Natural Beauty (New Pics!)

Good day! I wanted to welcome all my new followers I’ve acquired over the past couple of months – thanks & hope you enjoy my blog 🙂 If you are a photographer – be sure to leave a comment if you want be a part of my blog photography challenge.

WOW can you believe how fast Summer has flown by?! With work and weddings pretty much every weekend of the last couple of months, my life has been GO – GO – GO! Once September hits, I can already feel that my life is going to change big time. I might be moving, getting a new job, participating in an international competition… stay tuned for further details 😉 And all of you will be taking that journey with me.

So I promised some photos from my trip to Monterey Bay last month – and I finally had a free day to edit the pics for your viewing pleasure. We went to the Arroyo Seco in Monterey County which is hidden treasure that I suggest EVERYONE goes to see. It’s the perfect activity in the summer time to hike and explore the wilderness.

Also, as my time starts to free up next month – I will continue to post weekly – so don’t you worry! I’ve got some great posts lined up already in my head.

Blog Photo Contest – Need Your Votes!

Howdy awesome followers 🙂

So last night after looking at all the blogs I follow, I came across Rodposse.‘s post that he is hosting a photo contents with the theme of REFLECTION.

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 12.52.17 PM

I had the perfect reflection photo come to mind – so I entered! I mean – anything could happen right? (Hence musical reference to Ellie Goulding’s song posted above 😉 ). The picture, as you can see ^^, is a photo taken on a hike to a waterfall in the Eaton Canyon Nature Reserve, located in Pasadena. I love this photo because of the depth of the leaves that have already fallen into the water, and the reflection of the leaves still on the tree in the water as well.

PLEASE GO HERE AND CLICK ‘LIKE’ UNDER MY PHOTO

Voting ends Saturday (Jan 26th), and all I have to do is get as many people to LIKE/SHARE the showcase page on Rodposse.’s blog. I’ve taken a screenshot of the LIKE area for you to see how easy and simple it is to cast your ‘vote’ for me! I’ve also linked all the photos on this post to my photo voting page- so feel free to click those as well. I appreciate all of your ongoing support 🙂 You guys and gals are awesome!

SIMPLY CLICK ‘LIKE’ UNDER MY PHOTO

LIKE box

“Less Is More”

Let’s Go For a Hike.

SIDE NOTE: I entered a Black and White photo contest for pictureline Inc.-

If you could go here and just click VOTE for my photo I’d be super grateful 🙂 

On Monday of this week, I decided to make the most of my morning and wake up early to hike with my new friend Dave, who is an engineer at one of Pasadena’s great fire departments.

Dave’s very outgoing and positive, so it was hard to say no at a wake up call of 6:15am knowing that a morning hike would be exhilarating and a great way to start a new week (I can sleep when I’m dead right??). I’ve only hiked Mt. Wilson in the Pasadena area, so I was intrigued to hike Eaton Canyon and visit the acclaimed waterfall so many of my friends have hiked to before.

There were maybe 3-4 other people on the trail that early in the morning– which was fantastic. It was beautiful to only hear birds and beat of my heart as I paced up the trail instead of cars and trucks on the busy streets below. Although, what I began to notice all around me was evidence hundreds of people who have hiked here before… AKA trash everywhere! NEWSFLASH: your trash stays where you left it people! There aren’t park rangers that go around and pick up after you here. If you are responsible enough to bring something into a natural park, then it’s your responsibility to take it back out with you. Common sense right? Guess not.

Dave’s been hiking here before and he knew what to expect. He and I both love being in nature, and soaking in the beauty that surrounds us. So he came equipped with 2 trash bags for us to pick up after people and leave the park cleaner than we found it. We found another trash bag someone left by the waterfall, and packed up that one as well. We filled 3 trash bags and there was still PLENTY of trash left, sadly. I’m ready to go back and clean more!

It was a big reality check that some people don’t respect their environment as they should. I specifically picked up: LOTS of waterbottles and bottle caps, diapers (don’t worry I picked it up using the bag as a glove), socks, beer bottles, cans, candy bar wrappers, plastic bags, moldy ChipsAhoy cookies, and the list goes on and on… Some people even stopped us and asked if we were doing this on our own time and were so surprised they said “Wow! Thank You”- “I appreciate you” -” You’re a good person” Now hopefully they didn’t leave their trash on the ground…and felt inspired to grab a couple pieces of trash other people left on their way out (Monkey See, Monkey Do-right?).

On that note- here’s some black and white shots I captured on this morning hike. Felt good to take some nature shots- they are my favorite! Which one do you like best?

Reflect.

Tree Of Life

From Where I Stand

Eaton Canyon Waterfall

Good Samaritans.

Dave Cooling Off

Lizard PeekABoo

Cleaning The Park 1 Bag At A Time

Signs Are All Around Us.

Here’s To Now.

I apologize for the late post…it’s been a busy couple of weeks! I ran around the Rose Bowl 3 times today- which is about 15K/ 9.3 miles. It’s a good preparation for the actual 5K marathon I’m running on June 24th!

The song I posted above pretty much sums of my view on life at the moment: Here’s To Now

Step back- and take a look at your life and see if you are happy or sad with what you are seeing. If you are happy, continue doing what puts a smile on your face and figure out what else makes you a better person. If you aren’t satisfied with your  life, then I suggest focusing on YOU and what YOU feel. People can give you a lot of varying advise, but only you know what’s best for you. So, here’s to now!

Salamander!

Moving on…Here’s a summary (plus PHOTOS!) of my previous weekend of fun times! I went on an early morning hike with my friends Marisa and Nelson. Mind you, I am not the type to rise early on weekends..the only time I have to sleep in..but I made an exception in order to enjoy being around nature and friends! And I am so happy I did! We saw a cute little salamander by the creek, and I even spotted a small little snake. It’s nice to know that I only have to travel a couple of miles from my doorstep to see nature up close and personal.

The next day I woke up early again and met up with my mom and grandma in San Diego- my grandma lives in San Diego so it was nice to spend some time with her. Through my mother’s work- we got a Box at the Padres Baseball Game! It was definitely the best experience I ever had at a game! Free awesome food, unlimited alcohol, comfortable seats, lounge, and even a dessert cart rolled through that looked like something out of your dreams?!  IT WAS AWESOME! Definitely felt like high class royalty. It was also the same day as the solar eclipse- which I kind of saw afterwards at a bar we hung out at after the game. I wished I had remembered about the eclipse so I was better prepared to view it..oh well..I guess I’ll just have to wait another 11 years to see it properly!

Please flip through these photos and tell me which ones you like best! 🙂

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There’s Nothing Like the Yosemite Night Sky.

Yosemite holds a special place in my heart after spending a week backpacking there with my high school companions for our senior trip (SPHS 2006 baby!). Even though that was years ago, I still come back to it often.

Funny story about my trip to Yosemite- might be a little TMI but it’s ok- when our group stopped and decided to set camp next to a creek- “nature called” and I went behind a tree for some privacy. When I looked up- there was a huge group of deer hanging out about 25 feet away from me. I was staring at them (not going to lie, a little scared), and they were just staring right back… It was a bit awkward, but overall it was quite a funny experience that I crack up every time I think about it!

Hetch Hetchy : Yosemite circa 2006

This spark of Yosemite love that inspired this blog post came from this amazing video of Yosemite I stumbled upon today. It’s a time-lapse of different locations in the beautiful California National State Park of Yosemite. I fell in love with the sky in Yosemite- star-gazing and counting satellites and shooting stars is one of my favorite things. There’s something just amazing, mysterious, and beautiful about watching the night sky. We are just a small part of this universe- it’s insane to try to wrap one’s head around it. It’s one of my Bucket List items to hike Half Dome…one day one day. I can’t wait!

Enjoy this video- make it full screen on your computer and turn it up and relax for 5 minutes.

Hurricane Winds in Southern California

So a week and a half ago- much of the San Gabriel Valley was hit HARD by hurricane winds. We have not witnessed anything like this in over 100 years- gusts of winds hit 95 mph!

The damage done in Pasadena- where I live- was outrageous. So  many trees fell down- onto power lines, houses, streets, and sidewalks. Unfortunately people were out of power in numerous cities for up to 8 days. Luckily my power came back on the day afterward around noon. I didn’t sleep the entire night…my house would shake every 2 minutes and my windows would rattle violently. It was just extremely SCARY! It felt like my house was going to crack open- or a tree was going to crash through it.

I finally got to sleep from 6am-11am then went into work. But on my way to work- the amount of damage on and around the streets were jaw-dropping. Then when I arrived to work I saw these huge over a century year old Ficus trees laying in the middle of the road- 3 HUGE ONES on the block where I work. It was very unfortunate indeed. I wasn’t in the mood to work that day.. it was a “devastation day” in my books.

I wanted to share with you some photos from around Pasadena. I also went on a 6.5 mile hike up and down Mount Wilson the weekend after the winds- there were some down trees on the path there as well.

Hiking is Good for the Soul.

Living in Los Angeles one might not think that there are too many hikes in nature in this vast concrete jungle. But that is where you are wrong! There are lots of fun little nature escapes all around..you just have to find them.

This past weekend I went on an excursion to Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills with my boyfriend Jack. It’s a huge park with around 605 acres equipped with waterfalls, streams, lots of greenery, and fun trails. Not to mention staring at the jaw-dropping mansions along the outside perimeter of the park- holy cow! One can only hope to have a house like that one day…shoot that reminds me I need to buy some Lotto Tickets!

Anyway-It was a wonderful way to start off my Sunday. I love nature! Also- the people watching was excellent as well..one of my favorite activities.

Here are some of the pictures from the hike- hope you enjoy them.