Spring is here: My first roses

I don’t like to garden. However, I did inherit a small rose garden when we bought this house. I do like roses and somehow through their growing season, I get out there and trim them.

This post is short and sweet. Here are pictures of the first roses in my garden this year.

I also inherited a small iris garden which bloomed the first year we moved and nothing since–until now 4 years later. I’ve got two plants blooming. I’m wondering if the rest bloom whether I will get different colors like I saw at Horton’s Iris Garden last week.

I’ll be posting the pictures from Horton’s next week. So get ready for more beauty!

Lugging the long lens: Point Reyes National Seashore, part 2

I continue my Point Reyes adventure with Part 2. This area is not just about Tule Elk and Elephant Seals as shown in part 1. Beauty abounds in the grass areas and seashore. For this job, I raised my Fujifilm XT3 up to my eye.

There were also three birds and a coyote that wanted their picture taken.

Before we headed for home, I just had to see how the Point Reyes was getting along. The S.S. Point Reyes is a wooden steamship that crashed on a sand bar in the town of Inverness, Marin County, overĀ a 100 years ago. Surviving having her stern set on fire by photographers light painting with steel wool in 2016, she still remains on the sand bar. Sadly she showed more corrosion in the few years since I last saw her.

This ends my wonderful get away with Laura. It was great to go to the ocean for the day!

Color and light: Night time carnival

I like to photograph at slow shutter speeds and zoom my lens in and out. So when I learned there was a small carnival at a the Sunrise Mall shopping center, in Citrus Heights, parking lot, my photo buddies and I got down there. We did the same visitation in 2018 and the carnival was much better: more rides, more people and a working Ferris wheel. I think the almost rainy weather may have had something to do with it.

But, I had fun anyway. Here’s some of what I captured that evening.

I’ve got my camera ready for next year. Hopefully there will be a working Ferris wheel and more rides.

Lens Artists Challenge #172: A Day of My Week

Busy, is the way I describe most of my weeks. They may start out with a blank calendar, but end up full. When I sometimes have a few days blank, I enjoy relaxing and catching up with stuff at home. But the one constant is my weekly photo outing with friends.

Amy is asking us to post about one day of our week. Here’s mine.

Early this month, Marlene, Laura and I went in search of Fall color in an area called Hope Valley. It’s a day outing since the drive is about 2 hours long. This day did not disappoint us. Colors of orange, yellow and rust were waiting for us on the aspen and other trees.

Here are some of the images gathered that October day.

October 9 was a fun day outing during our week. Thank you Amy!

Art, art everywhere: Wide Open Walls, part 3

One more time we ventured down to Sacramento to find more murals. We began at Sac State (California State University, Sacramento) because we heard they had mural on and around the campus. We found none! So we headed back to the city. Photographing murals requires a lot of driving and patience. Sometimes we find other gems too.

Here’s what we found this recent Sunday morning. I didn’t photograph murals I had found in previous years except for the Johnny Cash mural. It’s so impressive. So was the reflection of the mural on a building across the street.

Another building had its walls dedicated to the women of the suffragette movement.

This wall was colorful and full of dragonflies.

And what a great “Reserved Parking” sign.

Here’s some of the other things that caught my eye.

I hope you enjoyed this series.

Yolo Arts and Ag: Capay Canyon Ranch

Sometimes you just feel like a winner! That’s the way I felt when we (Marlene, Ray, Richard and I) went to the monthly Yolo Arts and Ag Project in Esparto. The flyer said that at Capay Canyon Ranch we would be able to see the almond orchard and processing of the almonds. Usually we go when the trees are blossoming and that’s all we get to see. And you feel more like a winner when you find a wonderful photo opportunity on the way there and back. Here’s what our morning was like.

On our way to Capay Canyon Ranch.

At Capay Canyon Ranch.

I managed to get some of the warehouse and machinery before I was asked to leave for safety reasons. I truly thought we had the ability to photograph anywhere we wanted.

I walked around and found some almond trees and grapes being dried for raisins.

Then I found where the almonds were getting ready for shipping. There were large mounds of almonds everywhere with bags to mark where each were to be delivered. It was a treat to catch the large machine as it dumped almonds on the mound.

Then on our way home, we came upon this old house. Now who can resist photographing something old and falling down?

A great big thank you to Capay Canyon Ranch for giving us access to an amazing photography and learning opportunity! I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

A return trip: Locke

I’ve been to the town of Locke a few times, but never on the weekend. This time we went on a Sunday and some stores and museums were open. My challenge was to photograph something different or from a different angle.

Known as the Locke Historic District, CA (U.S. National Park Service), Locke was originally a town built for the Chinese immigrants who came to work the farms and orchards. For a full history, click on the link above. The town remains basically the same as you can see from the pictures. It hasn’t changed at all in all the years I’ve visited.

By going on a Sunday, we found many residents home and working in their yards or just relaxing. A couple of stores were open too. It’s a very small town and main street is a far cry from a typical small town thoroughfare. Two restaurants serve the town. It’s about a mile to Walnut Grove, also founded as a need to house Chinese workers, where you can find more restaurants, etc.

My neighbors joined us for this expedition and just weren’t prepared for how the town was kept as original as possible. Even the toilet bowl garden hasn’t changed or the old barn with all the wheelbarrows

I was lucky that the open store had cold drinks and a few items to photograph.

Doorways are fun to photograph in Locke.

The old buildings have remained the same. The one with the bulging front is still standing.

Someone has his/her own way of dealing with this pandemic.

I also liked these chairs sitting in a yard.

I’m sure we’ll go back to Locke again, maybe next year. Things will probably remain the same.

Competition and education: The Motherload Fair

For years I’ve been looking at my friends’ (Sandy and Ken) ribbons attached to their photographs. They participate in the Motherload Fair, Sonora, photo competition. It’s a small fair and I asked them to let me know when the next one was happening. That was about 2 years ago. A pandemic interfered. But this year they suddenly decided that with California opening up, the fair would happen.

So I entered seven pictures in various categories. The entry fee was $1 per picture. I did say it was a small fair!

Sandy and Ken print and mat their own images and I drove down for a lesson in printing and matting. I did learn a great deal. First, matting is no easy task. I did one mat and Sandy did the rest. I’ve decided that in the future, I would print out a standard size and buy a standard mat! I don’t have Sandy’s math abilities or patience! I also bought a printer just like hers. Richard has already printed out one of his astrophotography pictures. So that’s the education.

When Ken brought in our entries, he was amazed at the lack of pictures. The Fair staff said that there wasn’t a lot entered this year. Now for the competition. Of the seven, I had four first place images with one of them being best of division, one second place image and two honorable mentions. Sandy took best in show and others. Ken’s won many ribbons also.

Here are my first place images:

Since this was my first time to this fair, I brought my camera. Well, I always bring my camera! Here are some captures that are captioned.

Sandy and Ken are already talking about next year. Will I enter?

Finally, here’s Sandy’s Best in Show image. It’s hard to see because of all the ribbons!!

I’m sure I have more to learn. Maybe next year!

Lens Artists Challenge #149: Cool Colors, Blue and Green

I am moved by color. I am absolutely drawn to warm colors naturally, but can appreciate the cool colors when nature gives us beautiful green grass and blue skies. This week Tina asks us to feature blues and greens in our posts. It worked out for me since I was in San Jose this weekend, and my dear friend Alyse and I drove down to Pacific Grove. She sketched while I photographed.

Pacific Grove is on the ocean near Monterey. It’s also the site of the well known Pebble Beach Golf Course and Tournament. So, I found a lot of blues and greens to photograph. I’ve got four images to show you today because that’s all I’ve been able to process.

Let’s start with our first stop. This area is known for its wind blown Monterey Cypress trees.

Alyse was sketching this sculpture and the surrounding area. I’m guessing that the exposure to harsh weather and salt helped make it look blue.

A little further down the road, a group of cormorants were sunbathing on a huge rock. Some more blues and a spot of green.

Finally, we have an array of color with flowers along this rocky coast.

I hope to process the rest of the pictures this week. They will be featured in a blog post soon. Thank you Tina for setting us off on a cool color search.

Smoke is finally away: Downtown Roseville

Maybe it’s all in my mind, but I think I hear my camera calling to me. It’s saying, “Take me out! Use me!” But because of all the wildfires in California, the air has been too smoky to go out. But I did get out with my camera at the end of August to shoot murals in downtown Roseville.

Downtown Roseville is mainly Vernon Street and the streets surrounding their City Hall and other government buildings. Historic Roseville is nearby. But we went downtown to take pictures of murals. Quite frankly, I didn’t think they compared to the Wide Open Walls creations in Sacramento.

We walked quite a bit that morning just enjoying being out, the sunshine and no smoke. Here are some murals.

I took this wide and then broke it up into two images. You’ll have to click on the images to view them full.

Another wide and close up view.

I thought this one was very creative. Here’s a wide view and close up of her face.

This one was on the wall of a public swimming pool. I loved the colors.

And just one more.

I hope you didn’t think we’d just take photos of murals! Here’s some of the downtown shops.

And now around City Hall. The Round About, a water play area with fountain and the Roseville welcome structure, showing which street goes which way.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour of Downtown Roseville and murals. This Sunday, if the smoke is still gone, we will be taking photos of the Sacramento murals.

Cross your fingers for me. The camera will be unhappy if it can’t get out!