Category Archives: Travel

Western Australia, part 1

Sorry for the long delay in getting more Australia photos posted. I had to concentrate to finish a novel. The cover is on the blog in the right frame (desktop and tablet) or in the cluster of images at the bottom (on mobile devices).

I worked on STOLEN when we were in Australia, but the setting of the book is another location I have traveled to twice, Monaco. Though it was so long ago I don’t even have pictures, Monaco is a glamorous place that left an indelible impression on me.

Of course the same can be said of Australia. Maybe not the glamour in the same way, but the indelible impression. On this trip we saw different parts, always scratching the surface you know, but pretty much blown away and left wanting more.

Broome, where Cable Beach is located, is an access point for the Kimberley wilderness in Western Australia. We arrived at the Cable Beach Resort, one of the places on my Must See lists, just before sunset. This was not accidental! Actually we were supposed to get there a few hours earlier, but our flight from Darwin was delayed. We were lucky not to miss the famous sunset.

Guests at the Cable Beach Resort were mostly Australians from the south having a beach vacation away from their winter. The Kimberley and Broome are way north, closer to the equator and have a wet and dry season. The season when people visit is Dry which runs, I believe, from May to August.

It was nice to be some of the very few Americans around. I’m not sure why we were, but it’s a long way, and there’s a lot to see in Australia (understatement). I think most foreigners hit Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). Friends of ours who emigrated from the US to Australia have settled in Western Australia, and they were the ones who told us about the Kimberley.

Anyway, I love tide pools, and I went crazy with my camera at Cable Beach. Here are a ton of photos if you want to see what it’s like. If you can go, I highly recommend it.

 

Yes I was fascinated by these little sand balls deposited around a hole in the sand. Not sure what it is…

 

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Western Australia, part 3

I looked for books while I was there and found one in a used bookstore in Fremantle, near Perth. It’s called Tracks by Robyn Davidson. She crossed a massive amount of Australia alone with three camels and her dog. It’s great, a tough non-romanticized view. Parts of it are sad, but I like the knowledge in the book. Our guide also recommended a couple books about the land, animals, and plants that I want to read as well. On this trip, the tours we took made me feel like I’d visited the Australia I imagine from reading my friend’s books about the outback. Australia will be in a book of mine soon, one co-authored with my friend John Holland who provides all the Australiana.

Some of the places we went.

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What do San Diego and Kakadu have in common?

It was amazing to see animals in the wild after having been so recently to the San Diego Zoo.

Here is is the Plumed Whistling Duck we saw in the Kakadu park in Australia. Not a perfect photo, they were far away and suffered camera jiggle, but this is one of my favorite photos anyway. It was just the feeling I had being there among so much bird life. I wasn’t sure if the amazing displays of birds would be present during the dry season, but I wasn’t disappointed.

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Here is the photo of the whistling duck from my San Diego Zoo, May 6th post (https://niccicarreraromance.com/2017/05/06/san-diego-zoo-birds/) clearly a different species, but related.

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There was enough water in the Kakadu to see wildlife without being overwhelmed by monsoons (and thrown overboard to swim with crocs). I don’t think they do tours in the wet season, or “The Wet,” as locals call it. Here are some shots showing the environment in The Dry.

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As you can see, it’s still not so dry! These are fantastic wetlands. Let’s hope they continue to be because they are vital habitat for almost 300 species of birds.

I hope you have a good Monday, or a good Monday evening for my Australian friends and a good week ahead. I will be continuing to share photos from our mad dash around Australia, so stay tuned!

San Diego Zoo, birds

I didn’t get the info on all of these amazing birds, and I’m kicking myself now for that. The first one is a whistling duck. I had to also capture these birds on video because it is amazing how their throats swell and vibrate, a phenomenon that simply cannot be captured in a still shot.

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All three of these species are in the same habitat. I’m not sure if they are all from the same environment in the wild. If not, that would be interesting that the zookeepers could make it work. Another reason I wish I had photographed all the descriptions.

I have a few more photos to show you, including a grand finale.

Have a great remainder of the weekend.

San Diego Zoo, hooved animals

It was fairly hot last Saturday, and a lot of the animals were sleeping.

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Or standing in the shade.

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Look how graceful the antlers are on this one.

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We’re getting through the zoo animals pretty quickly! I’m going to have to do another photography outing.

It is suddenly very hot here and mornings are the only time to do yard work. It was almost 100 degrees the last two days. It’s early for that, but I guess it’s a heat wave. I should go to the beach for some photos. Maybe on the weekend, early though.

I hope you have a good rest of the week. It’s all downhill from here, in a good way I hope!

San Diego Zoo shots!

Hello, I hope you are having a good week. I had the big thrill of visiting the San Diego Zoo, which I loved. I’m ready to start sharing photos.

Growing up, we had an Encyclopedia. It was the only one my dad sold during his very short-lived days as a door-to-door salesman, LOL. Anyway, I loved looking at the animals and the anteater was one of my favorites.

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Anteater

When I looked down and saw it at the zoo, I was so excited. As a child I thought they were really weird looking, but I had no idea they are pretty! This one looks pretty healthy, huh? His coat looks healthy to me. I didn’t know they were black and white with stripes. They move pretty fast. I guess he was out on the hunt for ants.

Another animal I was always interested in was the warthog. My brother and I used to run around calling each other warthogs. So every time I came up to a cage and saw something that I thought was a warthog I would cry out to my husband, “Look, a warthog,” but then it wouldn’t be. Finally I found one, sleeping peacefully by a rock.

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Warthog

Big news, I cancelled my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. I have an older laptop, not super powerful, and the background processes were slowing down my machine. Rather than investing in a new computer, I canceled the subscription. I would say that’s a tad more economical a solution, LOL!  No new computer, no ten dollars a month.

I am back to GIMP. I might buy Lightroom or another software package someday but not as a cloud service. Anyway, how this affects you is I that can’t batch process, or at least, I don’t know how, so my photos will be coming out a little at a time. That might not be a bad thing since I don’t spend as much time shooting new photos as I should! Maybe I can communicate more often now, sharing a few images at a time and talking to you more. I’ll also be doing less processing. I am going more natural, taking my photography more towards just the photography part and less image processing, although I still will probably do some digital photo painting. I have that software and a little tablet that I haven’t used in a couple years, and I miss working this way.

I certainly have a treasure trove of images from the zoo to share. Here is my favorite image of the day. I’ve never seen an orangutan in person, wow!

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Lake Tahoe

We had a chance to try kayaking on Lake Tahoe. We didn’t get too far before the wind that was forecasted came up. Boy, the waves were pretty big, at least from the perspective of a kayak, but our guide told us how to deal with them, and I had a lot of fun paddling into them.

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed back out on the water after lunch because the Coast Guard was sending kayakers to shore. But this is something I want to take up. I really like it. It’s kind of low tech. You put on a life vest, climb in a boat, and paddle. There’s a technique for paddling that I didn’t know the last two times I did it, and that really helped me keep from getting tired really fast. I had to concentrate to do it, but that’s a  good thing.

I didn’t take the camera with me, a very fortunate thing since a wave sloshed over my boat. I took some shots at the beach after the tour, and here they are.

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Tahoe Vista

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Sand Canyon

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Dredger

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Bananas? No, boats.