Lens-Artists #117: A photo walk

Whether in the city or country-side, I love photo walks. Thank you Amy of Share and Connect for choosing this topic. It’s a great way to relax, observe, see opportunities and shoot pictures. However, here in Sacramento, between the pandemic and smoke from fires, taking photo walks has been minimal. Of the few activities this year, my trip to the Sacramento Zoo and Gibson Ranch stand out.

The Sacramento Zoo. I love the zoo, and typically spend 2 hours walking it. It closed early on in the pandemic and when they were permitted to reopen, it was under strict guidelines. We needed to make online reservations, you couldn’t request a time slot, and they only let in a certain amount of visitors at a time. My time slot came early in the afternoon. Typically I would get there when they opened in the morning before the big cats took their naps. However my ticket was for 1:30 p.m. Wow, animals that were traditionally inactive in the morning were active. Here are some images from that zoo afternoon.

Another time we went to Gibson Ranch in Elverta. I hadn’t been there in a long time and wanted to get familiar with my new 80 mm macro lens. I didn’t think I’d be able to do much true macro work, but I wanted to see what else it could do. Gibson Ranch has a pond, barn, animals, horse stables and horses. It’s typical to find families feeding the ducks and geese, horses being groomed and rode, and people taking trail rides.

I’ve since used my macro lens on flowers, etc. It’s great.

There are so many other places to stroll about with a camera in the Sacramento area. I’m just waiting for the smoke to clear!

Brightening up the valley: Barn Quilts, Rio Linda, California

What’s a barn quilt? A quilt sewn to hang in a barn? No. They are boards painted to look like quilts and hung outside of barns and houses. When I heard about this from a fellow Camera Totin’ Tuesday member, I was curious. I found that the practice is done across the U.S., and our local quilters have established the Rio Linda, Elverta Quilt Trail Project.

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The women gather every Tuesday afternoon in a member’s garage and paint. They paint on special wood boards and paints meant to handle whatever mother nature throws at the quilts, especially rain and wind. The women work from a thick pattern book. And, when there’s a special request, they do their best to work the theme into a pattern. Here’s where they work.

The only charge for a barn quilt is the cost of the materials, the labor of design and painting is free. Our hostess told us about a quilt they painted for a church, and when the pastor retired, they stitched him an actual quilt of the same design.

Their quilts can be found on barns, homes and businesses.

And, of course, we found other things to photograph. Also the featured image in this post, features one of our CTT members!

Back in time: Civil War Re-enactment, Gibson Ranch, Elverta, California, part 2

Politics, I really don’t want to get into that subject, but I am showing you images from a Civil War Re-enactment. So, indulge me with one question: Why has it taken so long to gain equality since that epic war? Okay, two questions: Are we there yet?

Last post’s commentary was regarding the Union camp Marlene and I just happened to walk into because it was closer. The Confederate camp was a little down the road, and the Gibson Ranch pasture land between them was reserved for the battle. I was amazed at how few participants the Confederates had. There were about 1/3 of the tents than in the opposition camp. One of our photographer’s husband was wearing a Confederate cap and was asked to join in the battle against the Union. They lent him a uniform and off he went on his adventure.

Of course, his adventure was the battle of Appomattox Court House , fought on the morning of April 9, 1865. It was one of the last battles of the Civil War and a Union victory. I was wondering how they would re-enact the scene. We did see gun fire (not real bullets) and men (and women in this case) fall to the ground. Soldiers came in on horse back, guns blazing. However they were at the other end of the pasture, and my 300 mm lens couldn’t capture the shot with pinpoint focus. It wasn’t until the battle came closer that I was able to get good shots (with my camera). All in all, they did a pretty good job of presenting a production of this battle.

You can see for yourself in this second post that contains shots of the battle and the Confederate encampment. All politics aside, it was a fun and educational day.