Pretty Parrots

Three days ago, when I was going to the car (and luckily had my camera with me) I  was all excited to see these two parrots on the cable wires above the car.  I got some pics, they were pretty grainy because of zooming in so far, but I was very happy with them.  The next day, also going to the car, I saw a bunch of them on the palm tree across the street from our house.  I didn’t realize how many were there until I looked back at the pics when I uploaded them… there were 10 in one picture, I was shocked. 

Happy about those, I had even uploaded one shot onto my National Geographic Profile yesterday.  Right after I did that, I was eating in the living room, when I heard and then saw one of the scrub jay birds that come around out on the deck.   Grabbing my camera, I went out to get pictures of it, when I noticed a group of parrots on a tree right beyond the deck.  I went up close and was taking pictures of them, and they didn’t seem to mind at all.  Our dog, Bentley barked at them, but they didn’t flinch.  They were eating these tiny white flowers on the tree, and just having a good time.  It was so awesome to watch them. 

These birds are not native where we live, in San Diego, and there are several stories told about how they got here.  Some say a pet store caught fire, and they escaped.  Some say people brought them here as pets, and let them loose.  However they arrived, they have multiplied, and made it their home now, and we’re glad to have them nearby.  They are so much fun to watch, they fly really funny, though they are very loud.  It was cute seeing them eat the little flowers, and my baby girl, Brielle, really enjoyed their visit.  

Hope you enjoy these pics of them (I took a little video as well)

Stay Blessed! 

Bernadette Sunset 

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Becoming Butterflies

The other day, upon opening the front door, my husband, Bret and I noticed this black caterpillar crawling on the stucco.  As someone who loves butterflies, I was happy to see it there, and took it as a good sign.  Having been on my way to shoot, camera in tow, I was able to snap this picture of the cute little creature.  

Prior to seeing that caterpillar, we kept being visited by two of the same species of butterfly.  While cooking in the kitchen one day, through the door, I saw them fluttering around the courtyard.  I grabbed my camera, and my one year old daughter, Brielle, and went outside to chase them. The picture above was the best I could get, as they did not stay still long at all.  There were a few other days that I also experienced these butterflies, having one land on my hand, and even once on my head. 

Wondering what species they were, I searched the internet, and found the website,   The name of the butterfly turned out to be, the Mourning Cloak, which is very fitting.  I am in mourning, and as I write this, it’s the anniversary of the passing of my father, Charles B. McCrea.  It is from him that I inherited my love of nature, which developed into my passion to photograph it. 


He would take my siblings and I hiking on the trails at South Mountain Reservation, to see the cherry blossoms in Branch Brook Park, fishing in the lake at Weequahic Park, or deep sea fishing on party boats in the Atlantic HighlandsBelmar, and Point Pleasant.   We’d go for walks at the Brick Reservoir, kayaking and walks at the Manasquan Reservoir, where we’d be excited when we’d spot the bald eagle being protected there. 



Even in our house, I love memories of him calling me from downstairs, to come quick, because there was a bunny in our yard, or a rainbow, or beautiful sunset.  When we watched a sunset, he would always say his father (my Grandfather, Grover McCrea), had painted it from heaven.  That’s what inspired me to start painting and photographing sunsets.  I wanted to make them proud, and of course, I truly enjoy it.  I dedicate this post to my father.  I hope he is able to watch from above.  My heart has not been the same since he left, but I am trying my best to continue on, and hope he knows how much he is missed, and truly loved.  The impact he had on my life is profound. 


He will always be my hero!

 The day after I saw the caterpillar, I realized, it had entered into its chrysalis.  How exciting, to be able to watch its metamorphosis into a butterfly.  The fact that it’s happening outside the front door, is beyond awesome. Another funny irony, is that it was near a Butterfly Garden Guide picture I hung outside, as I had planned to grow one, but hadn’t found the time yet.  



Even more ironic, is that the next day, another caterpillar showed up, and the day after that a third.  The third one even chose the bottom of the frame of that picture as its spot.  So, now we have three caterpillars in chrysalis outside our door.  I am so excited to see them emerge as butterflies, and hope to capture it happening.  I might set up a video camera just to make sure I don’t miss it.  If I am able to catch it, or snap some photos, I’ll write a follow up and share them.  


Stay blessed!


Bernadette Sunset

After the first catapillar was in its chrysalis, the next day, another catapillar joined it.
The day after the second caterpillar had joined the first, a third chose the frame of the Butterfly Garden picture
And now that third caterpillar is in a chrysalis as well, right there under the picture frame.

Dream On

Dream On

“Everyone has a dream…Mine was to see the sun set over the ocean.”  Bernadette McCrea Klees

The other night, as I was watching this sunset in Ocean Beach, the song Dream On, by Aerosmith popped into my head.  In a sudden flashback, I remembered being a teenager, and the feeling of wishing so badly to see the sun set over the ocean, something impossible to see on the East Coast.

With the sound of airplanes overhead (I lived close to Newark Airport, in New Jersey)  I painted my beloved sunset scene on a canvas in the house I grew up in, dreaming of the day I’d be the one on the plane, going to a place I where I could witness that scene in person.

And here I stand, more than twenty years later, 3,000 miles away in San Diego, listening to the planes fly over (I live near San Diego Airport now) while watching this amazing sunset in front of the Ocean Beach Pier

Goosebumps cover my arms, as my daughter holds my hand.  I’m so grateful to be able to show her this view everyday.  Dreams really do come true.  These photos are proof.

  Dream until your dream comes true.

 Dream On! 

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SoCal at Sundown

SoCal at Sundown

Festival Style Outfit and Summer Evening Makeup look on mode Virginia Nunez Rivas. Photography, Styling, and Makeup by Bernadette McCrea Klees

     With Festival Season in full swing, I thought now was a great time to share this photoshoot that I did with model Virginia Nunez Rivas.  A fun thing about Southern California, is that the “Festival Style” is pretty much worn year round. 

I styled two looks that could be worn from day into evening.  Both outfits feature tank tops, one paired with shorts and flat boots, the other with a miniskirt and heels.  For that rock vibe, I added layered chain necklaces, a funky bracelet, and some chunky cocktail rings.  

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Backyard Beauty

Backyard Beauty

Sometimes, the best things in life are right in our own backyards. 

I usually go out for a walk at sunset time, but wasn’t able to make it out in time on this particular day, because my daughter was napping.  She woke up just before it was about to set, so we saw it from the backyard instead.  We often think we need to be somewhere else, or doing something else, when in reality, we’re right exactly where we’re meant to be.  This beautiful view reminded me of that.  Nature always has a lesson for us, if we just open our eyes, and hearts, to receive it. 

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