Photography . . . Travel . . .

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Day With The Tigers

I spent a few hours on Christmas morning hanging out with Connor, Cinta, and Berani, the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo.

On my way there I came upon a choice . . . but it was not so tough a choice it turns out.

Cinta found a gourd decorated for the holidays, and promptly decided to play with it.  This should serve as a warning for anyone who leaves holiday decorations out in the yard . . . you never know when the neighborhood cat is going to show up.

Later in the morning the keeper threw a couple more decorated gourds over the rail and into the pond.  Cinta and Berani went charging in after them.

It seems I got a lot more pictures of Cinta than I did of Berani, but in one of the pictures I did get of Berani he looks positively crazed.  I'm sure it's just the way the light is hitting him . . . and the way his eyes are.

Click here to see a few more images of the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo on Christmas morning.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays


Christmas Eve Tiger

Sometimes you just have to improvise.

Actually, I did wander through the San Diego Zoo for a bit today, and spent 45 minutes watching the Malayan Tigers play in the water and sit along the edge of the cliff . . . all without my camera and long lens.  There really is a tiger in this next picture (and I even cropped this one in a bit to make him easier to see).


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Getty Villa - Malibu, California - Part 2

There were two special exhibitions on display the day we visited the Getty Villa.  The first was a collection of Roman floor mosaics from various parts of the Roman Empire.

The second special exhibit was a collection of antique glassware.

See Part 1 of this series for more from the Getty Villa in Malibu, California.

The Getty Villa - Malibu, California - Part 1

In 1968 J. Paul Getty started building a re-creation of a first-century Roman country home, the Villa dei Papiri, on property he owned on the coast in Malibu, California.  It opened in 1974 as the J. Paul Getty Museum.  In 1997 the Malibu property was closed for renovation, and the same year the current J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center opened to the public.  The renovation of the Villa was completed and the property re-opened as the Getty Villa in 2006.  The Villa museum is dedicated to the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria.  We visited the Villa last week.

The architecture is every bit as interesting as the art.  The Villa is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman country house in Herculaneum buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.  Because most of the Villa dei Papiri remains unexcavated, many of the Getty Villa's architectural details are based on elements found on other ancient Roman homes in Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae.

Here's Zeus.  In the gallery which is linked at the end of this post you see where Zeus photobombed the selfie that Heather and I took in this gallery.

There was an entire room with just portrait busts and carvings of Roman women.

And another with just Roman men.

And a hallway full of animals.  I particularly liked this bear and lion.

Click here to see more images from our visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu, California.

Christmas Lights - Naples Island (Long Beach), California

The community of Naples Island in Long Beach, California goes all out with Christmas Lighting.  We were there last week and walked along the canals after dinner.  People were coming from all over to see the lights, we even saw several tour buses and boats, as well as groups of kayakers, stand-up paddlers and even pedal-powered pontoon bikes.

Yes, that really is a Venetian-style gondola at the bottom left of the next picture.  

There was even a bit of street entertainment.

Click here to see a few more images of the Naples Island Christmas lights.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Week in Palm Springs - Part 3 - Indian Canyons

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have opened several of the canyons on their land to the public, with some very nicely maintained hiking trails known as the Indian Canyons.  Much of this area was badly burned in the 2013 fire, and you can still see the scorched bark on the palm trees.

On Tuesday morning we did the easy one-mile Andreas Canyon loop trail.  This trail follows a year-round stream that flows down from the mountains, and which creates a very lush grove of fan palms.  

Apparently we were not alone on the trail.

The first half of the route follows the stream bed at the base of the rocks; on the way back we were up higher on the top of the canyon as we walked back downhill.

From Andreas Canyon we drove over to Palm Canyon to check out the Trading Post and walked about a mile of the Palm Canyon Trail.  On the way to Palm Canyon we passed the ruins of what looked like an old gas station.

Here are a few images from Palm Canyon.

We liked the Andreas and Palm Canyon Trails so much that on Thursday we went back hiked the 4-mile out and back route along Murray Canyon to the Seven Sisters Waterfall.  This is more of a moderate trail compared to the easy Andreas Canyon, mostly due to a few rather steep sections where you sort of scramble up the rock, but for the most part it was an easy walk.  Take lots of water for this one.  The first section makes you wonder if there really is going to be a creek with water in it.

But then you come around a corner and see this.

It's a bit hard to tell from these pictures, but there really is a trail through here.  There was not much water in the waterfall or stream bed here right now, perhaps in the Spring when the snow in the mountains starts to melt.

There is a link at the end of Palm Springs Week - Part 2 with more images from the Indian Canyons and the rest of our week in Palm Springs.

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.