Road trip: In search of Fall color, again!

Just say these words to me “road trip and camera,” and I’m ready for a fun morning. So off Ray, Marlene and I went, meeting Lucille and Gert along the way, to find some Fall color. We started outside of Lincoln, California in Placer County and drifted around the area. We saw touches of color during our drive, stopping where we could. I do wish farmers would create parking for us!

Here’s our first stop. The trees were bright red, but the lighting was not that good and a fence was prominent. They dying grape vines gave a nice orange hue.

I followed Lucille around the corner. This is what she found.

Our second stop was up the road at a county park that was already full. They let us in so we could use the bathroom. It was a long bathroom break!

Our third and last stop came as we were on our way home. We stopped when we saw orange blazing on the hillside.

So, while we didn’t find amazing Fall color, we did find amazing photographic opportunities. I love those road trips because you never know where you’ll end up or what photos are waiting for you to take.

Lens-Artist Challenge #119: My Hideaway

This challenge brought to us by Ann-Christine is a difficult one for me because I really don’t have a hideaway. I even checked the dictionary to see if I could put a twist on it, but the dictionary let me down. One thing I could possible spin off on is that a hideaway is a place to get away from people. So, let’s expand that to getting away from it all. When I want to get away from it all, I go on a photo road trip.

These day trips began when I met Greg Morris a fellow photographer who passed away in 2016. He would pick me up in the morning with some destination in mind. We might reach it or we might not. Either way, it was an adventure.

Soon Marlene joined us and our threesome would venture out every Tuesday. Since he was driving, we had no control of where we went. Well, we did, but we didn’t want to! When Greg became terminally ill with glioblastoma brain cancer, Marlene and I would take him out to places he had taken us. We would take turns walking with him.

This post is dedicated to Greg Morris who showed me the fun of getting in the car, with maybe a destination in mind, and enjoying the get-a-way day. Here are some pictures of our last outing with him to Discovery Park in Sacramento. This park is a the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers.

Thank you Ann-Christine for taking me down memory lane. I still enjoy road trips and went out with my friend Jean yesterday for one. Like driving with Greg, we never did reach our destination, but we did have fun!

Road Trip: Levee Road

It was time to venture out with my friend Jean for a short road trip. California is beginning to open up, but I’m still cautious. News: I thought my photography had reached a level where I needed a better camera. Because of my age, I needed something light (not full frame). Mirrorless was an obvious choice.

I bought a Fujifilm XT3 and was anxious to try it out. It was just the two of us, both healthy and not exposed to anyone with COVID 19 so off we went. It was great to be on a road trip with no destination in mind.

We drove for a short time up the Levee Road north of Sacramento when I saw these terrific reflections in the rice paddies.

As we drove on, I spotted a sign that directed us to a boat ramp. Jean said she wanted to shoot near water so wouldn’t a boat ramp be perfect? It was a great stop. We came upon pelicans, fishermen and a beautiful section of the Sacramento River.

We made some more quick stops along the way: to shoot a farm across the road, some thistles going to seed, and another house. I was doing okay with my Fugi, having to change the lens a couple of times and shooting on manual. Typically with my Nikon 7100 I use an 18 – 200 lens so I don’t need to switch lenses in the field, but Fuji doesn’t make that lens.

We ended up in Yuba City in Sutter County where I took pictures of the Hall of Records building built in 1831. What a beautiful building.

I had a great time and was happy with my new camera. At least until my next outing which will be the subject of my next post. Be careful and stay safe everyone!

Escape #2: Anne and Richard’s adventure!

Richard was getting cabin fever so we decided to take a ride up to Sugar Pine Lake in Placer County. Sounds easy and simple! Sure, until you miss your exit off the Interstate and one of you is working on erroneous information. Right now, I’ll admit that one was me! I just didn’t know there was a difference between Sugar Pine Lake and Reservoir. So, I suggested we follow the GPS to the Dam and Reservoir. (Now, as I’m writing this post, I’m learning there isn’t a difference! Now I’m more confused.)

Oh no! Well, trouble didn’t begin that soon. We found ourselves on Iowa Hill Road. Never heard of it! In fact, we never heard of Iowa Hill, but we found it. On our way up the paved, curvy mountain road, we found a neat specimen from long ago. Why it was on the roadside, we don’t know. Maybe just to be an indicator of things to come!

Further up the road, we crossed a river (not sure which one), but were encouraged by the canoes we saw on the bank. We also saw the old Iowa Bridge.

Driving on a narrow twisted road we soon reached the small town of Iowa Hill still not aware of what was ahead.

Once out of the small town, we driving where snow was still on the ground and over another river. We did find the lake and dam.

Now to get home! Again we followed the GPS which took us almost the same way we came.The dirt road began to narrow to one lane and what was probably snow left the road a little muddy!

Now, each time we made a turn, the GPS said stay on the route for 5 or 6 miles. I stopped counting the turns as the road had more and more debris on the sides. I would have gotten out to take a picture, but the road was just wide enough for our car! Richard said, “What will we do if someone was coming from the other direction?”

We both said at the same time, “No one else would be stupid enough to go this way!” Got to have a sense of humor in a situation like this. I estimate that we drove about 15 miles on that road. Close to civilization, we came upon two small waterfalls. There was enough room at each for me to step out of the car and shoot pictures!

As we were churning up mud, I thought if anything happened, nobody would know where we were. We didn’t have cell service and didn’t tell anybody we were going for a ride. Lesson learned. Now, we will definitely tell family where we’re going!

As long as we’re under lock-down, we will be taking rides. After all, it’s the safe thing to do if you don’t miss your turn off!

Feeling the sun: di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

Oh, it’s wonderful: two days of sunshine, and one more to come! After, that showers begin again. I have managed to get out with my camera during the sunshine, and you’ll see those images later after they’re processed.

Today, I’m taking you to the second half of our journey into Napa that began with the Quixote Winery (in my last post) and ended with the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art.

We drove to the art gallery after lunch and stopped along the way for more picture taking. You know photographers, we just keep clicking when we see something pretty. On approach, the gallery is pretty, the grounds are beautiful, but I wasn’t feeling the art. But, as I’ve learned by having my images critiqued, art is totally subjective. (I did find out that my “Droplets” picture did make it to the table from which the winners were chosen!) While I may not like something, someone else will.

The grounds that the two galleries sit on are beautiful, complete with a lake. I did the best I could with the limited access we had to the grounds. The highlight of the trip was the stop at the Lake Berryessa, in Napa County, and its spillway or Glory Hole.

So, here are the images of the country side, art gallery and Glory Hole!

Didn’t you want to go there again? Nevada City, California

Challenges, I love them–most of the time. Visiting Nevada City in the Sierra foothills, was like that. If you’ve been following this blog, you have seen images of this quaint town and its neighbor, Grass Valley. We stopped there on our way to Downieville, walked and took photos and then went on to the city of no pizza!

I didn’t mind because it’s challenging to find something different to shoot, or maybe to shoot from a different angle which can give you different results. Exercises like these help improve your compositions and photographic abilities.

So here I am in Nevada City finding inspiration, seeing new opportunities and learning.

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!

 

 

On the road again: Leaving Glacier National Park

Right now, I’m sitting inside my air conditioned trailer courtesy of the National Oldtime Fiddlers Association in Weiser ID. It’s hot outside and people from all over are coming in to view tomorrow’s solar eclipse. Whether I will be able to shoot it is still up in the air.

In the meantime, I’m going to show you some images from the Going To The Sun Road that are new, a couple from a pull out on the road heading into Idaho and one of a new fire.

I’m glad we went to Glacier National Park. It’s been on my bucket list for a long time. I can wish there was no smoke and no fires, but I’ve learned to deal with what I’ve got. That was my part of the trip and now we’re on to Richard’s part. Not that he didn’t enjoy Montana, and I’m certainly going to enjoy my once-in-a lifetime eclipse.

So here’s the end of Glacier National Park and, looking forward, perhaps, a way for me to shoot the eclipse.

 

24 hours: San Francisco

The California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, is more than a museum. It’s a planetarium, a rain forest, and aquarium and natural history museum. Yes, it is a museum, and Linda and I wanted to visit. But we knew it would take us all day to get through it, so we decided to stay overnight at the Ft. Mason Hostel (Once again in a private bedroom.).

Our plan for this adventure was to leave early in the morning, visit some sights, get to the Hostel in the evening and go to the Academy the next morning. That first day our road trip took us to Tiburon, where we had lunch and enjoyed the small town; Sausalito where we shot the Golden Gate Bridge; and to the Sutro Baths in San Francisco.

Given that itinerary, I think this will be a two part post. Remembering that we are seniors, me more than Linda, we packed a lot in. However, we were tired at night and didn’t venture out for night photography.

I had a great time. I was more at ease with my photography than I was during our previous trip. Again, we found fog in San Francisco. I’m still amazed at how fast it moves across the vistas. In less than 5 minutes, you can be shooting in fog, mild fog and no fog.

Let’s begin with Tiburon and end with the Sutro Baths. The next post will have images from the California Academy of Sciences.

 

When life gets busy: Capay Valley, California

Have you ever felt like a dog that’s chasing his tail? I’m sure you have at one point or another. March felt like that for me. Between getting ready for my Georgia trip, going on it, and doing photography to help with the emotional stress I knew it was bringing, I forgot to post my trip to Capay Valley.

Our Camera Totin’ Tuesday group went there to shoot the blossoms of the almond trees. There are many orchards in the valley, and fortunately they are all on different time tables of blooming. We were too late for some and just in time for others.

Timing in landscape photography is critical, and so is knowledge of the area. What I’m realizing is that I’m not the most patient photographer! I also rely on other photographers’ knowledge rather than research it for myself. I guess that makes me lazy in addition to impatient! I’d like to climb out of that rut but there are other things grabbing my time. I keep reading that a good photographer should do the research on the area they are shooting, go during the right time of the day and have the patience to sit there for the shot. I’m lucky I have people I can rely on!

Back to Capay Valley. We had a fun day of driving, finding almond orchards, farms and more. We took off with an end in mind and wandered until we got there. Cell phones helped us keep the three cars together.

I did enjoy it, and I’m sorry that I didn’t post sooner on this beautiful area, but………..you know!