Instagram Takeover at Wonderful Machine


I had the pleasure of taking over the Wonderful Machine Instagram account for 3 days last week.  I used the opportunity to feature some of my favorite and lesser known San Diego landmarks.  I ended up posting about 36 images. Below are several of my favorites.  To check out all the images visit the Wonderful Machine Instagram stream. To explore futher follow me on Instagram - @feriiiphoto

 The southwestern most point in the continental United States. The western end of the US Mexico border fence. Great surf that day, BTW...

The southwestern most point in the continental United States. The western end of the US Mexico border fence. Great surf that day, BTW...

 Chicano Park under the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge is one of my favorite under appreciated San Diego locales. This year the city officially recognized it as a skate park too.

Chicano Park under the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge is one of my favorite under appreciated San Diego locales. This year the city officially recognized it as a skate park too.

 Workers prep for the impending Apocalypse - adding mulch to the cliffs at Swami's to reduce erosion. SoCal is in a state of panic as we prepare for the potential of the greatest El Niño in the history of history this winter.

Workers prep for the impending Apocalypse - adding mulch to the cliffs at Swami's to reduce erosion. SoCal is in a state of panic as we prepare for the potential of the greatest El Niño in the history of history this winter.

 Sitting along the coast at the Northern most point of San Diego County just before the sprawl of The OC is the recently decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Current negotiations center on who should pay for the shut down and where the spent fuel rods should be stored. It's an icon on the I-5 drive between San Diego and LA.

Sitting along the coast at the Northern most point of San Diego County just before the sprawl of The OC is the recently decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Current negotiations center on who should pay for the shut down and where the spent fuel rods should be stored. It's an icon on the I-5 drive between San Diego and LA.

 Progress, always progress. In all my years in San Diego construction cranes have always been a fixture of the downtown skyline. The only exception to that was the first few years of the "Great Recession". All those cranes seemed to disappear one night in early 2009. But as the economy has come roaring back, so has the progress….

Progress, always progress. In all my years in San Diego construction cranes have always been a fixture of the downtown skyline. The only exception to that was the first few years of the "Great Recession". All those cranes seemed to disappear one night in early 2009. But as the economy has come roaring back, so has the progress….

 Suburbia

Suburbia

 Desert Bound - Hwy 78

Desert Bound - Hwy 78

 The Mt Soledad cross sits atop the highest point in the posh San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla. The cross itself has undergone 2 "resurrections" and most recently a restoration. There have been 3 different crosses on the location since the original was built I 1909. The current cross is embroiled in constant litigation as it sits on federal land, formerly city owned. Opponents argue for its removal based on the separation of Church and State. A Korean War Memorial was built directly under the cross as a way of appeasement. But numerous courts have ruled for its removal. At last check, the cross still stands…

The Mt Soledad cross sits atop the highest point in the posh San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla. The cross itself has undergone 2 "resurrections" and most recently a restoration. There have been 3 different crosses on the location since the original was built I 1909. The current cross is embroiled in constant litigation as it sits on federal land, formerly city owned. Opponents argue for its removal based on the separation of Church and State. A Korean War Memorial was built directly under the cross as a way of appeasement. But numerous courts have ruled for its removal. At last check, the cross still stands…

 The quintessential late night drive-thru fast food in San Diego is Roberto's or one of his "cousin's" joints. First opened in 1964 in San Ysidro  Roberto's is a culinary icon in SD. Too many imitators to name have spun off all ending in `bertos. Albertos, Alibertos, Filibertos, Aibertos, Gualbertos, Jilbertos, Hilbertos, Adalbertos, Roybertos, Rambertos, Hambertos, Humbertos, Rubertos, and Rolbertos, and my personal fav, Juan Bertos. Open 24 hours - who amongst us hasn't made the late night stop (read drunken) for a wet bean and cheese burrito or 5 rolled tacos w guacamole at least once. This Robertos is in OB, my favorite little beach community.

The quintessential late night drive-thru fast food in San Diego is Roberto's or one of his "cousin's" joints. First opened in 1964 in San Ysidro  Roberto's is a culinary icon in SD. Too many imitators to name have spun off all ending in `bertos. Albertos, Alibertos, Filibertos, Aibertos, Gualbertos, Jilbertos, Hilbertos, Adalbertos, Roybertos, Rambertos, Hambertos, Humbertos, Rubertos, and Rolbertos, and my personal fav, Juan Bertos. Open 24 hours - who amongst us hasn't made the late night stop (read drunken) for a wet bean and cheese burrito or 5 rolled tacos w guacamole at least once. This Robertos is in OB, my favorite little beach community.

Fort Point

My youngest son and I recently traveled to San Francisco.  On our stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge I discovered this surf spot right under the southern end.  Fort Point is one of the more unusual breaks on the California coast, to say the least.  Here's a bodyboarder braving the frigid water and avoiding the rocks.

Beech-Nut Factory

Over the summer I read an awesome travelogue about a writer, Dana Spiotta, and her friend who canoed a portion of the Erie Canal in order to experience the waterside view and feel of the towns and landscape along the waterway.  Okay, maybe it wasn't a travelogue in the true sense, but this article for the New York Times Magazine sucked me in.  The small towns dotting the Erie Canal are long past their prime.  Commuters and truckers on I-90 race past these long forgotten towns day and night, without much thought.  One of the landmarks that struck me in her article was the recently abandoned Beech-Nut factory in Canajoharie, NY.  I sought out the Erie Canal on a recent trip back east and found myself drawn to this old factory.  I passed it several times during my travels at various times of the day.  Always beautiful, not a soul around, and the distinct hum of I-90 in the background.

Bees

I always thought I knew what I needed to know about bees. Bees are cool.  Bees make honey.  Bees sting.  Keep your distance from bees.  The bees seemed cool with this arrangement as I mostly left them alone to do their thing. Then I was in Northern CA a few weeks back and spent some time learning about bees.  I saw the film Queen of the Sun | What are the Bees Telling Us? about the plight of the honeybee. A must see film for anyone concerned with the state of agribusiness in our country and the world.  I then had the pleasure of meeting and photographing two wonderful beekeepers.  The first, one of the film’s featured beekeepers, was Guther Hauk.  Gunther is a gentle soul with an amazing knowledge of bees and beekeeping.  He is an advocate for sustainable beekeeping, having “retired” to The Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in rural Virginia.   The second was Barbara Schlumberger.  She, along with Priscilla Coe and Michael Thiele founded The Melissa Garden at Barbara’s ranch in Sonoma County.  She too is a sustainable beekeeper and bee advocate.  Barbara was nice enough to give me a tour of the garden and introduce me to their bees.  It was an incredible experience.

So I have a newfound respect and love of bees.  And the bees and I have a new understanding.   I will not steal their honey or fear them and they will not sting me.  It’s worked out well so far.

Here are 10 fun facts about bees.

1. Honey bees have four wings, six legs, two compound eyes made of up many, many tiny lenses and three simple eyes on the top of the head that are light sensors.

2. Honeybees perform a waggle dance to communicate the location and the directions to distant food sources that are 100 yards to 2-3 miles from the hive.

3. In one trip honeybees visit 100-1500 blossoms to fill their honey crop, an organ separate from their digestive stomach that is used to transport nectar.

4. Forager bees, steadfast and committed to their task, make up to 30 trips a day. Using their long, straw-like proboscis they collect nectar from the wild flowers and herbs of meadows. As Johannes Wirz says in QUEEN OF THE SUN, “Bees are the golden thread from flower to flower, keeping the world in bloom.”

5. The honey bee’s wings beat at incredible speeds! About 200 beats per second, creating the their un-missable “buzz”. A bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour and can fly a total of up to six miles.

6. Bees were not only one of the first sources for sweetness, but also for light! Beeswax candles were used by humans to provide long-lasting light in the darkness. Secreted from glands of the bee’s abdomen, beeswax is used by the honeybee to build the honey comb in the beehive.

7. In their entire lifespan, a worker bee only produces 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of honey.

8. The beehive is a “super organism”. All of the bees work together as a single entity. A lone bee cannot live on it’s own outside of the hive for even 24 hours.

9. In winter bees live on stored honey and pollen and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. Their “body” temperature in the hive is close to human body temperature, 95-97 degrees, regardless of the temperature outside of the hive.

10. Some big numbers to think about! In producing just one pound of honey, bees from the hive visit approximately one million flowers. The entire hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles. This is  equivalent to one and a half orbits around the earth just to collect one pound of glistening honey.