nature

Pull Over And Have An Adventure | California Photography by Rachel Abrahams

Before going to California, the number one question I was asked was "Are you planning on driving the Pacific Coastal Highway?". I was told repeatedly how it is beautiful and definitely worth taking the extra time to drive it. We decided to drive it from Los Angeles to San Francisco and it was absolutely worth every minute of it. Some parts were isolated, other parts were nerve wracking (high cliffs and teeny weeny ledges for the car), and almost all of it was gorgeous. We didn't have a detailed plan other than wanting to be at a certain point before sunset so we took full advantage of stopping wherever we saw beautiful sights. My husband was fantastic and kept scouting great photography locations to explore.

Not too long into the drive, we came upon this beach. It was isolated and there was only one other car there so we pulled over to explore. There was a large drop off from the road down to the sand and without my husband's assistance (both down and up the drop off), I never would have been able to get down onto the beach to explore. It had everything you expect from a beach on the Pacific Ocean - rocks, huge piles of seaweed, driftwood, and the water was so COLD. Not like Florida ocean water - this was wet suit required cold water. Plus, I'm a big (Floridian) wuss when it comes to cold water.

I am proud of the fact I was running around in capris and flip-flops while it was 50 degrees on the beach. That didn't bother me. Swimming in it would.

It was so lovely to be on this beach, scouring for treasures, with no one really around. The wind was blustery and the sun was strong. This situation was an example of something I read once that said to take pictures no matter what the light is like. As photographers, it is repeated over and over to us to always take photos in the best light - which is typically around sunrise and sunset. Well, I didn't have that option and had to work with the sun light directly over the water and the ocean reflecting it like a huge mirror onto my camera. The article was right - just take the photos. Don't miss out just because the light isn't perfect.

My favorite aspect of traveling is seeing how different things are where you visit and I could not get over how FLUFFY the seagulls were in California. Are they seeing some specialty bird hairdresser we don't have in Florida? Maybe it's all the celebrity beauty treatments and some weird seagull keratin feather treatment? These guys actually looked cuddly. Of course, I still can't stand birds so they didn't look cuddly enough to actually try to get near one. The day that happens, the people close to me know it's time to check me in for old-timer's disease or senility. I've tried but birds and I don't mix. Trust me.

Although it felt really isolated in this nook of a beach there were two houses within view. I cannot even imagine what a gorgeous vantage point they have every day. I waved in their direction in case anyone happened to see this little redheaded hobbit climbing around the rocks like an idiot. If someone did see me, I guarantee they were placing bets on me falling. FYI - I didn't. Well, I nearly did trying to climb back up the drop-off to the road. Hubby saved me though so it doesn't count.

What's the best place you discovered while meandering off the beaten path? Would you (or have you) dare(d) to swim in the arctic cold of the Pacific Ocean waters without a wet suit? Am I the only one who isn't a fan of birds?

Good Morning, Mr. Frog | FLORIDA PHOTOGRAPHY by Rachel Abrahams

It's morning and I am tired. Normal, right? As I shuffle....shuffle....shuffle to get my coffee in the O'Dark 30 AM, something catches my eye as being out of place. I look to my left and here is this frog just............hanging around (I couldn't resist). I just LOVED how he had his legs and arms all stretched out like he was the frog version of Spiderman. 

Lately, the frogs have grown in number on our front porch. There is usually at least one but I think the weather has helped encourage more to hang out on the glass around our door. Maybe they went on Meetup.com and said that we were a frog-safety zone. Who knows. Of course I grabbed my camera and he was kind enough to pose (I even thanked him). I can only imagine what my neighbors must have thought if they saw me in my pajamas photographing INTO our house.

I haven't really seen many frogs these past few days but they always return. I don't mind. As long as it's not snakes.

Sea Oats at Sunset Part II | Florida PHOTOGRAPHY by Rachel Abrahams

2012-July-Venice-Bch-SeaOat-2-830

Is it cheating if I post two "Sea Oats At Sunset" photos back to back? I just couldn't resist sharing this photo though! I didn't want to wait and, being as impatient as I am known to be, I am going ahead. I had to grab the sea oats and "pose" them into the shot so I could show the maximum amount of sunset color in between the rain clouds and the beach at a nice angle. I swear I wasn't trampling all over the dune - so no one point any fingers at me! I was being a savvy and aware beach goer. Scouts honor.

Sea Oat at Sunset | FLORIDA PHOTOGRAPHY by Rachel Abrahams

2012-July-Venice-Bch-SeaOat-835

Confession: I've been super terribly horribly bad about posting on my blog lately.

I just can't get a schedule going that keeps everything consistent but I am definitely working on it. In the meanwhile, to appease the masses I wanted to share this picture I took while in Venice Beach, Florida two weekends ago. It was my first time being on a Florida beach and getting to watch the sun set over the ocean. I live on the East Coast, which means getting up at O-Dark-30 to get a Sunrise view. There will be more of these pictures soon, I promise! It was pointed out to me recently that for living on the beach, I definitely don't have enough beach pictures. Challenge Accepted!

When you go to the beach, when is your favorite time to visit? Morning? Bright & sunny daytime? Storms? Evening? I personally prefer the later in the day into sunset portion since I burn so easily. I also know the cardinal rule - don't swim in the ocean around sunset. That's feeding time (YIKES!).