Sunday, November 6, 2011.
If you want to see some images from the Renaissance Faire held in the same location in April of 2011, I have 2 blog posts here and here. There are links at the end of each to the galleries as well.

San Diego Zoo - Saturday, Nov 5, 2011

I spent a good portion of the day wandering around the San Diego Zoo. The air was crisp and clean after a full day of rain. 

Bullet the Fishing Cat was moving around quite a bit, mostly down in the front of his habitat where I couldn't get a picture. Finally we went up on the hill, but he really wasn't staying still at all. I only took one shot. With a bit of help, I think it worked. Bullet has got the whole place to himself these days - at least for a little while. Miri has moved to Oklahoma City, and her replacement isn't due in for a bit. 

There was some really nice morning light down in the Tiger River canyon.

Funani and her son Adhama were swimming around the pool.

Of course I spent some time with the Malayan Tigers. Here's Mek, watching for piece of beef heart. She caught a few of them in mid-air. Anyone who's watched the original Star Trek TV series will recognize this lighting. Whenever Captain Kirk (William Shatner) was sitting in his chair on the bridge they always seemed to highlight him with a band of light across his eyes. 

Mother Mek and son Christopher.

It seems like he's always trying to get his mom's attention.

Here's young Conner.

Here's Danai, the older adult female Malayan Tiger. She was really too close for the lens I was using, and she never stopped moving - so this one's a little different.

Stopped in to see what the Gorillas were up to. Checking the manicure and scratching heads seemed to be the morning agenda.

I think we'll end up this batch with the end of a Polar Bear.

Click here to see more images from the San Diego Zoo on Saturday, November 5, 2011.

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.