Cousins’ Weekend

Last weekend my cousin Kendra came up for a visit.  I had a wonderful time showing her around the Redwoods and discovering new places with her.  I have lived in Humboldt County for a year now and there is still so many things I have yet to explore.

One of my favorite places we visited was the old WWII Radar Station.  The Klamath River Radar Station B-71 is located along Coastal Drive and was disguised as a farm when it was built.  What looks like an old farm house and barn actually housed a diesel generator, electronic equipment, and two 50-caliber anti-aircraft machine guns.  You can read all about it here:

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After leaving Coastal Drive we headed up to Crescent City and hiked down to Enderts Beach.  This was another new place for me.  I live on the coast, but I have never been much of a beach person.  I love being ON the water, but not so much on the beach or IN the water.  

We drove out to Crescent Beach Overlook, where there wasn’t much to look at due to fog, and began our short hike down to the beach.  It’s only a short half mile walk, that takes you past a back country campground and down to the beach and tide pools.  I, being the unbeachy person that I am, was not impressed by the tide pools.  Maybe we went at the wrong time, I don’t know.  I do know that there was as super photogenic bird on the beach though.  I mean, look at this guy……..

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Trail to Enderts Beach

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Enderts Beach

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Next stop was Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  I think this park is my favorite of our parks.  If you aren’t aware, Redwood National and State Parks work as a partnership between the National Park and three State Parks.  The forest in Jedediah Smith is all old growth redwoods and it like walking into a fairy tale. We drove down Howland Hill Road and stopped to hike part of the Mill Creek Trail.  This is my favorite picture from the whole trip, taken on that trail….

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We were also able to hiked thru Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  This is a popular destination for visitors to the park and is quite crowded during the summer months.  We arrived at the Fern Canyon parking lot early on a Monday and got to experience the serenity of the canyon without many distractions.  Fern Canyon is a beautiful walk down a creek bed nestled between 30-foot fern covered cliffs.  One of the things I learned working for the Park Service is how to identify the many ferns in the park.  You’ll find Five-Finger Fern, Lady Fern, and Sword Fern throughout the canyon.

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It was a fun filled three days of adventuring in the Redwoods and I’m happy I got to experience it with such a wonderful person!

And now, I’ll leave you with one last photo, taken at the Klamath River…

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Mother’s Day in the Central Valley

I was able to get home for Mother’s Day this year and had a lot of fun exploring all the wonderful outdoor activities the Central Valley has to offer.

The first place mom and I visited was the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.  The Chaffee Zoo recently completed a 13 acre expansion that is very impressive.  It had been awhile since I had been to the zoo and I was seriously impressed with the new exhibits.  I’m proud of our zoo and can’t wait to see what else they have in store for the animals there!

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A pile of rocks?

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That’s not a rock!

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On Mother’s Day we headed up to Project Survival’s Cat Haven in Dunlap, CA.  The Cat Haven sits on 100 acres just West of Kings Canyon National Park and is home to approximately 28 wild cats.  The haven is used for rehabilitation,  education, and preservation of wild cat.  You can check them out at to learn more.  We took a tour of the property, which is about a quarter mile guided tour that lasts about an hour or so.  We had an awesome tour guide, who was also a handler, that gave us a ton of information on each animal.  If you are ever in the Central Valley or in Kings Canyon or Sequoia National Park, I highly recommend stopping by and checking this place out.  This was my second visit to the cat haven, and I plan to stop in again the next time I am on my way to the National Parks.

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Best tour guide ever!

Since we were so close to the national parks, we decided to continue our adventure and buy mom her annual park pass for mother’s day.  Unfortunately it was SUPER foggy and wet in the park that day.  We had lunch in the park and then headed back home.  We DID see a black bear though!

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Overall, it was a great trip back home!



Great Grey Owl

There has been a Great Grey Owl in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park for a little over a week now.  This is the first time in 15 years that a Great Grey has been spotted in the park and I was luckily enough to get out of the office for an afternoon to go see him for myself.  This is why I love my job!

The Great Grey Owl typically inhabits colder areas and are rare for us to have in our park.  They are the largest owl in North America as far as height and wingspan and are fairly active during the day, which was nice for all of us who wanted to see it for ourselves.

Below are a few photos I captured of this wonderful creature.  Enjoy!

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Simplify – A Theme Thursday Post

I started back to school this week so I did not have a lot of time to play around with photos and blogging this week.  It has also been raining quite a bit up here, so my adventure days have been cut short or nonexistent.  I did make it out last Monday for a trip to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, but it wasn’t adventure enough to warrant it’s own blog post.  I’ll have to save that for when I am able to explore the park and the trails more extensively.

Last night I was thinking about what I wanted to do with this theme and knew that I had a lot of ocean photos that were “simple” photos.  Mainly just water, maybe a lone rock in the middle of the ocean, but mainly just lots and lots of ocean water.  I knew I had a tons of these photos in my files that I hadn’t used for anything and thought this was the perfect format for them.  Below are pictures taken during three different time periods at three different locations.

This first picture is from Dry Lagoon Beach in Trinidad.  This beach is located right across the street from the RV resort I was staying at when I first moved up here in August.  This picture was taken during that time period, late in the afternoon. The lighting in this picture is too bright and gives the photo a dull look that I actually quite like.

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This next picture was taken last month at the beach just south of my office.  I was playing with my new lens and capturing the different stages of the waves.

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The next two photos are from my  hike on Trinidad Head.  The top one is the most simple, yet beautiful picture. I love the focus on the water with just a little bit of sun and land off to the side.  The bottom one has that focus on the sunlight and a cool solar flare in it, but is still so simple.

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Make sure to check out Theme Thursday at California to Korea to see more photos and different takes on simplicity.


Trinidad, CA

Trinidad is a tiny little seaside town that is located about 10 miles north of my apartment.  I love it in Trinidad and have spent a few days up there hiking over the past few weeks.

On New Years Eve I hiked the Trinidad Head Trail, which is a little over a mile loop with fantastic views.  It was a beautiful day and I was happy to be able to finally check this trail off my to do list.

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As you start up the trail, you have a beautiful view of the beach.

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A couple of shots from different point around the trail…

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As I completed my loop I came back around to this stunning view of the town.  I think this was my favorite shot of the day.

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My next trip to Trinidad was a few days later with my roommate and the weather was quite different.  It was grey and dreary and threatened to rain on us at any moment.  We were still able to see quite a bit of the town and hike down to several of the beaches.

I’m going to pause for a moment here and throw in my Theme Thursday post for this week since the photos I am using were taken on this particular adventure.

The next two photos are my contribution to today’s Theme Thursday over at California to Korea.  The Theme today is “find your focal point.”  I’m actually not too fond of the second picture, but I liked that the background was white and blurred. I just wish the bird wasn’t so dark.

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Back to the adventure…

We had started our adventure looking for the casino while failing to pay attention to roadside signs.  We had all day so we just took a Sunday drive up Patrick’s Point Drive where we spotted some sea lions (Okay, Andy spotted the sea lions.  I would have totally missed them).  The first picture is the normal view of the rock.  Take a look at the bottom right hand almost corner of  it and you will see come brown specks.

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Zoomed in, you can see that they are sea lions!

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A scenic view from along Patrick’s Point Drive:

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We then headed back south and along Scenic Drive, where the casino is actually located.  We quickly found the casino and decided to take advantage of what little daylight we had left and see what else there was to see along Scenic Drive.  We stopped at Luffenholtz Beach County Park and explored the beach and the views there.

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The picture below is the beach the birds were on, this is also a view from the trail pictured above.  ZooDay 230

And below is the view to the left of the trail…

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This past Sunday we went up to Trinidad State Beach and did some hiking.  Here are a few shots from along the trails.

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The picture below is of Megwill Point.  This is my most favorite place I have been to so far.  Unfortunately, WordPress decided you did not need to see any other pictures of this particular spot.  For some reason it did not load all the photos I had selected.  The picture below is where the trail pretty much ends. You come down the trail, down some slightly scary steps, and onto a large dirt surface with stellar views of the ocean all around you.  Tinidad 100

Okay, I had to hop over to Facebook and download another picture of this spot to give you some perspective (I’m at work and do not have access to all my photos).  Below is the view from the end of the trail, before you head down the stairs.


After our time at Megwill Point we headed back toward the car.  We decided to walk the main road and had a fun adventure crossing a washed out section of it about halfway back.  Once we got back we went into the town of Trinidad for lunch at wonderful little cafe that has excellent vegetarian and vegan options.  After lunch we walked through town and went down to Old Home Beach to explore.  There we got to see more Sea Lions, but I didn’t have my zoom lens to capture any pictures of them.  I did get a beautiful picture on the way down to the beach and a couple of fun shots of the water though.

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I’ve really enjoyed exploring Trinidad the past few weeks and look forward to more adventure days in this tiny little seaside town!


Sequoia Park Zoo

Last weekend I visited the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, CA.  It’s a small zoo and it always seems to be raining whenever I want to visit, but crummy weather or not, it’s worth the trip.


Micaela, over at California to Korea, is hosting a “rule of thirds” Theme Thursday so I thought I would incorporate it into my zoo post today.   I actually do take a look at the Theme Thursday schedule before I head out on my adventures with my camera so I can work on my photography skills (or you know, work on acquiring said skills).   Thank you to Micaela for coming up with challenging themes and hosting Theme Thursday.  I missed it when it was gone and am really happy it is back!

On with the zoo post!

Sequoia Park Zoo is one of the smallest accredited zoos in the U.S.  It sits on five acres and packs a lot into that little space! It has a barnyard exhibit and petting zoo, an aviary, red pandas (that I unfortunately did not get to see), an otter exhibit, and much more!

I’m just going to go ahead and let the pictures tell the rest of my zoo experience.  The first three are for my Theme Thursday people so the captions will have a little more information that just animal names and information.


Crested Screamer. I think the fence pole in this one is throwing off my rule of thirds here. I didn’t pay much attention to it until right now and now it is all I can see. I’m still going to leave the shot here because I love this bird!

Roster in the Barnyard area

Roster in the Barnyard area. I think this is one of my favorite shots of the day. I just love the colors on this guy!

Duck in the aviary

Duck in the aviary

The cutest pig ever!

The cutest pig ever!

These goats were awesome!

These goats were awesome!

Cute Cavies

Cute Cavies

The majestic bald eagle

The majestic bald eagle

Silly Alpaca

Silly Alpaca

I think you can tell that I really liked the barnyard area of the zoo.

If you would like to see more Theme Thursday posts, please head over to California to Korea.  Feel free to link up if you would like to participate too!  I also have a photo in my “Winter in the Redwoods” post that fits this weeks Theme Thursday.  You can check it out here.

Close-up Theme Thursday

This is supposed to be a close-up portrait theme, but I never follow the rules so why start now.  Besides, I don’t know anyone here well enough to start taking close-up pictures of and I already used the cat for a portrait picture last week.    So this week I give you close-ups of plants!

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As always, make sure you head on over to California to Korea to see the rest of the Theme Thursday submissions.  Micaela also has a little announcement in her post today that is pretty exciting!

Catchlights Theme Thursday

This weeks theme was catchlights.  What are catchlights, you ask? A catchlight is the “light source that causes a spectacular highlight in a subject’s eye in an image.”  I don’t know about spectacular, but here is my effort for the week…

I love this picture.  I feel like he is saying, “Really, Human? Don’t you have better things to do with your life?”


I’m sure if you head on over to California to Korea you will see a much better representation of catchlights than this.

I did go out hiking this past week and have some great photos to share next week for our close-up Theme Thursday, so stay tuned!

Silhouette Theme Thursday

Yesterday I went on a Wellness Hike at work.  Once a month the Wellness Committee hosts a hike to get us out of the office and moving (I know, I know, it sounds like a rough place to work, but I manage).  I decided I didn’t want to bring my camera with me because I wanted to get to know my co-workers a little more and not focus on photos.  I really could have done both and wanted to kick myself all the way down the mountain for not having a camera.  I did have a cell phone though and did get ONE decent photo for today!


To see more silhouette photos, visit Micaela at California to Korea.

Throwback Theme Thursday

This past week has been pretty rough for me.  I’ve been struggling to keep up with my statistics class (just a note to all of you who are thinking of taking statistics online….DON’T DO IT! It’s HARD!) so all of my free time has gone to homework and the rest of it to sleep.  For some reason I can’t stay awake past 9:00 pm this week.  Maybe it’s all the statistics.

My point of all this rambling is that I didn’t get around to taking any photos for Theme Thursday this past week.  I had planned on hiking yesterday after work to incorporate the Redwoods with the theme, but a change in carpooling didn’t allow that.  So instead of being a huge flake like I usually am with this blog, I decided to suck it up and contribute SOMETHING this week.  I am determined to get back on some sort of schedule with my posts.  So here we go….

Theme Thursday this Thursday is Same Photo, Different Angles.

While trying to figure out what pictures I already had in my files that could work for this week, I remembered my Folder of Matt.  A long time ago, in a town far away (Fresno), I was bored  and had a camera and decided to torment Matt by taking a million pictures while he played guitar.

It actually turned out to be a pretty spectacular set of pictures that I swore I would make a flip-book out of one day.  Guess what? I never did that either.  I suck at doing things.

So back to Theme Thursday….

Instead of One Photo, Different Angles I give you; One Matt, different Angles:

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If you click on the collage it will take you to the full set of photos from that day.

If you would like to see people who follow the rules of Theme Thursday themes, then head on over to California to Korea and check out some great photos!