Blending passions for writing, photography, and animals

I wanted to be a writer since I was about eight years old. That’s when I started to keep a journal. One of the first things I wrote about in the journal was how I wanted to be an animal behaviorist. I was torn. Such a momentous decision for an eight-year-old!

Now, thanks to the Internet, we have blogging. Thanks to digital photography, we can take photos of animals and learn about them.

I love how sea lions bask in the sun. They keep their eyes closed a lot. I noticed this because I wanted a photo of this guy with his eyes open. My theory is that their eyes are meant for seeing under water where it’s relatively dark, so the bright sunlight is painful.

Sea lion

I notice they really like to hang out together, too. They seem sociable.

Sea lions

These pelicans were hunting as a pair, which also seemed sociable.


This bird was resting by herself, though.

Sea bird

This sea lion was the only one I saw working today.

Sea lion

All of the above photos were taken outside in the wild. Inside the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a glorious place, they had these birds, which were injured. They can’t survive in the wild but have found a wonderful home.

Stilt bird


This exhibit shows animals who wait for food to come to them.


I love how animals are masters at the art of allowing what they need to be provided.DSC05200

I was also pretty thrilled with the soft pastel colors of these ones, especially compared to the bold colors of the ones above.


These were very difficult to photograph in low light because they are constantly moving, sort of the opposite of the stationary creatures above.


The jelly fish are the “wow” exhibit. Actually, there’s a lot of competition for that name, but this show was truly exceptional.

Jelly fish

Jelly fish

Jelly fish


Another hard working, constantly moving, yet playful animal, the sea otters were nearly impossible to photography and equally impossible not to love.

Sea otter

Tomorrow I head to New Jersey to visit friends in a completely different environment. I hope to do as well as these animals at enjoying camaraderie and sunshine.

May your weekend be filled with warmth and friendship.


Chronicles of a reluctant photographer 1

Yesterday I had a great time enjoying photography and being outdoors with other photographers. I don’t consider myself a photographer. I resist this idea a lot. But I took two or three amazing photos over the last two days, and now I think I’m going to open my camera manual and try to sort out a few more things.

The shots that amazed me and a few loyal friends were night and twilight shots. I learned a couple things about how to do those.

Monterey California
Monterey California

Okay, what thrilled me about the above photo was the smoky effect on the water. That was a lot of fun to take the photo and then see it on my camera’s display screen.

I was also startled to discover that I could do this:

The Bay Bridge, San Francisco
The Bay Bridge, San Francisco

(I’m working on my watermark, sorry it’s so intense.) Turns out that my camera can do quite a lot. I think I need to upgrade the memory card, though, because it takes a really long time for the camera to process the long-exposure photos. I can see it getting kind of old to have to wait a couple minutes for each of these night photos to write to the card. There are a couple of minor things I need to purchase to help me with my next baby steps into photography.

Moving along to the sea lions, which is what this post was really supposed to be about.

Sea lion in Santa Cruz stretching
Sea lion in Santa Cruz stretching

I thought he was so sweet. Tourists can peer at these sea lions sleeping on the rafters through square viewing portals built into the Santa Cruz pier. And the best part is getting to write pier and peer in the same sentence.

Sea lions of Santa Cruz (1 of 2)
Buddies or spouses? Sea lions of Santa Cruz.

Not really, the best part was getting to enjoy  seeing wild animals being themselves and enjoying life.

I really enjoyed watching this one lolling in the beautiful green sea and sunshine.

Sea lion in the water
Sea lion in the water

May you enjoy your weekend like a sea lion, hanging with your loved ones, sleeping, and absorbing some sunshine.