Category Archives: Digital photo editing

Under the spell of succulents

Out & About

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I left all of my beautiful plants in the gardens back in Texas. Since I lived pretty much in hot, dry areas of Texas, and I intensely disliked paying water bills, most of my gardens and plants were cactus and succulents. So I had to start all over again in San Diego.

I didn’t get that start until November 1995 when the consulting job I took in April 1994 stationed me permanently in San Diego. My first task after moving into the new digs was to find the cactus and succulent nurseries in San Diego County.

One of my favorites was Solana Succulents, 355 N. Highway 101 in Solana Beach:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Map location of Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Solana Succulents is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Those are Daylight Savings Time hours. During Standard Time, they close at 4:00 p.m. on all days.

Solana Succulents is where I bought my first Stapelia. Looked like this when it bloomed:

Stapelia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The plant is so unlike most cactus and succulents that I took an immediate liking to it. But when it bloomed, I became Stapelia’s greatest fan. Here are some other pictures from my Stapelia collection throughout my years in San Diego:

Stapelia

Stapelia

Stapelia flower

Stapelia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Succulent chess set at the San Diego County FairWhen I started my home inspection company in October 2001, I stopped by Solana Succulents because they always had a stack of 10% discount coupons at the front entrance. Pick up a discount coupon and use it ten minutes later!

I wanted to know if I could include a discount coupon with each of my home inspection reports. They said yes! So each of my Clients got a 10% discount coupon. I know from follow-up conversations that many of them used the coupon, and that made me happy.

Yesterday I went to Carlsbad to get a picture of the new Cecil the Lion mural (see yesterday’s post here: I’m going to call animal abuse on that). On the way home, I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway with the specific intent of stopping at Solana Succulents. I spent nearly an hour talking to the owner, Jeff Moore, and taking pictures.

Here are twenty pictures taken on August 19, 2015:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Can you guess which picture is my favorite?

NONE OF THEM!

It’s this one:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sadly, all of my Stapelias got left behind when I moved from Spring Valley to La Mesa in June 2001, and gardening then took a back seat to the commencement of my home inspection company just a couple of months later.

Stapelias are difficult to find in nurseries here, which puzzles me because they are so easy to grow, are drought tolerant, and have such beautiful star-shaped flowers.

Yesterday, Jeff was kind enough to give me a piece of that Stapelia in the very last picture. My life is complete again now that I once more have a Stapelia!

Jeff has a newly published book about succulents, a copy of which he also was kind enough to give me yesterday. The cover looks like this:

Under the Spell of Succulents by Jeff Moore

There are 244 pages with over 800 color photos in an 8″x10″ soft cover book for just $29.95! Contact Jeff at 858-259-4568 or solanasucculents@sbcglobal.net for your copy!

I can highly recommend “Under the Spell of Succulents” as an absolute necessity for cactus and succulent lovers, and for those who simply love beautiful pictures of beautiful plants.

Jeff also said that I could create a 10% discount coupon specifically for my wonderful followers here, so when you stop by Solana Succulents to choose YOUR special succulent or display, give Jeff the coupon below.

10% off coupon for Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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It doesn’t look like Earth

Out & About

One of the most beautiful areas of San Diego County is La Jolla at low tide.

There’s nothing quite like it with its natural beauty looking like something from Mars; its pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, and seals; and its opportunities for great sunsets.

Here’s a slide show to illustrate:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Never again

Picture of the Moment

It’s rare that people are in my pictures but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

img_0575 pelican crystal pier la jolla stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That giant pelican is located near the Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach:

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (8-7-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

I’m very close to leaving the home inspection industry, having had an interview this morning with DeepSea Power & Lighting.

I want to be their Marketing Coordinator, so if everyone can just repeat after me:

“Hey, DeepSea! Hire Russel Ray as your Marketing Coordinator!”

Thank you!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program: Friday Flower Fiesta featuring Photographic Art flower stamps from these past couple of weeks.

img_6522 iris stamp IMG_7336 gerber daisy faa stamp IMG_7340 daisies faa stamp IMG_7344 green and gold bug altered faa stamp IMG_7371 daisies faa stamp IMG_7373 faa stamp IMG_7834 faa framed IMG_8347 faa stamp IMG_8351 faa stamp IMG_8353 faa stamp IMG_8355 faa stamp IMG_8360 faa stamp img_9432 blue agave stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Enjoy life. Make waves.

Picture of the Moment

It’s rare that I see a lone mallard.

Either they are in a flock of a dozen or so, a pair during breeding season, or a mommy with lots of little ones.

So when I saw this one all alone just swimming its little feet off, I couldn’t resist adding words to its picture:

img_0366 enjoy life make saves stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Suspension bridges right here in San Diego!

Out & About

Ever since staycations became fashionable about eight years ago, I have been endeavoring to explore San Diego County—cities, rural areas, monuments, beaches, forests, parks, tourist attractions. Anything and everything is subject to Russel Ray’s Exploration Team, defined as Russel and his Canon camera.

Recently the Exploration Team stopped by San Dieguito County Park, a 125-acre park located on the border between the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach.

san dieguito county park map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

san dieguito county park logoInterestingly, the park doesn’t open until 9:30 in the morning. I feel sorry for the early morning joggers.

The park is home to the Miracle Field, a fully accessible baseball field that accommodates children and adults with special needs.

There is a wide variety of recreational activities, including playgrounds, exercise stations, a basketball court, pavilions, a wedding gazebo, large open lawn areas, picnic areas, barbecue facilities, restrooms, drinking fountains, plenty of parking………

…….and trails! Lots of trails! With two suspension bridges at the top of Activity Hill!

The main trail:

img_0280 san diego county park trail stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Where I wanted to go:

img_0319 san diego county park trail stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Short suspension bridge:

img_0285 san diego county park trail suspension bridge stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Long suspension bridge:

img_0288 san diego county park trail suspension bridge stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The view from the top of a purple mountain majesty:

img_0317 san diego county park trail stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

La Jolla panorama at low tide

Picture of the Moment

When you come to the San Diego area, check out the low tide tables and then make sure that you visit La Jolla.

The place is beautiful anytime but even more so at low tide.

Here’s an example, which you can click on to get a monster version:

img_0244-0251 panorama la jolla low tide small

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

la jolla map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post