Monday, December 19, 2011

Hotel Del Coronado Holiday Lights

A group of San Diego DSLR group members got together for a short walk around the Hotel Del Coronado at sunset. I always enjoy the get togethers that the group has coined Dinner and Clicks. I love night photography. The Dinner and Clicks is special. Good folks sharing a common interest and topping it off with good conversation and good food. That adds up to a lot of good!
The sunset was spectacular this evening. Many cell phones held high in hopes of capturing the beauty.

Nature puts on the most spectacular shows!

The Del Coronado all spiffed up in Christmas lights.

A special Dr. Seuss sculpture exhibit is around the hotel.

You're a mean one Mr. Grinch!

This isn't "the" Hotel Del Coronado tree. This was a small tree in the lobby of the convention rooms.

I have uploaded a few more images from the outting here. For my photographer friends the starfish ornament shot in the link was taken at 1/15 second, iso 3200 hand held! I really do enjoy my Pentax k-5.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Italy

I took a walk about in Little Italy with a couple friends this week. It was a relaxing and fun time. I'll start with the iconic sign hanging over the main street. For the photo techies out there all of these are hand held shots, no tripod involved and no special noise reduction applied, all edited in Lightroom.

The heaters were up and blasting although it was not a cold night. Folks in San Diego are not used to even the slightest chill in the air.

The store windows had some interesting displays.

While we wandered around we checked out the local eatery menus. We ended up deciding to stop in to The Burger Lounge for a bite to eat.

Filippi's is a place that is dear to my heart. I used to go to Filippi's with my Nana and my mom every holiday to pick up supplies for Lasagna and of course the antipasto.

Here is a link to a handful of shots I took this evening if you'd like to see more. You'll find some Halloween decorations in the mix here. Or view the slideshow it will be short and easy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bates Nut Farm

The San Diego Digital SLR group took a trip to Bates Nut Farm on the first day of their fall celebration. The pumpkin patch was open and there were more pumpkins and squash than I've ever seen in one place before. The group got there early but it didn't take long before the place was packed. Bates had a few dozen wheelbarrows for visitors to load with huge pumpkins. This was a great idea because some of the pumpkins were quite large and heavy.
It was a beautiful day. This location can get quite hot in the summer and this time of year but it was quite nice on this day.

The variety of pumpkins and squash was really quite impressive.

Butternut Squash is my favorite winter squash. I had to take home four of these beauties.

On openning day (this day) they hold a scarecrow contest. Folks bring in their entries and they line them all up on a fence for viewing and judging. The winning entries gets to be the official scarecrow display for the farm in the month of October. Prizes range from $200.00 cash and a $50.00 store credit for first place to a $75.00 store credit for fourth place.

And of course many parents want a photo of their youngsters in with the pumpkins. At times the wee tots were not too happy with the idea, but seemed to warm up eventually in most cases.

It was very fun and I highly recommend a visit to Bates Nut Farm for this event. If you have children they will have a blast picking out the perfect pumpkin. To see more of my photos from this visit and to see the expression of the darling above when she was first put in the pumpkins for a photo, click here for my Bates Nut Farm Photo Gallery

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Morning at the Zoo

I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend to the zoo this past Saturday morning. He had the inside scoop on when the trainer would be visiting and feeding some treats to the Malayan Tigers. I enjoyed watching their behavior as they waited for the food to be tossed. If you are not familiar with Malayan tigers, here is a link to the WWF website for more information.
Connor and Christopher were born in April 2011 and have had a few months to grow. Their feet still look over-sized for their body. I am sure they will grow into them! I have never heard a cub squeak the way they did when they were begging for the trainer to throw the food. It was a sound unlike what I would expect to come out of those wide mouths.

I don't remember if it was Christopher or Connor that was more demanding. One of the cubs was more vocal and the other seemed more laid back. I was told that one can tell the two apart by looking at the stripes above their eyes. I guess I need to spend more time with them because when I got home I couldn't see the difference!

Mom is absolutely beautiful. She doesn't look like she had twins five and a half months ago.

We also visited the hippos and the mom and baby there were quite active this morning also. The abstract quality of this photograph prompted me to share it with you here.

I look forward to visiting the zoo in the coming weeks to watch Connor and Christopher develop. There are times when it takes hours to catch a glimpse of the cubs. Knowing when the keeper will be there to draw them out with treats is a definite advantage to viewing.
Here is the link to more photographs from this visit:  Zoo Image Gallery

Friday, June 24, 2011

Great Horned Owl

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending some time at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista California. They had their Spring Tractor Show going on. It was a fun time as always, but I had a particularly thrilling experience. I got to see a whole family of Great Horned Owls in a barn there! Here are some of the photos I took of the family.

This one sounded like it was going to deposit an owl pellet and even looked like it but didn't.
It really was an exciting experience to be able to take photos of these owls. I have since learned that Great Horned Owls are usually quite skittish. These seemed quite comfortable with our presence. If you'd like to see more photos of this family here is a link to 16 photos I uploaded to a gallery. Owl Gallery
Great Horned Owl slide show

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wings Over Gillespie 2011

Took a trip to the Wings Over Gillespie Air Show 2011 this past Saturday. I love this air show because it is like a small town air show. It is casual and the pilots are very accessable. The variety of old planes is excellent. It is a fun show.
The sky was nice and clear blue.

Spectators are able to get very close to moving planes in this show.

I was missing Ace for the plane identification!
The gliders always intrigue me. I looked into flight costs and they were quite reasonable. Anyone want to go with me for a ride sometime?
Cool Wheels
The reenactment is always fun to watch.

I got to spend some time with my good friend Shawn.
All in all it was a beautiful day and lots of fun!
Slide Show Gallery of Photos from the Air Show

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Ace and I always enjoy visiting the ships at the Maritime Museum. This weekend the museum had a Pirate Event with a lot of fun activities. San Diego Maritime Museum is rich with historic nautical information. Click on the link above and check out the explore tab to see the ships and submarines available to explore. The Maritime Dancers performed on the HMS Surprise. They were so much fun Ace requested to return for their second performance of the day.

The guests on this day were all dressed in period clothing to add in the fun.

Ace had to check out the bunks on the Soviet B-39 submarine on exhibit.

My favorite pirate from the Maritime Museum. He really engaged with the guests and added much to the experience!

Ace looking mighty piratey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rancho Bernardo Winery

Rancho Bernardo Winery founded in 1889 is the oldest continuosly opperating winery in southern California. It is a treasure trove of wonderful antiques and quaint shops. The grounds are a photographer's paradise. For more information about the winery click this link
I had the pleasure of joining the SDDSLR group for a shoot and lunch at the winery. The winery mixes beautiful plants and flowers with intriguing rustic antiques.

The pop of floral color and rust!

Maybe it is the Cars movie influence but this old tractor has character!

 The mushroom soup at Cafe Merlot is the best I've ever tasted!

 The bread pudding is always a popular treat.

The Barrel Room is fantastic. The aroma of aging grapes fills the air. It hearkens me back to when I was a little girl visiting a neighbor who made wine in his cellar. The fragrance is rich and welcoming.

Please visit my Rancho Bernardo Winery Group Shoot gallery for more photos.