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Birch Aquarium San Diego

My husband I loved this aquarium. I joke that this is really the only way I want to see the life teeming in the sea. If I were snorkeling when encountering all these critters, I’d be terrified! But the aquarium is an atmosphere of such peacefulness, beauty and education that being there is bliss.

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There’s a great room that explains global warming and the effects of too much CO2 in the atmosphere. Photos of the polar ice caps before and after are shocking. The CO2 also goes into the ocean turning it acid. We don’t yet understand the effects of that on wildlife, but they do know that all the animals that form shells need a certain Ph to do that. This information was presented in plain and simple terms.

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Individuals can do a bit to make ourselves feel better, but we really need a massive overhaul as we all know. Fortunately there are people and governments working on the issue. Let’s hope the humans’ ability to cooperate, which is what allowed us to get so far, will help us solve this problem in time. I don’t think ocean health is an optional thing, a nice-to-have. I’m pretty sure how they go, we go.

There’s a gorgeous outdoor area at the aquarium.

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Here’s hoping you have a great weekend!

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San Diego

Sorry I missed my post yesterday. I was busy relaxing which, for me, includes writing!

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But I was up before dawn today, taking photographs. This is the San Diego Temple. It’s amazing that you can get onto the grounds before 7 a.m. The church is generous to make their site so accessible to photographers and others.

Despite the early hour, people were already in church, and a few more arrived while I was taking pictures. The grounds are gorgeous, the architecture amazing, and the way the landscaping dramatizes the temple is pretty impressive. I keep wondering how much this land must have cost, and the fact that this much land was available. A quick Google search says it was announced in 1984, but to me that date is a bit ambiguous. I assume it was finished then. It stands on 7.2 acres of land.San Diego-5

I think maybe the close-up picture is better than the ones with all the grounds in front. It’s more dramatic.



Google Maps then helped me navigate to Windansea Beach. This is better at sunset, but early morning with fog is good too. Different conditions yield different photo opportunities, and then it is fun to play with editing.

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I encountered an interesting rock formation immediately after the stairs, and later decided my favorite part was the way the sand color bleeding into the black color looks like a crashing wave. Hooray for high-resolution pictures because this is very cropped.

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This palm hut is lovingly maintained by volunteers who replace the palm fronds whenever some blow away.

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Here I played with the image to make the scene feel dark and stormy, which of course it was not.

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In fact it was a lovely morning for surfing.

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Have a great week.

Convict Lake

An unfortunate name, but such a lovely spot! Convict Lake 2

I need to develop more shots, but we also need to hit the road for final destination: San Diego! However, first I wanted to give you a taste of what I captured this morning.

I liked getting up while it was still dark and going out to get the photo. There’s something very exciting about that. I think I’m going to change my retirement lifestyle a bit and start setting my alarm again.

Here are some different perspectives.

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There was a nice couple there taking photos too. They made my day as much as the photo opportunities. It’s so nice to chat with people, after the photos are captured at least. They were from L.A. and they gave me some recommendations for taking photos in this area in the fall. I guess we’ll need to come back. Oh no.

Have a great weekend!

End of the week hello, China and Norway

I hope you had a good week and are off to a good start to the weekend.

I’m 11,475 words into my 40,000 word novella, but who’s counting? LOL! I need to crank out about 1450 words a day to get this in on time for the call for submissions. I spent most of my time planning it, which I definitely do not regret! Anyway, this really is the fun part, the actual writing.

Funny thing about writing a romantic suspense, which is a subgenre change for me (very excited), as much as you plan the plot, unplanned details come up in the writing. They must be addressed and this in turn requires changes to the plot. As long as I can make these changes to the plot, I’m liking the process. I sincerely hope I do not get to the point where I can’t make changes to the plot to account for some detail I hadn’t considered. The plot lies to a great deal in the details; that’s what I’m learning about suspense.

Time for some pictures, again from the vault as I have not been out taking pictures. That is going to change next week when we go on an extensive road trip. (Hooray!)



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A smoky sunset

The fires burning down around Big Sur made our skies smoky, and this made the light near sunset soft and kind of pinkish orange. I had to dash outside and try to capture that light.

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I had to stand at an angle to capture this because I was casting a huge shadow.smoky sunset-2

The bricks were really pretty just on their own.


The Big Sur fire is not under control yet, but today’s cooler temperatures helped the massive effort a little bit.

I wanted to share what I thought was an excellent article in the New York Times. The authors did a lot of research, interviewing survivors of the people recently lost to terrorism, and I appreciated getting to know a little bit about the victims. Though this is tragic, I found it uplifting to have a tiny window into these lives, to have their faces in my mind, to think a bit about their beautiful normal lives as I go about my own.

For some reason I think the most about “[a] farmer, Bunu Modu, [who] managed to escape after militants in his village tied him up with plans to kill him — he had been running a little Islamic school with 10 pupils under a tree.” I find that Mr. Modu was running a school under a tree quite beautiful. There are many little slices of life in the article and helpful graphics.

Have a good and safe week.