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Looking down from California Pass on the hidden jewel, Lake Como. I was standing at 12,840 ft and gasping for air. You can see my jeep road to the summit called the Animas Loop. Priceless view of the San Juan Mountains. Yes, there is still snow from last winter on the mountain side.


Copyright 2015 © Merilee Phillips.


All my images are protected under international authors copyright laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. All rights reserved.

Nowadays, the folks who are going to "Strike it Rich are the ones who discover how to solve California’s growing need for Water… the New Gold!

The pond filled up after the rains with hundreds of California Sycamore leaves

A blooming California poppy flower taken at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.


An evergreen song by the "Mamas and Papas" of the same title.


Many thanks for your visit, comments, invites and is always appreciated...


Happy Macro Monday

Fall always comes very late in the year to Southern California. And then it really doesn't look like autumn in colder climates. It is my favorite part of the year, but I really don't get to celebrate it like so many of you do. This is my attempt to capture the lovely passage of nature we see in my part of the world.

Backyard birds. IMG_6401

This highly social and intelligent species is well adapted to a semi-aquatic life-style. Male and female California sea lions differ significantly in appearance. Males are substantially bigger than females and have an enlarged sagittal crest, which is usually topped with white fur.

Backyard birds. IMG_6444

California Towhees are essentially large sparrows, with a sparrow’s short, rounded wings, long tail, and thick, seed-cracking beak – but towhees are larger and bulkier. The long tail and short wings can give this bird an ungainly look in flight.

♫Listen to what inspired me!♫


❤️ Thank you! so much for your favs, awards and support!❤️


This plane, Southwest's California One, is the only one of its kind. What are the odds it would be heading to LAX just as I was outside In-N-Out taking photos of planes landing?


Prints available! Head to my Etsy shop if you would like a print of this photo.


Update: My photo has been featured on the Southwest Blog!

California girls

We're undeniable

Fine, fresh, fierce

We got it on lock

West coast represent

Now put your hands up




Bikini: {Valentine} Microkini

(available at mainstore)

Pose+Floatie: -Sweet Art- Summer Fun Series

(available at mainstore)

This California Poppy seen in the Hendrie Rose Garden, part of the Royal Botancial Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.(Eschscholzia californica)

Over the Little San Bernandino Mountains...the rain was badly needed!

Today the California rabbit breed is one of the most popular breeds in the world. Bred in the early 1920s in the USA, as a result of complex breeding experiments by crossing breeds such as large chinchilla, New Zealand white, Russian ermine, a wonderful breed of meat direction was obtained. Californian rabbits were brought to our country from Europe in the 70s of the last century. Russian rabbit breeders initially reacted with great caution, believing that the breed was too small and would not suit the local climatic conditions. Doubts were quickly dispelled by the advantages of this breed - early maturity, high fertility of females, high slaughter yield. In our country, the breeding of Californian rabbits reaches an industrial scale.

This California Scrub Jay was one of several that mingled in the bushes near the trail where I was walking. I stopped to enjoy their antics and take a few shots. At Greenway Park.

I'd like to dream my troubles all away

On a bed of California stars

Jump up from my starbed, make another day

Underneath my California stars

San Gregorio State Beach, California, USA

The image is a smoke plume over the Sierra Valley in October 2018. The new fires are creating much more spectacular and threatening plumes.


Update September 28, 2020


The Glass Fire erupted in Napa County over the weekend, has grown to more than 15,000 acres. It has spread to Sonoma County, which was so badly impacted by the Tubbs Fire in 2017. Northern California is in another heat wave, and smoke is once again creating bad air quality. Seems the new normal for this time of year. Here in our little bubble on the west side of San Francisco we are still in no immediate danger from the raging wildfires in California.


September 7, 2020


As of this morning , wildfires have burned more than 2 million acres in California this year. Eight people have died, and more than 3,300 structures have been destroyed, many more are damaged.


More than 14,100 firefighters are on the frontlines of the fires burning across the state. They have been getting the big lightning caused fires under control, but new fires continue to break out and explode in size. The Creek Fire between Fresno and Yosemite started on Friday and grew to 78,000+ acres by Monday afternoon, with no containment.


On top of the fires, much of the state is experiencing extreme heat; downtown San Francisco reached 100F yesterday, Los Angeles reached 121F. "Spare the air" days in the Bay Area have been extended through Wednesday, for a record 23 straight days of poor air quality.


The image is a smoke plume over the Sierra Valley in October 2018.


Take care and stay safe. Thanks for stopping by and for all of your support -- I deeply appreciate it.


© Melissa Post 2020


Spring in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve/Lancaster/CA.


Danke für deinen Besuch! Thanks for visiting!

bitte beachte/ please respect Copyright © All rights reserved.

California poppy, the state flower of California, is native to the Pacific slope of North America from Western Oregon to Baja California.


Adelbert von Chamisso, naturalist aboard the Russian exploring ship "Rurick”, discovered and named the species. The Rurick visited Alaska and California in 1816 under the command of Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue. Chamisso named the California poppy Eschscholzia californica in honor of J. F. Eschscholtz, the ship's surgeon and entomologist; note that he accidentally left the “t” out of Eschscholtz’s name.


Take care to stay safe. Thanks for stopping by and for all of your support -- I deeply appreciate it.


© Melissa Post 2020


Incoming waves along the coast at Laguna Beach, California.

California Quail (Callipepla californica) Male


Emigrant Lake - Jackson County - Oregon - USA

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.


Happy Holidays from My Neck of the Woods !!



This sunset was beautiful but it was the last sunset with partiality clear sky. For days the Sierra Nevada Mountains have been barely visible. The smoke is so thick you can taste it.. yuk

Santa Monica, California


HWW! :))

I’m a good two weeks plus past my second vaccination, so I headed out on Tuesday to visit my mom and sisters in Sonoma. It’s been well over a year since we’ve seen each other and we had a great time chewing the fat and looking at old family pictures. I was a little worried about how my mom might look—you know how when you haven’t seen a family member or good friend in a long period of time and you’re floored when you see them because they’ve physically declined in some way. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case, everyone looked great. My mom is turning 92 this year and she’s as beautiful as ever—and boy can she talk an ear off.


You might think the picture is from somewhere in Sonoma but I actually snapped it on Lagoon Valley Road just outside of Vacaville—a nice little oasis between the cities of Vacaville and Fairfield. The grassy rolling hills were looking quite lovely with their spring attire, and I love the stately oaks that dot the hillsides here—quintessential spring time in California. All-in-all it was a most lovely day.


Vacaville CA

California Towhee enjoying its breakfast

Palo Alto, California, USA

Massive tree roots of a Moreton Bay fig tree in Palm Canyon at Balboa Park, San Diego, California.


Moreton Bay Fig ~ This remarkable large tree was planted in preparation for the 1915 exposition from a five-gallon container. Since it was a few years old at the time, its age is computed from about 1910.


This tree is listed in the California Registry of Big Trees as one of the champion trees of the state. The tree measured in 1996 about 78 feet (24 meters) high, with a crown width of 123 feet (37 m) and a trunk girth of 486 inches (12.3 m). It shares the title for this species with the famous Moreton Bay Fig tree of Santa Barbara, California, which has a broader canopy but is not as high.


Many people who grew up in San Diego remember climbing around the roots of this tree as children, while their families enjoyed picnics in the cool shade. Unfortunately, heavy foot traffic caused soil compaction and damage to the delicate surface-feeding roots of the tree, preventing it from obtaining nutrients and water, and the tree began to decline. It was trimmed and fenced off in 1989, mulch was allowed to accumulate, and the tree has recovered and once again shows thick, glossy foliage. As it has recovered it has begun to show the aerial roots that are characteristic of fig trees. In the wild, these roots would have been growing since the early youth of the tree, and would have reached the ground and developed into stout, woody props to help support the heavy branches.


The small dry fruits of the Moreton Bay Fig, are actually composed of hundreds of tiny flowers completely enclosed within the inverted fleshy tissue of the receptacle upon which they rest. A tiny hole (called an ostiole) in the tip of the fruit allows minute symbiotic wasps, which pollinate and lay their eggs within the flowers, to enter and leave the structure.


Ficus macrophylla is a native of east Australia. When it is grown in an open area where it can spread, the Moreton Bay Fig may become as much as 150 feet wide; but crowded in its natural forest habitat, or near buildings in an urban setting, it tends to grow tall and narrow. Several other specimens of this species, as well as 32 other kinds of fig trees, are planted in Balboa Park.

Why "California"? Well, this type of dial with half Roman, half Arabic numerals is called a "California" dial.


The name originated when a Californian company replaced dials on Rolex watches serviced by them with this particular dial style.


Here is an interesting write-up about the history of such dials and how they became associated with German WWII "Kampfschwimmer" units (bottom line: they plain stole the watches).


© All Rights Reserved - you may not use this image in any form without my prior permission.


View from a wonderful hike up in the mountains in Pinnacle National Park in California

Sunol Regional Wilderness, Sunol, CA

Photographed in my backyard, Yakima County, Washington. IMG_6525

Wildfires are all too common in Southern California during the summer. Tonight I could see the mountains and hillsides burning as I drove through Santa Clarita from I-5 and then more fires on the other side of the mountains above the 210 freeway in the San Fernando Valley. I found a wide shoulder and pulled over for a few pictures.

Loved these bright Aloe flowers we saw everywhere we went in California! :))

Point Mugu, California

Palo Alto, California, USA

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