Lens-Artists Challenge #188: A Special Place

Oh my, how do you choose your special place and why is it special? Karina of Murtagh’s Meadows is asking just that.

After thinking and thinking I realized a place that is so special to me that I want to return. Disneyland! Yes, Disneyland!! I just love that retreat into a world of fantasy and wonder. I even did a speech at my Toastmasters club on it. Let’s go back to the beginning of my fascination with Disneyland.

My introduction to this fantasy world was at age 15 1/2 in 1959. Mom and I had just moved to Los Angeles from the Bronx, NY. My aunt took me and my cousins to see this magical place. Now, just imagine my world had just been a few square blocks in the Bronx. I had no idea of what was beyond. We did get to the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Gardens but that was about it. If Los Angeles gave me culture shock, just imagine what Disneyland did!

At that time, it was still new and much smaller, but I was on overwhelm and was hooked. As a mother, I took my boys out of school once a year to have fun at Disneyland. We got there when the park opened and left when they closed the gates.

My love for the park never changed. One sweet memory was when Richard and I went on our own in 2006–no kids. I had to see Mickey Mouse. My collection of Mickeys is a story for another blog. We stood on line outside Mickey’s house in Toon Town with all the other parents and kids. After what seemed forever, we got to Mickey. “Where’s the kid?” His helper called out. “Here I am,” I yelled. This is the result.

Later that year, I went to the park again with my oldest daughter-in-law and grandkids. This time we stayed at one of the Disney hotels. No waiting on line to have my picture taken with Mickey.

In 2010 my friends Sandy, Gloria and I went to Disneyland. It was a 2-day stay which was long enough for us. My interest in photography hadn’t taken hold yet but I did get one reflection with my point and shoot.

Now for the trip of a lifetime for a Disney fan–six days at Disney World in Orlando. In 2014, our kids were attending a trade show in Orlando for the family company. With Richard retired, he and I entertained the grandkids once the trade show started. I was armed with my D3100 and enjoyed taking pictures of the grands. It was a long time since I saw a Disney park through a child’s eyes.

While Disney World was unforgettable, Disneyland is still my favorite. I keep talking about going back, but I also keep getting older. The park is also getting more expensive! But, whether I get back there or not, Disneyland will always be my special place.

Thank you Karina for bringing me back at least in spirit. When you tell us about your special place, remember to link to Karina’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Next week Tina takes the lead with her Odds and Ends challenge.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, we have easy to follow instructions. Just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Searching for fall colors: Markleeville

It seems that with each season Sacramento photographers rush to photograph the Milky Way, wildlife including the Sandhill Crane, snow and Fall colors. I’m no exception which is why my Camera Totin Tuesday group treked up to Markleeville, Alpine County, to capture delightful images.

There were five of us, and we squeezed into one car. Fortunately Marlene drove and her Suby Blue accomodated us easily. It’s a 2-hour ride up to the colorful aspens. Thank you Marlene for driving us. We stopped along the way to photograph the changing colors and had lunch in Markleeville. After lunch and taking pictures of the small town, population of 210 in the last census, we continued looking for color.

While editing the pictures of this outing, I tried to get out of my comfort zone with some creative help from Nik software. I’ve been liking the soft look lately and wanted to do some of my own. So, here’s the California colors of Fall.

 

An apple a day: Apple Hill, Placerville

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but it keeps people coming to Apple Hill in Placerville, El Dorado County each year. Everything is “apple” in this area where member growers show and sell their pies, apple fritters, apple doughnuts, etc. The months of October and November are so busy that crafters and more also show their wares.

This was my 4th trip to Apple Hill, so I decided to photograph different things. If you follow this blog, then you know I enjoy shooting close ups, lines and patterns, people, flowers and rust. So, that’s what I’m showing you today.

First close ups and rust.

Now flowers:

Now lines and patterns:

Now people:

Some leftovers:

Getting back into the groove: Sunflowers

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since July 2nd. Has life been that busy for me? I didn’t think so! Now, with this post, I hope to get back in the posting groove. I may not have been posting, but I’ve been shooting.

And, since this is about the progression of my photographic journey, I’m proud to say that I now close out of most article-type tutorials because I know the information. So this means I need to focus on post processing. I keep saying that, but I truly need to carry through with it. I’m competent with Lightroom, but Photoshop is still a mystery. I’ll have to just make the time and get into it. Maybe that will take my photography to the next level.

But, on to the sunflowers, or sunnies, as we Sacramento photographers call them. The images in this post are from two outings. These sunnies were located near the small town of Yolo in Yolo County. Photo buddy Karen was our guide for both trips. One is in the morning and the other was at sundown. Of course, when I try to catch a sunset, there are no clouds! However, the flowers had that golden light glow.

Enjoy this post. There will be more!

Betwixt and between: Yolo Bypass

We’re still not moved yet. I can’t say this is the worst move we ever made because the move to this house was equally traumatic. Moving is about the most emotional change you go through. There’s sadness about leaving a home you loved and happiness about building a life in another. Right now, I do feel betwixt and between. Richard and I talk about “home” and have to qualify which one!

In the meantime, I’m able to go on photo outings. This blog is about Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (also known as the Vic Fazio Wildlife Area). I was there a month ago, but each time is different. On this trip, the hunting area was open so Laura and I drove through it. We saw more wildlife than on the regular driving route. Maybe they knew they were safe at the time!

Right now, photography gets me away from a house that’s missing furniture, a house that’s being painted and floors being put in, and the stress of it all. I did pack my camera cases, but not my cameras and gear. Yes, for me photography is great therapy for the moving blues!

Here’s the latest from the Yolo Bypass. Again, my bird book is packed, so no captions!

Not today: Michigan Bar Road Adventure

Not packing or unpacking! Yes, today is a day off. Since we decided to move, I’ve gone on two photo outings, and, even then, I packed at night. Then, the next day, I unpacked at the other house. We are painting, putting in new floors and taking care of other things at our small home. The kitchen is almost set up. The rest of the move is easy.

Today, is a rest and blogging day. Last weekend I needed to take a break, drive somewhere and shoot. So, I rounded up photo buddies Laura and Linda and away I drove to Michigan Bar Road. This road is located in a rural area of Sacramento County. To get there, you drive on Highway 16 or Jackson Hwy through beautiful scenery, and in the summer, you can buy the best corn ever at the Davis Ranch produce stand. I’ve posted images from this road before, so I tried to get different angles, etc. Then we had the bright idea to go beyond the paved road and get home a different way. I do need to tell you it’s been raining here off and on for two weeks, and I was hoping that with a few dry days, the dirt roads would be more or less dry.

Not!! Going 7 – 10 mph can take about 45 minutes to go 4 miles! I made it through three shallow large puddles with the help of my valiant crew, but was stopped by this pool. We had to turn around.

DSC_7646

On the way back to the paved road, I had to set down the law because my pals were still wanting to stop to take pictures. No more pictures, we needed to get home. This was a fun adventure, and it rained the next few days so my car got cleaned outside. (I looked for every puddle to go through to get the underside clean.)

Each of us had a reason to get out and experience a bit of photography, so we all enjoyed our adventure. The next day it was back to moving for me, but my break was great!

 

Happy Thanksgiving: Napa Valley

The turkey is ready so I’m taking a break. I’m getting wise in my old age: I’m doing the turkey and hosting; everyone else is bringing the rest of our Thanksgiving dinner. The everyone else is half our family. Today is the day that we pay attention to what we are thankful for in our lives. I’m thankful for my husband of 54 years, wonderful son, two daughters-in-law and my four amazing grandkids.

This year, I’m also thankful that I have a hobby that gives me brain exercise, physical exercise and wonderful friendships. Today’s images are from a day road trip to Napa Valley with Karen B. Don’t expect me to know the names of all the wineries we visited. The vines were yellowed and some were bare already. But, they were still beautiful.

We also visited the Veterans’ Home of California in Yountville. It’s nice that some of our aging veterans get to live in a place as beautiful as this campus, supported by the country they fought for–another thing to be thankful for.

It was a full day of shooting, driving, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Yes, I’m grateful for including photography in my life. For my followers who live outside the U.S., think about your gratitude list. After all we should live in gratitude every day, not just on Thanksgiving!

 

 

My heart is full: Sacramento Zoo

Funerals are for the living, and without one, there is no closure. Tonight we had a memorial for Uncle Chuck and my dear friend Carol. We also invited Richard’s friend John whose sister Mary passed away this morning. We were Jews and Christians united in an effort for sending our loved ones on their way.

We did traditional Jewish prayers, John sang the 23rd Psalm and taps. We all told stories about our departed family members and ended it with dessert. What a wonderful evening. Uncle Chuck would have been pleased at the variety of religions and camaraderie in the room.

This is what caring and love is all about. He would have also loved the zoo animals and probably given them nicknames. He always gave people he loved nicknames. His girls were Rotten kid 1 and Rotten kid 2. My youngest was just Rotten Kid. My grandson (Chistopher) was JJ.

So as you smile at the Sacramento Zoo animals, send a smile up to Uncle Chuck and Carol; Arthur and Alina; and Mary.

 

An artistic festival: Wide Open Walls, Sacramento City

I’ve said it before–I’m not an artist. But, I’m in awe of anyone who can visualize and create art. Recently, in August 2017, the city of Sacramento held a festival, Wide Open Walls, that enabled artistic visions to become reality, as murals, on various walls in the city. I wasn’t able to shoot during the festival since we were away, but was eager to see the results.

Murals are not new to Sacramento’s Midtown. Greg Morris (RIP) took me there a few times to view them in the alleys. He would tell me that the best time to shoot the murals was on Sunday because there was less traffic. But this time, murals were more predominate on the walls of businesses and out of the alleys.

I did go to midtown with photo buddies Karen B and Ray on a recent Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed the morning. We did a great deal of walking, shooting and resting. It left me in awe of the various artists’ talent. And, Midtown is not the only location. They are all over the city. Next time, we might walk downtown to see these amazing works of art.

Here are some of the murals I took pictures of. In some instances, I’ll show you the entire wall and then a portion of it. They were too large to do justice in one shot. No captions necessary.

Gone, but we do have pictures: Lotus, Vedanta Society, Sacramento

You know what happens when one photographer posts a picture of something that doesn’t, last too long–we all go to shoot it.

That’s what happened with the Lotus located on the grounds of the Vedanta Society  Sacramento in Sacramento. They were so nice to let us go to their pond and shoot these beautiful flowers. I had never seen lotus in person. They are stunning.

We were back yesterday to check on whether the hyacinths were in the pond, and we found the seed pods that were left from the lotus. We also found some hyacinths, but that will be for another post.

So please enjoy these beauties. I’m so glad one photographer shared her find.