It’s that time of the year: Sunflowers and zinnias

Nothing can make you smile like a sunflower! When you see a whole field of yellow and orange looking at you, you just get a great feeling. This year I had the opportunity of visiting Woodland twice and photographed two sunflower fields and Metzger’s Zinnia Patch.

When we visit the sunflower fields, we are careful not to disturb the plants and shoot from around the patch. As photographers, we are happy we’re allowed to take pictures. Cooperation goes a long way!

Bee colonies are kept near the fields to help polinate. I can assure you they are busy bees! Here are some “sunnies.”

We also stopped at a safflower field.

Now for the zinnias. What is special about this patch of zinnias is that the Metzger family allows people to pick the flowers and encourages them to share with others who can’t get out. You’ll see moms and their kids having fun choosing their favorites.

Do you like sunnies as much as I do?

What was, isn’t: Hallberg Gardens, part 2

Continuing on the theme of “What was, isn’t,” we’ve made a lot of changes ourselves personally. For us what was–a 31 foot 5th-wheel trailer–isn’t any more. After losing a wheel and axel on our way to a star gazing trip, we decided it was time to sell the aging home away from home. We just bought a new, used 24 foot travel trailer. At our age, this makes more sense. We will use our time share for distance travel.

The Hallberg Gardens faces the same dilemma, Louise Hallberg needs help to revive her dream. She too, is aging. I wish I lived closer so I could get in there and work. I confess, I have a black thumb; but I could help clean up. I’m hoping Hallberg Gardens will survive.

Meanwhile, here are the rest of the images from the Meetup.



What was, isn’t: Hallberg Butterfly Gardens

It’s sad when you know something that was once beautiful is in danger of going away. I’m talking about the Hallberg Butterfly Gardens in Sebastopol, California. Louise Hallberg’s garden officially became a non-profit organization in 1997. I say officially because she has lived in the same house on the property since a child in the 1920s.

Today, at 97, Louise still tends the gardens with help from a few friends. The grounds do need work and tender loving care. However, they are still a haven for butterflies and insects. The Meetup group that arranged this outing billed it as a chance to pull out the macro lens. I don’t have one, but I shot with my 55 – 300 lens some of the time and my 18 – 55 mm the rest of the time. We didn’t see too many butterflies, but there were birds and flowers to compensate. I do wish the butterflies would stay still for just a moment! We did have one that seemed to want to show off, and I was able to get some great shots of him (or her!).

I hope someone will come along and take over the property. It would make a great historical park. While we were there, I did meet Hallberg, who had a helper with her. She is frail and just got out of the hospital recovering from a fall. If you’d like to help, visit their website at It would be great to keep Hallberg’s vision and this garden alive. This will be another 2-part post. There’s so much to show you!