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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye Daisy, Along Seward Highway, Alaska
Oxeye Daisy, are they friend or are they enemy? Can you tell?

Oxeye Daisy are native to Europe that has invaded all of US and Canada. This beautiful wildflower is considered to be a noxious plant in Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming. Their very invasive nature displaces native plants and therefore adversely affects the wildlife habitat.
Oxeye daisy, friend or enemy? Ahhhh, if we can only judge friendship according to beauty......

Never Stop Exploring!

Never stop exploring! This is one of my favorite slogans from North Face. And I do not mean only the great outdoors, the world which I love, the world that makes me wonder and makes my mind sharper. But rather, I mean everything in life when I say, "never stop exploring!" We never stop learning, if we did, we lost the heart and enthusiasm of a child, and maybe we stop from breathing. Discovering our world has always been our game, until now, as adults, we still continue to learn and figure out things, we still do not have perfect answers to all the questions, and everyday, we still have new questions. We gain wisdom each day, but exploring never ends! Our world has always been our classroom, learning continues everyday. Our continuous learning helps us make the most of what our beautiful world has to offer. Life is beautiful, if we seek to find the beauty and meaning in it. There are many ways to continue learning despite we have finished already our college education. We can travel, and learn not only different culture, but also the bio-ecological diversity, chemistry, geology and geography. For me, there is Science wherever I go, that is why the outdoors is the only world I know I am happiest the most, because the more I go out, the more I feel I am inside, learning more about the science of our world. Or we can continue learning by moving further our education, getting a Master's or a PhD. Or we can learn about another career. If we think that getting another education will get in the way of our work, we can always study through online education. There are many online universities that offer quality education and are respected in the corporate world, such as Walden University. If you need some scholarship funding for your continued education, you can check WaldenU.edu. Some people who are pursuing new hobby also enroll in online university, not for another career, but to simply continue working and polishing their mind. Picking up a hobby sure makes us read a lot. In fact, one of the reasons why I enjoy blogging is because I am learning each day! I am challenged with even hacking some codes that I can use in my blog :) It made me read a lot of writing html so I can understand. Learning is everywhere, in everything we do! We just never stop exploring, for in our heart, we have this world to explore, our very own dynamic classroom!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Me, @ Lake Lucille, Wasilla, AK ( this is at around 11 pm )
Why jump? There are so many pictures already out there of people in mid-air. What makes the jump picture special? Well, let me count the ways.....
1. Jumping reminds me of high jump, one of my favorite activities when I was a kid. Though I cannot anymore jump way above my head ( justification: I am way taller now) without injuring myself, but the act of jumping still gives fun! When we were kids, I saw jumping as a competitive physical activity. I should not touch the rope or the stick before anyone else in high jump! Now, several decades later, jumping is merely for fun, a celebration that I still can jump :)
2. For pure fun :)
Here are some more jumping pictures we did while we were in Alaska.
Me @ Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
My Hubby, also at Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
My Cousin, at Lake Lucille, Wasilla, Alaska
Jumping for me is also a symbol of not simply waiting for those elusive dreams to happen, but a symbol of readiness and of fitness to explore the stars in your dreams. 

I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds." - Mike Tyson

Not Just Another Pink Post

Fireweeds and Rainbow, Denali, Alaska
I know, I have been posting a lot of pink in my blog lately. I can't helped it though, since somehow I cannot get enough of these pink wildflowers that abounds in Alaska. Whenever we see a field of pink wildflowers, my heart just ache to stop and enjoy the scenery. My husband teases me that since I can hardly move because of these wildflowers, we might as well move to Alaska :) But of course, the answer is always "no", since I know I eventually will miss my waves in the ocean. Though some places we visited in Alaska is also by the ocean, but the water has ice floating in the summer, which means too cold for me to enjoy, play and ride the waves. But who knows?, maybe one day, I find ourselves richer and can afford two homes, one in San Diego, and the other one in Alaska. I can dream, can't I?
Before, the idea of living outside of San Diego scares me, because I did not want to go through the hassle of moving. However, one of my students in the community college I taught before, told me how he is able to finance his education and be independent from debts early on. He said he is very much thankful for his job with  MeatHead, a moving company that reliably employs mostly student athletes. His story is very much similar to the two founders of the company, a story of two boys done good. Life is neverwithout challenges, but these challenges actually empower us to become better. It's up to us how we respond to these challenges that we either become stagnant and whining, or we move on to become better persons and move past the challenges triumphant and confident with life. You will get to know some of the other student athlete movers in MeatHead Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/MeatheadSLO. Knowing that there are someone I can trust to help me move things, the idea of living in another place no longer scares me. In fact, we may even move just within San Diego County when the opportunity is right. Since me and my hubby prefers to live closer to work, and work these days seem to be unstable, if ever our work moves us to a different location, am not as scared anymore.
So, would you find me one day in Alaska? Hmmmmmm, who knows? :) 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Firsts in Alaska

My First Wildflower Shot, along Seward Highway, Alaska
First Wildlife Shot in Alaska, along Seward Highway
First American Bald Eagle Shot, at Whittier, Alaska
These pictures explain my absence in blogosphere for a while. We flew to Alaska last July 12, and the pictures above were my first shots on our first full day in Alaska. On July 13, we drove from Anchorage to Seward via Seward Highway with a major detour in Whittier for Prince William Sound 6-hour glacier cruise. My first wildflower shot above was actually inspired by our first wildlife sighting. We saw a moose from the car, so we pulled over safely. However, the moose was too far from us, there was just no way for us to capture a good picture of it. How far is the moose? If you can spot the moose in the wildflower picture above, then, you will see the moose is just but a dot in the picture. In the third picture, it seemed like the bald eagle welcomed us to Whittier since as soon as we arrived there, my niece saw it, and we happily shoot away, though, I shoot this with my wide angle lens and did not have the time to change camera using a zoom lens. My niece however took very good eagle pictures showing major details. 
WE had a wonderful trip to Alaska, and slowly I will share the places and sights we enjoyed from our vacation. I shared in my other blog, The JOys of Simple Life, our first hike in Alaska. Usually we save the best for last, but in this case, our first hike in Alaska was the best highlight for me. Though I love everything we did, including a glacier hike, but the Icefield is such a sight to wonder that continues to blow my mind and inspires me to learn more about the history of our natural world. Earth is so beautiful!


Field of Fireweeds, Seward, Alaska
I love pink, how excited I was to see lots of pink wildflowers in Alaska. I think pink wildflowers rule in every roadsides, every mountain slopes, every meadows, and every glacial valleys there. Or maybe, it must be the season of pink during our visit there last week. This was actually my first sighting of a field of pink wildflowers in Alaska, and coincidentally, my hiking shirt is the same color :)
Pink and Pink
During our trip to Alaska, most of the places we've been to are very windy. Notice in the picture above how my hair seemed to be flying with the wind. I lost my pink hat on the the very first day.
My Only Remembrance of The Pink Hat I lost to Wind
Silly me though, I should have not worn a hat during our glacier cruise at Prince William Sound knowing that it would be extremely windy in the boat. I thought my hat is tight enough and secured from the wind. I should have worn a bouffant scrub hat instead. Even though I am not a nurse, but I do buy some hair accessories such as the scrub hat and hot pink scrubs because of comfort. I love shopping for scrub attires online at http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/ because there are more choices than in the store. I am actually fascinated with how comfortable are scrubs these days, thus, during casual days and warm days at home where I needed most comfort, I wear scrubs. For me, they not only look cool but feels cool. I think that could be the reason as well why some hiking shirts look like scrubs as well, only made of different materials that can easily wick moisture. Anyway, going back to the field of pink fireweeds above, below is an up close shot of the fireweed.
I can just not have enough of this wildflower, wishing I had brought some from Alaska to San Diego. But at least, I brought some pictures of this pink happiness :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Low Tide

Torrey Pines Sandstone Cliffs and Reflection at Low Tide, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, CA
Several people had been telling me that they have been to Torrey Pines State Reserve but never saw scenery like this where the cliffs are reflected on the sand. Oftentimes, my response is, "because you must have been to Torrey Pines at high tide!" The tide and time of day makes a lot of difference on taking pictures if you are into photography. If you plan to shoot something that is not ordinarily seen in most photos, you must check the tides.
Torrey Pines Sandstone Cliffs and Reflection at Low Tides
Tide information is not only useful for surfing, swimming and tidepooling, it also is useful for photography. These days, when you are traveling, there is a free apps in most mobile phones for tides table. For mobile phone, I use CBS mobile apps tp check the surf, tide, and water temperature. This is one of the free apps that I love to use. When I have access to computer, I use La Jolla tides to search for tides in San Diego.  
Obviously, at high tide, it is impossible to take a picture of the cliffs reflected on sand because one cannot walk farthest from the cliff because the pounding surf is too strong and the water level is deep.
So, the next time you are in San Diego, and wanted to do some photography of Torrey Pines Cliffs reflected on sand, check the tides, and the sun. What other activities do we do at low tide? My favorite one is tidepooling. It's so nice to be able to run or walk on the sand when most times probably you can only swim in that part of the beach.