It was a dark stormy night–not really, but it was a cloudy, almost raining day when a small group of us decided we needed to get out and take some photos. So, we followed the chickens to the small old town of Fair Oaks in Sacramento County. Yes, chickens are plentiful there. The roosters are bold and noisy, but have great color. They are the attraction, and don’t have to wear masks or stay 6 feet apart!
The small area was desolate. There were a few people roaming around. The stores were closed except for a cafe where people were eating and enjoying coffee outside. It felt strange, experiencing Fair Oaks during lock down.
We did stop for coffee at the cafe and sat outside before heading our separate ways. (We don’t carpool anymore. We drive separately.) On the way home, I stopped at Marlene‘s to meet her new puppy Charlie, an Australian Labradoodle. We met outside and observed the correct social distancing. The reality was that Charlie didn’t want to come to me! He finally got to the point of coming close, but that was about it.
During our stay, the sun peaked out at times but quickly hid behind the clouds. It was a fun time though with the chickens and photo buddies!
Richard was getting cabin fever so we decided to take a ride up to Sugar Pine Lake in Placer County. Sounds easy and simple! Sure, until you miss your exit off the Interstate and one of you is working on erroneous information. Right now, I’ll admit that one was me! I just didn’t know there was a difference between Sugar Pine Lake and Reservoir. So, I suggested we follow the GPS to the Dam and Reservoir. (Now, as I’m writing this post, I’m learning there isn’t a difference! Now I’m more confused.)
Oh no! Well, trouble didn’t begin that soon. We found ourselves on Iowa Hill Road. Never heard of it! In fact, we never heard of Iowa Hill, but we found it. On our way up the paved, curvy mountain road, we found a neat specimen from long ago. Why it was on the roadside, we don’t know. Maybe just to be an indicator of things to come!
Further up the road, we crossed a river (not sure which one), but were encouraged by the canoes we saw on the bank. We also saw the old Iowa Bridge.
Driving on a narrow twisted road we soon reached the small town of Iowa Hill still not aware of what was ahead.
Once out of the small town, we driving where snow was still on the ground and over another river. We did find the lake and dam.
Now to get home! Again we followed the GPS which took us almost the same way we came.The dirt road began to narrow to one lane and what was probably snow left the road a little muddy!
Now, each time we made a turn, the GPS said stay on the route for 5 or 6 miles. I stopped counting the turns as the road had more and more debris on the sides. I would have gotten out to take a picture, but the road was just wide enough for our car! Richard said, “What will we do if someone was coming from the other direction?”
We both said at the same time, “No one else would be stupid enough to go this way!” Got to have a sense of humor in a situation like this. I estimate that we drove about 15 miles on that road. Close to civilization, we came upon two small waterfalls. There was enough room at each for me to step out of the car and shoot pictures!
As we were churning up mud, I thought if anything happened, nobody would know where we were. We didn’t have cell service and didn’t tell anybody we were going for a ride. Lesson learned. Now, we will definitely tell family where we’re going!
As long as we’re under lock-down, we will be taking rides. After all, it’s the safe thing to do if you don’t miss your turn off!
Coffee was calling! So on the way to Big Trees State Park, we stopped in the small resort town of Murphys. This town was our lunch stop when we were shooting the Concours d’Elegance at Ironstone Vineyards. You can see that post here. Well, we got more than just coffee!
After our visit to the State Park, we stopped near a bridge to capture the scenery.
Last, we made a stop at Ironstone Vineyards just as they were closing. Jean had never been there. Fortunately, we had just enough time to see the grounds and shoot some flowers.
If I thought 2019 would start off with a BANG, I was wrong. I didn’t hold a camera in my hand for the first two weeks. After that there were five photo opportunities, but few great photos. A lot had to do with the rainy weather, which we’re still having, and also with my not feeling well.
So here we are in February and the rain is still coming down. I’m not complaining because California needs the rain. We have a great snow pack now that will hopefully see us through the dry summer. What does that mean for photography? If you can’t make it up to the snow, you’re shooting inside! I’m amazed at how many businesses welcome photographers. This year we’ve been to the Antique Trove in Roseville twice, most recently today. You’ll see those pictures in my next post.
So, here are some picks from January!
These were from an experiment with oil and water. It’s more difficult than the tutorial made it seem!
These are from an outing to Old Folsom Historic District. It’s a section of Folsom where you can walk, shop and eat. Best of all, the parking is free!
This next outing was to Old Sacramento. I’ve shown you images from there before. It’s always a challenge to find something new.
It seems that with each season Sacramento photographers rush to photograph the Milky Way, wildlife including the Sandhill Crane, snow and Fall colors. I’m no exception which is why my Camera Totin Tuesday group treked up to Markleeville, Alpine County, to capture delightful images.
There were five of us, and we squeezed into one car. Fortunately Marlene drove and her Suby Blue accomodated us easily. It’s a 2-hour ride up to the colorful aspens. Thank you Marlene for driving us. We stopped along the way to photograph the changing colors and had lunch in Markleeville. After lunch and taking pictures of the small town, population of 210 in the last census, we continued looking for color.
While editing the pictures of this outing, I tried to get out of my comfort zone with some creative help from Nik software. I’ve been liking the soft look lately and wanted to do some of my own. So, here’s the California colors of Fall.
A softened Aspen image.
Color in all its brilliance.
Another softened image.
We stopped on the way up.
You’ve got to love sunbursts.
Along the highway.
Around the area.
This guy holds down the bench!
A Markleeville building framed by color.
Two fences and a structure.
Photo buddy Richard showed me this shot.
I’m not sure what flower this was, but it’s still beautiful.
A book worm topiary in the back of the town’s library.
We stopped on the way home.
The tree glow is reflected in the water. Also tried handheld slow shutter.
e’re pretty much settled in, and hanging pictures. How many pictures can one small house hold? There’s still more stuff to find places for, and the sunroom to fix up, but that will just have to take time. It’s good to be back to normal–my going on photo outings and Richard running up to the observatory. Each day, we take time to hang two pictures or curtains, etc.
And, summer has arrived, so we try to plan our outings for early morning, local venue or inside. I have two outings to show you today. Linda and I went to the Indian Festival, hoping to get pictures of traditional dress and dance of our Native Americans. However when the dances were to begin, we were told we couldn’t take pictures, and the few dances that we were allowed to take pictures of, we couldn’t post anywhere. Oh, what a letdown for a couple of photographers. So, I’ll show you some shots I took of the festival and vendors before the dance started. This was held outside the State Indian Museum.
I finally got to shoot some poppies.
Nice lighting on this fountain.
I liked the natural framing on this window.
A shopper and vendor.
A smudging kit that I wish I had bought.
Vendor with colorful jackets to sell.
Opening ceremonies. This woman was singing a traditional song.
The announcement of rules and the type of dancing, etc.
Now we move on to the small town of Fair Oaks and its chickens. Yes,
Mural on the outside of the Fair Oaks outdoor playhouse.
Didn’t I say there were chickens.
Some with attitudes!
I’m still shooting doors.
The American River from the Fair Oaks bridge.
Getting some exercise on an unusual bike.
A Metro Fire training on the bridge.
Another view of the bridge
A store in town.
it’s known for being inhabited by wild chickens. They are protected, so no roasted chicken for us!
Very early into our visit to Sutter Creek, I found a wallet on a bench. My first instinct was to just leave it, but I thought maybe the owners ID would be in it. So, I looked inside. I found a driver’s license with a PO box for an address, no other identification and a wad of $20s. With that much cash, I couldn’t leave it. So, began the adventure to find her or the Police Station!
And, yes, it was an adventure. Our photographing stopped, we asked in several stores to see if they knew this person and to ask where the Police Station was. After walking past the end of town, we finally were told that the Police were located in a small white house! Sutter Creek is a small town in Amador County. But it wasn’t open. We had to press a button and wait for the dispatcher to come and take the call. Then we waited for the officer to come and take the wallet.
I don’t know which was more fun, shooting or finding the Police Station! Having been to Sutter Creek before, I concentrated on shooting doors. Of course there were other things that I couldn’t pass up.
We bumped into the wallet’s owner coming out of a coffee shop–literally bumped into. She was rushing over to the bench to retrieve her wallet. We calmed her down and told her we found it and it was at the Police Station. Being grateful, she told us to go into her sister’s coffee shop and order what we wanted and she would pay for it. The coffee shop, Choc-O-Latte, ended up being a photographer’s wonderland. See, do good deeds and you’ll be rewarded. If you find a wallet or purse, try to find the owner. You’ll have fun!
I didn’t mind because it’s challenging to find something different to shoot, or maybe to shoot from a different angle which can give you different results. Exercises like these help improve your compositions and photographic abilities.
So here I am in Nevada City finding inspiration, seeing new opportunities and learning.
I was drawn to this flower pot attached to a window.
This picture belongs with the cover photo. Next time I’ll go inside.
This crystal was in a store. It was totally white; I worked with the color a bit.
Benches are occupied!
This tented crepe shop was opening for business.
Flower pots with character.
I can’t resist a flower macro.
A very photo-graphical home.
The church on the top of the hill.
A home rental hiding from on-lookers.
A better view.
If I remember correctly, the end building is an entertainment venue.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m in spite of my trying to stay up until 9 p.m. last night–jet lag wins. I’m happy to be home, but brought back sad, happy and exciting memories from my trip to Peachtree City, Georgia and to family.
It was great seeing family again. It’s been 2 1/2 years since we were last there. But, it was sad knowing my brother is gravely ill, with Louie Body Dementia, and visiting him for what may be the last time. The exciting memory came when my great nephew took me for a ride in their small plane. I’ll show you those images in my next post.
My goals this trip were to see my brother and take my sister-in-law to places she had not visited since moving to Georgia from California 3 years ago. I’m so glad I brought my GPS along! We were busy! My niece took us to Serenbe one afternoon. This is a fairly new community and well planned. We stopped for coffee on the way back at an antique shop that served delicious coffees.
It was a great getaway, and I enjoyed spending time with my niece. This type of visit is difficult, but I found that having my camera, got us out and away from the sadness for a while.
Meanwhile, I guess I’m going to try again to get my body clock back on Pacific coast time today.
Corner buildings seem to be the thing in this town.
I loved the way the streets and buildings curved.
Another corner building.
We went into one open attached home. It was 3 stories and cost about $725,000.
The town fountain.
Everything was well planned from the street lights,
To the matching trash can enclosures,
And traffic signs.
Roberta and Brenda sit on a matching designed bench.
Next we stopped at the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. I always wanted to get off the freeway to see what was hidden in the hills as I would go to San Jose, but never took the time. This was the time! It’s a beautiful area and now green because of our recent rains. There are many parks, lakes, etc. for residents to enjoy. Our stop was at the Sunol Regional Wilderness. Located in Alameda County and near the town of Sunol. It was primarily ranch land, and today cattle still graze in some areas. We enjoyed shooting in this beautiful park; however, our adventure went awry when we left.
I have no idea what got into me. Maybe it was the Greg Morris influence, but I saw that Calaveras Road continued on into Milpitas. I had my trusty GPS with me. And Marlene didn’t say “No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go that way!” So off we went on a joy ride that would include mostly hairpin turns on an extremely narrow road. Not knowing the road, I was going around 18 to 25 miles per hour and the drivers coming the other way were cruising at about 40 miles per hour! Worse, remember those hairpin turns? They came around so fast and had to break when they saw me. Moving over wasn’t so much of an option with a shear drop on one side and a mountain on the other. At one point, Marlene suggested that the car came with a horn to use as a warning device.
We made it. But we weren’t able to pull over and take pictures of the beautiful scenery that included the Calaveras Reservoir. So, we made mental pictures, and I can’t show them to you. You can click on the link to see someone else’s images!
Going off plan proved adventurous, somewhat nerve racking at times, but gave me something to write about.
One of two fountains that were across the street from each other.