photography: The Land of Oz: Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve II: Sunset! - 05/19/10 01:51 PM

 
Not Really sure what I can add here.  I feel lucky to have witnessed this event.  I was the only one left in the park at this point.  I'm glad I stayed.  It was windy all day but it died down just in time for me to enjoy the show without being shoved around by the atmosphere.  Of course I was walking around with my big pack on, which essentially acted like a sail during a hard gust.  It made walking...difficult.     
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photography: The Land of Oz: Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve - 05/18/10 05:37 PM

 
I am not a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz.  I prefer to watch it with Pink Floyd doing the soundtrack.  (This works by the way.)  Anyway, not more than 90 minutes from Los Feliz lies the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.  I came a little late in the season but was still able to find some large clusters of California Poppies.  I was blessed with a reasonably windy day.  
The antelope valley can be windy enough to tear the paint off your car and wreck your windshield too, which is a Frank Zappa reference for those of you who might … (3 comments)

photography: Malibu Creek State Park - 05/08/10 08:40 AM

 
Lots of fun hikes in these mountains.  This mountain chain sits in between the 101 and PCH and has been mostly untouched over the years.  With no traffic you can make it here from LA in about 45 minutes.  A little touch of wilderness next to the big city.  Here is the official website:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614  
Here is another link to a site I love which includes some pretty detailed trail information.  I want to be your source of outdoor activity info.  Who wouldn't want to live here?
http://venturacountytrails.org/TrailMaps/MalibuCreek/AreaTrails.htm 
 
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photography: Neptune's Net - 05/05/10 01:43 PM

 
I stopped to eat here on my way back from Anacapa Island.  This place is great.  I got my usual, Fish n' Chips.  Can't be beat.  This place is sitting almost all by itself right along the PCH in between Oxnard and Malibu.  I sat with my tasty fish and chips and gazed out at the ocean feeling great.  This was a great end to a great day.  This place is good and reasonably priced.
http://www.neptunesnet.com/
I live in Los Feliz which is not really close to this place.  Thankfully there is another good seafood restaurant right down the … (0 comments)

photography: Channel Islands National Park VIII: More Cliffs! - 05/04/10 03:02 PM

 
I just want to reiterate that these cliffs are serious.  I hope you like to climb stairs.  This is the easiest way up I am sure.  I mean, I'm no Chumash, but jeez, under no circumstances would I try to climb up to the top of this chunk of rock in the middle of the water.  If it weren't for the stairs I would be happy to remain blissfully ignorant of what might be atop the cliffs.  I am afraid of heights.  I get enough cardiovascular exercise from the panic attack I have at the thought of having to … (0 comments)

photography: Channel Islands National Park VII: Boarding the Boat! - 04/28/10 06:38 AM

 
One of the most challenging parts of my Channel Islands trip was getting on and off the boat.  I am a "prepare for the worst" type who decided to bring about 65 pounds of extra gear in my pack.  I had extra everything-food, water, clothes and various survival paraphernalia.
You see, the cliffs of Anacapa are so sheer they prevent any kind of normal boat landing.  The very capable captain of this vessel reverses the boat up to a rusted ladder which you must climb up or down to embark or disembark.  This was challenging to do with a … (0 comments)

photography: Channel Islands National Park VI: The Cliffs of Anacapa! - 04/26/10 08:08 AM

 
The small blobs you can see down on the rocks are actually Sea Lions.  This is as close as I could get.  I have included this picture to give you an idea of just how steep and high these cliffs are.  There are no water sources on the island so it was never a permanent home to the Chumash Indians, the first settlers of the Channel Islands.  
However, there is evidence on the island of human activity, which would suggest that the Chumash would come here to hunt and forage.  That means they would have to paddle here … (2 comments)

photography: Channel Islands National Park IV: Gulls! - 04/19/10 02:41 PM

 
Being on Anacapa Island during this time of year reminds me of that Hitchcock classic, "The Birds," which I realize is not the most ringing endorsement of the place.  
The Western Gulls come here to breed and nest.  This was early in the season but they were already setting up shop all over the island.  Apparently they will be crammed beak to cheek in a few weeks.  They nest just about anywhere, including right on the trail.  If you come too close to their nest they have no problem letting you know.  They can get real aggressive, real quick. … (2 comments)

photography: Channel Islands National Park III: Brown Pelicans! - 04/17/10 10:36 AM

 
I can't believe I got this shot too.  These birds come right in along the edge of the cliffs almost at arms length.  They are a magnificent sight.  These are Brown Pelicans by the way.  They come to Anacapa Island to breed and nest.  I would like to have gotten a picture of one of these animals taking a sharp nose dive into the ocean to hunt, but I will take what I can get.  
Lots of these birds were dying due to exposure to DDT, but I was happy to learn they are making a comeback.  Here is … (2 comments)

photography: Channel Islands National Park II: Dolphins! - 04/15/10 01:26 PM

 
Dolphin!  I love this little guy, or girl, I am in no way qualified to tell the difference.  This is one of the added perks on the boat ride to Anacapa Island, a Dolphin escort.  They come up along the side and jump up out of the water,  I presume to get a better look at us.  Let me tell you they are fast.  I am surprised I got this shot.    
 
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photography: Channel Islands National Park - 04/12/10 07:52 AM

 
This picture was taken on Anacapa Island. This is one of the islands in a chain that make up the Channel Islands National Park. 
http://www.nps.gov/chis/index.htm
You are looking at one of the oldest lighthouses on the West Coast.  I recently went on a day trip with some friends to this wonderful place.  It took about an hour to drive from LA to Oxnard, then about another hour boat ride to the landing on the island.  I had a great time and took a lot of pictures.  I also want to mention that we stopped for breakfast in Oxnard at a place … (0 comments)

photography: Los Feliz Sunset - 04/07/10 11:39 AM

 
Here is another sunset picture taken from one of the many vistas available to the public in Griffith Park.  I just want to drive home the point that LA has some of the best sunsets anywhere in the world.  
Every sunset is special.  I want to catalogue them the best I can, much like a devoted parent would take picture after picture of their children.  I'll try not to bore you with pictures of my "kids" but you should know that LA is a place where you can see sights like this on a daily basis.  I like … (3 comments)

photography: Stargazing in Agoura Hills - 04/05/10 12:28 PM

 
This was taken from a friend's deck in Agoura Hills, which is about 45 minutes from LA, just outside of Malibu.  As you might imagine, you can't see a lot of stars within most urban areas.  I like being able to take a reasonably short drive and see stars (literal stars, not movie "stars").  
This wasn't even that great a night for stargazing.  During the summer months you can see the dust of the Milky Way, a pretty spectacular sight.
 
 
 
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photography: Arcadia Rock Climbing Gym - 04/02/10 07:44 AM

 
I just became a member of the Arcadia Rock Climbing Gym.  It is only 15 minutes from my house in Los Feliz.  
I have always wanted to learn to rock climb.  I spend most of my time hiking and backpacking.  I have to admit I have a very healthy fear of heights.  I like being able to climb in a place where there is a nice soft pad right underneath me.  Did I mention I'm not very good at it?  Because I'm not...yet.  As the banner hanging from the ceiling says, "Never never quit."  I think that's a … (0 comments)

photography: Restaurants in Los Feliz - 03/30/10 11:24 AM

 
You are looking at one of the plush leather booths inside the Dresden restaurant.  This place is one of my favorites.  You can come dressed casual or in your finest formal wear and feel right at home.  The circa 1960's decor is still in tact and as kitschy as ever.
The food is great and comes at a bargain.  I usually get the Chateaubriand which would definitely be part of my last meal should I ever end up on Death Row, which I won't.  I just wanted to make the point that the food is good here, real good. … (2 comments)

photography: Los Angeles Sunsets - 02/12/10 02:35 PM

Ah sunsets.  So relaxing, so mesmerizing.  We are looking out towards the pacific ocean and the "West Side" of LA.  I'm sure that is obvious to anyone who realizes that the sun does in fact set in the west.  Well, I just like to be thorough.  Anyway, I was once again right smack dab in the middle of Griffith Park witnessing this awesome event. 
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photography: Angeles National Forest II - 02/09/10 09:26 AM

I shot this right next to the Vincent Gap trailhead.  I thought about hiking the trail but decided against it.  As you can see there is a lot of snow covering everything, including the trail itself.  Yes, this is just outside of LA but people get lost in these mountains all the time.  I like adventure, but with a relative degree of safety.
 
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photography: Angeles National Forest - 02/08/10 03:49 PM

 
This was taken from the side of State Route 2 just an hour and a half outside LA.  Here is a great example what the Angeles National Forest has to offer.  We are on the eastern side of the park not too far from I-15 and just up the road from Mountain High Ski Resort and the town of Wrightwood.  I had a lot of fun taking pictures of this so, more to follow. 
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photography: Griffith Park Sunset - 02/06/10 12:26 PM

As you can probably tell, I like the Griffith Observatory...a lot.  This is taken from one of the many trails that surround the building.  This was a spectacular end to another awesome LA day.  It was in the high sixties and a little breezy.  Really, just perfect for winter.  Cold enough to maybe wear a sweater, maybe.  The sixties are balmy compared to a lot of other places, especially in the middle of January. 
 
 
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photography: Griffith Park Views - 02/05/10 11:48 AM

This is a welcome break from a storm that lasted for almost a week.  This is once again taken from the Griffith Observatory.  If you live in Los Feliz then you know how local this place is.  It feels nice to be next to some high ground.  Not to get too "new age-y" [sic] but it's moments like this that make you understand the interconnectedness of everything.  Yeah...totally. 
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James Applebury (L.A. Property Solutions)

James Applebury

Los Feliz, CA

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