Before you got to the Fort, also called the Russian Fort because it’s a historic Russian-era fort compound that has been designated National Historic Landmark status, you walk through the grounds of beautiful scenery and beaches. Here is a sample:
And now for the Fort. I know I’m giving you a lot to look at, but I’m hoping you’ll think it’s worth your time.
The next day we went to Napa. I’ll save that for another post.
It was like this challenge from Beth of Wandering Dogs was just meant for me! I just returned from a scenery change. After a year of wandering around the Sacramento area with my photography pod, my friend Sandy, who lives in Tuolumne City, invited me to spend time with her and her sister Peg in Windsor in Sonoma County, California. I didn’t need to even think about it before I said YES!
Sandy picked me up on Monday and returned me on Thursday. We had two full days of seeing the sights and taking pictures. I haven’t been able to edit all the pictures yet, but I can show you the small town of Windsor.
Here are the small shops and buildings in the downtown area.
The snow beckons, but not in the middle of a storm or when it’s 6-feet deep. I’m a fair-weather-snow type of gal. I like the ambient temperature not freezing and to have ample snow on the ground. Had we made it up to Donner Lake a few days earlier it would have been perfect, but life did not permit. But it was still good when we did get there.
Donner Lake Village is a small town wrapping around the lake. It’s quaint and attracts tourists and residents year round. It is close to all major sky areas for winter sports, and in the summer is just stunning. When we went up, I didn’t even need to put my snow boots on. The weather was perfect.
The lake is about 1 1/2 hours from my home. Richard drove and Ray and Sally came along. Here are some of my images captured that day.
Sometimes when a planned outing goes awry, it can work out well anyway. That’s what happened when my photo group decided to walk along the American River starting at Folsom Dam.
Our organizer gave us an address to meet at. Easy? Not when you don’t follow GPS directions. My bad! But when we got there we (Donna and I) arrived at the Miners Ravine Trail parking lot. This was not the shopping center meet point. We had the wrong address. Even with the right address, we got lost. Finally we met our group who was past the patience point. Marlene had brought her dog (almost a year old) who was doing okay with the loud traffic, but would he do well walking across a busy street and along the dam? One member (Jean) was still lost and hadn’t arrived yet.
I told the others to go ahead; I would wait for Jean and maybe follow them. I told Marlene about the Miners Ravine Trail head we found, and she agreed it would be more suitable for her dog. I ran to take a picture of the dam. Jean gave up and went home!
Are you frustrated yet? I was! Marlene and I did one end of the trail before she headed home. I was soon joined by the rest of the group who had walked the American River Trail. We walked the other side of the trail.
In the end, I had a good time and don’t think I missed anything along the river trail. Here are some images from that walk.
It’s good that I love trees. Without leaves to disguise their structure, they are so expressive. So, all’s well that ends well!
I’m not too fond of fog when I’m driving, but when I have my camera in my hand, I love it. On one foggy morning we (Marlene, Linda, Ray and I) ventured out to two local parks hoping to get foggy images.
The fog was lifting when we arrived at Boulder Ridge park in Rocklin, but still thick enough to block the visual of most of the park. This time of the year, the trees are bare and stand tall against the fog.
This large park is popular with locals. But it was damp and cold while we were there, and the hillsides weren’t visible. When we couldn’t see the rest of the park, we left and followed in our cars to Coyote Pond in Lincoln. The fog had lifted there and the beauty of this small neighborhood park was waiting for us.
It’s great that we have such beauty easily accessible in these COVID days.
I love the letter “A” not only because it is the first letter of my name, but it’s also for Apple Hill in Placerville. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I read Patti’s post that gave us this challenge.
Of course in Apple Hill they grow apples. Imagine that! Each year the Apple Hill Growers Association organizes this event. Growers in the area open their orchards/farms, a certain amount, to the public. They sell pies, cupcakes, jelly or caramel apples, anything apple. I don’t care for pie, but the cupcakes and donuts are delicious. I do bring home a large slice of apple pie for Richard.
We spend the day driving from place to place, exploring the grounds and buying fruit from the fruit stands. It’s a wonderful photo day. Because of the pandemic, we didn’t go this year. However, I do have images to show you from previous years.
People of all ages come to enjoy the grounds, pony rides and food.
The grounds at some of the orchards are simply beautiful.
There are also a few old trucks, museum sets, and flowers.
I’m hoping that the pandemic will be over next year. I did miss visiting Apple Hill this year, but didn’t want to risk the crowds. Take care and stay safe everyone!
I’ve noticed that some people like negative space and create a minimalist lifestyle, and others like their surroundings busy (I won’t say cluttered.). I’m somewhere in the middle. My surroundings may be full, but it is neat and tidy. However, I’ve never thought about how the concept applied to how I take my photos.
Thank you Amy (The World Is A Book) for this weeks’ challenge. It helped me realize that I truly do not consider negative space when I shoot. Yes, I have skies that take up 2/3 of an image, birds in large pools of water, etc. But, these shots were never planned for negative space and its impact. I usually crop in close in camera. Even my landscapes are cropped in camera. Planning for negative space is something I should work on!
So, here are some of my inadvertent negative space images.
Fortunately I’m getting used to driving the various county roads in the rural areas of Yolo County. I was alone on this July expedition to the CR25 Ranch in Esparto, but remembered some of the roads from last month’s journey when Marlene road with me. The CR25 Ranch is located on the County Road 25!
I like getting out into fresh air and drive around the countryside. And, I’m lucky that this scenery is a little more than an hour away. This ranch is not as large as some of the others I’ve been to, but there was enough to keep me busy for 1 1/2 hours.
This horse was alone in a pasture. He was midway, but my Fuji camera with lens extended to the full 200 mm was able to capture him in focus. I cropped him in Lightroom. Here’s the result.
Here are some landscapes of the ranch, showing pastures and barns.
This ranch may have been small, but it did have its share of “ranch art!”
A few of the cows came down from mid-pasture to get some water. One of them stood out. Was he trying to stick his tongue out at me. Also, it was good that it wasn’t a frosty winter day or else that tongue would have stuck to the watering trough.
I’m enjoying the new camera and still learning more about its capabilities. It does more than I’ll ever use! Where will Yolo Arts take us this month?
I knew Gibson Ranch Park in Elverta wasn’t the best place for macro shots, but you can use a macro lens for more than just close up photography. Yes? Well, I gave it a try when Marlene, Linda and I went to to the park. I hadn’t been there for a while, and I wanted to practice with my new macro lens for the Fuji camera. It performed well.
There were the usual amount of ducks at the pond.
And there were geese!
And a squirrel enjoying a peanut tossed by a young boy.
And Gibson Ranch has other animals too.
There are also stables where horses are boarded. In one area, trail rides are offered.
Oh, yes, I did manage to get a couple of close up/macro images too.
Now I have to find some flowers and bugs to practice on!
Deep in the summer heat, it’s great to begin to think of Autumn. Thank you Patti!
Autumn in Sacramento has all photographers looking for fall colors. One popular spot, about 2 hours away, is Hope Valley. That’s where the famed cabin is. You haven’t shot in Hope Valley until you’ve captured the cabin.
So in October, 2016 Marlene and I ventured out to find the famed cabin. Everyone said it was too late for finding color, but we found color and snow. We drove past the cabin twice before we recognized it!
We went back in 2017 and captured it again. Here’s a closer look.