Tag Archives: ocean

Spontaneous: a Photo Essay

There are so many routines…and they help me get things done.  They get me to work on time , allow me to accomplish the mundane and the inspirational work in my life, and remind me to make time for work and play, relaxation and exercise, books and art and more. But sometimes my routines get in my way.

I almost let that happen today.  I had a meeting at a school site near a picturesque part of our city.  As I pulled up to park I thought about taking some time after the meeting to drive the couple of miles to the cove and see if there was anything to photograph.

After my meeting I wanted to go home.  I knew the traffic would be bad… and it gets dark so early these days…I had lots of excuses.  But then I decided to take that short drive anyway, even if it meant some miserable traffic on my way home.

And I’m so glad I did!  La Jolla Cove is truly a treasure.  This little protected piece of ocean is a refuge for wildlife…and for people.  When I pulled up and immediately found a parking place, I knew this would be worth the spontaneous decision.  I first noticed this little structure with sea gulls roosting on top.  Through it I could see a small fishing boat in the surf.

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As I continued up the walkway, I heard barking.  But it wasn’t dogs…it was sea lions!  Some sunbathed in the cool December air while others seemed to play hide and seek in the waves.

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I looked up and noticed pelicans cruising the coast…almost close enough to touch!  (Of course I missed photographing the ones that were close!)

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I noticed this big seagull cruising the park area.  He had been perched up on the tree, but had moved on by the time I close enough to use my camera!

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I was right about the traffic, by the way.  It took me more than an hour to get home after this excursion.  But it was so worth it.  My photos don’t begin to do justice to my experience. The sights and sounds and smells along with the crisp, cool air and low afternoon sun made for a perfect respite on a work day.

When I got home it was dark…and I noticed the sliver of moon rising.  Geoff and I headed out after dinner to get gas for my car…and decided to stop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee. And spontaneously, as we turned the corner and spied the moon we headed off to the beach where we knew the view would be spectacular.

And we weren’t disappointed.  That shy smile of the moon reflected on the surf below.  The colors were incredible…whites and golds.  The moon made the water glow…and the froth of the surf curled in frosty waves.  I tried my camera…with little success.

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But standing side by side in the dark appreciating the beauty of the moon and water in the cool of December with a hot coffee in our hands was priceless.  A reminder to be spontaneous now and then.  Routines can return tomorrow.

A Question of Luxury

Just what is a luxury?  The word tends to bring to mind those things you buy: fancy cars, expensive homes, designer clothes…

As I mulled the idea of a luxury I wouldn’t want to live without, I found myself thinking instead of just how fortunate I am.  My basic needs are met…and more.  I live in a beautiful city…a place that others choose for vacations.

The natives have been restless this week, our weather has been hot (for us) and we’ve had unusually high humidity too.  Weather has been the topic of conversation for everyone.  Most coastal dwellers don’t have air conditioning–we’re all much more used to carrying a sweatshirt at all times since it’s more likely to be chilly (for us) rather than too hot.  So we’re all whining and complaining about discomfort and wishing for greener (and more temperate) pastures.

As I headed off to the beach this evening for relaxation and relief from the heat (it’s starting to become a habit), I realized that it is our proximity to the ocean that is the luxury that I would prefer not to live without.  I love seeing the ocean in the distance as I sit in traffic on the freeway.  I love knowing which direction west is as I watch the sun set.  I love the briny smell of foggy mornings and the woody smell of bonfires along the shore.  I love the quirky behaviors of seabirds, watching them run along the shore with bills specially adapted for the food source they seek.  I love the piles of amber kelp that wash up and become jump ropes and sandcastle decorations and fun poppers exploding under my bare feet.

I love long walks, especially at low tide, with the white noise of the surf soothing my soul and relaxing that tight knot that often forms between my shoulder blades.  The beach is definitely a luxury–and I wouldn’t want to live without it.

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What luxury would you not want to do without?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

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Today was one of those rare hot, sultry days in our coastal community…and it’s the first week of school.  I love our old fashioned school with high ceilings, big windows…and no air conditioning!  By the time I left work today I felt hot and soggy–and home was also hot and un-airconditioned.

The perfect answer to almost anything in my world is a walk on the beach.  Mostly I walk at the beach on weekend mornings or afternoons.  But today, a Friday evening sunset walk was the perfect way to cool off and the perfect end to the week.  I’d forgotten how the sun setting changes the light and creates softness and shimmers, reflections and incredible colors.

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A feeling of peacefulness comes over me as I listen to the waves crash and smell the salty air.  I managed to catch this seagull in flight as it headed over the breakers.  There is nothing like the sea to sooth away the stresses of the week and help me feel centered and calm.

Where is your peaceful place?  What soothes and calms you at the end of your work week?

Morning Views

Just to change things up I’ve been taking a different route to work this week.  And remembering some of my lessons learned from last week, I’ve been trying to take a few minutes every day to stop and take pictures of things that catch my eye.  This week’s #sdawpphotovoices theme is repetition…and my route this week has some quirky features that capture that theme.

Here’s a photo I took this morning of a row of palm trees planted along a road above Highway 101.  This photo is in its original state taken with my iPhone.

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You can see ocean with the marine layer off in the distance and the beautiful blue of the early morning sunshine.

Below this row of palms is a pumpkin patch that I notice when I drive on the road below.  I walked down a ways to try to get close enough to capture the orange of the pumpkins.  I wanted to capture the ocean as a backdrop, but my iphone just isn’t able to capture the detail and the distance.  I did pull this photo in and cropped it a bit to emphasize the pumpkins.  I also used the souvenir filter on the app tadaa to change the effect.

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In some ways this filter makes this scene look like something from the past instead of one taken today.  I love that pumpkins are growing along the side of this road in a suburban beach city…a relic of the agricultural history of the area.

I think I’ll try yet another route tomorrow…I wonder what I’ll notice!

What do you see on your way to work?  How does it change your view of the community?