Finishing up 2018: Effie Yeaw and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Gray Lodge

Since our world is shrinking, most of you know about the government shut down partially in the United States. Let’s put politics aside and think about the people who are being used as pawns in this game. It’s even affected us photographers with some of our National Parks partially closed.

Being a National refuge, all services were gone at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Willows. It was, however, open for those who wanted to take the driving tour. Laura and I did just that, and we then drove over to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Gridley.

Before that, my Camera Totin’ Tuesday went to visit Effie Yeaw in Carmichael. I wanted to photograph deer, but I didn’t see any. I know you’re beginning to be doubtful about deer in the Nature Center! Effie Yeaw is always a great place for a walk since it’s along the American River.

So here are some images from both outings. I’m hopeful that the next time I post, I’ll be able to say our government is open!

Navigating the not so perfect: Various outings

I learned long ago that we all can’t be winners and neither can outings. I’ve made lemonade so many times recently. It’s not that the outings were truly “lemons,” but either the potential for great images was not there or I was off and not seeing opportunities.

For instance, the John Muir National Historic Site was one I had been to before, but forgot. Basically it’s a tour of his home and orchard he inherited from his father-in-law. The movie shown in the Visitor’s Center did give us great insight into his life and dreams.

Another venture was to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area a small preserve near West Sacramento. Seeing wildlife here is either okay, great or bad. The morning we went viewing, the wind was blowing so hard even the birds were taking cover! After we drove the route, Linda, Teresa and I went to see if any burrowing owls were brave to fight the wind. They burrow in Davis, California. We spotted two little owls.

Last, is Effie Yeaw Nature Center. Summer is not the best time to view the many deer, roosters, coyotes and birds that live there. This visit was in September, and I guess it wasn’t cool enough for the wildlife to come out and smile for the cameras!

Even though there may not have been great photo opportunities, these outings were fun. When you’re with fellow photographers who enjoy getting out with their cameras, the camaraderie is what makes the day. I guess I’m saying a day out with a camera and friends is always a winner.

Oh Dear, No Deer: Effie Yeaw, Carmichael

As the heat continues, we look for places to shoot that are open early in the morning to avoid the rising temperatures. We chose Effie Yeaw Nature Center for a recent Tuesday shoot. This is a nature preserve along the American River in Carmichael.

Typically the deer are out in the early hours. When I took my young grandkids there, we saw a full herd in the first meadow, and we found bucks on the other side. Marlene and I had the joy of walking (on a path) through a heard one time. But, this time we didn’t see a deer–not one. I wondered where do they go to hide? It’s not a large preserve. One was spotted near the pond at the entrance.

So, without our dear deer, we looked for other things to shoot. Lesson learned: there’s always something to shoot. It’s what you make of it! We walked and shot for a couple of hours and then went for an early lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the Vedanta Society’s pond to see if the Hyacinths we in the pond.  There were some but not a lot.  During lunch we talked about what other outings we could schedule with this summer being so hot. I think you’ll have to wait to see where we go next!

Printing my pictures: Back to Effie Yeaw Nature Center

I’ve reached another plateau in my photographic journey–I’m beginning to print my photos and hang them in my home. I’ve got three metal prints on the walls now: a 6 x 9 and two 8 x 12 inches. I’m also preparing five black and whites to be printed as 8 x 10 inches. Next I’ll work on my close up and macro flowers. It’s time to do this.

I’m thinking the more I see my printed pictures, the more confidence I’ll get to enter a contest. This whole journey is a process–at least for me. I was chatting with another photographer via Facebook regarding entering a contest. She is entering an image in the California State Fair contest. It’s a great image that tells a great story. She said that I should enter. I said I wasn’t ready. She suggested some of the various county fair competitions. I may do that this summer.

In the meantime, our Tuesday group visited Effie Yeaw Nature Center. I’ve shown you pictures from there before, but you never see the same thing twice. There’s always new discoveries. And, now that Marlene and I bought a membership, you’ll see a lot more of Effie Yeaw.

From Effie Yeaw to wherever my camera takes me, I’ll take you along on this amazing photographic journey.

 

After a rain, shoot, shoot, shoot: Effie Yeaw,Schweitzer Grove, McKinley Park

It’s sometimes called cabin fever, but for photographers it’s more intense. Since you can’t shoot, you edit, read tutorials or discover new processing programs. So, when, on a recent Tuesday, Marlene and I were the only photographers to partake in Camera Totin’ Tuesday, we took full advantage of the partly cloudy weather.

Our first stop was Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. This wonderful preserve houses all sorts of animals, provides educational programs and welcomes photographers. Located on the American River, there is a lot to shoot. On this day, I was looking for deer; but, I was amazed by the area’s beauty after winter rains. And, yes, I did find deer. I couldn’t believe how they let us get so close to them. They know they are protected from human harm, but natural predators are still around. You’ll see more from Effie Yeaw because Marlene and I bought a season pass.

Next we found Schweitzer Grove Nature Area. This is a 17-acre park also in Carmichael that allows dogs to be off leash. It’s quiet and green–a great place to walk babies, dogs or just yourself.

After walking Schweitzer Grove, we drove over to McKinley Park in Sacramento. We were hoping to still see some roses, but there were none. Still, we weren’t disappointed for there were other flowers and people that caught our attention. If you remember, I did a post on this park before and the roses were beautiful. We’ll be back.

What did I learn? My passion for photography grows along with my experience. We have so many beautiful preserves, parks and rivers here in the Sacramento area so you don’t have to drive a great distance to shoot. And, finally, I’m so enjoying the friendships I’ve made with other photographers. Marlene has been my  sidekick for more than a year now, and I do appreciate her willingness to go out with her camera.

It’s raining right now, but it’s supposed to be partly cloudy for our next Tuesday adventure. I know we’re all anxious to get out there and shoot–with our cameras!

This will be a two-part post. There are too many pictures for me to put in one.

Just a little exercise: Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, California

Walking on river bed rock can give you a workout. The Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a place you can continually go back to and see different things each time. This time my photo buddy Rita and I walked near the American River which is low due to the drought. I keyed in on trees and mostly used my 55 – 300 mm lens that was mounted on my D3100. They were so expressive. Meanwhile Rita kept her eyes on smaller objects like birds and crawling things.

You see, I was raised in the city and suburbs, and I’m not used to finding the small wonders of nature. I’m learning though. We do want to go back for sunrise so we can catch the sun’s beauty and the deer. Getting there at 7 a.m., Rita saw a lot of deer. However, I didn’t see one, getting there at 8 a.m. The last time we were there, we saw one deer family.

After a two-hour workout, we left. I’ll be going back on Sunday for their Nature Fest. They will have many activities I’m sure my young grandkids will enjoy. We won’t be walking along the river though!