Tuesday, March 29, 2011

People Watching: Say Gouda!

Say Velveeta
Say Gouda
Take Our Pic
Kings River, Eastern California
Kings River, Eastern California

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Santa Barbara (California Missions Series)

The 10th mission to be founded, Santa Barbara also called the Queen of the missions for its beauty is second only to Carmel in popularity.

Located at the end of Laguna Street in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara.


1786: December 4 - Founded by Father Lasuen; tenth mission, named for Sta. Barbara.

1794: Third church built.

1812: Destroyed by earthquake.

1815: Present church begun.

1820: Completed with one tower.

1831: Second tower added.

1832: Collapsed.

1833: Rebuilt.

1834: Secularized.

1846: Sold.

1865: Returned to church.

The Greco-Roman facade.
"Majestic and serene, the Queen of the Missions stands in a natural ampitheater formed by the ooastline and the Santa Inez mountains."
The only mission never abandoned and in continued use.
The corridor.
Fray Serra's statue.
Haven't been to all 21, but I'm guessing it's hard to beat this view of the coast from the church.

You may notice I did not show the altar or the gardens. It was because we didn't have time to linger and fully explore. On hindsight, I know that was a bad decision not to go inside and take the tour. I shall be back I hope.

Friday, March 25, 2011

People Watching: Can You Hear Me Now?

This would be my second entry to the series PEOPLE WATCHING. I am a big fan of people watching. I find human beings fascinating and part of street photography is snapping people in their daily activity.

He looks animated.

On a phone break?

Iphone - a must-have? I don't have it :(

Why is she grimacing?

Let me call my ride.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

San Diego De Alcala (California Missions Series)

In 2004 or 2005 during a trip to San Diego, I got acquainted with the California Missions and learned that there are 21 missions in California. These are scattered all over the state. I was so impressed with the San Diego Mission that I promised myself that I would visit all the 21 and post them here.

Five or six years later, I am not done with my mission to visit all the Missions. I don't know when or how I'd accomplish this mission, so in the mean time I'd start posting. My photos are getting old.

The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of religious and military outposts established by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 to spread the Christian faith among the local Native Americans. The missions represented the first major effort by Europeans to colonize the Pacific Coast region, and gave Spain a valuable toehold in the frontier land. The settlers introduced European livestock, fruits, vegetables, cattle, horses and ranching into the California region; however, the Spanish occupation of California also brought with it serious negative consequences to the Native American populations with whom the missionaries came in contact. The government of Mexico shut down the missions in the 1830s. In the end, the mission had mixed results in its objective to convert, educate, and "civilize" the indigenous population and transforming the natives into Spanish colonial citizens. Today, the missions are among the state's oldest structures and the most-visited historic monuments.[wiki]

The architecture of the missions has made an impression to me. In this post I'll try to show you similarities of each mission in regards to their architectural detailing.

SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA - 5 miles east of Highway 5 in Mission Valley off State Highway 8 in San Diego, California. This is the first mission.

1769 - July 16 - Founded by Padre Junipero Serra, First Mission, Named for Didacus of Alcala.

1774 - Moved from Presidio Hill above Old Town to present site.

1775 - Burned in Indian attack.

1780 - Rebuilt.

1801 - Damaged by earthquake.

1833 - Secularized. (Missions disbanded by Mexican decree.)

1845 - Sold.

1862 - Returned to Church.

1931 - Rebuilt.

Copy (2) of HPIM1635
Copy of HPIM1643
Bell Wall.
Copy (2) of HPIM1641
Entry to patio/garden.
Copy (2) of HPIM1642
Garden. I noticed that in the missions I visited a statue of Fray. Junipero Serra is usually in the garden or patio.  I cannot find my shot.  Take my word for it, his statue is on the right, covered by greenery.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fort Ross

Fort Ross State Historic Park was established in 1906 to set aside a unique site where Russians, with the help of Native Alaskans, developed a colony in California. It was built beside Metini, the seasonal home of the Native Californians, the Kashaya, who lived in this area for centuries.

Fort Ross was a Russian-American Company settlement between the years 1812-1841. It was established as an agricultural colony to support the company’s settlements in Alaska, and as a base from which to hunt California sea mammals.

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Read more about Fort Ross here or here or here.

This is one of those places that escaped my radar. If not for a fellow blogger - who's blog I cannot recall at the moment - I would not have known there is such a thing as Fort Ross. Thank you fellow blogger for featuring Fort Ross in your blog. I hope I remember who she/he is :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

California Coastal Clean Up

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the premier volunteer event focused on the marine environment in the country. In 2010 (when this was taken), more than 80,300 volunteers worked together to collect more than 1,100,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways. California Coastal Cleanup Day has been hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as "the largest garbage collection" (1993). Since the program started in 1985, over 800,000 Californians have removed more than 15 million pounds of debris from our state's shorelines and coast. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by The Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events of the year. [source]

If you can, I encourage everyone to participate in efforts to clean up our oceans and other water ways. It's so much fun. Just see what I captured. Please be assured that I was picking up trash most of the time and only shooting when I need a little break :)

We signed up to clean Bayfront Park in neighboring city of Pinole. Not only is it the closest site on the list, it is also a favorite walking spot for us. It's also a wetland station. When the tide is low, you can walk a ways to the water and enjoy all the birds that are feeding.

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7 am signup

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While munching on the free breakfast, we check out this data list.

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Heed the warning.

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Me and my fat shadow!

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The wetlands is next to the train tracks.

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We begin. Hubs and I called shotgun on this patch of the wetlands.

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He asked why nobody was attempting to clean up that part of the wetland? He answered his own question, because it's muddy. Hubs got stuck in mud, I laughed out loud then took a photo.

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Plastic bag graveyard. It's horrible.

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Was on a break when I shot this.

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And also this.

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This one too.

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We were going back to the parking lot to dump our trash bags (yes plural) when I spotted these birds. I hoped they'd be able to catch something so I can photograph it.

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And one of them did - except that my little camera that could - could only zoom this much :(

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After washing up, we noted the boy scouts were ready for their lunch. I was told the boy scouts are here every single year. 2010 is the 26th year.

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The wonderful and valiant firemen of Pinole FD volunteered to make the burgers and hot dogs.

It was a well spent day under the sun picking up trash. The weirdest I've picked up - now don't gag - is a styrofoam container much like the one you get at take outs filled with crap. Who would do that? Well, this is a popular fishing spot as well. I can't understand why when a mile away is the oil refinery. The fish you catch here wouldn't be safe to eat anyway.
And oh we also collected a couple of pillow cases - white - like the ones in hotels.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Armstrong Redwoods

...or Armstrong Redwoods State Park. 805 acres of magnificent stately coast redwoods or Sequioa sempervirens located in Sonoma County just north of Guerneville.

This was more of an afterthought after a full day of sightseeing along scenic Sonoma Coast we decided to take a road well travelled by us. We thought driving through Guerneville and seeing about this state park that we only learned existed a couple of hours would be nice end to this beautiful day. We barely made it to the closing time. We asked if we could just take a peek and walk around a bit. We will definitely be back this summer.

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Can you see me?

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The Colonel Armstrong Tree is the oldest tree in the grove, estimated to be over 1400 years old. It is named after a lumberman who chose to preserve this portion of the park in the 1870s. A half-mile (800 m) walk from the park entrance. [wiki]

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Walking under these giant trees is soothing and meditative. It enables the soul to relax and the mind to breathe in and out toxins from daily life. I cannot fathom anyone who spends time here with these magnificent trees and not believe in Higher Powers - but that's just me, you know.

More info about the park here.

This is my entry for this week's MY WORLD (#110).