Andre is the guest host for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week. His theme is Summer Vibes. He posted some biking, mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, diving, sailing, surfing, kitesurfing, and beach sailing photos.
He said, when it comes to the style of spending this most valuable time of the year, wishes would differ following their personal preferences.
I spend a lot of my summer in my garden
I love the cheerful sunflowers. The bees like them as well.
This baby grasshopper stayed on the African lily long enough for me to take a few photos. It’s the size of a grain of rice.
The monarchs have been doing very well this summer. I’ve raised about 50. There are still two chrysalises and one caterpillar. Then I’ll be done for this year because I’ll be away quite a bit the rest of the summer.
I also take summer trips with my husband and family
Hubby Lynton dived in Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Our family went on a whale-watching trip at Huntington Beach.
Photo on the left, Lynton and I went hiking at Waimoku Falls in Haleakala National Park. Photo on the right, we watched the crashing waves on Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii
I love to watch my granddaughters having fun in the summer
Autumn and Nora were building sandcastles at the beach in Three Creek Lake Campground, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon.
Autumn is getting good at paddle boarding at Three Creek Lake, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon.
The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #180 is Favorite Images of 2021
The year 2021 was a roller coaster. There were many excitements because we could resume doing things after being restricted for a year or longer. Those moments seemed serene yet felt like wanting to shout for joy. Those were my favorite images of 2021.
My younger granddaughter was born on March 22, 2020. California reinforced the restriction on March 14. I canceled my flight at the last minute to be with my daughter for her childbirth. By March 2021, the restriction of traveling eased a little. We wanted to be there for Nora’s first birthday. I booked the flight with premium seats so that we didn’t have to pass by many passengers. We were so thrilled to see Nora for the first time.
We spent Mother’s Day with my daughter every year except the year 2020. In 2021, we were with my daughter for Mother’s Day and had a wonderful time having three generations of girls together.
The summer of 2021 was my first-time raising Monarch butterflies and there were some casualties, but 20 butterflies made it to adulthood.
I booked a trip to Banff, Canada in August for our anniversary, but the border was closed. I canceled the trip, and we went to Santa Barbara instead. It was the first long trip since Covid.
We also wanted to take day trips to the beaches, but many beaches were closed during the pandemic. We eventually made a trip to Laguna Beach in September.
We missed Autumn’s 3rd birthday in 2020 but we were excited to go to Autumn’s 4th birthday party in September last year.
Last but not the least, we had a white Christmas with my daughter’s family and had fun watching the grandkids playing in the snow and making a snowperson in the backyard. Autumn helped to put the pebbles on to make the eyes and buttons and put the carrot on for the nose. Nora gave the snowperson a big hug.
The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “puzzle.” We use it any way we’d like!
I’m thankful to live close to the water all my life, places such as Hong Kong, Portland in Oregon, Seattle in Washington, and Orange County in California. Water is gentle, soft, soothing and yet it can be powerful and forceful.
I love walking around Laguna Lake, which is one mile from home. It takes 3 minutes to drive or 20 minutes to walk there. I also love to take day trips to the beaches. The most visited beaches are Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach. They are about 30 to 33 miles from home and take about 35 to 45 minutes to get there.
Hubby and I went to Laguna Beach on Wednesday, September 15. It had been almost two years since our last visit. It is a small city with less than 10 square miles, but there are a lot of things to do for the locals and visitors. The weather treated us well with mild sun, clear sky and a gentle breeze.
When we visited Laguna Beach years and years ago, we took many quarters to feed the parking meters. Eventually the parking meters are converted to taking credit card payment even though the coin slots are still there. When we came on the weekends, we usually circled around many times to find a parking, but on this day, we spotted many available spaces closed to the beach.
It was lunchtime when we arrived, so we went to our regular seafood restaurant right by the beach to have lunch. Hubby had a fish and chips, and I had a Fettucine Alfredo with shrimp. Hubby had three bottles of Bud Light. I ordered a Genius Taut for its bitter taste but drank only half of it because I’m allergic to alcohol. Hubby helped to share half of mine.
We visited several art galleries. I enjoyed many of the contemporary, abstract art as well as the landscape, and portrait. We saw some contemporary and inventive sculptures and also realistic sculptures.
There are three beach valley ball nets on the beach. On our previous trips, we saw people playing valley balls, but it was quiet on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure if it was a pandemic restriction or because it was a weekday.
My favorite thing is walking from the beach valley ball area to the tidepools to look at the little sea creatures in the rocky area where the ocean meets the land. This area has many pockets of sea water usually filled with snails, sea slugs, sea cucumber, mussels, sea stars, hermit crabs, and small fish. Families came with their children, who went from one pocket of water to another to look at these sea creatures.
As we walked closer to the tidepool area, to my surprise, the area was diminished significantly. Only a couple of pieces of rock were above the sand, and the lower rocks were not there. Hubby saw my puzzling look, saw the rows and rows of tire tracks on the sand, and said, “It seems like they brought in truckloads of sand.”
“Why did they cover the tidepools with sand?”
The remaining couple pieces of rocks above the sand didn’t collect too much water with sea creatures in them. I was somewhat disappointed. The sand level looked like higher than what I remembered. It could have been between the timing of the tide and the timing of adding sand to the beach. The tide was coming in and the waves were high by the time we were there. The tidepools could be under the water. The more I think about that, the clearer I see those tidepools under the water.
I had fun taking tons of photos and videos of the waves pounding the beach and the rocks. There were two surfers, one on the left and one on the right of the video.
This week it’s all up to us – Tina asked us to choose our subject and to share whatever it is about it that we find interesting.
I’m always interested in our planet earth. April 22 this year marked the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. For this post, I would like to reflect on what oceans mean to us and the part we play to save the ocean.
Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and all the creatures that live there. They cover nearly three-quarters of the earth and hold 97% of our planet’s water. We depend on the oceans for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and even the products that keep us warm, safe, informed, and entertained. Ocean water can give our brain and senses a rest from overstimulation, get into a mindful state, and trigger insights and ideas. It also inspires us to be more compassionate and connected.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay
A morning walk with some lady friends on Huntington Beach, California.
“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides, and, in its depths, it has its pearls too.” – Vincent van Gogh
My husband dived in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. His diving buddy took the photo.
“The sea knows no limits, makes no concessions. It has given us everything and it can take everything away from us.” – John Ajvide Lindqvist
Our last trip to Maui, Hawaii, on the way to Road to Hana.
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” – William James
We loved to visit Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii.
“Dance with the waves, move with the sea, let the rhythm of the water set your soul free.” — Christy Ann Martine
This was one of the surfers paradise day with waves at 10 feet high at Newport Beach, California.
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Robert Wyland
I was so excited to see the school of dolphins swam under our diving boat in North Carolina.
“Like the ocean that remains calm in its depths even when waves rage over its surface, and like the sun that continues shining on high even during storms, we can at each moment create value and develop our state of life, enjoying our existence to the fullest in times of both suffering and joy.” –Daisaku Ikeda
Our first day of the Ensenada cruise on the North Pacific Ocean.
Ocean Threats and Solutions
Human Activities are threatening the health of the world’s oceans. More than 80 percent of marine pollution comes from land-based activities. From coral bleaching to sea level rise, entire marine ecosystems are rapidly changing. Global warming is causing alterations in ocean chemistry and many oceanic processes, and it is threatening many species of marine animals that cannot cope with higher temperatures. Overfishing is a serious problem in many parts of the world.
Conservationists advocate creating expansive marine reserves to protect the biodiversity of the oceans. We can play our part to reduce carbon dioxide, use reusable instead of single-use plastic products, properly dispose of hazardous materials, use less fertilizer, pick up garbage and littler near beaches, and buy ocean-friendly products and eat sustainable seafood – Sustainable seafood guide.
There are many places in the world we have traveled once. Some of them are my favorite places and I don’t mind going back to visit. I just want to be practical and choose somewhere accessible to be my favorite place. We are not too far from beaches. Among the several beaches, Newport Beach is my favorite beach, whether it takes a cruise for whale watching, or walking on the beach, or going to seafood restaurants, or watching the sunset, it’s beautiful. It’s half an hour driving from home, so we go there often.