Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach.

Two blue whales, a mother and her calf, swim through the open ocean in this aerial photograph.  The calf is blowing (spouting, exhaling) with a powerful column of spray.  The blue whale is the largest animal ever to live on Earth, Balaenoptera musculus, San Diego, California

Blue Whale Aerial Photo. Two blue whales, a mother and her calf, swim through the open ocean in this aerial photograph. The calf is blowing (spouting, exhaling) with a powerful column of spray. Balaenoptera musculus.

Half Dome and storm clouds at sunset, viewed from Sentinel Bridge, Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome And Storm Clouds At Sunset, Yosemite Valley.

Breaking wave, Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, morning, barrel shaped surf, California

Moonlight Beach Breaking Wave

Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad

Cresting wave and morning sun, Carlsbad, California.

Brown pelican in flight.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown pelican in flight at sunrise, La Jolla, Pelecanus occidentalis

Sunrise glints yellow on breaking wave, dawn surf, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Sunrise glints yellow on breaking wave at the Wedge

Cholla cactus, brittlebush, ocotillo and various cacti and wildflowers color the sides of Glorietta Canyon.  Heavy winter rains led to a historic springtime bloom in 2005, carpeting the entire desert in vegetation and color for months, Opuntia, Encelia farinosa, Fouquieria splendens, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California

Opuntia Sp., Encelia Farinosa, Anza-borrego Desert State Park

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, with a rainbow appearing in the spray of the falls, viewed from the Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, with a rainbow appearing in the spray of the falls. Yosemite National Park.

Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island

Giant kelp frond showing pneumatocysts which make the algae bouyant. Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island, California

A kelp forest, with sunbeams passing through kelp fronds.  Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island

A kelp forest with sunbeams passing through kelp fronds. Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island, California.

Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls From Cook's Meadow, Yosemite Valley.

Oceanside Pier at dusk, sunset, night.  Oceanside

Oceanside Pier

Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen Trees, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Sunrise breaking wave, dawn surf, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Golden barrel

Sunrise breaking wave, dawn surf

Sunrise Breaking Wave

2006 Mavericks surf contest champion Grant Twiggy Baker of South Africa.  Final round, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Twiggy Baker, finals, Mavericks Surf Contest, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California.

Bristlecone pine displays its characteristic gnarled, twisted form as it rises above the arid, dolomite-rich slopes of the White Mountains at 11000-foot elevation. Patriarch Grove, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Pinus longaeva, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Bristlecone Pine, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Yosemite Falls and star trails, at night, viewed from Cook's Meadow, illuminated by the light of the full moon, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls And Star Trails

Breaking wave, morning, barrel shaped surf, California

Breaking Wave

Townsley Lake (10396'), a beautiful alpine lake sitting below blue sky, clouds and Fletcher Peak (right), lies amid the Cathedral Range of glacier-sculpted granite peaks in Yosemite's high country, near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park, California

Townsley Lake In The High Sierra, Yosemite National Park.

Blue whale, exhaling as it surfaces from a dive, aerial photo.  The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth, exceeding 100' in length and 200 tons in weight, Balaenoptera musculus, Redondo Beach, California

Aerial photo of a blue whale. Blue whale, exhaling as it surfaces from a dive, aerial photo taken off the coast of California.

San Diego Bay and Skyline at sunset, viewed from Point Loma, panoramic photograph

San Diego Bay And Skyline From Point Loma

Sky Rock petroglyphs near Bishop, California, sunrise light just touching clouds and the Sierra Nevada. Hidden atop an enormous boulder in the Volcanic Tablelands lies Sky Rock, a set of petroglyphs that face the sky.  These superb examples of native American petroglyph artwork are thought to be Paiute in origin, but little is known about them

Sky Rock Petroglyphs at Dawn, Volcanic Tablelands, Bishop, California.

Half Dome and sunset clouds, evening, Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome And Sunset Clouds

Yosemite Falls and rainbow, Half Dome in distance, viewed from the Yosemite Falls trail, spring, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls, Rainbow And Half Dome From Yosemite Falls Trail

San Diego city skyline at sunset, showing the buildings of downtown San Diego rising above San Diego Harbor, viewed from Harbor Island.  A panoramic photograph, composite of thirteen separate images

San Diego City Skyline Panorama

Approaching sunrise and star trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline.  In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego

Sunrise And Star Trails Over San Diego

Cathedral Range peaks reflected in the still waters of Townsley Lake at sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California

Cathedral Range peaks reflected in the still waters of Townsley Lake at sunrise, high country near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park.

Stars and the Milky Way rise above ancient bristlecone pine trees, in the White Mountains at an elevation of 10,000' above sea level.  These are some of the oldest trees in the world, reaching 4000 years in age, Pinus longaeva, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Stars And The Milky Way Rise Above Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient bristlecone pine trees at night, under a clear night sky full of stars, lit by a full moon, near Patriarch Grove, Pinus longaeva, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees At Night, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient bristlecone pine trees at night, under a clear night sky full of stars, lit by a full moon, near Patriarch Grove, Pinus longaeva, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees At Night, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California

Dune Evening Primrose In Spring During The 2017 Superbloom, Anza Borrego, Anza-borrego Desert State Park

Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California

Wildflowers Bloom Across Carrizo Plains National Monument, Carrizo Plain National Monument

Supermoon Eclipse at Moonrise over San Diego, September 27 2015

Supermoon Eclipse At Moonrise Over San Diego, September 27 2015

Rainbow and clearing storm clouds, sunrise light on Manly Beacon, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California

Rainbow And Clearing Storm Clouds, Zabriskie Point

The Milky Way at Night over Sky Rock.  Sky Rock petroglyphs near Bishop, California. Hidden atop an enormous boulder in the Volcanic Tablelands lies Sky Rock, a set of petroglyphs that face the sky. These superb examples of native American petroglyph artwork are thought to be Paiute in origin, but little is known about them

Milky Way Panorama Over Sky Rock, Bishop

Downtown Los Angeles at night, street lights, buildings light up the night

Downtown Los Angeles At Night

Broken Hill and view to La Jolla, panoramic photograph, from Torrey Pines State Reserve, sunrise, San Diego, California

Panoramic photograph of Broken Hill and La Jolla from Torrey Pines at sunrise

Clearing storm clouds over Broken Hill, overlooking La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Broken Hill Sunrise, Clearing Storm Clouds, Torrey Pines, Torrey Pines State Reserve

Aspen trees cover Bishop Creek Canyon above Aspendel, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

San Diego city skyline, dusk, clearing storm clouds

Beautiful San Diego City Skyline View

The OVRO 40 meter Telescope, part of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory located near Big Pine, California, USA. The telescope is used to conduct interferometric observations along with the other telescopes in the observatory, as a Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) station and as a single dish instrument. Its main focus today is on the monitoring of blazars

Owens Valley Radiotelescope Observatory 40 Meter Telescope and Milky Way, Night Panorama

Torrey Pines seacliffs, rising up to 300 feet above the ocean, stretch from Del Mar to La Jolla.  On the mesa atop the bluffs are found Torrey pine trees, one of the rare species of pines in the world, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Seacliffs, Torrey Pines State Reserve, La Jolla, aerial photo.

Bryozoan grows on a red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island

Bryozoan grows on a red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater. The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Lophogorgia chilensis, California.

Aerial photo of the West End of Catalina Island

Aerial Photo Of Catalina Island

Breaking wave, morning, barrel shaped surf, California, The Wedge, Newport Beach

Breaking Wave, The Wedge

Brown pelican in flight.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown Pelican In Flight, La Jolla

Waves rush in at sunset, Carlsbad beach sunset and ocean waves, seascape, dusk, summer

Waves Rush In At Sunset, Carlsbad

Hotel del Coronado, known affectionately as the Hotel Del.  It was once the largest hotel in the world, and is one of the few remaining wooden Victorian beach resorts.  It sits on the beach on Coronado Island, seen here with downtown San Diego in the distance.  It is widely considered to be one of Americas most beautiful and classic hotels. Built in 1888, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Island, aerial photo.

San Diego Coronado Bridge, known locally as the Coronado Bridge, links San Diego with Coronado, California.  The bridge was completed in 1969 and was a toll bridge until 2002.  It is 2.1 miles long and reaches a height of 200 feet above San Diego Bay.  Coronado Island is to the left, and downtown San Diego is to the right in this view looking north

Aerial photo of the San Diego Coronado Bridge, which links San Diego with Coronado Island.

Vogelsang Peak (11516') at sunset, reflected in a small creek near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite's high country, Yosemite National Park, California

Vogelsang Peak At Sunset From Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Yosemite National Park

Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills, seen here at night with swirling star trails formed in the sky above due to a long time exposure, Alabama Hills Recreational Area

Mobius Arch In The Alabama Hills, Alabama Hills Recreational Area

Sailing stone on the Racetrack Playa. The sliding rocks, or sailing stones, move across the mud flats of the Racetrack Playa, leaving trails behind in the mud. The explanation for their movement is not known with certainty, but many believe wind pushes the rocks over wet and perhaps icy mud in winter, Death Valley National Park, California

Sailing Stone On The Racetrack Playa

Milky Way over Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park

Milky Way Over Tioga Lake

A large, powerful wave breaks with offshore winds at the Wedge in Newport Beach, The Wedge

The Wedge, Newport Beach, California.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Cholla Sunrise, Joshua Tree National Park

Half Dome reflected in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome Reflected In The Merced River

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree at sunset, panorama, with storm clouds passing over the White Mountains.  The eastern Sierra Nevada is just visible in the distance, Pinus longaeva, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree, storm front passing over White Mountains, sunset, panorama

Upper Yosemite Falls and lunar rainbow, moonbow. A lunar rainbow (moonbow) can be seen to the left of Yosemite Falls, where the moon illuminates the spray of the falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls And Lunar Rainbow Moonbow

Two surfers at sunset, blood red dusk, Encinitas

Two Surfers At Sunset, Encinitas

Hospital Point, La Jolla, dawn, sunrise light and approaching storm clouds

Hospital Point, Dawn, La Jolla

La Jolla Sunset

La Jolla Sunset

Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California

Wildflowers Bloom Across Carrizo Plains National Monument, Carrizo Plain National Monument

The Botanical Building in Balboa Park, San Diego. The Botanical Building, at 250 feet long by 75 feet wide and 60 feet tall, was the largest wood lath structure in the world when it was built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition. The Botanical Building, located on the Prado, west of the Museum of Art, contains about 2,100 permanent tropical plants along with changing seasonal flowers. The Lily Pond, just south of the Botanical Building, is an eloquent example of the use of reflecting pools to enhance architecture. The 193' by 43' foot pond and smaller companion pool were originally referred to as Las Lagunas de las Flores (The Lakes of the Flowers) and were designed as aquatic gardens. The pools contain exotic water lilies and lotus which bloom spring through fall

The Botanical Building In Balboa Park, San Diego.

A fiery sunrise explodes over the La Jolla coastline

Spectacular Sunrise Over The La Jolla Coastline

California Poppies, Elsinore

California Poppies, Elsinore

Cormorants and sea lions on Seal Rock, at night, waves lit by full moon, Laguna Beach, California

Seal Rocks At Night, Laguna Beach

Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California

Wildflowers Bloom Across Carrizo Plains National Monument, Carrizo Plain National Monument

Crystal Pier, 872 feet long and built in 1925, extends out into the Pacific Ocean from the town of Pacific Beach.  Mission Bay and downtown San Diego are seen in the distance

Aerial photo of Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach.

New Point Loma Lighthouse, situated on the tip of Point Loma Peninsula, marks the entrance to San Diego Bay.  The lighthouse rises 70' and was built in 1891 to replace the "old"  Point Loma Lighthouse which was often shrouded in fog

New Point Loma Lighthouse, San Diego

Ancient bristlecone pine tree, rising above the arid, dolomite-rich slopes of the Schulman Grove in the White Mountains at an elevation of 9500 above sea level, along the Methuselah Walk.  The oldest bristlecone pines in the world are found in the Schulman Grove, some of them over 4700 years old. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Pinus longaeva, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Eureka Valley Dune Evening Primrose.  A federally endangered plant, Oenothera californica eurekensis is a perennial herb that produces white flowers from April to June. These flowers turn red as they age. The Eureka Dunes evening-primrose is found only in the southern portion of Eureka Valley Sand Dunes system in Indigo County, California, Oenothera californica eurekensis, Death Valley National Park

Eureka Valley Dune Evening Primrose, Eureka Dunes

Giant redwood, Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwood National Park.  The coastal redwood, or simply 'redwood', is the tallest tree on Earth, reaching a height of 379' and living 3500 years or more.  It is native to coastal California and the southwestern corner of Oregon within the United States, but most concentrated in Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California, found close to the coast where moisture and soil conditions can support its unique size and growth requirements, Sequoia sempervirens

Coastal Redwoods, Northern California

Bull elephant seal exits the water to retake his position on the beach.  He shows considerable scarring on his chest and proboscis from many winters fighting other males for territory and rights to a harem of females.  Sandy beach rookery, winter, Central California, Mirounga angustirostris, Piedras Blancas, San Simeon

Male elephant seal with considerable scarring from fighting other males for territory and mates. Central California. Mirounga angustirostris.

Mobius Arch at sunrise, with Mount Whitney (the tallest peak in the continental United States), Lone Pine Peak and snow-covered Sierra Nevada Range framed within the arch.  Mobius Arch is a 17-foot-wide natural rock arch in the scenic Alabama Hills Recreational Area near Lone Pine, California

Mobius Arch At Sunrise, Alabama Hills Recreational Area

Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia

Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park.

Sunset on the Last Chance Mountain Range, seen from Eureka Valley Sand Dunes, Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

Sunset On The Last Chance Mountain Range, Eureka Dunes

Downtown Los Angeles at night, street lights, buildings light up the night

Downtown Los Angeles At Night

San Diego City Skyline at Sunrise

San Diego City Skyline At Sunrise

Sunset and boulders, Joshua Tree National Park.  Sunset lights the giant boulders and rock formations near Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree N.P

Sunset and boulders, Joshua Tree National Park, panorama.

Quarter Moon over Broken Hill, Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California

Quarter Moon Over Broken Hill, Torrey Pines State Reserve

Sunrise Clouds and Surf, Hospital Point, La Jolla

Sunrise Clouds And Surf, Hospital Point, La Jolla

Roosevelt elk, adult bull male with large antlers.  This bull elk has recently shed the velvet that covers its antlers. While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone; once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler, which is itself shed after each mating season. Roosevelt elk grow to 10' and 1300 lb, eating grasses, sedges and various berries, inhabiting the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, Cervus canadensis roosevelti, Redwood National Park, California

Roosevelt Elk, Redwood National Park

Broken Hill and view to La Jolla, panoramic photograph, from Torrey Pines State Reserve, sunrise, San Diego, California

Broken Hill Sunrise, Torrey Pines, Torrey Pines State Reserve

Ancient bristlecone pine trees in Patriarch Grove, display characteristic gnarled, twisted form as it rises above the arid, dolomite-rich slopes of the White Mountains at 11000-foot elevation. Patriarch Grove, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Pinus longaeva, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees In Patriarch Grove, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Radio telescope antenna, part of the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is a system of ten radio telescopes which are operated remotely from their Array Operations Center located in Socorro, New Mexico, as a part of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). These ten radio antennas work together as an array that forms the longest system in the world that uses very long baseline interferometry, Big Pine, California

Very Long Baseline Array Radiotelescope and Milky Way, Owens Valley, California

Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.  The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California

Boulders And Sunset In Joshua Tree National Park

The Milky Way galaxy arcs above Arch Rock, panoramic photograph, cylindrical projection, Joshua Tree National Park, California

The Milky Way galaxy arcs above Arch Rock in Joshua Tree National Park in this high resolution panoramic photograph.

Joshua Trees silhouetted against predawn sunrise light, Yucca brevifolia, Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Trees Silhouetted Against Predawn Sunrise Light, Joshua Tree National Park

Racetrack Playa, an ancient lake now dried and covered with dessicated mud, Death Valley National Park, California

Racetrack Playa

Red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island

Lophogorgia chilensis, red gorgonian, grows below a towering forest of giant kelp, San Clemente Island, California.

Kelp fronds and pneumatocysts.  Pneumatocysts, gas-filled bladders, float the kelp plant off the ocean bottom toward the surface and sunlight, where the leaf-like blades and stipes of the kelp plant grow fastest.  Giant kelp can grow up to 2' in a single day given optimal conditions.  Epic submarine forests of kelp grow throughout California's Southern Channel Islands, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island

Kelp Fronds And Pneumatocysts, San Clemente Island

Eureka Dunes.  The Eureka Valley Sand Dunes are California's tallest sand dunes, and one of the tallest in the United States.  Rising 680' above the floor of the Eureka Valley, the Eureka sand dunes are home to several endangered species, as well as "singing sand" that makes strange sounds when it shifts.  Located in the remote northern portion of Death Valley National Park, the Eureka Dunes see very few visitors

Eureka Dunes

Blue whale, exhaling as it surfaces from a dive, aerial photo.  The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth, exceeding 100' in length and 200 tons in weight, Balaenoptera musculus, Redondo Beach, California

Blue whale, exhaling as it surfaces from a dive, aerial photo. Redondo Beach, California. Balaenoptera musculus.

Star trails and Arch Rock. Polaris, the North Star, is at the center of the circular arc star trails as they pass above this natural stone archway in Joshua Tree National Park, Alabama Hills Recreational Area

Star trails and Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park

The Milky Way Galaxy shines in the night sky with a Joshua Tree silhouetted in the foreground, Joshua Tree National Park, California

The Milky Way Galaxy Shines In The Night Sky With A Joshua Tree Silhouetted In The Foreground, Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way and Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way And Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn.

Live Oak and Milky Way, rocks and stars, Joshua Tree National Park at night

Live Oak And Milky Way, Joshua Tree National Park

Roosevelt elk, adult bull male with large antlers.  This bull elk has recently shed the velvet that covers its antlers. While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone; once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler, which is itself shed after each mating season. Roosevelt elk grow to 10' and 1300 lb, eating grasses, sedges and various berries, inhabiting the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, Cervus canadensis roosevelti, Redwood National Park, California

Roosevelt Elk, Redwood National Park

A sliding rock of the Racetrack Playa.  The sliding rocks, or sailing stones, move across the mud flats of the Racetrack Playa, leaving trails behind in the mud.  The explanation for their movement is not known with certainty, but many believe wind pushes the rocks over wet and perhaps icy mud in winter, Death Valley National Park, California

A Sliding Rock Of The Racetrack Playa

Paraglider soaring at Torrey Pines Gliderport, sunset, flying over the Pacific Ocean, La Jolla, California

Paraglider Soaring At Torrey Pines Gliderport, La Jolla

Waves rush in at sunset, Carlsbad beach sunset and ocean waves, seascape, dusk, summer

Waves Rush In At Sunset, Carlsbad

Milky Way over Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees, Inyo National Forest, Pinus longaeva, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Milky Way Over Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, and Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel (left) viewed from the San Diego Embarcadero Marine Park, sunrise

San Diego Marriott Hotel And Marina, San Diego

Oceanside Pier at Dawn

Oceanside Pier At Dawn

Milky Way over Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees, Inyo National Forest, Pinus longaeva, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Milky Way Over Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Milky Way over Tenaya Lake, Polly Dome (left), Tenaya Peak (center), Yosemite National Park

Milky Way Over Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

Balboa Pier, sunrise, Newport Beach, California

Balboa Pier Waves At Sunrise

Gray whale blowing at the ocean surface, exhaling and breathing as it prepares to dive underwater, Eschrichtius robustus, Encinitas, California

Gray Whale Aerial Photo, Encinitas

Blue whale, exhaling as it surfaces from a dive, aerial photo.  The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth, exceeding 100' in length and 200 tons in weight, Balaenoptera musculus, Redondo Beach, California

Aerial photo of blue whale, Los Angeles, California.

Full Moon rising over San Diego City Skyline, viewed from Harbor Island

Full Moon Over San Diego City Skyline

Parry's Nolina, or Giant Nolina, a flowering plant native to southern California and Arizona founds in deserts and mountains to 6200'. It can reach 6' in height with its flowering inflorescence reaching 12', Nolina parryi, Joshua Tree National Park

Parry's Nolina, Nolina parryi, Joshua Tree National Park.

Brown pelican.  This large seabird has a wingspan over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, due largely to predation in the early 1900s and to decades of poor reproduction caused by DDT poisoning.  In winter months, breeding adults assume a dramatic plumage with brown neck, yellow and white head and bright red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown Pelican, La Jolla

Eureka Dunes.  The Eureka Valley Sand Dunes are California's tallest sand dunes, and one of the tallest in the United States.  Rising 680' above the floor of the Eureka Valley, the Eureka sand dunes are home to several endangered species, as well as "singing sand" that makes strange sounds when it shifts.  Located in the remote northern portion of Death Valley National Park, the Eureka Dunes see very few visitors

Eureka Dunes

Milky Way over Joshua Tree National Park

Milky Way Over Joshua Tree National Park

Breaking wave, early morning surf, Ponto, Carlsbad, California

Surf breaks in shallow water, Carlsbad

Milky Way over Joshua Tree National Park at Astronomical Twilight, Pre-dawn

Milky Way over Joshua Tree National Park at Astronomical Twilight

Tufa and Stars at Night, Milky Way galaxy, Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake Tufa And Stars At Night

Pacific harbor seal on wet sandy beach, Phoca vitulina richardsi, La Jolla, California

Pacific Harbor Seal, La Jolla

Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia

Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia.

Freediver photographing pelagic gelatinous zooplankton, adrift in the open ocean, Phacellophora camtschatica, San Diego, California

A freediving underwater photographer hovers above jellyfish Phacellophora camtschatica and salp chain Cyclosalpa affinis, drifting in the open ocean, San Diego, California.

Brittlebush at sunrise, dawn, springtime bloom, Palm Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Encelia farinosa, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California

Brittlebush At Sunrise, Anza-borrego Desert State Park

Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.  The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California

Marble boulders and fading light, sunset.

Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.  The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California

Jumbo Rocks, boulders, Joshua Tree National Park.

Cathedral Rocks at sunrise, reflected in a spring meadow flooded by the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Cathedral Rocks is reflected at sunrise in a sidewater of the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California.

Vernal Falls and Merced River in spring, heavy flow due to snow melt in the high country above Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls and Merced River in complete spring flood, heavy flow due to snow melt in the high country above Yosemite Valley.

Milky Way at Night over Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park

Milky Way At Night Over Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park

A hiker admires an ancient bristlecone pine tree, on the Methuselah Walk in the Schulman Grove in the White Mountains at an elevation of 9500 above sea level.  The oldest bristlecone pines in the world are found in the Schulman Grove, some of them over 4700 years old. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Pinus longaeva, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

A Hiker Admires An Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Salt polygons.  After winter flooding, the salt on the Badwater Basin playa dries into geometric polygonal shapes, Death Valley National Park, California

Salt Polygons, Badwater

North Peak (12242', center), Mount Conness (left, 12589') and Conness Lake with its green glacial meltwater, Hoover Wilderness, Conness Lakes Basin

North Peak And Conness Lake And Green Glacial Meltwater, Hoover Wilderness, Conness Lakes Basin

Dried mud, arid land, Eureka Valley, Death Valley National Park, California

Dried Mud, Eureka Valley

California sea lion hauled out on rocks beside the ocean, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California Sea Lion, La Jolla

International Space Station flys over Death Valley shortly after sunset, Earth Orbit, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, The Universe

The International Space Station flys over Death Valley shortly after sunset.

Racetrack Playa, an ancient lake now dried and covered with dessicated mud, Death Valley National Park, California

Racetrack Playa

Sunset over the Racetrack Playa. The Cottonwood Mountains rise above the flat, dry, ancient lake bed, Death Valley National Park, California

Sunset Over The Racetrack Playa.

Racetrack sailing stone and star trails.  A sliding rock of the Racetrack Playa. The sliding rocks, or sailing stones, move across the mud flats of the Racetrack Playa, leaving trails behind in the mud. The explanation for their movement is not known with certainty, but many believe wind pushes the rocks over wet and perhaps icy mud in winter, Death Valley National Park, California

Racetrack Sailing Stone And Star Trails, Racetrack Playa

Mammoth Peak over Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park

Mammoth Peak Over Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park

Gray whale, blow, Eschrichtius robustus, Big Sur, California

Gray Whale, Big Sur

Joshua tree at sunrise.  Joshua trees are found in the Mojave desert region of Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia

Sunrise, Joshua Tree, Yucca brevifolia

Freediving photographer in a cloud of salps, gelatinous zooplankton that drifts with open ocean currents, San Diego, California

Freediving Photographer In A Cloud Of Salps, San Diego

Juniper and star trails, Joshua Tree National Park, California

Juniper And Star Trails, Joshua Tree National Park

Paraglider soaring at Torrey Pines Gliderport, sunset, flying over the Pacific Ocean, La Jolla, California

Paraglider Soaring At Torrey Pines Gliderport, La Jolla

Yosemite Falls and star trails, night sky time exposure of Yosemite Falls waterfall in full spring flow, with star trails arcing through the night sky, Yosemite National Park, California

Star trails appear over Yosemite Falls in this 40 minute time exposure, Yosemite Valley, California.

Yosemite Falls reflected in flooded meadow.  The Merced  River floods its banks in spring, forming beautiful reflections of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls is reflected in a flooded meadow created by heavy spring water levels in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California.

A sea otter, resting on its back, holding its paw out of the water for warmth.  While the sea otter has extremely dense fur on its body, the fur is less dense on its head, arms and paws so it will hold these out of the cold water to conserve body heat, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California

Sea Otter, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Evening light and clouds over ancient bristlecone pine trees, in the White Mountains at an elevation of 10,000' above sea level. These are some of the oldest trees in the world, some exceeding 4000 years in age, Pinus longaeva, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Dusk And Clouds Over Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree., Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Stars, moonlit clouds and the Milky Way over ancient bristlecone pine trees, in the White Mountains at an elevation of 10,000' above sea level. These are some of the oldest trees in the world, some exceeding 4000 years in age, Pinus longaeva, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Milky Way And Moonlit Clouds Over Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Oceanside Pier at Dawn

Oceanside Pier At Dawn

California Poppies, Rancho La Costa, Carlsbad

California Poppies, Rancho La Costa, Carlsbad