Lens Artists Challenge #121: Flower Favorites & Why

I’m not a fan of gardening. Somehow, digging in dirt is not appealing. But I do enjoy others’ efforts. I enjoy the beauty and joy flowers bring to our eyes and other senses. This week Ann-Christine asks us to pick our favorites! That’s difficult. I suppose I like roses and sunflowers. Oh, but, then there are tulips, orchids and lotus.

Roses. Here are two from my rose garden. This garden was here when we bought the house and I’ve managed to keep it going. I’m lucky to live next door to a wonderful gardner who showed me how to deadhead them. So I go out with a long-sleeved shirt and gloves, hoping they won’t get mad at me for trying to help them. Those thorns! From my garden.

We have several public rose gardens in the Sacramento area. One of them is the McKinley Rose Garden. Each year they host a photography contest. I’ve received an honorable mention and won first place. Here are two from that garden–not the winning images.

Each year Ananda Village in Nevada City hosts a tulip festival. I’ve gone each year except for the two Covid years. Here a two images from this April. You’ve probably seen them in this blog.

This year, I went to the Horton Iris Farm. They mainly grow to sell. A few of us were taking pictures. When photographing flowers, I do mostly macro. I guess I like the challenge.

Speaking of macro, whenever I need an emotional lift, I go to my local Green Acres Nursery. On this visit, a cactus lifted my spirits and the orchid had me smiling with its beauty.

Oh my, I almost forgot the sunflowers! They bring me such joy. Each year we would go out looking for great sunflower fields and then head over to Metzger’s Zinnia patch. For the last 2 years, I missed this opportunity because of the drought, gas prices and Covid. But, photography lets us enjoy the past.

Wildflowers are nature’s gift to us. Here are two wildflower images of poppies near Jackson and purple flowers (I don’t know their name) at Pacific Grove.

Last is the lotus. Each year the pond at Land Park, Sacramento fills with lotus blossoms. Here is my attempt at a black and white conversion.

Thank you Ann-Christine for helping me remember the joy flowers bring to me. When you respond to this challenge, remember to tag Ann-Christine’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. Last week we learned a valuable lesson with Patti’s One Subject Three Ways. I enjoyed seeing all your responsesAmy will be challenging us next week, so look for her post.

Lens Artists Challenge #220: One Subject Three Ways

I find that I’m getting lazy when I photograph. I used to do as Patti suggests in this week’s challenge: bend down, sit down, walk around and even lay down to get the shot. Now I find that I stop myself after I take one shot and begin to walk away. I think it’s more physical aging than being lazy.

Sometimes I don’t have to bend down to get a different perspective. Sometimes I just walk around and aim the camera up. This red sculpture is found in Roseville’s Sculpture Park. While it’s a well known landmark, Roseville has cleverly hidden it behind a shopping center. But it can be seen from the freeway. Maybe the sculpture came first and the shopping center second.

My next example is of stepping back and changing position to get a different scene from the same area. This was taken at Fort Ross Historical Park in Jenner. I’ve never seen wild Calla Lilies, but they are here. We start out with a larger view of the coast and then come in to find the wildflowers (you can barely see them).

Sometimes it’s patience that gives us a new perspective on a picture. This Orangutan at the Sacramento Zoo required patience as I waited and followed his moves.

Finally, it’s taking a shot of many and bringing it down to just one for a different perspective. These poppies were found in Sutter Creek, Amador County.

Thank you Patti for reminding me to position myself to get the “one subject three ways!” When you post on this challenge please remember to link to Patti’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We all enjoyed finding our special treasures as prompted by Tina last week. Ann-Christine is hosting next week’s challenge.

Poppy field? Not this year! Mokelumne Hill & Jackson

Maybe we didn’t go far enough last time we went in search of a poppy field. So we drove further south on Highway 49 to Jackson. No poppy field. It was then I decided that there would be no golden orange field for me this year. Little clusters of poppies were along the road. We even went further than Jackson to Mokelumne Hill, a quaint little town that Marlene and I had been to before. No poppy field!

So here are some pictures from Mokelumne Hill.

Now on to Jackson and lunch.

Next year will be the year for me to find a poppy field! In the meantime I did have fun taking photos with my photo buddies.

In search of poppies: Sutter Creek

You never know where you’ll end up when on a photo outing with your photo pod. You start out with a destination in mind and a fork in the road can lead you somewhere else! That’s what happened when we started out to find a field of the California Poppy, our State flower. Our destination was Jackson, but I’m not sure where we ended up. Not Jackson and no poppy fields.

So we decided to capture the flowers and poppies in Sutter Creek. It’s always fun to visit that small town anyway, and it was getting to be hungry time. We found potted poppies and other things in the town.

On our way back to the town we spotted a mine from the road, but it was too early to enter it, if we could due to the COVID pandemic. So we took our pictures from the road and went into town.

Now in Sutter Creek. Stores and restaurants were just beginning to open.

With full tummies and a nice walk around town, we headed home. We stopped along the way to photograph this barn and vineyard.

We weren’t done yet! We spotted a model airplane airport and Ray instinctively drove in to see what was happening. Once in, I remembered I stopped there with Richard, but there was a new type of plane that I’d never seen before. The wings were like cellophane and it buzzed around the sky fast.

I still want that poppy field and hope to get to it before it’s gone. But, we did have a fun journey!

Lens-Artist Challenge #132: A quiet moment

This is my first Post for the Lens-Artist group. Please let me know if I’m doing it wrong!! Seriously, tell me. Patti sent out a challenge of A Quiet Moment. Photography is how I relax, whether it’s at a busy festival or a relaxing drive to who knows where.

Here are a few of my captures during quiet moments. I love going to wildlife areas. In January, my friend and I went to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, drove the route a couple of times. On the way, I got this shot of the Sutter Buttes, a small mountain range.

We ended up at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area for this amazing sunset.

In February we ventured out to capture almond blossoms in Capay Valley.

In April I went out in search of the wonderful California Poppy. I found a hillside near Jackson.

May brought me to the WPA Rock Garden. I love that place. If there’s no breeze, it’s excellent for macro work.

So, these are some of my outings that provided me with quiet moments! Thanks for allowing to post in this group.

Escape #4: Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Something familiar, comfortable and close by; that’s what I wanted for my first photo outing that didn’t involve a car ride. Yes, I had to drive to get to Effie Yeaw in Carmichael, but I loaded my camera on my sling and walked the Nature Center. And, I wasn’t alone. Marlene, Jean and Ray joined me. I guess I wasn’t the only one who needed to escape!

This time was very different. We each drove our own cars, wore our masks and kept a reasonable distance from each other. And worst of all, we didn’t follow our adventure with lunch!

Because I had a morning Toastmaster meeting, we met at Effie Yeaw at 10 a.m. It was too late to see the deer, but we did see a lot of people. Some wore masks, some stepped aside when they saw us walking the path and some just passed us on the path. I guess everyone has their own level of concern about this pandemic.

I find breathing with a face mask on difficult. There’s something about breathing your own air that affects my heart. I’m probably not getting enough oxygen. So, with that hindrance, I got tired sooner. But, it was all worthwhile.

Here are some flower images from that morning.

I love the trees at Effie Yeaw. They are so expressive.

And then there’s the American River.

And, let’s not forget about the other things that catch a photographer’s eye.

The last image was created with a Photoshop filter that distorts. It was a piece of green netting!

It was a great escape, but a little different. Maybe next week there will be another adventure!

 

Escape #3: A California poppy hunt

I’m not normally the jealous type, but being in lock-down has us feeling things we usually don’t. Richard was gone star gazing for 3 days and nights, and photographers on various sites were posting pictures of poppy (our State flower) fields, so I became jealous. I needed to get out–safely!

I gave Richard the option of taking Highway 49 (a twisty mountain road) to near Jackson, California with me; but, I was willing to travel on my own. He came with me. About an hour into our drive, we found a mountain full of poppies just south of the town. It was stunning!

I would have liked to explore further, but hunger and awareness of Richard’s nap schedule had us turn around for the trek back home. We ordered sub sandwiches and ate them in the car–again being safe! On the way home we stopped in Drytown, a small town in Amador County so I could photograph a bunch of poppies on the roadside.

We were gone about 2 1/2 hours; not like our previous adventure! It was a great get-a-way outing. And best of all, I’m no longer jealous!

Normal? Indian Festival and Fair Oaks

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.

Now we move on to the small town of Fair Oaks and its chickens. Yes,

it’s known for being inhabited by wild chickens. They are protected, so no roasted chicken for us!

Now, which pictures should I pick to hang today?