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Are you planning to visit Yosemite National Park? I have been there several times, thanks to my Dad. And I share what to do in the beautiful park, even if you only have one day to spare. In this video, I bike around Yosemite Village and in the scenic majestic valley, giving you a sampler of what Yosemite has to offer. Enjoy!

Dungeness Crab Version 2

Along the west coast of America, up to the Pacific Northwest, lives the Dungeness Crab. It is one of the larger family of crabs. Their name is derived from Dungeness, a fish port town in Puget Sound, Washington state. Their lifespan is about 10 years. Commercially caught Dungeness Crabs are usually around 5 years old when their shells reach 6 to 7 inches wide. Crabs grow through a process called molting where it sheds its shell for a new, larger one. Each time this happens, the crab grows 15 to 25%. They can be found in muddy/sandy portions of estuaries with eelgrass, along rocky shores, or as deep as 2000 feet in the ocean where they forage for small fish and invertebrates, such as clams and mussels.

Here is some good news. In a world full of so many threatened species of sea life, Dungeness crabs are actually a very good choice as a sustainable food source.  Regulations is saving the species. For example, in Canada, Dungeness Crab fisheries have catch size limitations. This protects male crabs until they are sexually mature, giving them the chance to spawn before being harvested. Female crabs are also protected by having fishing season restrictions.

What is your favorite prepared way to eat crab?  Mine is Hong Kong-style which is stir-fried in a wok and tossed with soy sauce, green onions, and lots of scrambled egg. Yummy.

I have painted a Dungeness Crab before, however, my approach toward doing watercolor has changed over time, so this is version 2 of the beloved tasty subject.

mobile_traveler

I’m back to drawing another RV, the fourth one in my series. This time it’s personal because my father had this very model by Chevrolet called the Mobile Traveler. The MT was modest in size but had all the necessities for road tripping – bathroom with shower, stove, fridge, a master bed that converted into a dining table, closet space and my favorite spot, a hidden bed area (above the driver). This is where I could look out the front window while dad was driving us to the next cool destination. Good memories.

photography: california

June 19, 2015

yosemite aerial

monterey_247

monterey_147

napa_7113

napa_7064

napa_6932

wente_vineyard_748

santa cruz_632

santa cruz_605

A few photos I took while in California. Quite a nice experience for the senses where everything is big. It included many grandiose views of the ocean, the mountains and of course, wine tasting in Napa Valley.

photo: california

April 17, 2014

yosemite_falls_by_al_lau

yellow_wildflowers_by_al_lau

tree_bark_by_al_lau

yosemite_rock_by_al_lau

tree_in yellow_field_by_al_lau

california_poppy_by_al_lau

san_fran_houses_by_al_lau

kelp_by_al_lau

coyote_creek_pier_by_al_lau

I took some photographs while in California (that are excellent for computer wallpaper or textures). The state is especially beautiful during the Spring season, before the powerful sun turns the grassy hills into brown. In the High Sierras, where there is fresh snow melt, the waterfalls are full-on flowing majesty, however, in the lakes of the valley, it is evident that the drought is still a big problem.

monarch_butterfly_by_al_lau

This is my little illustration of a Monarch Butterfly.  I, thankfully, had the opportunity to see the orange beauty in person, during a road trip on the coast of California, at the right time of year.

Monarch Butterflies are known for their massive migration between Canada and South America. They can be viewed gathering in clusters in the pine or eucalyptus trees at points such as Pismo Beach or Pacific Grove, CA, both in October.

During the Spring and Summer,  the butterfly’s eggs are laid upon the leaves of milkweed plants.  After four days, caterpillars hatch and feed on the milkweed for two weeks.  Next, the caterpillar spins a web on a leaf for its Chrysalis to hang from.  A metamorphosis into a fragile, yet majestic winged insect occurs at this phase after about two more weeks.

The migration exceeds the lifespan of the Monarch butterflies which is only two months, but the next generation continues the trek south (or north depending on the time of year), hence making for an amazing journey for such a small creature.

photography: winter mountain

February 12, 2010

white out

mountain view

big trees

As I’m on a trip, away from my pencils and brushes, the camera will be my source of creativity.  Here are a few photos I took during my ski trip in Mammoth.

sketch: crab

July 16, 2009

drawing_dungeness_crab_sm

These are photos I took while hiking and camping in Lake Tahoe.  They can be used as wallpapers for the computer desktop, or textures for graphic design.  1600 x 1200 pixels.

sketch: lake tahoe

June 18, 2009

While camping in Lake Tahoe, I did a couple of sketches – one from the top most viewpoint of the Emerald Bay campground and one of a pine tree next to my tent site.

sketch_emerald_bay_600w

sketch_lake_tahoe_tree_600h

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