It’s not raining; let’s shoot! Stock Ranch Nature Preserve

That’s something I haven’t needed to do in the last 4 years–run out and shoot in between rain storms. But, Linda and I did. There are many places in Sacramento to spend an hour or two shooting and feel like you’ve seen the whole place. Stock Ranch Nature Preserve is one of those places. Located in Citrus Heights, this 47-acre preserve has 1.5 miles of nature trails running along Arcade and San Juan Creeks.

It’s very easy to wander through; but, I did find that without foliage, it was stark. Branches were strewn all over, and there was a small amount of water in the creek. It’s important to know that this little preserve is located in suburbia surrounded by large warehouse shopping, apartments and single family homes. However, when you’re walking the inside path, you have no indication of what surrounds it.

I’ll be back in the spring to see how foliage changes the scenery. In the meantime it’s great to have it so close. It’s important to have a place to run to when you’re needing to shoot quickly in between storms!

It’s all happening at the zoo, maybe: The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary

I don’t know why I went with expectations, but I did. I heard that the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary was more of a rescue venue than a real zoo, but I had to check it out with Marlene and Greg.

Here’s what their website has to say about the zoo: “Since 1963, this small unique California zoo has been providing sanctuary to some very special animals. All are non-releasable. Many were raised, and rejected, as wild pets. Others were injured or orphaned in the wild. Most are native to North America. All have names and personalities, and their individual stories are posted at the exhibits, along with factual, up-to-date information about their species.The distinctive educational focus of the zoo promotes responsible and appropriate behavior toward all animals. The zoo teaches about common and uncommon animals, both wild and domestic, and includes those in between, like feral pigs and wolf-dog hybrids. Zoo programs stress that wild animals don’t make good pets.”

After reading this, I had expected a small zoo, limited animals, but not the inability to photograph them well. This is not a zoo for photographers. I’m not sure whether it was the way the cages were designed or the type of enclosures, but we had a difficult time focusing through the wires. So, I decided I’d shoot through the squares in the fencing and do whatever closeups I could when I couldn’t make the cage disappear.

Did I mention that it was also cold and damp. Yes, we’re getting a little rain here in California, but when I found sun, I stood in it! I remember living back east and experiencing summer sun showers. Couldn’t it happen here in winter?

Again, too many expectations!

 

 

If the shoe fits: River Walk, West Sacramento, California

This evening about 3 hours ago, I wore a pair of tennis shoes for the first time in 10 1/2 weeks! And, just in time for the rain!! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to wear a shoe other than Birkenstocks again. Foot surgery has certainly been a bummer and has had an effect on my photography.

First, I found a difference in my energy level. Second, I had to choose places to shoot that were flat and not rocky. And, third, squatting down was difficult. Now I’m hopeful.

With my problems and Greg’s new physical difficulties, we decided to take the River Walk path in West Sacramento. This is located directly across the Sacramento River from Old Sacramento, and I have wanted to shoot from that side for a long time. While the trail goes for a long way, the River Walk is short and easy to walk, even on the grass areas.

Our bonus for the day was Tuesday’s farmer’s market. It’s so much fun to shoot produce! We were also on hand to capture lunch time as the workers came to enjoy food from the catering truck and some of the food booths.

Next Tuesday, I’ll be wearing my shoes, but I’ll bring along Birkenstocks just in case. Hopefully the shoe will keep fitting and keep my feet in comfort.

 

 

Beauty is close by: McKinley Park, Sacramento

I’ve heard of McKinley Park, but it took 14 years of living in the Sacramento area to visit it. Now I’m wondering why I waited so long. And, it’s funny what brought Marlene and I to visit it–I still can’t wear anything except Birkenstock sandals! Enclosed shoes still hurt the surgery area on my right foot. The park was an easy access walk. However, it had rained the day before and my feet still got wet from the grass.

There are two areas to visit in McKinley park: the rose garden and the pond. I loved the rose garden. Without a macro lens, I did close up shots of the colorful cast in the rose play. The pond offered beautiful scenery and a lot of ducks.

Best of all, McKinley park is relaxing and peaceful. See for yourself. It won’t take another 14 years for me to return.