A Quick Visit to the San Diego Zoo

It’s great to enjoy an annual pass at the San Diego Zoo! It’s a quick getaway…since we live in San Diego!

Plus, there’s abundant sunshine, a fun way to walk my steps for fitness, and of course, getting to visit the wonderful animals and appreciate nature at the same time!

This past week, I visited the Hummingbird Aviary House, as well as the Gorilla, Orangutan and Reptile Exhibits (and loved photographing the beautiful hibiscus flowers)!

Hope you all enjoy these snapshots! Go ahead…click on each photo to see it enlarged!

Oh..and feel free to subscribe, like, comment and share!

SJF Communications

The Hummingbirds & Other Birds


The Reptiles

The Gorillas

The Orangutans

The Hibiscus Flowers

A Photographic Evening at Balboa Park, San Diego

Even buildings smiled for the camera!

I decided to stroll around Balboa Park last evening with my camera in hand…and what a treat it was! Take a gander at some of the cool flowers, architecture, and more!

You can click on each photo for more detail!

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Check out these gorgeous flowers! Go ahead…click away to see the full images! Spectacular colors!

…Plus…some snapshots of this cute bunny posing and feasting!

Finally, couldn’t resist taking photos of this beautiful fountain!

Fountain at Balboa Park, Photos by SJF Communications
Fountain at Balboa Park, Photos by SJF Communications
Fountain at Balboa Park, Photos by SJF Communications

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Marveling at the San Diego Zoo!

I spent about 2 hours at the San Diego Zoo the other day. Had some time and brought my camera. Join me on this journey to only a few areas (the Hummingbird House, plus Gorillas and Orangutans and a special surprise at the end of my journey). My short visit was jam packed with memorable bursts of images!

Feel free to click on each photo to see more detail.

First, I visited the Hummingbird House or Aviary, which is a great little secret but tucked away and a bit challenging to find! As you enter the Zoo, turn left towards the Discovery Area towards the Sky Ride. Best to ask a guide..It’s to the right after the Reptile House,  look for the red railing…More about the Kenton C. Lint Hummingbird Aviary

I snapped away at some very colorful birds as well as hummingbirds which enjoy the lush surroundings with flowers, nectar and feeders.


I love hummingbird watching!

One of these days, I’d like to go on a trip to explore the different types!


It was such a special treat to see the baby with Mom!


I also visited the Orangutan habitat. More joy with another young one to watch with Mom and Dad!

Finally, my big surprise was to spot a peacock near the squawking in the flamingo area, alone in a corner. I waited until he faced front. What  beautiful plume feathers! Take a look!

Thanks for taking the time to journey with me! Feel free to subscribe, like, comment and share!



More Hummingbirds: Tiny Magnificent Creatures!

 I continually marvel at hummingbirds…such tiny magnificent magical creatures!

Their stunning colorful beauty, their speed, their zest for the “hummingbird life”….

It beats watching the news these days. It inspires my creative spirit and hope!

 I’ve  combined some poetry (Haiku), video footage and photographic images just for you!


Hummingbirds: A Haiku:


Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

1.  Fluttering about

Zooming, oh, so rapidly

Marvelous colors!

2. Hummingbird magic

Unique, beautiful creatures

Don’t fly away, stay!


Here is a short video from today. See these lovely hummingbirds in action as they fly continuously over to the feeders and enjoy nectar, hover, and then dance away!

And now…some photographic images!

Hopefully these hummingbird images will captivate you and yours too!


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Red-headed Male Anna Hummingbird looking up at the nectar!


Beautiful aqua and green coat Anna Hummingbird


Anna is almost at the nectar finish line!


Anna Hummingbird on a twig


I see the flower!


Male Anna hummingbird enjoying the afternoon!


Circling the nectar feeder


So hungry!


Love this wingspan!


Doesn’t this male Anna hummingbird look like a halo above his head? Wings!


I can taste that nectar already!


Two hummingbirds negotiating!


Just another nectar break!


“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, said the male Anna hummingbird!


Headshot! Male Anna hummingbird


Fluttering away!
Feathered friend!


Which way did they go?? Male Anna hummingbird


Male Anna hummingbird looking up to the sky!


I was there first! No, I was! OK, let’s eat!
Blue skies!!
Time for more nectar!


Male Anna hummingbird on a palm leaf!



See? A palm leaf! Told you!


Hope you enjoyed the poem, video and photos from SJF Communications!

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Osprey Perched at Torrey Pines State Beach- August 4, 2015

Somehow, during the past few years, I have become an avid bird watcher,

particularly at Torrey Pines State Beach.

I am always amazed at seeing Ospreys.

I’ve seen them perched high and also on the beach with prey.

I ‘m not sure how many are at Torrey Pines State Beach, but I have seen this one lately.

Today it was perched above “Flat Rock” and it flew towards other rocks.

Take a gander at this beautiful osprey.

Snapped with my Nikon Coolpix L830 and edited in Picasa.


Osprey. Photo by SJF Communications http://www.sjfcommunications.com 8.4.2015


Osprey. Photo by SJF Communications http://www.sjfcommunications.com 8.4.2015


Osprey. Photo by SJF Communications http://www.sjfcommunications.com 8.4.2015


Here are a few more photos from today! Feel free to click on each one to see it larger.


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San Diego Zoo Animals on an April Morning!

Thoroughly enjoyed a great visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo yesterday morning!

Here are some photos.  Feel free to click on them individually!


Just couldn’t resist this camel’s expression!



 The koala exhibit is an amazing natural habitat



Check out this condors wings!





 A condor in deep thought??




 Fun spotting this “Secretary Bird”. Love those colorful eye shadows!


 Captured a view of this “contemplating” orangutan 





This colorful lone dragonfly landed on a perch!






 Gorillas in our midst!




 Caught some glimpses of this Tasmanian Devil!



The pelicans greet visitors to the zoo!


Merely Meerkats!





And a few more animals we visited!

Tell me, is there anything cuter than a mama duck and her little one?



And finally here are a few of the gorgeous flowers at the zoo!

Such a fun way to spend time with friends or family, get some exercise walking, and observe the animals!







It’s a RUFF life: Ugly Dog Contest…(Not Just for Ugly Dogs) 4/19/15 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club!

We (my daughter Emmy, her friend Sydney and I), enjoyed a great afternoon on April 19th, 2015 at the 20th Annual “Ugly Dog Contest” at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club! We arrived about 30 minutes after it started, but still caught most of the contest!

The San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce and Del Mar Kiwanis were hosts. Sheila McDonnell, who passed away three years ago but was founder of the contest, was recognized and honored. Sheila’s wish was “for the event to continue to take place and to continue raising money for organizations that benefit animals and children”.

There were many 4-legged contestants, their owners/handlers, an MC (Greg Vicino- Associate Curator, San Diego Zoo Global), vendor booths, raffle prizes and snacks, and of course spectators.

According to the program, Judges were Brandi Williams (KUSI), Christy Manry (Elam’s Hallmark), Anna Orlando (Kilroy Properties), Sara Ingrande (Torrey Pines Bank) and Kelly Baldieri (Del Mar Hilton).  Vendors were: Camp Run-a-Mutt, Welk Resorts, RDSI Designs, Easy Turf, Real Blue Proerties, The 4 Foundation, CruiseOne Dream Vacations, Keane Studios, Kahoots Pet Store, Total Thermal Imaging of San Diego, Built Green California, The San Diego Humane Society and Reality Changers (which received a portion of the proceeds).Product donations were provided by Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Whole Foods, Mary’s Tack & Feed, RDSI, Dirty Dogs, Dexter’s Deli, Keane Studios and the Del Mar Hilton.

The categories were “Cutest puppy/dog”, “Most unusual markings”, “Dog that looks like owner”, “Best trick”, “Best costume Adult & Dog and Child & Dog”, “Cutest Mutt”, “Most beautiful male and female” and finally “THE UGLIEST DOG”! The winner of the UGLY DOG contest: RASCAL!

Rascal, the winner of the Ugly Dog Contest with his owner Dane Andrew and the MC Greg Vicino (Associate Curator San Diego Zoo GLobal)

Here below are the top three finalists of the Ugly Dog Contest: Snack , Puddin’ and Rascal!

Winners of the Ugly Dog Contest
Winners of the Ugly Dog Contest

Here’s a video of Rascal and his Owner, (Dane Andrew) by Animal Planet!


And here is Rascals’ WEBSITE LINK: http://www.theworldsugliestdog.com/index.html

 Here’s a peek at  the contestants and a few other images of the day!  Click on each photo for a larger view.

We don’t have all the names, so leave a comment if you can provide names of the pooches)

Photos by SJF Communications. http://www.sjfcommunications.com

San Diego or SAND Diego??? Catching up in Del Mar with JT and Tony of San Diego Sand Castles!

What a fun surprise! While power walking today on Del Mar Beach with my friend, (yep, we powered on for 7000+ steps), we serendipitously saw something really creative and cool!

First we saw these buckets…and wondered what was going on!

Sand Castle Gear


Then we met JT and Tony from San Diego Sand Castles who were coaching their prospective clients of the afternoon how to build their own masterpieces! San Diego Sand Castles has many terrific reviews on Trip Advisor too! Here’s their Facebook Page LInk

First we met Sand Sculptor Tony Leib who was working with local resident,  Catherine. It was Catherine’s  first private lesson and she was excited to spend three hours learning a bit of the craft.


Then we walked a few hundred feet and met the owner of San Diego Sand Castles, JT Estrela (in the hat) with a cool Father (Chris) and Son (Trey) from Seattle, who were celebrating Trey’s Spring Break. Great Father-Son bonding in the sunshine!

We left the beach and saw the cutest bunny near a unique tree, a few interesting palms and a train passing by at Seagrove Park in Del Mar. Couldn’t resist snapping away!

Seagrove Park in Del Mar
Seagrove Park in Del Mar


Rabbit at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Bunny  at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Rabbit at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Bunny at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Palm Trees Del Mar
Palm Trees Del Mar


Train Passing Through Del Mar
Train Passing Through Del Mar


 Lesson for the day: You never know  what you’ll discover each day, so have your camera handy!


A Few Favorite “Finds” on Torrey Pines State Beach 3.17.15

A few “finds” from our walk today on Torrey Pines State Beach. Left to right, top to bottom: The majestic rock and clouds, a “beached” seal (that we reported to the ranger), several dolphins enjoying the Pacific Ocean, a round rock atop a rock, a couple of seagulls not talking to each other anymore, and a rock that resembled a “heart”.  Spectacular! Plus my friend and I walked about 6000 steps! Photos (snapped w/Nikon Coolpix L830 & edited in Picasa) by Susan Farese, SJF Communications


Collage at Torrey Pines State Beach  3.17.15
Collage at Torrey Pines State Beach 3.17.15

Torrey Pines State Beach: My Local GEM!

At Torrey Pines State Beach Pelican Staring Right at Me!
At Torrey Pines State Beach Pelican Staring Right at Me!

Awe at Torrey Pines State Beach

In my opinion, an absolute gem in the San Diego area is Torrey Pines State Beach! Every time I visit, I notice different aspects of nature, such as spectacular rock formations, pelicans flying overhead solo or in groups, the magnificent waves crashing, high and low tides, people strolling & jogging, children playing with pails and shovels, sand castles being built, etc.

It always invigorates me to walk to my special “rock” and back which is about 5000 steps!

I have an annual California State Park Visitors Pass.

(It’s a terrific value if you frequent California State Parks).

Today I ventured out to grab some sunshine and walk briskly before an evening meeting.

As always, I was captivated by the sights, sounds, & scents surrounding me.

I snapped several photos and invite you to revisit my wonderful time!

A pair of pelicans !
Pelican Prepping to Fly!
Pelican Prepping to Fly!
Pelicans Perched atop Rocks...on Land and Sea
Pelicans Perched atop Rocks…on Land and Sea
A Pair of Pelicans with Different Opinions
A Pair of Pelicans with Different Opinions
Pelican with Seagull, Edited with Picasa
Pelican with Seagull, Edited with Picasa
One More Pelican with Seagull Edited with Picasa!
One More Pelican with Seagull Edited with Picasa!