Tag Archives: seaworld san diego

It’s a weather phenomenon, not a people one

Did you know?

Texas A&M UniversityWhen I came to San Diego in April 1993, I heard talk about the “marine layer.” Since my dad was in the Air Force, and I graduated from Texas A&M University with its 2,500-member-strong Corps of Cadets, I thought “Marine” instead of “marine.”

The marine layer is a weather phenomenon, not a people one. It’s a thick layer of clouds that rolls in off the Pacific Ocean as the sun goes down, often staying until noon the next day, depending on when Mr. Sun wants to heat up the air to get rid of it.

Here are two pictures of the marine layer rolling in over SeaWorld:

A morning marine layer rolling in over SeaWorld San Diego

A morning marine layer rolling in over SeaWorld San Diego

When the marine layer gets really low, as it is in those two pictures, you’ll find that the air is damp and you can’t see more than several feet in front of you. In my home state of Texas, we called it fog.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (8-14-14)—It’s so confusing

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Julian convinced me NOT to publish two posts a day here at my Southern California blog. Instead, daily specials on Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America will be announced, more appropriately, at RusselRayPhotos.com. I know, it can get confusing, having a Russel Ray Photos blog at RusselRayPhotos2.com and a separate RusselRayPhotos.com web site. Notwithstanding the web site names, look at the title of the web sites and you’ll see

Russel Ray Photos (here)
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos (there)

For the best access to Daily Specials, though, follow us over at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos, too.

SNIPPET #2

When I went to the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden a year ago, I got so many pictures that it’s taken Julian and me this long to catalog everything. There is an outdoor dining area called Peacock Plaza. No one was dining there but I did get a (poor) picture of a peacock at Peacock Plaza.

Peacock Plaza

There is so much wrong with that picture. You know me, though. I never throw anything away. Comes from my wise old grandmother constantly saying, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

Note that the tile mosaic above the peacock has two peacocks in it. That mosaic is what I really wanted a picture of. I had another picture of the mosaic, and I tasked Julian with taking the two pictures and making a great piece of Photographic Art out of them. Here’s what he came up with:

Twin Peacocks

Julian keeps doing things that encourage me to keep him around….

SNIPPET #3

During the winter it will actually snow in the mountains of East San Diego County. Sadly, it only snowed there once this past winter. Global warming or something like that….

Here is another Photographic Art created by Julian of Lake Cuyamaca in the mountains covered with ice and snow:

Lake Cuyamaca

If you come to San Diego, try to make time in your schedule to go to the mountain community of Julian via Interstate 8 and State Highway 79. You will go right by Lake Cuyamaca, and it’s a great stopping point to relax and watch the wildlife—raptors, mountain lions, deer….

Remember to have an apple pie by the Julian Pie Company while you’re there. Best apple pie I have ever had. My favorite—ah who am I kidding? I like them all, but I do like the apple/peach crumb, apple/strawberry crumb, apple/raspberry crumb the best. That reminds me that I was going to make some peach cobbler last weekend…. Task for later today.

Google maps says Julian is about 71 miles from downtown San Diego, but the winding roads mean it will take you two hours to get there.

SNIPPET #4

I always feel so sad when I see fish out of water.

Fish Out Of Water

SNIPPET #5

My favorite tree in the world (not that I’ve seen every tree in the world, or even seen the world!) is the Century Oak at Texas A&M University. It’s now about 130 years old. I lost all of my pictures in the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005, but this tree at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park reminds me very much of it:

Beneath The Tree

SNIPPET #6

When you to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, take lots of money with you. They have some really interesting rides but they are expensive. They are worth it, but expensive nonetheless, such as the Balloon Ride:

San Diego zoo Safari Park Balloon Ride

The Balloon Ride takes you up about 400 feet into the wild blue yonder, and from there you can see everything for miles around. The best view, though, is directly below you where you can see lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes, all looking like little ants from 400 feet up.

SNIPPET #7

Speaking of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the new Tiger Trail exhibit opened recently. Financed mostly by Conrad Prebys, one of two of San Diego County’s most generous benefactors (Irwin Jacobs is the other). Tiger Trail is fine, fine, fine, allowing you to get within inches of Malayan Tigers, only a big glass window separating you from them.

Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

If you come to San Diego, be sure to contact me. I often have free or discounted tickets to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld, and with enough notice, I can usually play docent for a day.

SNIPPET #8

A couple of different pictures from the Tiger Trail exhibit:

The Way Down Blooming Palm

Remember that the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park both are acclaimed botanical gardens, too, so stop to admire the vegetation while walking from exhibit to exhibit.

SNIPPET #9

This is the San Diego County Administration Center:

San Diego County Administration Center

It has the best view of the waterfront. It’s also where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008.

SNIPPET #10

My wise old grandmother was a master at re-purposing things, although some of her re-purposing, such as her toilet and bathtub planters, never really appealed to my tastes……..LOL

At the San Diego County Fair back in June, I was pretty sure that my wise old grandmother had come back to life and was happily re-purposing tires for the garden exhibits:

Repurposed

As my wise old grandmother often said: “Don’t throw anything away! There is no away!”

SNIPPET #11

Remember to follow us at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos for daily specials on our work at Fine Art America.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (7-5-14)—Bigger is better

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Home, home on the range….

The range looks different in different states, sometimes even different in different areas of the same state. Here is a range from the central valley in California:

The range

SNIPPET #2

I was exploring a deconstruction site a few weeks ago when I found five windows that were the only windows left intact in the building that was being demolished. Following is what was on those five windows, with the glare removed from the pictures. I’m willing to bet that someone is going to save the windows.

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SNIPPET #3

Happy Fourth of July weekend to everyone!

Eagle and United States flag

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

The Magellanic penguins at SeaWorld San Diego are a joy to watch. This one was well camouflaged in the midst of the rocks and was playing peek-a-boo with the crowd:

Magellanic penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

SNIPPET #5

As you exit the Arctic penguin exhibit at SeaWorld, this is what you see:

Penguin flight

SNIPPET #6

It is hard to get good view of the mansions in Rancho Santa Fe because they are walled compounds behind gates. When I go out there on Saturday mornings to teach chess to four children, I always go early with an intent to explore the roads. I found a road leading up up up and got a fairly decent picture of the 11,700-square-foot mansion where I teach chess:

Here I come!

Since that is a fairly decent picture (take my word for it), you now understand the problems inherent in getting really good pictures of these mansions in one of the richest areas of the United States.

SNIPPET #7

Just outside the entrance to the San Diego Zoo is the Balboa Park Railroad. It’s a garden railroad that offers rides, and the area where the railroad goes has garden sculptures of zoo animals:

Garden sculpture at the Balboa Park Railroad

Garden sculpture at the Balboa Park Railroad

The tower you see in the first picture is the California Tower, one of San Diego’s most recognizable buildings. Read more about the California Tower in my blog post here: San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3

SNIPPET #8

My wise old grandmother used to sit at the dining room table taking her pictures and cutting out parts she didn’t want, cutting them into interesting shapes, and placing the results very carefully in her photo albums and scrapbooks. She was the one who taught me that “what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

The following is Photographic Art of one the San Diego Zoo’s ambassadors, this one a turtle. The turtle was all grungy looking and the picture was all washed out due to where the sun was when I took the picture. Most people would have deleted it. Not me! Thank you oh great and wise old grandmother!

Turtle

SNIPPET #9

Someone more famous than me once said, “Bigger is better.” Obviously this leaf was paying attention:

Big leaf

SNIPPET #10

SNIPPET #9 was taken in the Botanical Building in Balboa Park, the nation’s largest municipal cultural park. I had gone to see the leftover orchids from an orchid show, as had this guy:

Taking a picture

I always feel guilty when I’m taking a picture with my big Canon 550D and someone else is taking a picture with their little smarty pants phone.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Just inches away

Picture of the Moment

There has been lots of action this year at SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Seaworld San DiegoSeaWorld is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of being a top attraction here in San Diego.

The San Diego Zoo is renovating its oldest exhibit areas which have been in use since the founding of the Zoo in 1916. Once those exhibit areas have been renovated, the last of the animal cages will be gone in preference for open exhibits which allow the animals to roam more freely.

Out at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the new Tiger Trail opened a couple of weeks ago. Safari Park has six Sumatran Tigers, but in the past, the likelihood of seeing one was about zero percent, and that’s being generous.

The new exhibit area comprises 5.2 acres and cost over $19 million to create. Not surprising to me, these beautiful big cats are quite comfortable being close to humans.

The new Tiger Trail building has several viewing areas with huge glass panes being all that separate humans from tigers, and the tigers don’t mind being the object of attention:

Sumatran tiger at Tiger Trail at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

However thick that glass is, is how close I was to that beautiful cat. I even got some pictures of tiger paws and tiger stripes:

Tiger paw

Tiger stripes

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (6-26-14)—Drill moms rule!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Recently I was at a mall that I had never been to before. After being there, I understood why I had never been there: It’s too difficult to get to unless you happen to live in the area.

As I was walking around the mall, I came across two large, tiled murals:

Tiled murals

Tiled murals

How cool it would be to visit your old neighborhood 20, 30, 40 years later and see a tiled mural comprising tiles of your high school friends, including one tile with YOUR name on it!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

I teach chess at after-school enrichment programs for a dozen elementary schools in San Diego County so I’m always pleased when I see people playing chess in unusual places, such as the waterfront in Coronado, across the bay from downtown San Diego.

Chess On The Waterfront

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

I don’t enjoy churches or religions because I think they waste too much money on things that don’t have anything to do with helping the poor, the needy, the sick, the homeless…. In fact, a couple of decades ago I quit my church when I found out the pastor had a million-dollar home and drove a Rolls Royce, but the church had no money to help feed the poor at Thanksgiving. You know, then, that I don’t have any patience whatsoever with people like Joel Osteen, living in a $12½ million Houston mansion and making over $40 million annually , tax free, as head of his church.

I have always enjoyed church architecture, though, such as this cute little country-style building in the middle of an older part of the City of San Diego:

Nestor Methodist Church

That’s the Nestor Methodist Church, and here’s Photographic Art of the steeple:

Nestor Methodist Church steeple

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Jim has a listing at 5745 Friars Road, Unit 107, in Presidio Place, a large condominium complex with beautiful landscaping. They have some old ficus trees, old defined as with roots dangling from the branches, common to ficus trees.

One enterprising soul thought the roots would make a nice hanger for Mr. Sun:

Mr Sun

Jim’s listing is on YouTube, which means that I can embed the video here. Pictures are by, well, do I really need to say?

If you would like to move to Mission Valley, or buy a second home here, Presidio Place is in a great location at the western edge of Mission Valley. It’s quieter than the heart of the Valley yet still just minutes from major thoroughfares and freeways, San Diego Trolley stations, beaches, Old Town, University of San Diego, and SeaWorld.

SNIPPET #5

Speaking of SeaWorld, I try to go once a week, using my annual pass. SeaWorld San Diego opened in 1964, which means they are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary. They have new exhibits, new shows, and new signage.

Seaworld San Diego

Seaworld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

My main reason to have an annual pass is to ensure that I see ALL the wildlife because on any one visit, some might not be cooperative. Flamingos always are cooperative.

Flamingo at SeaWorld San Diego

As are the penguins:

Magellanic penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

I got my first good pictures of the African Crested Porcupine and the Nine-banded Armadillo at a recent visit.

African Crested Porcupine at SeaWorld San Diego

Nine-banded Armadillo at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Anytime I see an armadillo, I spontaneously start singing “London Homesick Blues,” written by Gary P. Nunn. The following version by Jerry Jeff Walker is probably the best known version and features the Lost Gonzo Band, which included Gary P. Nunn on keyboards.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

Coming up on July 12 & 13 is the Reptile Super Show. Don’t let the name mislead you. Along with lizards, turtles, and frogs, they also always have spiders, such as this beautiful one from two years ago:

Tarantula

That reminds me of Mr. Alexander, my tenth grade biology teacher. He gave extra credit to students who brought in live wildlife for the day. After school, Mr. Alexander would be in the classroom interacting with the wildlife and talking with the students about the creatures.

Someone once brought a tarantula and, after school, Mr. Alexander was letting it walk up and down his arm. It was creepy but continued my wise old grandmother’s teachings about respect for all wildlife.

The advertisement in the San Diego Reader says that it is a fun & educational family event for ages 2-99. I think that if you’ve made it to 100, you should be able to go.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

If you are over the age of 55, or are a member of AAA, wherever you go, be sure to ask if they have senior discounts or AAA discounts. It’s amazing how many places do. Unfortunately, the discounts are not cumulative, so it’s one or the other. Hmmm. Alrighty, then, I choose to be a 16-year-old AAA member. Can anyone help me here?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

Julian on guitarJulian is in Texas spending money, which means he’s not here earning money working for Photographic Art! He’s only 16 years old but he’s awesome, and even from 1,500 miles away, he motivates this 59-year-old to do things that eventually will help both of us make some cool cash. So let’s see if Julian reads this blog post and finds this little snippet. Julian, if you find this, leave a comment and I’ll add a $10 bonus to your check for this week which means, of course, that since you’re in Texas all this week, your paycheck will be a whopping $10! Hey, that pays for 2½ gallons of gas for your new truck or motorcycle!

SNIPPET BONUS

When I’m working in the wee hours of the morning like this, Zoey the Cool Cat is always close by, either on the printer or on the desk.

Zoey the Cool Cat

It’s been several hours since I last saw her. I take a break every hour, and these past few hours I have used the break to look for her. Of course, she doesn’t come like a dog when you call her, so it’s all or nothing at each break.

She knows how to open cabinet and closet doors, so during my last break I went looking in the closets. Shoes and dirty clothes is all I found………………

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Thank you, Great Penguins, thank you

SeaWorld

When I visited SeaWorld yesterday, I saw this Magellanic Penguin:

Magellanic Penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

He sat like that for 15 minutes, probably longer, but I had to leave.

It wasn’t until I was leaving that I realized that Penguin was praying to the Great Penguins pictured on the Great Penguin Wall:

Great Penguin Wall at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dear Great Penguins:

Thank you for making sure that I was born at SeaWorld San Diego so that I don’t have to worry about being eaten by those sharks in the wild that I hear so much about, and for the great medical care I get here, and for the delicious food, and for not having to scrounge around searching for food while those sharks are searching for me. Thank you, Great Penguins, thank you! Amen.

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Out & About—SeaWorld sculptures created from ocean trash

SeaWorld

One of the things that I really like about aquariums, zoos, and sanctuaries is that they have so many educational programs.

Sometimes the educational programs take a tack that you weren’t really expecting.

Such was the case on a recent visit to SeaWorld where I found four unique sculptures, unique because they are made completely out of trash that has washed up from the ocean.

Take a look:

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

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I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray