Friday, November 21, 2014

Journey down the lane of Thanksgiving....

Thanksgiving is synonymous with feast, family and festivities for every American...for outsiders like us, its not that exciting for we don't have kith and kin here to celebrate with, carve Turkey or drink cider with...anyway, taking advantage of the long weekend and pleasant weather, we generally travel...
Its going to be my fourth Thanksgiving here...I am not sure about the upcoming one, but the last three had been great in terms of road trips and sight seeing......
In 2011 Thanskgiving, for the first time I got to visit any US National Park, and it was the incredible Grand Canyon...since than my yearning for the national parks never ceases..


In 2012, we visited SeaWorld San Diego, spent the day with shamu, the orca pod..



And in 2013, my dream to see the living giants, the sequoia trees materialized...got to roam in the Sequoia national park for couple of days...

Wishing a 'Happy Thanksgiving' to all readers...

Colored extremophiles of Yellowstone National Park....

We were watching these documentaries on Yellowstone National Park..and I felt tempted to browse through the pictures taken there....

Do you know what these colored patterns are?...well, they are thermophilic archaea and bacteria...the microbes capable of thriving in extremely high temperature...



The green and orange shades are due to the microbial pigments...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Red shouldered hawk by the riparian habitat....

With a hope to spot wildlife, I took my telephoto zoom lens...and I am happy about it
Just a mile from home, on the San Diego river edge, I saw this beautiful red shouldered hawk sunbathing on a palm...poor guy, its attempt to camouflage went futile..

I annoyed the raptor with dozens of clicks..and it patiently perched there all the while..

On my way back, I got lucky to watch it again..this time on a yellowing cottonwood...

It's not that common to find the birds of prey, unlike a crow, sparrow or phoebe..
This guy certainly made my bike riding and  heavy camera carrying worth it...

Metamorphosis of nature ...........

Its amazing how  a place undergoes metamorphosis with the change of seasons....

Here, I am in front of the iconic 'Liberty cap' in mammoth terrace, Yellowstone national Park...
It was early July and was a rainy day....

I retrieved this picture from the National Park Service website.....
What a stark difference in landscape!!!!
Blanketed in thick coat of snow, it appears  surreal...not a soul in view...
While I was there in the  summer, flocks of tourists, many kill deer, magpie and butterflies swarmed the place...



Monday, November 17, 2014

Little girls on sea shore....

Beaches offer great  themes for people photography and I make sure to seize the opportunities...
and cheerful, thoughtful little girls are ideal subjects.....

The hula girl...

The castle maker...

The pebble collector...

The dancer...

The pier climber...

And many more...rest of them for next post....

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fall day at Santee lakes regional park...

We visited this fabulous place today....
Santee lakes regional park.....barely 7 miles from home...and it houses as many as 7 lakes!!! Kind of oasis in parched San Diego weather...

Keeping with the fall season, the cottonwoods, sycamores, mulberries and willows were blazing!


The park brochure says as many as 175 species of birds flock to the lakes...if not that many, we got to see at least 12-15 varieties.....mallards, coots, American wigeons, wood ducks, snowy egrets, great egrets, blue herons, sparrows, cormorants, gulls...

Here my spouse is feeding the waterfowls....

This beautiful pair of wood duck was among the mob..

A flush of mallards...

It was funny to spot a dozen of wood ducks perched on this metal frame...

The floating cabins by the 7th lake, behind the veil of cattails...
 
Looks like ideal weekend getaway..

Back-lit landscape..I could not help admire the golden attire of the cottonwood...

Enjoyed sycamore leaf picking ....

mistletoe spotting....

and riding bike along the  numerous paved paths traversing the lawns and lakes....

It was a perfect fall weekend outing..........

Friday, November 14, 2014

SDSU clock tower...

Took these pictures of my University clock tower ...

On my way to the class....

On my way back from the class....

Is not the stark contrast amazing?

Jumbo sycamore leaf....

Whats remarkable about this shot?....just look at the sycamore leaf..its almost four-fold bigger than the avergae sycamore leaf!....spotted it lying by the sidewalk, on my way home...


Dia de los Muertos altar...

'Dia de los Muertos' or  'Day of the dead' offering altar (ofrenda)...
Decorated with marigolds, calaveras (skulls) and culturally important things...
Favorite things of the deceased..
clothes...sombrero,  shawl etc.
and foods...salsa, tortilla, tamale, bread, nopal, chipotle, tamarind, gourds...

The altar for the most haunted American house, the 'Whaley House'...

Thread palm blooms....

Delicate flowers of Thread palms in dropping clusters, swaying garcefully stroked by the cold wind...despite blooming up high, bees hover about collecting nectar...



Soon, they will turn into tiny nuts...