Exploring Kauai – Waimea Canyon

Our first day on the Island of Kauai we head toward the Waimea Canyon. This proved to be our most adventurous day. Anxious to see as much as three photographers in our mature condition we started early with a stop at our local Starbucks. With a perfect cappuccino, cameras, lenses, batteries, and hats we are off.

Heading up western part of Kauai

First glimpse of the canyon

The colorful restaurant begged to be photographed!
Driving along we stop at every lookout point and admire the lush, green landscape


With camera in tow we explore the trail. Our traditional shadow selfie.

I am feeling pretty good about my choice in camera equipment. For this portion of the trip I am switching between my 18-55mm zoom lens and my 10-24mm wide angle lens. I am able to clip the lens case to my jeans, and travel light.

Continuing up Waimea Canyon we arrive at Waimea Canyon Lookout. I have not yet witnessed the Grand Canyon so I marvel at this wonderful landscape.

We started early and we were ready for a break. All along the canyon there are no commercial fast food places. We came across the Koke’e Lodge, and stopped for lunch. Located in Koke’e State Park the view is a stark contrast to the canyon views I have seen all morning. Enjoyed lunch, and then headed back to Hanapepe.

Kekaha Beach our next destination will always be filled with good and bad memories. Happy to see the ocean, after all Kauai is an Island. But as a reminder just as I am leaving the beach, I fall. My lava rock is hard and not forgiving. Luckily my jeans protected my skin, but my right leg, ugh. No one wanted to take that photograph!

Kekaha Beach waves crashing!

Getting into some people photography. Looks like an enjoyable stroll along the shoreline.
Sandpipers going in the other direction!


When I was last in Kauai I remember going over a Swinging Bridge. Too tired, and not quite in condition to go across I viewed it from afar.

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge over the river.



This first day ends with a sunset view from the Waimea Canyon.

Goodnight Waimea Canyon!

So ends my first day on my photographic journey in Kauai. More days of exploring, photographing, relaxing and enjoying time with good friends.

Nature and my camera (Part 2)

Sacramento is located 2 hours from the Northern coast, and during the hot summer days this is a welcome relief. This location takes a bit longer (about 5-6 hours). The central and northern coastal beaches are beautiful, rugged and cool.

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The fog is dense. Feels like cool misty rain.

We drive north  on Highway 1 from Cambria, and about 4-5 miles north of Hearst Castle and come to Piedras Blancas Rookery.  This is a most amazing place.

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Elephant seal line the shore, take over the beach.

The seals started coming to this beach in 1992 when one pup was born. In 2016 5300 were born. There are always some seals here, and we arrive at a time when the seals are molting. Shedding and growing a new skin layer. When at the rookery the animals fast, and they conserve their energy. No eating or drinking at the Rookery.

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Different colors represent molting stages

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“Make way. I’m coming through!”

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“Don’t mind me. Just out for a stroll!”

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Young juvenile males sparring on the beach. 

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Sparring at the shoreline the juveniles are playing. This time it is not serious. 

 

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Males sparring in the ocean

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Time to cover up.

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I’ll just quietly make my way down the beach.

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Do you mind if I get some sand on you?

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Love the way I captured the sand motion.

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A docent from Friends of the Elephant Seals provides information. Docents train for 20 hours and commit to 4 three hour shifts a month.

Male elephant seals develop their distinctive nose (Proboscis) after they mature at 5 years. The nose is part of their status during the breeding season.

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At peace. 

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Able to get a good view from a safe distance. I am using a 150mm lens. Equivalent to 300mm since this is my Olympus OMD E5 camera. Pictures are not cropped.

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All quiet on the Central Coast of California

One of the best parts of this experience is that there is no fee. Plenty of parking, easy access, wheelchair accessible,  knowledgeable guides, no reservations, and the ability to safely watch these magnificent animals. WOW!!!

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Amazing place. Elephant Seal Rookery now covers two beaches. Docent will point out best spot if they see you are a photographer!

For more information follow my links provided above. You can even watch the elephant seals be web cam.

Nature and my camera

My camera and I ventured to the central coast of California last month. There I got away from the noise of life. Our destination town Cambria met all the requirements for peace.

Our cottage across from Moonstone Beach provided a lovely, easy morning walk. Many dogs accompany their owners along the boardwalk.

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JoJo stops to pose for me

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And they continue on their way.

The first day the air was crisp without even a breeze. Dare I take a macro shot. Usually when I think of it the wind starts up.

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California poppy

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Sea Gull (my high school mascot) hangs out

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Each finds something to enjoy on this walk

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Finding faces in the rock formation

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Pride of Madera put on quite a show

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My shutter is so quiet I quickly caught him. He soon hopped out of sight.

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Checking out the tide pool

Spent some time watching this couple. Trying to imagine their conversation.

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This first morning in Cambria enjoying Moonstone Beach clears the mind. Where do you go to clear your mind?

The rest of the day was perfect and I will share in the coming weeks. Nice to remember this anniversary vacation.

 

 

Gemini and Personality Two

My astrological sign is Gemini and up till now I didn’t feel like the definition fit. But looking at an Internet definition a Gemini is, “Expressive and quick-witted, Gemini represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face.” Ok, I may be indecisive at times. And the tug of war between going out to be with others, or just staying contently alone at home may fit. Yup, I’m a Gemini when I come to think of it. Probably explains why I’m busy sharing my life in this blog, and why  you just don’t hear from me sometimes. Just saying.

Here are some Sacramento Zoo photographs I captured in twos.

 

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Just helping remove a bit of schmutz.

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Thanks for pointing out my imperfections,

 

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I can spit further than you!

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If I stay very still, they may think that they are seeing double.

 

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I will follow you…

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Hold me, squeeze me, never let me go…

 

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Is the photographer still there? I’ll come out when she is gone.

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We are there for each other.

And today I am in a sharing kind of mood.

People who need people are the luckiest people, or so they say. What do you say?

Until the next time.