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I often view natural landscapes as lovers of sorts. In such places, nostalgia sometimes arises, and it's easy to equate tides, vistas, and any terrain of nature to a past lover if you only open your mind and imagination. From the curves of the wheat blowing in the open fields, the delicate petals of flowers, to the strong and towering stature of forest trees and vast moutain ranges.

I suppose some people just past by such scenes and think, or feel, absolutely nothing. However, each time I'm in a natural landscape, my mind begins to wander, romantic visions arise and I'm carried off to some magical mental state, if only for a brief period of time. It is here that I momentarily believe in the notion of fairy tales. Of all the landscapes, I dislike the ocean and sea most. Violent, unsteady and often aggressive. The great unknown, the depths and darkness of which remain a mystery to most humans, incapable of ever being wholly experienced or felt. The behaviors of the tide, waves and rhythm often resemble a cocky, aggressive, alpha male. For the sea rushes to kiss the shore day after day, no matter how many times it's pushed away. An overall machismo type of behavior that I despise in men, and I guess natural landscapes also. For those who somehow find peace, comfort and happiness in the open waters, these photos are for you, taken during a trip to San Diego, California last summer.

1. All these photos were taken near Seal Beach, a well known stopping point in La Jolla, California. This is a hilly and picturesque beach community near San Diego. People even climb directly into the waters here and swim with the stinky seals. This marine life, along with dolphins, plays a major role in military operations and drills in the San Diego area. They are used for a multitude of military purposes, which I'll explain in a later post. Somehow it made me sad...

2. Everywhere there are hanging cliffs and rocky barriers to control the ocean tides. San Diego - it is absolutely one of my favorite cities in California and a dream destination for those who love sunny weather, as the climate here is warm all year round, with little rain. About this region, I will try to write some reports because I have a lot of old photos from the journey.


3. Ocean selfie, when I first bought my selfie stick, but I felt ridiculous and narcisistic carrying this thing around during travels so I stopped using it.


I’m most drawn to forests or mountains, filled with trees, peaceful sounds, and mysterious, even wild creatures. Birches, pines, redwoods -  mighty, legendary, strong - often sheltering you from the harsh elements or blinding light. They learn to bend and sway in the wind, the tempest of storms, and often bounce back. They continually shed layers and are reborn again. Sometimes bruised, damaged, broken - but still alive for years and years, always deeply attached to their roots. Just like my idea of a good man. :)) Of course, I realize mountains are also deadly at times, unstable, annihilating human life in an instant with avalanches, landslides or blizzards - but, it is not the way I have experienced them in my lifetime or travels. So, I'll continue walking through local forests, driving and hiking through mountain regions...waiting for magic to bite.

Starting tomorrow, there will be a lot of photos of mountains from Georgia. I hope you do not tire of them…and what is your favorite natural landscape?

Date: 2016-11-30 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I also prefer forests and mountains, and quite indefferent to sea and ocean.

Date: 2016-11-30 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is obvious from your avatar. :) Are there decent mountains in Belarus? Don't remember seeing any for the brief moments I was there.

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Date: 2016-11-30 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I absolutely LOVE seas and oceans, can watch its infinity for hours. I was born and spent my childhood near the sea, so that might partially explain my love for it. I do recognize the beauty of the mountains but could trade them all wothout a second thought for the endless universe of deep waters.

Date: 2016-11-30 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your passion for the sea comes through in your comment. :) Yes, this "endless" nature of the sea is both intriguing and frustrating at the same time, because the universe of deep waters can never be fully explored, tamed or conquered, no matter how hard you try. It is like in youth when I used to date "bad boys" - hoping I could calm them over time, make them change the course or tide of their life...never worked. :))

Date: 2016-11-30 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember the place, I like it. I like sea/ocean shore, it's moving place.

Date: 2016-11-30 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
San Diego is marvelous for those who love the ocean and beaches, just very, every expensive. I like the mentality of people there - very laid back, Earthy and for the most part not pretentious.

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Date: 2016-11-30 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Speaking of love. There are times when you get used to something or someone that you cannot answer the simple question "Do you love it?" It's same as to ask - do you love your right hand? It's true about family, friends and even places.
I've got to a conclusion that I feel claustrophobic when traveling in the city that doesn't have a beach (river/sea/ocean).
Living in LA we take ocean shore for granted. But I agree with you - it's a treasure! We try to spend most of our summer weekends on a beach. Now with my new hobby/sport - windsurfing it'll be even closer to me :)

Waiting for your pictures. My parents just came from a trip to Georgia. Will be interesting to compare experiences

Date: 2016-11-30 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There in California you are lucky to have almost every landscape - mountains, a beautiful ocean and beaches, and very close to the desert also. :) I could never live in the MidWest of the USA. It would be some type of torture for me - where it is mostly flat, dry, in my view ugly and "dead." Good luck with your new windsurfing hobby! :) And what did your parents think of Georgia - they liked it, or not?

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Date: 2016-11-30 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like places where forest comes to water, no matter, river, lake or ocean. Big trees and blue water under them... And I like a lot if there are wooded hills. Only not bare stones. ))

Date: 2016-11-30 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love small streams, or even rivers that you suddenly stumble upon in forests or mountain areas. Something like this, from one of my small hikes in Georgia. :) The pace, flow and sound of such waters is usually peaceful and melodic - not a roar.

 photo FullSizeRender 2_zps6oxvms93.jpg

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Date: 2016-11-30 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lakes and big hills....I love Adirondack area.
I like the idea of big bodies of water(sea, ocean) but never lived near them so probably won't like it in the long run.
I need to go to California and see for myself what is it so beautiful there that people pay that much money for housing :))

Date: 2016-11-30 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Everything is relative. In areas where the housing costs are astronomical, salaries are equally high. It is the same in the Washington, DC area where there are a lot of job opportunities - our housing and rental costs are very expensive. Or, you can have cheap housing in the MidWest, live in the middle of nowhere, and face very limited job options. Such are the dilemmas in life...:) I've never been to the Adirondacks. Not sure why, as it is not so far from me. Maybe it can be a summer trip with my family next year. :)

Date: 2016-11-30 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love these pics! And I love California's nature in general.
I'm fond of many natural landscapes (oceans, forests, mountains), so it's difficult to choose. One of the beautiful places I would suggest everyone visit is Mount Rainier.

Date: 2016-11-30 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
California is really a beautiful State! But I would not want to live there. I've been to Washington numerous times, but have never made it to Mount Rainier...what a pity. :(

Date: 2016-11-30 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As for me, I hardly can make a choice...
Sometimes it can be mountains, sometimes - sea, forest, meadow, desert etc.
It depends on my mood, on the mood of the surrounding landscape because even sea can be peaceful and meadow can be frightful, as well as on weather...

Date: 2016-11-30 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Weather certainly has a huge impact on perceptions of different landscapes in a given moment. But under no conditions do I like the desert - not when I was in Israel, or desert areas here in the USA. :) Btw, if you are not exploring alone, the company you keep can equally impact mood and experience. For instance, if you're walking through an enchanted forest with a nice man on a date, it's certainly a different feeling than being alone, or running in panic to escape a serial killer or maniac in the woods. :))

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Date: 2016-11-30 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the post, Shannon! Nice views!
I like forest, sea, mountains I never saw desert but I think I wouldn't like it.

Date: 2016-12-01 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're welcome! :) I'm not a big fan of the desert, I saw plenty of these landscapes during my trip to Israel and even in some U.S. States. Plus, they are usually located in extremely hot climates, which really cause a negative physical and mental reaction in me. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Denis! :)

Date: 2016-11-30 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
there are plenty of beautiful landscapes on this planet for any mood

Date: 2016-12-01 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're right, as moods shift and change, perhaps we are drawn to different landscapes. In the U.S., we are lucky to have almost every type of nature, and actually it is the same in Georgia - mountains, sea, desert, and it is such a small country in comparison to the U.S. that it makes traveling between such places much easier.

Date: 2016-11-30 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been living in San Diego for about 2 years. The best time of my life.

Date: 2016-12-01 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it is really like a little paradise for those who love warm, sunny weather. :) I really like to visit each time I travel to see my aunt living in Orange County. It's an easy drive, but last time I took the train between San Diego and Anaheim. It was awesome - scenic, riding right along the shoreline. You can even wave at the surfers - you are that close to them. Cool! :)) Btw, are there ghetto areas there in San Diego? If so, where are they? I could not find any really run down, dilapidated areas of this city, but maybe they exist...

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Date: 2016-11-30 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the rivers views while you are swimming on a kayak through the magical corridors when trees and bushes sometimes completely close out the skies above, sometimes you go through the swamps with many dead trees protruding from dark waters and then you will get to the vast lake sceneries with the wind, huge waves, cries of gulls and villages far away...

Date: 2016-12-01 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nice imagery in your comment! :) Who knew you had a poetic flair for words? :)) Hello, nice to hear from you again!

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Date: 2016-11-30 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello. :-)

Photos are nice!

Shannon, may i ask you about something ? Have you read one book - one storey USA... (little golden America). Authors: Ilff and Petrov.

Sorry, my English is awfull. I apologise

Date: 2016-12-01 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi! I know this book, as many Russians have told me about it. It seems to be the framework for all their thoughts about American life, but I have not yet read it. In fact, I'm not even sure it's available in English.

Date: 2016-12-01 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When I saw first photo, not reading any further I can claim it was taken somewhere along route 1 California !

Date: 2016-12-01 01:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Amazing route for a road journey! So many stopping points! As much as I loved my journey through Georgia, I really appreciate the infrastructure of the USA for such road trips - proper roads, easy lookout points where you don't have to worry about being killed by speeding cars, and mostly - lots of toilets everywhere! It's really a luxury we take for granted. :)

Date: 2016-12-01 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
By the way, if you love forests, maybe you will enjoy a book of german forester Peter Wohlleben, "The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate":


The author describes social life of trees, considering it as a kind of "social network". Here is something more about this book:

Date: 2016-12-01 12:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! The book looks really interesting, and I need new reading materials. I will check it out, as I really do have a powerful and deep connection with forests and trees. :)

Date: 2016-12-04 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wonderful story and pictures.
Now I know that Shannon travels not only there where you can freeze your ears :)))

Date: 2016-12-04 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm pleased when readers tell me they enjoyed my stories and posts. I had to go to San Diego for a work conference, and I still almost always pick cold locations when traveling for pleasure. :))

Date: 2016-12-14 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
> I often view natural landscapes as lovers of sorts.
I have the same feeling for sunsets.
> Of all the landscapes, I dislike the ocean and sea most.
And I love sea, and rivers and even tiny water bodies when a reflection can be caught!
My favorite natural landscape is a view from a kind of a hill, where nothing blocks your sight and where you can see both the sky and the landscape down the hill.

Date: 2016-12-15 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sunsets/sunrises - they are so romantic, if you're not viewing them with the masses, and in some cozy, secluded spot. :) I like almost all landscapes, just not the ocean for some reason. Small streams, rivers, they have a much more melodic flow and are peaceful.


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