We continue: Bar Harbor Maine

For those of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving! Eat responsibly and enjoy!

Bar Harbor is a picturesque tourist town. I’ve been there twice and never did get beyond the tourist area except to visit Acadia National Park. This trip we walked the quaint shopping area and around the beautiful shoreline.

Here’s the shopping area. I seem to leave hats at home, but this time it was on the ship. Oh well, hat collections are good! Yes, I bought a hat.

These colorful kayaks were placed in a position that no photographer could pass up.

The shopping area.

Walking around the shore. The path led to a hotel and then back to the town. We passed a lot of bed and breakfast type accommodations.

Back in town.

These small towns gave us enough time to eat lunch aboard the ship and rest. It was great to just sit and enjoy reading a book.

Next stop is Portland Maine where we walked forever. I needed the rest in Bar Harbor.

Lens Artists Challenge #226: Textures

Guest host Jude of Cornwell in Colours picked the perfect challenge for me because I love textures. I don’t mean the nice blended textures you put behind your subject ( Which I can’t do yet!). I mean the texture of your subject. We are drawn to color and texture.

For instance I love the colors of rust and its gritty texture. You’ll notice as it ages, the colors change and the metal degrades, adding to its beauty.

I also find texture in old non-rusted metal. This old worn large propeller from a ship shows lines and textures when photographed close up. You can just feel how its been worn during its use.

Each year Sacramento hosts Chalk It Up where artists draw with chalk or liquid chalk on a sidewalk square. The grit of the sidewalk and chalk create a texture no other canvas can duplicate.

A lion’s mane has texture although you wouldn’t want to get close enough to feel it!

Wood is another favorite texture of mine. It can be tree bark or siding on a building. It draws you in with its variation of color and natural design.

Last, plants give us the feeling of texture in their form, color and shape.

There are many more examples of texture, but I’ll stop here. Texture is all around us. Take it in, feel and experience it. Thank you Jude for helping me realize how important texture is to photography. When you respond to this challenge, please remember to link to her post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Thank you all for responding for my challenge last week. I enjoyed learning about your amazing local wildlife. We saw birds, foxes, porcupines, bears, deer, squirrels and some small insects and bugs. It was great. Next week Tina will be leading the challenge so be sure to look for her post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

The trip continues: Boston

It started here. The Boston Tea Party was the foundation for the Revolutionary War.

The last post on my New England trip left us at the USS Constitution. We took an Uber to get there from the cruise ship. Getting back to the center of Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, we took a shuttle boat. That was a great ride. On the way to the dock, we saw sculptures of faces. I left in the informational sign regarding these art works. I think they are amazing.

Once on the shuttle boat, we saw:

Off the boat, we walked into town so we could fill our hungry tummies. I remembered Faneuil Hall Marketplace from my previous visit. In colonial times it was a place to gather and eat. Nothing’s changed except for the crowds. We bought lunch and fortunately found a place to sit. With our stomachs full, we went out to see the rest of the area. I basically photographed buildings and things I liked. Here are some of the photos with captions.

There was so much more to see, but we were so tired. We Ubered our way back to the ship to put our feet up and rest. Our next town to visit was Bar Harbor Maine. I’ll try to get to that town sooner!

Lens Artists Challenge #225: Wildlife Close to Home

Stop. Look. Listen. Doing those three things will help you discover the abundance of wildlife you have nearby. You have wildlife in your yard, nearby park, local pond or lake and just about anywhere around you. We often overlook opportunities to photograph these animals because we are so used to having them around us.

We live in a community with beautiful green belts, old oak trees, a creek and the wildlife that enjoys it. I walk my dog, Gem, every morning. He and I are used to seeing a variety of animals each morning. Sometimes we even catch the nocturnal skunks if we’re out early like at daybreak during the summer. I’ve picked him up three times when I’ve seen coyotes. Twice, I’ve seen deer looking around for something to munch on.

Beyond my complex, I’m fortunate to live near parks and nature centers where wildlife abounds.

Let’s start with the pond we have in the middle of our senior complex. It has fish for catch and release, turtles and the usual geese and ducks.

Oh, we must give special attention to our wild turkeys that seem to take over the place only to be daunted by the coyotes. I’ve only seen coyotes while walking my dog and I’m without a camera. You’ll note that the last group of turkeys is not that sharp. That’s because it was taken with my cell phone, which doesn’t have a great camera. I just wanted you to see how they congregate. These turkeys are protected so there’s no thinking of enjoying a Thanksgiving feast with them on the platter.

Moving a little beyond my community, about 15 minutes away (I gage in time not miles!), is Effie Yeaw Nature Center. It’s right on the banks on the American River. It’s nature at its wildest. I’ve been there and seen deer carcasses that have been ravaged by vultures and other animals. On the brighter side, most of the time the deer know that humans are not their predators.

About the same distance, but in a different direction is the Gibson Ranch County Park. It has stables and a pond. On a recent visit, a family was feeding the squirrels. This one was a cutie. And I found a goose that was not a Canada goose.

Further down the interstate, about a total of 30 minutes away, is the Vic Fasio Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. We find mostly birds when we go around the dirt route, and in this drought, they are even a rare sighting. Here are a great egret and blue heron I photographed during our last visit.

From squirrels to birds, wildlife is around us. What non-domestic animals live in your neighborhood or nearby? Do you have feeders to attract wild birds? Look through your archives or take a nature walk with your camera. Maybe some of those flowers have bees looking for nectar with which to make honey? Lizards, praying mantis or spiders may be lurking around the rocks. Oh, how about butterflies? Let us see your wildlife. Remember to link to this post and use the Lens-Artist tag.

I had fun and learned some new things while responding to Sophia’s Exposure challenge. I hope you did too. Next week I’m pleased to tell you that our guest host is Jude of Cornwall in Colors. Look for her challenge.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

What a museum: California Museum

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and relax because there a more than my normal pictures in this post. I was surprised and amazed at the amount of information and presentation at the California Museum. Two hours wasn’t really enough to absorb everything especially when you are photographing the exhibits.

Here’s the introduction to the place in the gift shop.

The visiting exhibit, Celebrate Women, was geared to women and young girls, helping them understand that they can aspire to be like many of the famous role models. Each exhibit had a view screen with more information. You can see how inviting the exhibits were. Because I was busy taking photos, I didn’t look at the exhibit screens and probably missed a lot. What we do for cool images! Writing this blog, I know I have to go back, without my camera.

The stairs offered us photographic opportunities too!

We will get back to the inside exhibits, but we did go outside to the back courtyard. I should say the beautiful back courtyard. One wall was artistically done with encouraging statements, and architecturally all the buildings surrounding it blended.

Various nationalities have left their impact in California. We know the Chinese and Mexicans certainly left their imprint in California. A lot of space was given to these nationalities showing and explaining their contributions to what California is today.

We’ve learned that the Chinese helped build the railroads and more. But, how about the food we enjoy today.

Mexicans brought their culture and holidays like Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. Below are three-sided cards made by school children to honor the holiday. The painting struck me as amazingly detailed.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the Filipino influence on California history. It is described in this exhibit.

Of course, the entertainment industry had and has a big impact on California. Here are three showcases honoring the entertainers and the industry.

One hallway, honoring our Native American cultures, which I think was a permanent exhibit. Artifacts were behind glass and the hallway was dark. Meaning, difficult to photograph. I did get some pictures from the ceiling. The beautiful paintings ran the entire hallway.

We can’t forget about health. A considerable amount of space was dedicated to healthy eating.

Before we left, the last exhibit I saw honored the nurses who helped us through the darkest days of the Covid pandemic.

I’ll say it again, The California Museum was amazing. I will go back!

Lens-Artists Challenge #224: Exposure

Sophia, I had so much fun with this challenge. I seldom take the time to try different things with my images once I’ve processed them, so this was an enjoyable practice. I may do it more often.

I played with exposure in post processing, using images in my archives. Most of them have been posted before. First, the high key images. I used a great egret taking off. I wanted to see what happens when you do a white bird as an overexposed image. Then I had fun with some of my roses.

This was a dark pink rose, I lightened the color, added a misty filter and then a white vignette.

Now for the overexposures. I found these easier than the high-key images.

For my last bit of fun. I was trying to do a building in high-key and tried the infrared filter. I played around with it and I like it. I usually don’t like infrared images.

I hope you’re having fun with Sophia’s challenge too. When you post, be sure to link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We enjoyed reading about and seeing everyone’s Flight of Fancy last week. There were many variations of the theme. I’ll be leading next week’s challenge so look out for my post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

On to Boston: The USS Constitution

I fell in love with USS Constitution during our visit in to Boston in 2013. And the total experience was different from our visit during my recent New England trip. In 2013 there were Navy personnel to take us on a guided tour. You had to sign up, wait your turn, I remember the tours were timed so the ship wasn’t crowded. “Old Ironsides,” the ship’s nickname given when she was launched in 1797, was also not sectioned off at the dock so we could have the full advantage of taking amazing photos.

This ship has an amazing history which you can read here.

Today, the ship is open to all. There are no public tours, at least when we were there. And from a photographic point of view, people were everywhere. But she is still an amazing ship with a great history. Here are the first photos I took from the top deck.

Although I am complaining about people, I managed to isolate myself by taking closeups. Here’s what the decks below looked like. The crew slept in hammocks while the officers had better accommodations.

Back on top, I tried to get some different images.

The Constitution is still in commission, is still sea worthy, and her crew of 75 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping her open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty Navy personnel, and the assignment is considered to be special duty. What a testament to the United States history.

There will be more of Boston in my next post.