The sky turns red and yellow just before sunrise on Mount Laguna. Photo taken at the Storm Canyon Overlook on the Sunrise Highway.
This morning I left downtown San Diego very early and drove an hour east to Mount Laguna. I wanted to see sunrise from a mountaintop.
I began taking photos from the Storm Canyon Overlook a bit north of the Laguna Mountain Lodge and Store. Breathtaking views of the desert below can be enjoyed at various points along the Sunrise Highway.
I then drove a short distance farther north to the Penny Pines Trailhead, parked, and hiked about a mile and a half northward along the Pacific Crest Trail. I didn’t go all the way to Garnet Peak, because the sun came to me!
Looking down toward a section of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park northeast of the beautiful Laguna Mountains, which rise to around 6000 feet in San Diego County.
Sign at the overlook explains Trails Through the Ages. Storm Canyon below was used by the Native American Kumeyaay for thousands of years for seasonal migrations. (Click photo to enlarge for easy reading.)
Trees west of the Storm Canyon Overlook are still a bit dark before sunrise.
I’ve started hiking toward the Pacific Crest Trail from the Penny Pines Trailhead. The eastern sky is slowly brightening.
A slightly chilly early November morning in the Cleveland National Forest near the top of Mount Laguna.
I’m now heading north along the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. I’ll go about a mile and a half toward Garnet Peak before turning around. Sunrise is imminent.
Many of the trees in the Penny Pines grove have died due to an ongoing bark beetle infestation. The recent drought caused many trees in the Cleveland National Forest to struggle, too.
Looking roughly northeast as color creeps over the desert contours below.
Miles of beauty, to the horizon.
The trail here is still in shadow. Not for long…
Early sunlight touches a rocky rise.
That shiny strip in the distance is light reflecting from the inland Salton Sea.
The sun is about to clear a rocky desert mountain.
The sun appears.
Sudden morning light brightens vegetation beside the rough trail.
The sunshine is warm. I will soon have to remove my light jacket. Even though it is late November, the dry air from the desert is very pleasant.
Slanting sunlight on small leaves.
Looking down into a small canyon beneath the trail that descends toward the desert.
I’m rounding a corner, approaching a light-splashed peak.
Garnet Peak, on the left, rises into the morning sunlight. A short trail leads to its summit from the Pacific Crest Trail.
Light on one side of a boulder above me.
A beautiful view. I encountered nobody else on the trail this morning. Perhaps because today is Thanksgiving.
I am thankful that I could pause for a moment and enjoy this.
New light all around.
The dry contours of one section of Anza-Borrego State Park become more apparent. I believe the bulky mountain on the left is Whale Peak.
Looking east, shadows are retreating from fresh mountain green.
Looking south, bright light on a broken boulder.
Leaves feed on sunshine.
I’m now headed back south toward the Penny Pines Trailhead. One last look north at Garnet Peak in full daylight.
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Carefree kids jump while exploring the tide pools just south of the Ocean Beach Pier.
On Sunday I headed to Ocean Beach, for no particular reason. I like to walk out on the pier.
My visit happened to coincide with low tide, so I took advantage of an opportunity to explore the tide pools near the base of the pier. What did I see? Amazing life. Amazing beauty.
North of the Ocean Beach Pier there is a beautiful, very popular beach. Some rocks are exposed at low tide.
Under the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, which is the second longest pier on the West Coast.
Seagulls circle above people who are searching for natural wonders in the intertidal zone.
A view of the Ocean Beach Pier and nearby tide pools. An easily accessible place to explore the seashore and make small discoveries.
People explore fascinating tide pools near the foot of the OB pier during low tide. The rocks can be very slippery.
At low tide, the exposed sandstone rocks south of the pier contain many depressions, the home of algae and small sea creatures.
There are many interesting photo opportunities at the tide pools. Down on hands and knees, you’re going to get a little slimy and wet!
A complex, natural mosaic in the rock.
Hidden channels and eroded surfaces in the irregular, pitted sandstone.
Kids stand near the sea wall at the end of one water-sculpted, crevice-like channel.
I believe this little guy is a troglodyte chiton. Thousands can be seen in their own tiny sandstone burrows in the intertidal rocks. They can live 20 years in the same spot!
Lots of amazing discoveries to be made!
One can see pink encrusting coralline algae and surfgrass in this saltwater-filled channel.
I can see why this is called sea lettuce! It’s actually a type of green algae.
Another view of the tide pools immediately south of the OB pier.
Bright green surfgrass, reddish algae and blue ripples of incoming ocean surf make a strangely beautiful photograph.
More pink coralline algae and surfgrass at the OB tidepools.
A small empty shell among some sea lettuce.
An unusual photo at the tide pools. Nature is an infinitely prolific artist.
A cool photo composed of accumulated shell pieces.
Limpets large and small on one rock form a beautiful pattern.
Adventures in progress.
Tiny miracles of nature in the soft sandstone.
A sample of the surprising beauty you might encounter at these tide pools.
A periwinkle, or sea snail.
More beautifully patterned limpets, and I think I might see a few barnacles.
Right up next to the sea wall. The tide pools continue a good distance to the south.
A sea anemone covered with shell fragments, among sand and algae in one tide pool.
An aggragating anemone, safely closed up at low tide so that it doesn’t dry out. Many small stones and shell bits have collected upon it.
Another watery scene in a life-filled Ocean Beach tide pool.
There’s a lot of exploring to do!
Looking under the OB pier as I climb up its stairs for an overhead view of the tide pools.
Looking down from atop Ocean Beach Pier at the nearby tide pools. People out on the rocks search for wonders in the intertidal zone.
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Looking down from the high viewing area at picturesque Bird Rock below.
Please enjoy some photographs!
Yesterday I took a long walk through La Jolla. Before leaving home, I checked the tide chart. My intention was to photograph the tide pools at beautiful Bird Rock. I’ve read you can actually walk out to this spectacular rock in the ocean at low tide. Unfortunately, as it turned out, yesterday the tide wasn’t low enough!
But I did get my fill of natural beauty. Will you please join me as I walk from La Jolla Boulevard a couple blocks down Bird Rock Avenue, and then down to the water?
Bench on La Jolla Boulevard sidewalk spells out Bird Rock with colorful tiles.
This bench features sea shells. Let’s begin our walk down Bird Rock Avenue, a few steps away.
Kid skateboards down hilly Bird Rock Avenue toward the small lookout point.
Local guy is already here enjoying the beautiful view and ocean tranquility. Few tourists come here.
Gazing north along the rocky shore. La Jolla Cove is on the other side of that distant jutting land.
Looking down over the view point rail at rugged rocks at the edge of the shining Pacific Ocean.
Here’s where we’re going to descend to the water.
Heading down the short staircase to get a closer look at the beauty of Bird Rock.
We quickly glance up at the viewing area, where we were a moment ago.
Gazing south as we stand on large jagged boulders. Someone is walking along the base of the cliff.
We carefully head a bit south, too. Watch your step! The tide is fairly low and we get close to the splashing water.
These stones were made smooth and rounded by that great Earth-encompassing rock tumbler, the mighty ocean!
Look out! A foamy wave is crashing in!
Finally, we turn westward to look at Bird Rock. At a distance, the birds are just visible in this photo!
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Amazing rock balancing at Seaport Village.
If you ever visit Seaport Village, there’s a good chance you’ll see the fellow on the right and his amazing gallery of balanced rocks. He hangs out behind the wall at the water’s edge, right next to the grassy park. (The park is called Embarcadero Marina Park North, by the way.)
People passing by are encouraged to take photos and try out their own rock balancing ability. This lady was having a lot of trouble. Even a small rock edgewise on a water bottle isn’t easy.
Lady finally succeeds at balancing a rock!
With a little cheating she finally succeeds!