Sunday Stills: Winter(ish) White

Most often, to find images for Terri’s weekly photo prompt, I look in my files for existing pictures that match the theme. This time, I decided to use the week’s prompt, “Things that are White” as the inspiration for a scavenger hunt.

My husband and I woke up one day last week to glorious blue skies and temperatures that were predicted to reach the low 70s. Although it seldom gets too cold in Southern California, a winter day like this – especially one in the middle of the week – begs to be enjoyed outside. We decided to take a quick drive up the coast to the beachside community of La Jolla, to search for things that are white.

Kayak tour to explore the sea caves.

Right away, we saw a whole flotilla of kayakers. There are several local kayak rental companies that offer tours, and each has their own hull color for easy identification. This group, on this day, happened to be in white kayaks. I felt that we were off to a great start on our hunt.

The white cliffs of guano

A little bit further on our walk, we came across cliffs covered with white bird… ummmm… poop. The pelicans and sea lions are fun to watch, but the smell made us move along quickly.

The ocean was relatively calm that day, but we still saw a lot of waves with whitewater foam. If you look closely at the first picture, some of those “rocks” in the foreground are actually sea lions basking in the sun.  

A black and white gull is more interested in treats someone might throw to him than he is in the view.

A white rescue surfboard is at the ready just in case someone gets into trouble out in the water.

White shells embedded in cement.

More white sea spray in the distance. It was an especially low tide this day so there were a lot of tidal pools to explore.

Back up on the main street, we passed by the historical La Valencia Hotel, which was built in 1926. Black and white umbrellas and window awnings are set off against the hotel’s iconic rosy exterior. (Oh, and look: a white SUV!)

And, finally, the white and red hat made famous in the book, The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Geisel) was a long-time resident of La Jolla and several local galleries carry his work.

Do you have pictures of things that are white? Join Terri’s Sunday Stills photo prompt to show us your images and see what others have shared.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

84 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Winter(ish) White”

  1. Janis, Excellent finds on the white theme from your excursion. Love the group of kayaks. Your photos bring back fond memories of my road trip along the Pacific Coast Hwy and visits to CA. #SundayStills

    1. I’m glad my pictures brought back good memories (as yours do from Toronto). I was surprised to see the white-hulled kayaks. Normally I see groups of all-yellow or all-red. Seeing all the white set my scavenger hunt off in the right direction.

  2. Wow, a walk and paddle down memory lane for me, Janis! Great scavenger hunt and a perfect weekend to do so! It’s sad to see that part of La Jolla cove so full of poop. As kids we hung out there with our families. No poop back then. Oh well. Gorgeous shots of a gorgeous town!

    1. Fortunately, It’s just that one part to the north of Coast Blvd. that’s smelly. Not really the Cove or the Children’s Pool area.

      Great theme this week, Terri (and, we are suppose to get some rain this week so maybe I’ll have something for next Sunday).

  3. California has always been portrayed via the press as an idyllic place to live, and from your coastal photos, they are correct. Janis, have you been out on a kayak? I have done it on a lake though speaking to people who do it out on the ocean, knowledge of tides and the ocean’s unpredictable nature is required. I sort of miss the extreme climate between summer and winter as the Bay of Plenty, like California, has a temperate climate.

    1. I haven’t done a lot of kayaking… mostly in the bay… but I did brave the ocean and (smallish) waves one time. Once we got out beyond the breakwater, we were fine. I’ve love to take one of those cave tours one of these days. Maybe now would be a good time.

  4. Hi, Janis – I greatly enjoyed your Scavenger Hunt — bird poop and all!
    And ending with Dr. Seuss was a real treat — I am a huge fan! I did need to look closely to distinguish rocks from sea lions (and vice versa). My eyesight is not what it used to be! 😀

  5. I love that you had a day and turned this into a scavenger hunt for white. What a cool outing and great photos. That’s a part of California I have not been to so thanks for sharing.

  6. I loved your take on this prompt. My pledge to join Sunday Stills lasted exactly one week. Note to self must prepare and remember that Sunday Stills is due on, well, Sunday.

  7. What a great way of going about the #SundayStills prompt Janis – with a scavenger hunt no less! I love your creative style and you’ve captured some awesome white shots along the way. Well done and it shows us a lovely look around your home area too, it’s always interesting to see where other bloggers spend their days 🙂

    1. Hi Deb… I’m so sorry but your comment went into my spam file for some reason and I just found it. I’m glad you enjoyed my scavenger hunt! I often look in my archives for photos for Terri’s prompts but this one, plus a gorgeous day, were the perfect combo to inspire me.

  8. That was fun, Janis – love the scavenger hunt idea! I’m sure it would be an excellent adventure at any time, but it’s perfect during COVID, when it’s a treat to get out of the house and engaged in something creative. Good for you!

  9. I enjoyed all the photos. Something about the kayaks really made me think. I wonder if we look like a school of humans to the gulls.

  10. What a fun way to do the challenge! Janis, those tide pools bring back such good childhood memories of Southern California. Loved it!

  11. Wonderful photos, Janis. I have great memories from La Jolla but didn’t know about Dr. Seuss living there. Thank you for that bit of history! I love the shells and the ocean. Just beautiful!

  12. Great photos. We’re leaving Nebraska (where we had plenty of “white” snow) in a week to go to Palm Springs. Your photos give me inspiration to look around and take some shots. Thanks. Love your blog.

    1. I really enjoy the Palm Springs area (when we go, it’s usually to Palm Desert) and this is the perfect time to be there. It’s also a wonderful place to take pictures… the desert landscape is so beautiful! I just popped over to your blog to check it out (I couldn’t see where to follow).

  13. I love your photos, Janis. My dad retired to SD, and I got to see him several times a year there before he passed. La Jolla was a favorite place to visit. I’ve never been to the Legends Art Gallery, though. Looks fun! 🙂

      1. I hear that. He lived in El Cajon, so he could afford to do a few things. My goal at the time was to get my master’s degree so I could teach at Point Loma Nazarene College. I got the degree, dad died, and life went elsewhere. But I’ve always loved SD.

  14. Janis, I love California beaches. They are such a contrast to ours – Sea lions and tidal pools, yes please. Looks like you guys had a fun outing. Great idea for Terri’s ‘white’ challenge.

  15. You were lucky to see all these white thing under a blue sky and 70-degree temps … most of the white things I’ve seen in February was the white stuff alright … snow. I follow a photographer in Tofino, B.C. and he writes of the playful antics of the sea lions on a big rock … he can only get so close in his boat for the stench, just you described.

      1. Yes, that’s for sure. I am ready for some warmer days, that’s for sure, although the sun out today in 17F “real-feel” weather helped make the morning better.

  16. I really like your day trip to look for ‘white’ versus mine which would be to look outside at the feet of white snow. 🙂 Dr. Seuss – I love Dr. Seuss. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

    1. Dr. Seuss is so much fun. A few years ago, our local historical society had an extensive show about his life and work. It was fascinating. He was so much more than his clever rhymes and imaginative illustrations. I love the poem you shared! Is that from “Oh, the Places You Will Go”?

      1. It is from “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think.” I can’t believe the controversy about Dr. Seuss that is going on right now. It reminds of burning books. I just don’t get why if you don’t want to read a book, you just don’t read it. I do that all the time. Oh well, I will continue to enjoy him. 🙂

  17. I know those “white cliffs of guano” very well. You made me laugh! La Jolla is such a charming town and I’m overdue a visit. Lovely!

  18. I can’t wait to visit this area again! When living in the SF bay area, we’d drive down (or fly) and enjoy San Diego and La Jolla, and Coronado and …. sigh. I love where you live!

  19. Beautiful Southern California walk on such a winter’s day. Thanks for rubbing it in! A few years ago, our daughter Claire was taking a black and white photography class. Her assignment was to photograph something white. She got her blond pale-skinned sister to dress in an all-white dress, and then took her picture standing barefoot in a local field of snow. It was a beautiful composition, and interesting how much detail stood out against the snowy background.

  20. Here in Canada, winter plus white equals snow. Snow, snow, snow, everywhere you look, for six months. Except for here on Vancouver Island, of course.


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