What a museum: California Museum

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and relax because there a more than my normal pictures in this post. I was surprised and amazed at the amount of information and presentation at the California Museum. Two hours wasn’t really enough to absorb everything especially when you are photographing the exhibits.

Here’s the introduction to the place in the gift shop.

The visiting exhibit, Celebrate Women, was geared to women and young girls, helping them understand that they can aspire to be like many of the famous role models. Each exhibit had a view screen with more information. You can see how inviting the exhibits were. Because I was busy taking photos, I didn’t look at the exhibit screens and probably missed a lot. What we do for cool images! Writing this blog, I know I have to go back, without my camera.

The stairs offered us photographic opportunities too!

We will get back to the inside exhibits, but we did go outside to the back courtyard. I should say the beautiful back courtyard. One wall was artistically done with encouraging statements, and architecturally all the buildings surrounding it blended.

Various nationalities have left their impact in California. We know the Chinese and Mexicans certainly left their imprint in California. A lot of space was given to these nationalities showing and explaining their contributions to what California is today.

We’ve learned that the Chinese helped build the railroads and more. But, how about the food we enjoy today.

Mexicans brought their culture and holidays like Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. Below are three-sided cards made by school children to honor the holiday. The painting struck me as amazingly detailed.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the Filipino influence on California history. It is described in this exhibit.

Of course, the entertainment industry had and has a big impact on California. Here are three showcases honoring the entertainers and the industry.

One hallway, honoring our Native American cultures, which I think was a permanent exhibit. Artifacts were behind glass and the hallway was dark. Meaning, difficult to photograph. I did get some pictures from the ceiling. The beautiful paintings ran the entire hallway.

We can’t forget about health. A considerable amount of space was dedicated to healthy eating.

Before we left, the last exhibit I saw honored the nurses who helped us through the darkest days of the Covid pandemic.

I’ll say it again, The California Museum was amazing. I will go back!

Beyond kids: Chalk It Up

Each year Fremont Park in Sacramento hosts Chalk It Up where artists claim a sidewalk square and create art with chalk. Some use liquid chalk and some use regular chalk. We went on the last day of the festival. I was surprised at how many artists were still at work. It was to be another triple digit day. So when we arrived at 7:30 a.m.. there were many others trying to beat the heat.

There were many wonderful squares, but you know art, it’s what you like! I narrowed down my many likes and came up with these to show you. First look at some artists at work.

These artists are willing to stop talk and explain their art. Next there were some pictures that were 3D.

Now, the best of the rest!

It was difficult to choose which pictures to show you. Maybe next year you’ll have to do down to see them for yourself. Or, find a festival like this in or near your home town.

Lens-Artists Challenge #214: Favorite Finds

How do you narrow down your favorite finds, especially when you’ve already shared some of them? So, I’m switching things up a bit. Ann-Christine wants us to share favorite finds at museums, nature; anything that filled us with awe. My twist is to share a few from favorite outings and pictures that you may not have seen.

In Sacramento we have hot days where we look to photograph indoors. I’ve shown you some from IKEA. But it’s been a long time since we’ve visited a museum. They closed down in 2020 and have been slow to reopen. We enjoyed the Aerospace Museum in North Highlands. The old aircraft and space exhibits had a lot to offer us photographers.

Stores are another place we’d take our cameras to. The Antique Trove in Roseville was also closed during 2020. We’d take our time going through the small stalls, finding unique items. They also have an outside area that would, of course, be closed during rain storms. We could use one of those storms now. How would you like one of those cameras? It’s now a lamp. The windmill could give your yard a farm feel. And could you give a hoot?

Another museum we used to enjoy is the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. One complication was the ropes that stopped us from touching the vehicles. My way of getting around that was to photograph close ups. While we still have horns, we’ve done away with lamp lighting. We’ve also done away with hood ornaments.

And new to me were barn quilts. I found out about The Rio Linda Elverta Quilt Trail Project, a group that put together a barn quilt route. A barn quilt is a painted wooden quilt pattern or replica of a sewn quilt. The women would meet in a garage and cut, saw and paint. They would do this for anyone who asked for their art. Along the route, we saw the quilts on houses, businesses and barns. Photo buddy Jim is standing behind the sign outside their garage.

And to finish up, I’ll show you Peggy Sue’s Diner in Barstow. Out in the California desert, in the middle of nowhere, is Peggy Sue’s. It’s worth the wait to go inside. I remember being amazed when we walked in. It was decorated with 50s and 60s movie and entertainment memorabilia. And the food is good too.

These are just some of the places we found to photograph, and I would love to go back now that they are fully open. Thank you Ann-Christine for having us concentrate on our favorites. Remember to link to her post when you respond and use the Lens-Artist tag. We’d love to see your post. And thank you all for your beautiful rays of sunshine in Amy’s Here Comes the Sun challenge. Next week John is going to have us concentrate on modes of transportation, so look for his post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

Sacramento’s buildings

Sometimes architecture calls, especially for photo buddy Richard. I don’t object, because I like it also, especially when there are great reflections. Here are the results of a recent downtown Sacramento outing. Some images have descriptive captions. There are more than my usual picks, so have fun!

You can see there are a lot of new buildings in Sacramento. One of our outings must be focused on the old structures in Sacramento.

Grab a brush: Wide Open Walls

The annual Wide Open Walls Festival is adding more beauty to Sacramento’s buildings. To beat the heat, we left at 7:30 a.m. and headed to downtown. I had a list of about 30 murals and addresses. Diane was our navigator and I drove the one-way streets which sometimes turned into two-way streets. And when you’re not familiar with the streets, mistakes are easy to make. Need I say more.

I’m not going to show you all that I photographed, just some special art pieces. Let’s begin with this one. The artist did separate panels on the building’s walls. I loved the colors and surrealism.

Next is a mural and a close up of the woman’s face. We found on a SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) building. Tea anyone?

This next set is full of symmetrical and asymmetrical designs.

Here are some odds and ends that I thought were great.

I’ll end with art that isn’t a painted mural and I don’t think is part of Wide Open Walls. They are mosaic art images and in some places raised. They are beautiful.

We will return for more mural photography and I hope to have more fantastic pieces to show you.

Triple digits heat wave: Lotus pond, Land Park

Let’s go back 21 years when we moved to Sacramento, there was maybe one week of triple digit temperatures during the entire summer. We’ve already had that many and it’s not even the end of June! The heat stiffles any desire to grab a camera and go out for the day. Enough griping!

Recently Marlene and I took advantage of a morning when the temperature was to max out in the 90s and went to William Land Park in Sacramento to photograph the lotus blossoms. I think they were just as affected by the heat as we were. Also the cluster of lotus were far away from the bank of the pond. Getting super close was not possible. Here are some of the blossoms. The close ups are well cropped.

What truly impressed me was the size of the leaves. They were impressive. The lotus aren’t the only attraction at the pond. There are others:

Also, in today’s world, I always get pleasure from the kindness and friendliness of others. We met three women who saw our cameras and asked us to take their picture with their cell phone. We talked with them. They offered advice on how I could reduce the pain in my hip. They also had us take a picture of each of us and them with our cameras. Here’s the one I took of them and Marlene.

This last picture was taken just before entering the pond area. It’s not a lotus but I liked the lighting.

It’s supposed to be cooler this week, so maybe I won’t be so grumpy! We’ll see what July brings. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and stay safe.

Just a short post: McKinley Rose Garden

A rose will always be a rose! And I do love them. They are the only plants I personally take care of. I have a small but beautiful rose garden. But today I’m writing about my adventure at the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento.

Every year they have a photo contest to see which photographer will win the coveted first place prize. Last year, I was lucky enough to win first place. This is the winning photo.

This year I also went down to the garden to take photos. That day, the wind was blowing and the roses were either on their way out or budding. But with my macro lens on my Fuji, I did my best. I used a high shutter speed and hoped for a slight breeze. Of course it was the last week of the contest–no going back another day! You know I procrastinate.

Here are the best of lot. We are allowed five entries. In 2020 I received an honorable mention.

We’ll see what happens and I’ll let you know–even if I don’t place.

Lens-Artists #203: Local Vistas

There are challenges and there are challenges! This post is late because we need to drive up to Reno last night to help my son who is sick. At 12 pm EST today we were in emergency with him. He will be okay. So let’s get on with my original post and see some local vistas. Thank you for your patience.

Sometimes you need a nudge to realize what’s going on around you. For me that nudge was photography. Before I found this passion, I really wasn’t paying much attention to what the greater Sacramento area had to offer. I was busy caregiving to my mom, being daytime guardian for my older grandkids, running a part-time business and helping in the family business when needed.

But wonderful grandkids grow up, my mom passed away and eventually, I shut down my business. I had a void to fill, and I chose to fill it with photography. And how lucky I am to live in the Sacramento area. There is so much to see, so much to enjoy and so much to photograph.

Here are some of our local Sacramento Vistas

You know how much I enjoy the Sacramento Zoo. It’s going to be moving a little further away, but still in Sacramento County. The cheetah is enjoying his bone and the Wolf’s Gueron is snacking away too.

We have two rivers for our enjoyment. Old Sacramento sits on the Sacramento River. It’s a great place for tourists, families and is home to the Sacramento Railroad Museum. First is a view of the waterfront from the iconic Tower Bridge and then a sunset image of the Tower Bridge.

Not far from Old Sacramento is the Capitol Mall. I think we have a most beautiful capitol building and its grounds include the World Peace Garden. Here is a picture of the Capitol dome on a full moon night.

Moving into Sacramento City, each year we host Wide Open Walls. Artists come from all over to paint bright and beautiful murals on our buildings’ walls. This is a yearly festival, and most building owners keep the murals up. Some are fading already. This one touched my heart last year. It will always be a reminder of the pandemic and its heroes.

Discovery Park is close by and is part of the American River Parkway (A trail that is 32 miles along the American River.) The trail is for bicyclists and runners. It has picnic facilities. The golden hour adds to its beauty.

Let’s move further down the trail to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center which is part of a “100-acre nature preserve with riparian and oak woodlands, shrub lands, meadows, and aquatic habitats.” There we find deer, turkeys, coyotes, raptors, snakes, etc. Here is one of the inhabitants we come upon most of the time.

I can’t end this post without showing you our sister county, Yolo. We leave our suburbs and in just a few minutes we’re in Yolo County or should I say “country!” Here is where we go to photograph our rural scenes and sunflowers.

And we just have to go over the Tower bridge to the Vic Fazio Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to find wildlife.

Now you can see why I love living here. But I bet you love your area too. What are your local vistas? Where do you photograph when you don’t have a lot of time or are not on vacation? What about your hometown excites you? Is it the countryside, city, gardens, amusement venues? This week, tell us about and show us your local vistas.

Remember to link to this post as you share your local vistas and use the Lens-Artists tag. Last week we all had fun with Sofia’s Minimalism/Maximalism challenge. So many interpretations and creativity came from all of you. Next week our guest host Sylvia Bacon will present a great challenge so stay tuned!

 If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Lens-Artists Challenge #186: Low Light

I like standard time during the winter months because it means the sun sets early making photographing in the dark more feasible, getting me home early in the evening. Thank you Sofia for offering this challenge that fits perfectly with a recent visit to Old Sacramento.

My small group of senior photographers visited the waterfront last month to capture the new Ferris Wheel installed as an attraction to draw more visitors.

When we arrived, we came upon a guy break dancing. He kept on performing as darkness fell and his jar filled with dollar bills.

We then walked out on the Tower Bridge (A Sacramento landmark) to capture the Ferris Wheel and waterfront. I’ll be honest, we did not use tripods (which is suggested in low-light photography). As the cars went over the bridge, the resulting rumble would have made the tripods useless.

We then walked back to the waterfront to get a better view of the Ferris wheel.

While we were photographing the wheel, the sun had almost set. I ran to a vantage point and fortunately got a decent sunset and reflections.

Now, back to the bridge for the Ferris wheel in action after nightfall.

As we were walking up to the street, I was lucky to see this image: A restaurant with the Ferris wheel reflected in the window. I couldn’t resist photographing it.

I had so much fun this evening which included a cup of hot chocolate. Low-light photography presents challenges but the rewards are great. I’ve also enjoyed light painting and indoor photography.

Thank you Sofia for this fun challenge that fit perfectly with my photo activities. Please be sure to link your post to Sofia’s, and use the Lens-Artists tag. Next week I’ll be presenting the challenge.

Lens Artist Challenge #173: Interesting Architecture

Architecture surrounds us whether it’s a historical building, a small store, a different sort of home or an iconic skyscraper. In this week’s challenge, Tina encourages us to share our images of interesting architecture, opening the field to what is fascinating to us.

While California is known for cities like Hollywood and San Francisco, it is primarily an agricultural state. In Sacramento we are so close to a countryside of farms, ranches and orchards. Here are two country houses, very different in architecture, that I’ve visited through the Yolo Arts & Ag Project.

Close to Sacramento is Donner Lake, a busy place for summer and winter recreation. Some people live there full time and some have homes to enjoy as a get away. Here is a winter scene.

We also have buildings of historical value. One is the Gibson House, It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, in Woodland and another, bulging in the front for years, is located in Locke which is a historic district. I think it’s amazing that it is still standing.

And, of course there’s Folsom State Prison. Its architecture gives us a hint as to its age–141 years. Built in 1880, it’s a minimum to medium security prison and houses only men.

Next is Sacramento’s very own Tower Bridge. Spanning the Sacramento River, it connects Sacramento to West Sacramento, and is used as a branding image for many ad campaigns.

And finally, my favorite building, the CALSTRS building. In the picture above, it’s located just after another amazing architectural wonder, the Pyramid (The Ziggurat) Office Building. Here you can see it up close.

This ends my tour of interesting architecture in and around Sacramento. Thank you Tina for this fun challenge!