A rain break: Capay Valley Ranches

Finally, a Tuesday with just the threat of rain! This was great timing since Yolo Arts and Ag had scheduled time for artists at Capay Valley Ranches in Capay Valley. This organization provides artists access to various ranches and farms in Yolo County. Painters will bring their easels, brushes and whatever medium they use and photographers bring tripods and cameras.

They let us roam the venue at will, giving us the opportunity to get great images and to get a feel for what life on a ranch is. Capay Valley is home to almond orchards. The trees are normally in bloom now; but with the cold and wet weather, they are not in full bloom.

This was disappointing, but we made the best of it, and enjoyed the partial sunlight. Oh, the wind was furious and gave us an additional challenge! I love my walk around 18 – 140 lens. Even with wind, it can stop action.

Here are some of my images from that windy, cold morning. It was great to be outside without an umbrella!

Twas a few nights after Christmas: Orangevale, California

Okay, so it took me a while before I got out to shoot Christmas lights. But, when I did, it was great. My photo buddy, Laura Munro, braved the cold and walked a cul-de-sac in Orangevale known for its beautiful and, in some cases, decorative homes. I don’t know what their electric bills are, but I’m glad I’m not paying them!

Now, when I say cold I’m talking about high 30s and low 40s (faharenheit) in the evening. For Sacramento, California, that’s cold! I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a fair-weather photographer. But once I’m out there and start shooting, I forget about the temperature until we head back to the car. That’s when I realized I couldn’t feel my finger tips and my feet were cold!

Enough about the weather. Here are some of my Christmas light images.

Brrr: Baby it’s cold outside. Too cold for Victorian Christmas!

I remember that only two weeks ago we were enjoying temperatures in the high 70s (degrees Fahrenheit). This week, the high is maybe 50 degrees Fahrenheit! I’ve had a difficult time communicating with the dog about why it wasn’t a good idea to walk when our outside thermometer read 27 degrees and that he had to wait until the afternoon! It was in these extreme conditions that I went up to Nevada City to shoot the Victorian Christmas with my photography pals.

I thought being the first night of the event and the low temperatures, there wouldn’t be many people. I was wrong. Actually, I was disappointed. It was more of a craft fair with vendors packed into the street. The sidewalks were decorated, some men (probably a choral group) sang Christmas carols, but I didn’t see a tree. One of our group said the tree was at the far end of the blocked off area and outside the barricades. ┬áThat must have been the blue triangle I saw in the distance. But, this Jewish gal expected a beautifully decorated tree that was the centerpiece of the Victorian Christmas. There was entertainment and the people in Victorian dress were walking around, but they were cold also, wearing coats that partially covered up their costumes.

My disappointment didn’t stop me from taking photos. I took my tripod with me, but never took it out of the bag. There was enough light and my camera did fine without it. I’m glad I went and enjoyed out 2 hours up there. At one point, we ducked into a coffee shop and I warmed my fingertips by holding the hot coffee cup. As we were walking up to the car, my toes were complaining that they were too cold! Thank you Laura Munro for driving us up there. Wicked good fun!