Almond trees and more! Capay Valley, California

Beautiful Almond trees in Capay Valley were calling to my small photo group. Every year we make that trek to capture the beautiful blossoms. We were a two-car caravan and stopped along the way for pictures. If we were a larger caravan, I’m not sure that would have worked.

Starting out in the small town of Esparto, we drove along the main road through the valley. To our dismay, some of the orchards were surrounded by chain link fencing. Unfortunately, some visitors and photographers have been going into the orchards, causing problems. We make sure to stay on the side of the road, not trespassing. We did manage to stick our lenses through the chain link. It made taking pictures difficult but not impossible. Thank heavens for telephoto lenses which allowed us to get some close ups.

When we reached Rumsey, we found yard full of treasures. Fortunately, the owner Don Hayes was there and gave us permission to take photos wherever we wanted. I think I must have been getting tired, because I missed some of the smaller items that my photo buddies shot. Well, there may be another chance!

Country life: Yolo Art and Ag

I’m not a country gal, but I do enjoy the opportunity to experience it. And, fortunately, I do get the chance. During the summer months, Yolo Arts brings together artists, photographers and farm owners in an effort to  raise awareness about the importance of preserving farmlands. This is accomplished through the Arts and Ag Project in Yolo County.

It’s amazing how close urban and suburban Sacramento is to farms and orchards. Drive one hour and you’re in a different world. A world I often get lost in! This month we visited Meeks and Sons, Inc. farm. A large farm that grows crops. This was a much different experience than in the past when we visited small farms–maybe two or three at a time. Karen B. and I got lost driving up and down the dirt roads. We did manage to find almond pods on the trees and some old and new farm equipment to take picture of.

Afterwards, Karen B. and I drove about 30 miles north to scout out a venue for our Tuesday group–a resting place for old busses and trucks in Williams. This is a photographers dream shoot, but not in the summer. It’s way too hot with more triple digits days than ever before. We ate lunch in the town and took some pictures.

Take a peek at what this city gal found on the farm.

 

Arts and Ag Project: August 2016 farm visit

I’m not that familiar with farming, but I do enjoy taking pictures of them. That’s why I jumped at the chance to participate in the August Arts and Ag Project sponsored by the Yolo Arts. Every month there is a farm open to artists and photographers. The artists paint, draw or create in whatever their medium is and we photographers shoot. The owners give us access to most of the farm and we have the morning to enjoy their life style.

I can’t say that I enjoyed the mosquitoes at the Voelz farm in Yolo County. They had just put down manure and it seemed to be attractive to the little buggers! We were also invited to shoot at a neighbor’s  property which has two barns and an old abandoned farm house. It’s this property, that most of us ended up at and the artists were sketching and painting.

I totally enjoyed speaking with the artists who came with chairs, tablets, paints, etc. One even set up in the back of his pick up. We all had one thing in common–the same perspective on what we were capturing. Though, as photographers, we can capture the scene in many different ways, each with a different focal point.

The more agriculture I shoot, the more I learn about farming. In my captions, I’ll let you know which farm is pictured. I’m looking forward to the September outing which is Thursday. I hope they don’t put manure down before we come!

Those little buggers: Rush Ranch, Suisun City, California

Those little buggers are called mosquitoes,  and they were biting at Rush Ranch during a recent visit. We backtracked to Rush Ranch after leaving Grizzly Island and eating lunch. It wasn’t too far, and I knew there were things to shoot.

Rush Ranch is an operating facility and is part of the Solano County Farmlands & Open Space Foundation that provides educational programs. There are hiking trails and  grasslands. And, this time, there were mosquitoes. And did they bite!

Those who entered the barn to photograph the two barn owls were ferociously attacked. I decided the shot would not be worth the pain. I didn’t venture on any of the trails either. Nevertheless, I was bitten on my left index finger which took a little more than a week for the swelling to go down!

I’ve been there before and there were no little buggers to feast on us. You can never predict what environment you’ll encounter on a shoot!

Enjoy what I did get of Rush Ranch before rushing back into the car. The old equipment is there as museum pieces. All photos were shot and processed in HDR. No captions are necessary.

We follow no map to reach our destination: Apple Hill

Tuesdays with seniors is fun because while we have a destination in mind, with Greg as our guide, we take back roads to get there. And, with photographers, you just have to stop and take photographs as you drive along. The joke is that it takes us twice as long to get anywhere!

The trip up to Apple Hill was no exception. We detoured to visit the American River and the Sailor Bar boat launch. The American and Sacramento rivers wrap around Sacramento and outlying communities. That’s why I love this area. It was amazing that we drove, more or less, straight to Apple Hill after leaving Sailor Bar.

Apple Hill is a seasonal treat where growers have stands, activities for kids, crafting booths and more. You can’t leave the area without eating something made from apples. You can get anything apple. I enjoyed dipping my apple slices in caramel. Yum! Oh, there’s another favorite of mine–kettle corn. Richard is still enjoying his apple pie (I froze slices). And, lastly, there is wine tasting.

But the real attraction for a photographer is the countryside and nearby towns. Take a look!

An amazing find: Rush Ranch, Solano County, California

The best things are the ones you don’t expect. And, I didn’t expect Rush Ranch to be so beautiful and fun to shoot. We went there after we visited the Suisun Wildlife Rescue Center. Photo buddy Laura suggested this and Marlene and I were agreeable. Oh, did we have fun, and we didn’t even take any of the nature paths. We stayed and shot old equipment, etc.

Rush Ranch is a working ranch, with cattle and sheep grazing under a wildlife habitat management program. Prior to its purchase by the Solano County Farmlands and Open Space Foundation in 1988, this ranch was owned by the Rushes (a pioneer family).

Now it is open to the public with three hiking trails that take you through different ecosystems. These are the trails we didn’t have time to walk. So we need to go back. Who knows what we’ll see, especially when we don’t expect to.

Meanwhile, enjoy these images from the immediate property.