clearlakemike's wunderblog

Scenic Drives

By: clearlakemike, 9:27 AM GMT on August 25, 2005

There are many beautiful scenic drives the world over.

Some of my favorites here on the West Coast of the United States are along the Northern and Central California coast.

The drive down California Highway One between the quaint village of Mendocino to Jenner, where the Russian River ends its journey from the coastal range and into the blue Pacific, is one of them.

This drive, compared to the dramatic cliff hanging Big Sur stretch of California One, is a more subtle but none the less spectacular cruise along the Pacific Ocean, winding its way along beautiful rocky, pocket beaches and emerald water. Steep hills drop to the sea and ranch lands hug the coast where cows graze at the edge of the ocean and occasionally stand by the road.

Big Sur is breathtaking as you drive 500 or more feet above the emerald and blue ocean, switching back in and out of dramatic steep canyons. The beautiful arch bridges built in the 1930's to span the canyons are architectural marvels that compliment the spectacular natural scenery.

On both of these drives you can gaze in awe at fabulous homes that sit out on promitories and hug the mountains as they descend into the ocean. Wonderful restuarants serve world class food and a world class view. Beautiful restored Victorians are now home to elegant B&B's in the cypress groves along the Mendocino coast. Rustic cottages are hidden in the redwood groves in the canyons of Big Sur (one of which straddles over a creek and the soothing sound of running water.) Both are relaxing retreats.

Countless state parks offer abundant coastal access and for those who like to rough it a little, there are beautiful campgrounds along the ocean and tucked away in the forested canyons.

The summer months of June, July and August are usually foggy and cool but there is virtually no rain. At the end of the winter rainy season in early April there are often beautiful warm sunny days. The hills are green and filled with wildflowers.

In the autumn season, the tan, dry hills are filled with gold pampas grass. Offshore winds bring warm, inland dry air to the coast and crystal clear blue skies all the way to the horizon. Beautiful sunsets on the ocean gracefully end the day. The cool starry nights are perfect for sitting by a campfire or a beautiful roaring fire in a seaside restuarant or inn.


Timing is Everything

By: clearlakemike, 6:45 PM GMT on August 19, 2005

For those of you interested in astrology, and not the light newspaper variety (If you are not and/or are skeptics, then you are welcome to "change the channel" now and watch something else, its a free country):

Vedic, Hindu, or Indian astrology, aka as Location and Timing astrology is used by many in the world, including former First Lady, Nancy Regan, to assist in making decisions.

Astrologer, Lance Ferguson's Skywatch, another timing type of astrological interpreter, if you will, can be a very interesting and often helpful reference for planning and making decisions, both important and minor.

I have been following Skywatch for over a decade now with what, I think, has been a lot of success.

If you are interested in this kind of thing, his link is at:

Updated: 6:46 PM GMT on August 19, 2005


Butterflies are Free

By: clearlakemike, 3:33 PM GMT on August 19, 2005

Congratulations to Bejo and mspixie on their AC shots of beautiful butterflies and summer flowers.

These two ladies are some of the nicest ladies I have met on this site and I am delighted that they are getting this well deserved recognition for their beautiful photos.

Updated: 3:35 PM GMT on August 19, 2005


Beautiful Coast

By: clearlakemike, 3:47 AM GMT on August 15, 2005

The soft light and colors in AnneAbrams, Fog on the Coast, is so beautifully photographed. The hills in the shadow contrast so nicely with the highlights of the surf below.

The thin veil of fog is wonderful. The beach brings your eye back to the soft colors in the hills in the background.

A classic capture of a classic Northern California coastal scene.

Updated: 8:42 PM GMT on August 16, 2005


Pessimism or Optimism: Global Warming?

By: clearlakemike, 1:22 AM GMT on August 14, 2005

What will the future bring?...No one knows for sure...The commander of the recent space shuttle mission weighed in with her opinion on the earth's fragile atmosphere from her perspective above it.

Many think green house gases are warming up the "egg shell" of an atmosphere as Commander Eileen Collins described the thin shield that protects earth.

Perhaps this is also a good reason to develop better technology for fuel consumption in automobiles, trucks, farm equipment, etc.

Updated: 1:27 AM GMT on August 14, 2005


Beautiful Blue

By: clearlakemike, 7:22 PM GMT on August 13, 2005

I enjoy very much SBKaren's shot, Kayaking, taken recently on her vacation to Lake Tahoe.

I like the contrast of the warm colors of the kayaks and the cool blues and greens in the sky, mountains and Lake Tahoe. The composition of the bows of the kayaks in the foreground leads your eye out to the distant, beautiful blue lake and magnificent mountains. And as the photographer pointed out, the amazing clarity of the water.

This photo is a wonderful capture of the unique beauty of a Lake Tahoe summer day.


The Good (Southern California Beach) Life

By: clearlakemike, 7:07 PM GMT on August 13, 2005

Southern California photographer, SBKaren has captured many beautiful scenes of the Southern California beach life in her gallery; a photo essay of a unique and wonderful lifestyle.

Beautiful Sunset is one of my favorites. Unlike the often colder and foggy beaches of Northern California (although unique in their own distinct way), the southern beaches are warm and wonderful during the summer (and often year round.)

SBKaren's sunset shot is emblematic of this golden world. The gold sun lit waves, the silhouettes of the kids in the surf and freely playing on the beach are classic. A very beautiful shot of carefree moments in the Golden State.

Updated: 7:29 PM GMT on August 13, 2005


California Coast - Dog Heaven

By: clearlakemike, 5:21 PM GMT on August 11, 2005

I love this great shot of kimmyjo221's dogs playing in the surf. It is so much fun to watch the "water dogs" play and swim in the surf on the coast. Very entertaining. And the dogs love it too.

And Run like the Wind beautifully captures the wide open space on Point Reyes' beaches where dogs (and humans) can "Run like the Wind".

Updated: 7:02 PM GMT on August 11, 2005


Never a Dull Moment

By: clearlakemike, 5:10 AM GMT on August 10, 2005

I love this "crazy" state...never a dull moment.

Thank you, DGINDIO!

Updated: 8:43 PM GMT on August 16, 2005


Eye Catching Skyline

By: clearlakemike, 1:06 AM GMT on August 10, 2005

I just really like this is very eye catching to me and a very nice photo of the NYC skyline and the cruise ship passing by.

You can really appreciate how big these cruise ships are when looking at the second photo. And the title is very funny, lol.

Great series of shots, pmarella

Updated: 5:28 AM GMT on August 10, 2005


Special Friends

By: clearlakemike, 12:08 AM GMT on August 10, 2005

Special Friends are born and appear in our daily lives through some mysterious and strange way at a time of personal or family need. Their spirit arrives with both a responsiblility and a mission. This responsibility becomes a reminder to us about the virtues of love, companionship, life, human feelings and compassion.
Their mission is to share many of our burdens, bringing unconditional love and caring - asking only that we care and love them in return.

We tell them our secrets, our dreams, our fears, our enjoyments, our weaknesses and our achievements. They respond with a quietness, understanding and strength - allowing us our own personal growth and internal fortitude.

Just as the wild bird briefly brings us a melodious song - touching the moment then flying away, Special Friends for a brief moment in our lives share their all, asking only that we respond in kind.

When their mission is accomplished, their spirit moves on in a mysterious, unexplained way to be a Special Friend to someone else with a greater personal and family need. When a Special Friend's spirit moves on, it is difficult for our human understanding. We feel sadness and a sense of loss - this is as it should be. However, we must appreciate that it is also part of their total mission of providing awareness and love to us.

They leave behind their nourishment, love and many happy memories that remain to support us, these memories cannnot be taken away - they are the source of our strenghth. This glow of memories is the cognizance that their reborn spirit will touch and benefit the life of someone where the need is greatest. The same nourishment, love and help brings to others as it did for us. We must listen with our heart, utilize the strength and remarkable understanding that we have received from a friend who sought only compassion and love in return. While their physical presence is somewhere else, their spirit and message will always be with us.





By: clearlakemike, 7:10 PM GMT on August 01, 2005

Ruff crossing: Alcatraz swim a canine first
Dog places 72nd, ahead of hundreds in annual race


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Member since November, 2004 I like being outside.

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