Only twice a year: Maple Rock Gardens, Newcastle

It’s some place you’d like to visit often, but this home and popular event venue is only open to the public twice a year. Other times, you need to be at a wedding or some other event to see the beautiful gardens. I’ll admit that at the end of summer, the flowers aren’t blooming and the lavender fields are hiding, but the property is beautiful just the same.

Maple Rock Gardens is a private estate, in Newcastle, and is affiliated with High Hand Nursery in Loomis. Its 30-acres is host to one of the largest garden railroads in Northern California. There are themed gardens, like a Japanese Tea Garden, and a 4-acre farm that supplies flowers to the High Hand Nursery. We spent almost 2 hours walking from one garden into another.

Each garden was decorated with sculptures, plants, small water falls and more. The easiest way to describe it is to show you. I did take a lot of pictures, so this will be a two-part post. Oh, you’ll also notice that I am now using a logo rather than a copyright symbol. Since I’ve made a little money with my photography, doing some real estate shoots, I decided to be more professional.

So, come along with me and visit Maple Rock Gardens.

A scavenger hunt: Old Sacramento

Sometimes you just want to have fun, so I borrowed a scavenger hunt list for a Tuesday morning outing. With camera in sling, four of us hunted the streets of Old Sacramento for items on the list. They ranged from “Something you can taste through the lens” to “bokeh” to “lines and patterns.” We exercised our minds and imaginations!

Here are some of my trophies.

This was a fun exercise. And, of course, photo buddies who help and joke around made it an extra special morning.

Seeing things a little differently: Downtown Roseville

Have you ever gone somewhere more than once and had a different experience each time? Downtown Roseville isn’t exactly a hot spot for photography. I posted on it when I took my friends there. I showed them the small area called Downtown and we watched kids play in the water fountains. However showing the area to Brian a fellow photographer was an entirely different experience.

He had two hours in Roseville and I was in the area for a chiropractic appointment. We met in Downtown and walked the area. Forget the Tower Theater, we went directly to the railroad tracks.

Before the dot com boom in the early 2000’s, Roseville was a railroad town. But the only place you’d recognize that fact is in Downtown Roseville. East Roseville is where all the office buildings are located, and West Roseville is suburbia. They also have a small section called Historic Roseville. You’ve seen some pictures of that area also in this blog.

So Brian and I spent some time near the rail road tracks and by Linda Creek. I also showed him the train sculpture that welcomes visitors to Downtown.

Just a disclaimer, I don’t live in Roseville or in Placer County. I live two blocks from the Placer County line in Sacramento County. Before I retired, I would network and look for new business in there. And, yes, in those days that city was a totally different experience for me!

 

Good to be back: Downtown and Historic Roseville, California

For Richard, it was back surgery; for me it was a dreaded cold. We were stuck inside and not even wanting to go anywhere. Richard is progressing well after back surgery, and I’m finally over my cold. So, he’s driving short distances now. For him that’s freedom! If’s tough on a Californian when you take the car away!

My first outing after my role as caregiver and receiver of a cold was to the Action Camera Swap Meet. They host this event twice a year. It’s a great way to get filters, camera bags and old equipment. One gal was selling off all her Dad’s old film cameras and gear. I bought a camera bag. I needed something that would hold enough, but not be heavy.

After that, Marlene and I went into Downtown (Old) Roseville. I was there a couple of weeks ago with friends from Los Angeles, so I tried to find other things to shoot. It was quiet. There was no farmers’ market or kids jumping through the fountains of water. There was just Marlene and I with our cameras. I’m hoping the only duplicate you’ll see here is the sculpture bench which is in need of repair. I call this area Old Roseville because the office buildings, new restaurants, etc. are located in East Roseville. If there’s an East, then there must be a West Roseville too. And there is–it’s mostly houses.

Soon hunger got the best of me and off we went to Historic Roseville. I think it’s historic because of the history of some of its buildings. I’ll tell you a bit of the history in the picture caption. This area certainly has a different look and feel from Downtown Roseville. After lunch we took our time to discover and shoot. We did find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos...”The World’s Most Delicious and Nutritious Donuts!” You just cannot walk in to see what it was all about–and we did.

After that, I went home. I was tired and happy with just one regret: I was too full from lunch to try a Dr. Bob’s Donut! It was great to get out with my camera again.