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Winter Swell, Cabrillo

I got out for a plein air session last week-end. Had been sick for some time with a nasty flu that left me with a persistent nasal drip and cough. It was good to get out and the day was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been meeting up with a painters group that uses online social media to designate places to have painting sessions. This morning, I was the first to show up (as usual), and I arrived early at the Entrance to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma in San Diego. It was a crystal clear and chilly December morning. As I drove into the park and headed down the hill to the lower parking lots where there is access to the tide pools, a magical thing happened…

…a Peregrine falcon swooped down not more than five or ten yards in front and to the left side of my slow moving truck–and without flapping soared down the hill about three feet off the blacktop pavement…it was almost skimming the tops of the buckwheat and sage bushes at the side of the road, leading me into the park. It was so magical, I was laughing as I drove behind my escort. I followed it all the way to the bottom of the hill–nearly half a mile. What a great way to start the day.

When I parked, I got out with my easel and bucket and took some photos as I went…I’ll share them with you…

First I got out and took a photo of the view from the parking lot…

Then, I walked down the trail a ways and saw this…

and this…

and I painted this…

which came out like this…
(apologies for the phone photo)

And then I packed up, hiked back to my truck and drove out of the park but had to stop and take some shots because it was just too beautiful to resist…

looking West…

…and looking East…

A very quiet and emotional place.

What a great day it was.

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Papaya Perch

This little guy caught my eye as my wife and I were walking down to D.T. Fleming Beach Park, in Kapalua, Maui, USA.  Rain clouds were moving in and the early morning colors were lit in a moody light. I had my telephoto lens on and was able to frame up a good shot.

The papayas were out of reach or they would have made a nice breakfast.

The papayas would have been nice but we had some really good, Maui grown pineapples instead.  Here’s a tip a Hawaiian worker in the produce section of a Mauian supermarket gave us: Pineapples never get “riper” after they are picked–if they are not sweet when picked they will never get sweeter with shelf time.  He also said that the best pineapples have a golden color and the leafy stalk on top should be dry and not lush or green.  Since taking this advice to heart we have not been disappointed with our pineapple selections…now you know!

Maui Gold!