UC Davis Arboretum: beauty so close

With two rivers, the Sacramento and American rivers, winding through the valley, the greater Sacramento area has a lot to offer photographers who want to capture local beauty. One such place is the UC Davis Arboretum. I’ve posted images from this garden spot twice before. The last was taken during the winter when nothing was blooming, but we were able to capture the golden hour lighting which added so much to our pictures.

Now, it’s summer and plants are blooming even though we are in a drought. Fortunately, the entire arboretum runs along a stream and is somewhat shaded. Each section has different plants. This week, my photo buddy Jayne and I went to walk it. It wasn’t as pretty as the first time I saw it. Water was plentiful then. I love this arboretum because you can keep going back and see different things.

I’ll be returning before the summer ends since we only walked about half the arboretum. It is so great to have such a wonderful place close.

U.C. Davis Arboretum

Some of us learn our lessons in a difficult way. I’m one of those people which is why I named this blog Slow Shutter Speed!

Yesterday, my friend Jean and I went to the U.C. Davis Arboretum. Fortunately we went at the golden hour before sunset because in winter the arboretum is stripped of its colorful beauty. However, the position of the sun and the still water, gave us beautiful shadows and reflections.

I brought along my two cameras and new sling. However, at the last minute, I decided not to hook on the D3100 and a telephoto lens. The last time I was at a photo shoot here, there were no birds–nothing really to shoot with a long lens. Mistake! Of course there were three birds and a hang glider!!

By the way, the sling was so comfortable; there was no need to switch it to the other shoulder. I’m also slow at learning the D7100. Things keep coming up, but the David Bush book I ordered should be coming today. He is so much easier to understand than the manual. I am becoming comfortable with the camera and the extra 1/2 pound weight doesn’t seem to bother me.

Now, back to the Arboretum which borders a creek. It’s an easy walk, and plants are along side the road. Even in winter, it’s a pleasant place to visit. In fact, we passed bicyclists, runners, dog walkers, drummers, and folks just conversing. I plan on visiting again in the spring, maybe in the early hours to catch the sunrise glow. Oh, yes, I’ll be carrying both cameras. By then I hope I’m a pro with the D7100.

Some of my images are in the gallery.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, part two of three

Ah, Mother Nature–she gives us beauty to enjoy, and she also gives us insects. I’m talking about mosquitoes, mosquitoes,  and more mosquitoes! There were a lot of them at Gray Lodge and they were BIG. As soon as I would stop to take in a scene or a photo, they were all over me. The double layers of clothing protected me somewhat, but they bit through jeans and socks. I have bites on my face, legs, feet, hands and fingers. The first thing I did when I got home was shower and wash my hair. I’m not complaining; it was worth it. A city girl, I’m just amazed.

Today,  we continue our journey through Gray Lodge. First we did the driving tour. You cannot get out of your car, so we were shooting through open windows and the sun roof. Yes, the car was full of mosquitoes too. Then we did the walking tour. That’s when Diane and I noticed the mosquitoes just sitting on the back of Laura’s pants. They must have been on ours too because I have a lot of bites on the backs of my legs. This tour brought us in a little closer to the birds and plants.

After we left Gray Lodge, we took a nice tour of the area on our way to Delevan National Wildlife Refuge. We stopped along the way when we saw anything interesting.