Earlier this week I visited a real oasis in Southern California. That experience got me to think about urban oases that I have witnessed. We have all seen them, but so often these are fleeting moments that are quickly forgotten. As a photographer and nature-lover, I incessantly observe my surroundings and record mental images and maps of my environment.
Back in March I walked around San Diego and found this interesting "urban oasis" on a lovely street corner. We all know that walking through a city is the best way to learn of your surroundings, but most, including myself, seldom explore our cities. We go through life buzzing to work, eating lunch hurriedly, restarting work, and then retreating home only to repeat the process the following day. During the workday I enjoy taking my sandwich out for a walk and exploring.
In March 2010 I stumbled across an excellent "urban oasis" (pictured above). The plants are eclectic, yet perfect. I stopped my journey and enjoyed these plantings for a few minutes. The palm trees and blue sky in the background are not only quintessential San Diego, but also nicely complement the foreground.
When I travel to a new city, the first thing I yearn to do is "get lost" by walking back-alleys and wandering aimlessly. It is hard to motivate oneself to do this in your own backyard, but on this occasion my efforts are fruitful.
April 30, 2010
The sun was about to set on San Francisco when I grabbed by camera and power-walked to one of my favorite destinations in the Bay Area, Chinatown. Chinatowns across the country are filled with culture. The pungent aromas, vibrant colors, distinct architecture, and the almost requisite hanging lanterns provide ample sensory stimulation.
San Fransisco's Chinatown did not disappoint! The red hanging lanterns pictured above were helped by a pop of fill-flash.
April 28, 2010
The mystery plant in the photograph below has been identified! A leggy ocotillo is pictured above as well.
Off the beaten path of Southern California's renown network of asphalt highways lay countless photographic opportunities. The tall lonesome ocotillo in the center of this frame was found north of Palm Springs. At 95 degrees, full sun, and no water in sight, the ocotillo faired well. The plant even blossomed with vibrant orange flowers.
April 27, 2010