Monday, February 23, 2009

Half Moon Bay, CA

One of my favorite daytrips was to Half Moon Bay, California. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this area, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. Our main goal was to spot some elephant seals along the coast. They normally show up during the winter months (January to March). I find them to be such interesting, unique and unbelievably huge creatures. We first spotted them last year at Point Reyes National Park (Chimney Rock) and I fell in love! This trip took us first to Half Moon Bay Recreational Park. It looked like a great place to picnic and camp, so we hope to make it back there with someday. After a nice discussion with the volunteer at the information center, we learned that one lone elephant seal had been hanging out at the Pigeon Point Light Station down the road. We stopped for a walk along Pillar Point Harbor and then drove through the town of Half Moon Bay (nice shops and lots of interesting restaurants) to get to Pigeon Point, just off of Hwy 1. It turned out to be a photographer's paradise--neat lighthouse, quaint little blue and white cottages (actually a hostel) and cute paths with white picket fences that take you all around the point. Absolutely beautiful views in every direction! I especially loved seeing the ice plants that grow on the rocks and cliffs. Unfortunately, the elephant seal wasn't hanging out there anymore, but another talk with a ranger sent us further down the road to another beach where they 'might' be. It took several turnarounds and some serious map-reading to find it, but we eventually were rewarded with the beautiful sight of around 8 seals lounging on the beach. We very respectfully walked around them--giving the wide berth that the ranger suggested of 50 feet (not the 25 feet that was posted on a sign). I was thankful for my 250mm lens that let me get close up, without getting too personal. :)

To see more of my Seaside photos, click HERE.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome to my photography blog. This is an invitation to walk 'down the garden path' with share my travels through photos and friendship. Please feel free to comment and give tips. All are welcome. My philosophy on life is that you are enriched by learning new things. Currently, I am learning to take the best pictures that I can with my first SLR camera--a Canon Rebel XSi. I also have a Panasonic 'point and shoot' that I love and a Nikon Coolpix 8700. Each has its own special purpose or advantage. The Panasonic is lightweight and great for keeping in my purse at all times. The Nikon also fits in my purse, is a bit heavier, but has more options for manual selections--perfect for daytrips where I will be walking a lot and plan to take lots of pictures. The Canon is the most versatile, but definitely heavier. This is what I use for 'serious' photo days and for walks around my neighborhood.

One of my favorite things to do is hop in the car, with no particular idea of what I want to take pictures of, and just look around until I find something interesting. You should try it. Since taking up photography seriously, I have not been bored. Even in the winter, I have discovered such unusual nature shots that I would have never noticed before. Just look a little closer, and you will 'see' beauty and interest where you never thought it existed.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog. Besides this, I am working on a website dedicated to my photography. Check it out at On it, I would like to highlight other photography sites so, if you have one, please send me the link and I will include it.