The incredible display of California poppies shown here was shot by me on 16 March, 2017 between 9am and 11am at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore. Being surrounded by these blooms is such an incredible feeling! Intermixed with the poppies are several different types of wildflowers in white, blue and purple. The scene today attracted all kinds of artists, from photography workshops to ladies painting the hillside and younger folks doing photo shoots. Please join me in reminding visitors not to step on the flowers and you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like any high resolution copies. (click any photo to enlarge btw)
In the San Joaquin Valley of Central California exists hundreds of acres dedicated to fruit orchards known as “The Blossom Trail”. Peak bloom typically happens in late February to early March though not every orchard is progressing at the same pace, so the amount of blooms are going to vary.
Just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado is as idyllic a place as southern California has to offer. From the famous Hotel del Coronado to the sandy beach reminiscent of the east coast, it’s gardens, shops, restaurants and of course it’s stunning sunsets attract millions.
The lotus beds of Echo Park Lake have been a community landmark since the 1920’s. Hundreds of blooms in white, pink and yellow frame your view of the lake in every direction, with ducks and paddle boats providing extra ambience. After a complete restoration project to clean the lake, it’s current state is likely the best it has ever been. The flowers bloom from June through September and typically are dormant the rest of the year.
Safari West is an authentic African wildlife preserve in Santa Rosa, California. Supported by the Safari West Wildlife Foundation, their mission is to share knowledge that will help people make personal choices in regards to the environment and conservation. Their staff have over 800 animals of 80 different species to contend with every single day. This is in fact the closest thing to an African safari you’ll find in the states and in fact they offer overnight stays in glamping accommodations.
The Band of Paiutes of Las Vegas, Nevada gather each year to join in cultural song, dance and community as they honor the deceased. This pow wow is how they celebrate and honor their rich heritage and much pride is displayed in their elaborate garb. Each dancer’s attire is unique to their style of dance, while the rhythmic drums are sacred; the beat, known as ‘the heartbeat of Mother Earth,’ has a great purpose to bring everyone back into balance.
Le Grande Mosquée de Paris is a little oasis where one can spend an afternoon sipping mint tea and laughing under the olive trees. Inspired by the architecture of Andalusia, Spain, Morocco and beyond, most of the mosque’s building materials and artists who decorated it came from Northern Africa. The walls and much of the flooring are covered in colorful mosaic tiles and incredibly detailed carvings, too.
Among Kauai’s abundant hidden gems is a (very) quietly tucked away Hindu Monastery where all visitors are welcome to benefit from the peaceful and spiritual settings whether for reflection, appreciation or meditation. Located on the banks of Kauai’s Wailuā River, the incredibly lush property covers nearly 382 acres of gardens, buildings and sculptures which are an excellent example of a harmonious marriage between man and nature. The 20 monks from 6 nations which reside here are entirely self-sufficient and also are quite tech-savvy given that this is the headquarters for the Himalayan Academy, the worldwide publication Hinduism Today Magazine, and their modern website and blog.