Monarch butterflies

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I was just looking back at a shoot from last October at my favorite botanical garden. This year Monarch butterflies had a late migrating season and were still around southern California into late October early December.

Title: Monarchs at the garden
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

This Monarch is hiding in this purple flowering bush, but he could not hid from me and my camera.

Title: Purple flowers and a Monarch
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Title: Monarch pollinating purple wild flower
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Title: Resting Monarch butterfly
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

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Dragon fruit smoothie bowl

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This dragon fruit smoothie bowl was so good I had to share the recipe with all of you! Instructions on how to make overnight chia seed oatmeal are in THIS BLOG POST.

Recipe- Smoothie
1/2 cup coconut water
Fresh blackberries
1 Medjool Date
Half a fresh banana
3 Strawberries
1/2 cup frozen dragon fruit
1/2 cup frozen strawberries & Banana
2 Ice cubes
Mix all of that together in a powerful blender on a high setting like “smoothie” or “ice crush” until it’s completely blended together.
Next add 2 scoops of Organic greek yogurt into the blender and mix on a low setting.

Now we are gonna put the smoothie bowl together. Put a few scoops of your overnight chia seed oatmeal into a bowl, then pour the finish smoothie over the oats.

Now we are going to get the toppings ready, cut up the fruits and pick out your superfood toppings. I really love getting creative with my toppings… making the bowl look beautiful is part of the fun.
Toppings-
Almonds
Coconut flakes
Hemp seed
Flax seed
Buckwheat groats
Chia seed
Blueberry
Strawberry
Raspberry
Banana
Granola
Golden raisins
Goji Berries
Medjool Dates

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Eager Honey Bees

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I went to the Carpinteria garden recently and found an unusual amount of honey bees hanging around the garden, this gave me the opportunity to capture a bunch of bees up-close including this little guy.

Title: Eager bee
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter

This honey bee was busy pollination this white rose flower long enough for me to get a really good shot of him.

Title: Honey Bee and white flower
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter

This photo is so up-close you can see the little pollen sacs on the honey bees legs. The pollen sacs are an important part of the pollination process. When the bee flies away, it carries the sac to other flowers, allowing pollen to fall out of the sacs and onto the flower.

Title: Honey Bee pollination
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter

The best part of visiting this botanical garden is all the different variety of exotic flowers that attracts lots of different wildlife such as these honey bees.

Title: Honey Bee on a purple blue-eyed daisy
Location: Carpinteria, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter

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Mango, Strawberry & Banana Smoothie Bowl

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A few months ago I made a big lifestyle change and decided to get super healthy! Eating a healthy lunch every day was my first step so I started looking into healthy and yummy lunch options when I found a blog all about making smoothie bowls with superfoods. After my first smoothie bowl I was hooked, now I want to share my creative lunch recipes with other people.

Recipe- Chia Seed Overnight Oatmeal
1 Cup old fashioned oats
2 Tablespoons Chia Seed
1/2 Cup Coconut Water
1/2 Cup milk, could use coconut milk, almond or soy milk
Mix it all & Refrigerate overnight

Recipe- Smoothie
1/2 cup coconut water
Fresh mango slice
Half a fresh banana
3 Strawberries
6 rainbow carrots
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen strawberries & Banana
2 Ice cubes
Mix all of that together in a powerful blender on a high setting like “smoothie” or “ice crush” until it’s completely blended together.
Next add 2 scoops of Organic greek yogurt into the blender and mix on a low setting.

Now we are gonna put the smoothie bowl together. Put a few scoops of your overnight chia seed oatmeal into a bowl, then pour the finish smoothie over the oats.

Now we are going to get the toppings ready, cut up the fruits and pick out your superfood toppings. I enjoy making my smoothies bowls look as good as they taste.
Toppings-
Almond slices
Coconut flakes
Hemp seed
Flax seed
Sunflower seed
Chia seed
Blueberry
Strawberry
Raspberry
Banana
Medjool Dates

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framemockup_cat_mandala

Mandala drawings

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California bear mandala print

I recently started drawing mandalas with micron pens on premium sketch paper. I started doing it as a way to relax and clear my mind from the normal stresses of the day. My drawings started to really improve with practice so I started posting progress pics on my instagram and other people really enjoyed them.

Buy this California bear mandala print

Elephant Mandala print

Buy this Elephant Mandala print

Love Birds mandala print

Buy this Love Birds mandala print

talking lovers mandala print

Buy this talking lovers mandala print

A walk in the New Jersey woods

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I love exploring different regions and finding what’s on the ground. In this case, it was the woods of New Jersey and I found such amazing mushrooms like this one.

Title: Broken mushroom
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Even morbid subjects can be beautiful, as this skull shows that nature can be quite beautiful in it’s own way.

Title: Fish skull
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A very unique mushroom.

Title: Mushroom on a log
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

There’s always little pieces of grassy moss poking through the strangest places.

Title: Green grassy moss
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Cityscapes of New York city

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They call New York the concrete jungle for a reason, it has many buildings that offer beautiful sky lines.

Title: Concrete jungle
Location: New York city, New York
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A slightly cloudy day made for better photos, and nicer weather since it was quite warm.

Title: Summer in the city
Location: New York city, New York
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

The center of attention is the new World Trade Center, which stands quite tall among the towering skyscrapers of the financial district.

Title: Towering skyscrapers
Location: New York city, New York
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

The dark clouds are really rolling in now, but it felt quite nice.

Title: Dark cityscape
Location: New York city, New York
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A day at Point Pleasant beach

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These pictures were taken in New Jersey right before summer started, and it was quite windy!

Title: Point pleasant beach
Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

In the background you can spot a colorful palm tree which is part of the summer tradition of the Jersey shore.

Title: Jersey shore
Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Part of the boardwalk on the Jersey shore, which has a storied history and has seen over a million feet.

Title: Point pleasant boardwalk
Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Don’t rub your eyes, these are real palm trees in the north east. They must be a special kind.

Title: Palm trees in New Jersey
Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Summer garden

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It’s been awhile since we’ve seen some pink flowers, so I think it’s about time we appreciate the pink colors of this world.

Title: Peach Blossom in bloom
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A great example of pink and purple mixing well together.

Title: Erodium cheilanthifolium Heronsbill
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

Pink and white is also a great combination, and these anthers make it seem like the flowers are dancing.

Title: Peach Blossom flowers
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

A surprise orange flower that pops out like none other.

Title: Bright orange California poppy
Location: Ventura, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

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