#Lens Artist Challenge #126 Avila Beach

Patti Moed is taking us back to the basics for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126–namely, the ABC’s. She’s starting at the very beginning with the letter A.  This challenge runs from noon on Saturday until the next Friday.

The featured picture for the post was taken in Australia of a store window at night anticipating Christmas.

Sunset pictures at Avila Beach

I wanted to create a double exposure, so I went to the guided section of Photoshop and started playing. My edition did was too old and didn’t feature the double exposure effect.

It did have some other options. The first picture is a paintbrush effect. You just wave the magic brush across your picture to give it more of a painted look.

When I saw the puzzle guided feature, I had to try it. Most of you know that I am addicted to digital jigsaw puzzles. One of the steps in the guided instructions was to remove pieces. I’m not sure what you are supposed to do with them after you take them out, but I did what most puzzlers do – laid them on the picture until I could figure out where they went. Of course we all know where they go, but I didn’t figure out why we were supposed to remove them in the first place. This is not a puzzle you can play.

The two men playing here were my blogging friend, the Eternal Traveler’s husband whom she calls Mr. ET from Australia any my husband from America. It was wonderful to have them visit us for a week and travel in the US just before the COVID restrictions hit.

Both of these pictures work for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Sunset to Sunrise started Dec. 1.

CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

Have fun everyone, and don’t forget to check back with both of these challenges and visit some new friends and check in on some familiar faces as well.

How to Bury Your Head in the Sand

#NaBloPoMo Day 27, Cee’s Oddball Challenge

Ignore the Nagging Question, “Why Bury Your Head in the Sand!”

At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes, she actually dug a hole and thrust her head inside and stayed there.

Her mom said, “Oh, she does this ALL the time!”

OK, but isn’t that unhealthy. I’ve heard of not breathing bad air, but bad sand?

But the reality is…

Avial Beach beckoned
Avial Beach beckoned

Kalev was disturbed by the digging.

“She looks like me, Dad. I don’t want sand in my nose! Do I HAVE to do that, too?”

head-in-sand101

Nonetheless, the digging continued.

Hard at work
Hard at work

Sandy Nose did not seem to mind that I took her picture.

The disturbing task finished.
The disturbing task finished.

It must smell fishy, clammy, or something delicious.

Did you catch that?
Did you catch that? Should I take a bow?

Yep, she really did it, and she wanted to know that we were watching her.

The final pose
The final pose

Sandy Nose looked at me for one final pose before she moved on to her next antic.

Dogs may be off leash at Avila Beach before 10:00 am and after 5:00 pm daily.

To make these pictures and my two short video clips into a video I used iMovie and Free Music Archive.

My friend Darlene and I walked the main street in Sedona this morning on our girl’s week out vacation. OH NO!

sculpture-in-sedona-130

For more Oddball pictures, See Cee’s Oddball Challenge.

Cee's OddBall

Two Easy Trails You Should Check Out at the Central Coast

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Walks – Indoor or Outdoor

Bob Jones Trail

I wonder if they were placing bets.  :)
They’re so vain. I bet they think this post is about them. They’re so vain. I bet they think this post is about them, about them!

This off the beaten path was for the birds, but I enjoyed it from the Bob Jones Trail in Avila Beach, CA. I’ve never seen any birds line up like this since. 🙂 Avila Beach, pronounced AH-vuh-luh, has a population of approximately 1,627 at the 2010 census.

Bob Jones Trail002

It’s hard to believe Avila Beach is that unpopulated when you hike this trail. Not much level land area exists between the beach and the bluffs, but this trail is flat, leaving the cliffs to the side, and people flock to it, as do other creatures.

Taken with my iPhone, this coyote looked hungry.  Maybe I was just imagining it because I was hungry.  He left the water without grabbing a duck-to-go.
Taken with my iPhone, this coyote looked hungry. Maybe I was just imagining it because I was hungry. He left the water without grabbing a duck-to-go.

This was another shot from the Bob Jones Trail, which meanders three miles around a golf course in Avila Beach ( about a half mile from the beach), along San Luis Obispo Creek, past a housing community and general store and restaurant, inland to Ontario Road. which is the road that comes off the Highway 101.

Bob Jones Trail Starts Here

People park their cars and ride or bike the trail with and without extra small people and animals in tow. It’s usually fairly crowded so even Puppy Girl knows to stay on the right side of the center line. Bicyclists are usually courteous enough to call out, “On your left,” as they approach you.

"Woah there baby.  Wait for Mama!!!  Watch out for that killer white dog!!"
“Woah there baby. Wait for Mama!!! Watch out for that killer white dog!!”

This is the beginning of the trail at Ontario Road. You can see the parking lot across the street.

Bob Jones Trail030

It’s a great place for families to escape the heat of the Central Valley in the summer and the fog and cold in the winter. It was 95 degrees there last week but my advice is to always take a sweatshirt. You never know.

Shell Beach Bluff Trail

Just up the road between Pismo Beach and Avila Beach, off Ontario Road is the Shell Beach Bluff Trail with mansions on one side and the ocean on the other.

Travel, San Luis Obispo County, California, Shell Beach

This does not look like a trail, walkers are gently guided onto a fenced path. No one accidentally wanders into the front yards of these homes.

Travel, San Luis Obispo County, California, Shell Beach

The Shell Beach Bluff Trail trail starts at a parking lot on Indio Drive and winds down to the beach if you go off the paved path.

Travel, San Luis Obispo County, California, Shell Beach

It’s easy walking for both people and pets. Warning: the trail that leads on down to the beach is not so easy-going. 🙂

Travel, San Luis Obispo County, California, Shell Beach

I had trouble keeping my camera focused on the trail. Sorry! I’m not sure what to do with that white cord. We swiveled around at the start of the downward trail and kept on the paved path back up to Indio Road again.

Travel, San Luis Obispo County, California, Shell Beach

If you are in the market for one of these beauties on Indio Drive, they are quite reasonably priced at about 1.6 million to start. We chose to stay in our trailer at the KOA Park on Ontario Road. 🙂

Travel, San Luis Obispo County, California, Shell Beach

Happy trails to you. If you enjoyed this be sure to visit Cee Neuner for more fun photos Click here.

CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.
CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

 

 

WP Photo Challenge: Reflections

These birds lined up on the log and posed for this picture so beautifully.  Were they preening for the morning, admiring their own reflection?  As I watched them, others pulled out their own cell phones and admired them as they reflected into the water along Bob Jones Trail on the way to Avila Beach.

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If I were a painter, I would paint this picture.  Have a beautiful day.  🙂

Avila Beach, The Perfect Place to Write a Novel

Notice I didn’t say set a novel. I set the novel partly in Pismo Beach, mostly in Visalia.  Why, because it just seems to be working its way out there.

SFW SLO Beach 2013146
This is the fork of San Luis Creek that didn’t make it to the ocean.

I was so fortunate to have beautiful weather while I was in Avila.  My writing schedule was fantastic.  I crawled out of bed around 7:00 a.m. and made coffee, checked emails, and my blog.  By 9:30 I finished housekeeping chores, and walked 3 miles to Avila Beach.  I was stranded there without a vehicle because Vince came home to be with his son, but I was close to everything I needed.

Taken with my iPhone, this coyote looked hungry. Maybe I was just imagining it because I was hungry. He left the water without grabbing a duck-to-go.
Taken with my iPhone, this coyote looked hungry. Maybe I was just imagining it because I was hungry. He left the water without grabbing a duck-to-go.

To get to Avila by foot there is a three-mile long bike path called Bob Jones Trail.  I have written about that before, so I won’t bore you with details.  I did see three coyotes on my walks this time.  This was a holiday weekend, so the path was crowded over the weekend, but that made it all the more interesting.  By this time I had run out of clothes, so I had to start wearing Vince’s shirts.  One day I wore his Shelby t-shirt and two men stopped walking and looked at me.  “I love your shirt,” One of them said.  Getting a t-shirt compliment is really rare for me, so I was pleased.  He continued, “My name’s Shelby.”  That explained the compliment, and we went on our separate and opposite ways.

Farther upstream on San Luis Creek
Farther upstream on San Luis Creek

The Bob Jones Trail winds around the San Luis Creek, which empties into the San Luis Bay at Avila Beach.  The trail also borders the Avila Bay Golf Course.  It crosses the creek at the west end of the golf course where men have a 130 yard span to hit their golf ball across the creek, and we can watch it all from the bridge.  Birds watch them every day from their stadium seats.

I wonder if they were placing bets. :)
I wonder if they were placing bets. 🙂

Once you get into the town, you only have one block to get to the beach.  When I taught 4th grade we brought our students to this beach after we took them to the San Luis Obispo Mission.  Many of our Woodlake students had never been to the beach before that time.  There is an adorable park, and an aquarium on the right as you walk up a steep block to the beach.

Want to be a pirate? Catch a dolphin?
Want to be a pirate? Catch a dolphin?

I would estimate that I walked about a mile on the beach, maybe more.  Dogs can be on the beach until 10:00, then it is for human consumption only.  Humans have a great time.  Little ones experience the water for the first time.  One mother looked like she was using the beach for her tiny tot’s modeling debut.  Birds put on their own show.  They found some raw bird meat, and one bird carried around some tail feathers in his mouth.  Most of the time I walked and got my feet wet, I was dreaming up scenes for my characters.

I got a kick out of this photo shoot. The little girl was obviously enjoying her poses. Her dress was totally inappropriate beach attire, but she was modeling.
I got a kick out of this photo shoot. The little girl was obviously enjoying her poses. Her dress was totally inappropriate beach attire, but she was modeling.

By 12:30 to 1:30 I returned to our trailer, and began writing.  It took about 2 to three hours to write a chapter.  I would break, after completing the chapter, and walk around the park for a few minutes.  I rarely ate too much dinner except maybe a bag of potato chips – yum!  Then I would write the second chapter.

The end of my interesting day came usually around 9:30 or 10:30.  There is a wonderful spa in the park that no one but me used.  It’s big enough to swim in and do exercises if you are ambitious and have no one to talk to.  I did less talking on this trip that I have probably ever done in my life.  Vince asked me if I was lonely, and surprisingly, I wasn’t.  I guess my characters kept me company.  Two of the three women are very much in love, but they are having problems, some of them pretty serious ones.  The other woman is taking stock of her life, and facing some very difficult decisions and life changes.

So that was my experience as a full-time writer.  Doesn’t it sound like fun?  It was!

Here are some more pictures of Avila Beach.