Friday, October 24, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The most Important Choice

The most important career choice you'll make is who you marry. -- Spot on, Sheryl!

Well, I have chosen wisely :)


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Snake in the Hand Is Worth...?

Last weekend at Lassen Volcanic National Park:

"We caught a snake, do you want to see it?" - proudly shouted in my direction four young boys.
"Sure," I responded, "but if you catch a bear, please do not bring it anywhere near me..."


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shopping Craze

I must have established a new world record in shopping craze: in just one afternoon I bought 44 items of clothing, 40 for myself and 4 for my prettier half. This is what happens when your Internet doesn't work and there are power cuts all the time!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Mendocino

We almost bought an ocean-front land in this beautiful small community.

Looking at this photo I can't remember why in the end we decided against it.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Morning Mist and Spider Web

The early morning mist in Russian Gulch State Park revealed that we were surrounded by thousands of little spiders, each using a horsetail plant as a base for its web.

Seeing all those webs made me wonder how come spiders don't get entangled in and don't stick to their own webs?

The smart creatures weave their webs using both sticky and non-sticky materials. Typically, the radial threads are non-sticky and spiders make sure to travel on them, carefully avoiding the adhesive spiral threads that catch the prey.

Early morning mist helps visualize spider's web.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Road through Zion

How awesome it is that the color of the road winding through Zion National Park matches the color of the canyon's rocks?


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Waterfall at Russian Gulch State Park

Here's another highlight of our recent trip to Mendocino area: a beautiful and surprisingly full-flowing waterfall in Russian Gulch State Park.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Ferns of Van Damme State Park

After tidepooling we went to Van damme State Park were we hiked beautiful Fern Canyon Trail to the Pygmy Forrest.

As the name suggests, the trail was lined with ferns. My favorite fern was northern maidenhair fern (five-fingered fern), which caught my eye due to its unusual curved purple-black stalks and delicate flourescent-green leaves.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tide Pools at Bruhel Point

Apparently, this last weekend was the lowest tide of the year. What a great timing! Not only we were at the coast but also near one of the best tidepooling locations in California: Bruhel Point north of Mendocino/Fort Bragg.

We had so much fun exploring the tide pools that we must have spent there several hours.

The inventory of sea animals and plants we saw includes: giant green and aggregating sea anemones, purple sea urchins, mussels, clams, abalones, gooseneck and acorn barnacles, sea lettuce, rockweed, bull kelp, sea palm, hermit, kelp and seashore crabs, dead man's fingers, bat and ochre sea stars, sculpins, various specious of snails, and even a baby eel.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Glass Beach and Crabs Eating Fish

On Friday evening we visited Fort Bragg's famous "Glass Beach." The beach itself hasn't impressed us much but we had lots of fun watching colorful crabs catch and eat fish stuck in the tide pools.


Friday, May 16, 2014

MacKerricher State Park

Last Friday we went camping in MacKerricher State Park.

Even though the campground was full, as soon as we embarked on a 10-mile-long hike along the beach, we haven't met any other people. Instead we saw lots of seals, sea lions, whales, endangered snow plowers, ospreys, as well as miles of ocean, empty beach and dunes. That's what I call perfect holidays :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Scenic Byway 12

Scenic Byway 12 in Utah is my absolute favorite road in the world.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah got its name in 1949 after the then relatively new brand of Kodak film that was used by National Geographic Society to capture the beautiful colors of the parks rocks.

In tribute to the park's red rocks, my father wears a matching sweater ;)


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wall Street

Wall Street in Bryce Canyon is so much more beautiful and interesting than Wall Street in New York.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Good Night, Sleep Tight

I count my blessings instead of sheep
and I fall asleep.

My favorite view and city in the whole world.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Heart of Lava

I'm not sure how it's possible that my super-hot husband can't melt lava, yet he can melt my heart with just a smile :)


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Akbar's Tomb

As per Tartary tradition, Akbar the Great–the third Mughal Emperor–commenced the construction of his own tomb several years before his death. Here's a beautiful wall & ceiling detail from his mausoleum.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Ta Som

The entrance to Ta Som in a gnarled embrace of two 100-foot tall strangler figs.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Strangler Fig

Fighting for their own survival, strangler figs threaten to rip apart what remains of Angkor Wat.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mono Lake's Tufas

Tufas (calcium carbonate precipitates) grow exclusively under water.

They can be seen at Mono Lake courtesy to Los Angeles' insatiable water needs, which led to diversion of many of Mono Lake's tributary streams. The diversion halved the water level and doubled the salinity of the lake exposing the tufas.

In case you wonder, I tasted the lake. It tasted more soapy than salty.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Love Sea Otters

... And, apparently, they love me too :)


Monday, May 5, 2014

Lava

Fresh (as few years old) lava flow on Big Island.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Family of Monkeys

While the baby-monkey curiously examines its immediate surroundings, its parents fearfully observe a dog that is chasing other monkeys.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sierra Nevada

With the weather being so amazingly gorgeous, I can't think of anything better to do but going backpacking in my favorite mountains.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Lake Mead

Narrow canyons of Lake Mead on the Colorado River.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mushroom Rock

AKA Toadstool at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bodie State Historic Park

"Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie" - apparently that's a quote from a diary of a little girl whose family moved from San Francisco to Bodie during California Gold Rush.

By 1880 Bodie was a booming town, inhabited by some 10'000 miners, shop-owners, prostitutes, and gun-fighters.

It still amazes me that it was only 130 years ago (!), yet it feels like ancient history. California has come a long way since then.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bison

Mighty Bison at Yellowstone National Park.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Maasai Kids

When our car broke down on Massai land at the footsteps of Kilimanjaro in Kenya, we stopped at the nearest village and–using our best non-verbal communication skills–we asked the village chief for permission to spend the night outside his village.

The permission was granted and what followed was a memorable evening of cultural exchange between the "Westerners" and the Massais. They were as interested in our way of life, as we were interested in them.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Dolphins

Synchronized swimming near Channel Islands National Park in California.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Desert Horn Lizard

Spotted sunbathing in Joshua Tree National Park.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pinnacle Balanced Rock

It almost seems that the subtlest gust of wind should tip this rock over, yet it persists to stand tall dominating over its environment.


Pinnacle Balanced Rock in Chiricahua Wilderness in New Mexico.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Noppharat Thara Beach in Thailand

Don't you just love sunsets over the water?


Friday, April 18, 2014

Railay Beach

Beautiful Thai coastline.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

At Angkor Wat the Devil is in the Detail

Beautiful detail on the walls of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Potsdamer Platz

After the fall of the Berlin Wall Potsdamer Platz became the major development site in Europe.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Pitcher

Juan Marichal pitching in front of Giants' Stadium in San Francisco.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Baby and Mama Monkey

Spotted at Tadoba Andhari Reserve in India.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Machu Picchu in Morning Glory

Our reward at the end of four-day trek along Inca Trek was this spectacular view of Machu Picchu in early morning hours of New Year AD 2011.