Monday, December 29, 2008

Favorite Photos Stir Memories of 2008

I was blessed with many opportunities to travel this year and, of course, with a new camera and a new blog, I took a lot of photos. Oh, it was so much fun! Last night I was reviewing some of my photos and reliving special memories when I decided to post a few of my favorite photos of 2008. Many of the shots have been on this blog, but others never made it.

Do you also have posts in your head which never make it to the page? I've written before about finding a rhythm to blogging, but I still continue to search for my flow. For example, I can't believe I never posted about my trips to Florida and California! It is rare for me to travel so much and these trips were a big deal for me - HUGH, in fact, and yet, no blog entries.

Well, I will still plan to post entries about those warmer climates, probably in January or February when those of us who are snowbound and freezing could use a visit to a sunny beach! For now, I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite, photographic memories of 2008. The photos are from Florida, California, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and my favorite place in the whole world, my backyard in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The year of travel and adventure began, for me, in February when I went to Florida. One of my favorite places is now Ft. Desoto State Park. I felt like I was on a film set. Everything was grey when I arrived very early in the morning. My car was the only one in the parking lot. The beach was covered in a heavy fog. I could hear the surf, but I could not see it. Honestly, I was bit afraid. I was alone and it was eerie. As the fog lifted I could see a few walkers in the distance. I never saw a beach like this and the sand was in ridges.

I may not be able to id them all, but I could sit and watch sea birds for days.

Royal Terns,

a Willet,

and a Ring-billed Gull.

There were more sea birds to visit while on a March trip to California. I especially enjoyed my time with this lovely Black-necked Stilt as it hunted in tide pools at Dana Point.

The cliffs at Laguna Beach provided a beautiful overlook of the Pacific. I can almost feel the sun on my face when I look at this photo.

June brought a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands that took a year and a half to plan. I loved Ecaudor and I want to return someday. My favorite place in Ecuador was the Pululahua Volcano. It was a mystical place and looking into the crater is something I will never forget.

It is true. The Galapagos Islands are enchanting. I snorkeled for the first time, swam with a giant sea turtle, and added many birds to my life list.

A Blue-footed Booby,

Darwin's Galapagos Warbler,

and Espanola Mockingbirds.

My favorite island was Espanola. We were the last group to leave the island and found ourselves with a hike ahead of us as the sun was setting. The light had a rosey glow. It gave everything a pinkish-orange tint that reminded me of how King Arthur described Camelot.

Sunset was always gorgeous.

The trips were wonderful, but as Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

I look onto my neighbor's cornfield and pasture from my bedroom window. There is a spring which bubbles up on his property and it trickles down through the pasture into a small creek. I was suprised last winter to see dozens of Canada Geese lined up along the edges of this year-round, flow of water. It must have been a tasty treat!

One of my first blog entries was about Cedar Waxwings. I rejoiced that a pair decided to use the wool I hung out as nesting material.

This is a photo of my favorite bird. I don't mean the Red-bellied Woodpecker is my favorite species. I mean this particular bird has captured my heart. I call him Handsome.

I am grateful for the magic that came into my life in 2008. It was a year filled with new places, new friends, new birds and a whole lot of new knowledge! It was a gift!


Angel said...

Beautiful pictures.

Margaret Cloud said...

Kathleen, what a wonderful post, it was like I had come along. These pictures are priceless, memories stored for a life time, I liked them all. It must of been such glorious trips and I can see why you travel. Thanks for coming by.

Margaret Cloud said...

Kathleen, I would like to have your email, if possible.

Margaret Cloud said...

Kathleen I would like to wish you and your family a Happy New Year.

Ruth said...

What a beautiful set of pictures! You will have to work very hard to better these in 2009. Happy New Year to you.

Annette said...

Happy New Year, girlfriend!

Sheri said...

Amazing pictures!! What a wonderful talent you have. Keep posting, I really enjoy seeing and hearing about your Glorious Life.

Kylee said...

What beautiful images, Kathleen! Happy New Year to you!

Zuri said...

The Galapagos Islands are an incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of exotic species (birds, land animals, plants) not seen anywhere else.

Ecuador is the perfect setting setting for an action-packed and truly unforgettable vacation surrounded by peace and safeness.

The country instantly enchants those who have a zest for life, a yen for adventure, a taste for the unseen, and an eye for color and beauty.

Galapagos and Ecuador Guide