Happy 2023: Day two in Bodega Bay

Happy New Year everyone! Each year we wish that this brand new year brings health, happiness and prosperity. I’m wishing for good health. Health brings happiness and a prosperous attitude. Above all, let’s keep smiling through this year! Smiles are catching and have a healing quality.

We did a lot of smiling during our brief stay at Bodega Bay. On day two, we went to the beach. Again we had cloud cover with a hint of sunshine. Almost sounds like an ice cream sunday, doesn’t it. Yum!

Here are pictures from our beach visit. Here a seagull found its best photographic side.

Learning how to fish.

The beach.

Beach views from the top of the hill.

A colorful kite shop in town. I resisted buying the candy.

This was a great way to end 2022. What will 2023 bring us? I gave up predicting years ago. I also gave up making resolutions. I just try to be the best me that I can be.

Right now it’s still raining in the Sacramento area, and that is good even though some areas are flooding. Our lakes are filling up and we will probably get a good snow pack in the mountains that will give us water during the summer.

Take care everyone, and I wish you the best this year.

Getting out on a dismal day: Old Town Fair Oaks

It was a dark stormy night–not really, but it was a cloudy, almost raining day when a small group of us decided we needed to get out and take some photos. So, we followed the chickens to the small old town of Fair Oaks in Sacramento County. Yes, chickens are plentiful there. The roosters are bold and noisy, but have great color. They are the attraction, and don’t have to wear masks or stay 6 feet apart!

The small area was desolate. There were a few people roaming around. The stores were closed except for a cafe where people were eating and enjoying coffee outside. It felt strange, experiencing Fair Oaks during lock down.

We did stop for coffee at the cafe and sat outside before heading our separate ways. (We don’t carpool anymore. We drive separately.) On the way home, I stopped at Marlene‘s to meet her new puppy Charlie, an Australian Labradoodle. We met outside and observed the correct social distancing. The reality was that Charlie didn’t want to come to me! He finally got to the point of coming close, but that was about it.

During our stay, the sun peaked out at times but quickly hid behind the clouds. It was a fun time though with the chickens and photo buddies!

Just stopped for coffee: Murphys CA and more

Coffee was calling! So on the way to Big Trees State Park, we stopped in the small resort town of Murphys. This town was our lunch stop when we were shooting the Concours d’Elegance at Ironstone Vineyards. You can see that post here. Well, we got more than just coffee!

After our visit to the State Park, we stopped near a bridge to capture the scenery.

Last, we made a stop at Ironstone Vineyards just as they were closing. Jean had never been there. Fortunately, we had just enough time to see the grounds and shoot some flowers.

On the road again: A small town gets ready for a big event, Weiser, Idaho

The sky will turn dark this morning as we experience a total solar eclipse. The timing for our trip to Glacier National Park revolved around our getting to a place for viewing the eclipse–a once in our lifetime event.

So here we are in Weiser, Idaho, a tiny town living in the past as much as it can and enjoying it. When we arrived, a children’s festival was being prepared, an adult festival was already in progress, eclipse shirts and viewing glasses were being sold. Around our campground (which is really the lawn of the National Old Time Fiddlers’ Association), there are food and drink vendors. Two young boys are selling popsicles and ice cream.

The field across the street has filled with people, tents and RVs. NASA and MIT have taken spots on the High School’s track.

Right now at 8:20 Mountain Time, there are a lot of people setting up. Breakfast is being sold. It’s a bit chilly, so I’m going to get a light jacket and join everyone. I’m still not sure whether I’ll shoot the eclipse. Reason: I really don’t know what I’m doing. Last night, we fashioned a solar filter for my 55 – 300 mm lens, but maybe I’ll be better off taking photos of the eclectic crowd.

I only have a couple of hours to decide before the sky turns dark.

Minor surgery, my foot! Woodland, California

You don’t tell a type “A” wanna be “B” person that they will be walking and driving after three days. On day four after surgery on my right foot’s big toe joint, I was already frustrated. The truth was, I didn’t truly walk or drive until a week after  the September 8th surgery, and I’m still having trouble doing both today–October 1st.

Both Gem and I are yearning for a nice walk. And, I’m yearning to get out and shoot. Thank heavens I have wonderful friends who understand my limitations and help feed my soul. I’m able to driving shoots. We go to towns, park, shoot, get back in the car, drive, park and shoot. Even at that, I get tired and wait in the car. I know I’m whining. But, I believe I’m entitled to!

It has affected my images also. I try to concentrate, but have a difficult time doing so. With this in mind, Marlene and I went to Woodland for a short visit. We were out about three hours, including lunch, and found enough to shoot in that small town. It’s Yolo County’s seat and has some fun stores and a beautiful old Courthouse which is now closed. We will go back, because there was more to photograph and it is close to Sacramento. Maybe by then I won’t need to whine about foot surgery. I may also have made the transformation to a type “B” person!

Wandering: Grass Valley and Nevada City, California

I’m on the move this year, shooting whenever and wherever I can. So, when photo buddy Greg Morris offered to take me up to the foothills and visit the sister cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, I couldn’t refuse. I had been there and toured the Empire Mine State Park, but when you go with someone who knows the area, it’s a whole new experience.

As a former resident, Greg knows all the stores, buildings, neat homes and the area’s history. Greg shoots mainly on a tripod and takes a good deal of HDR shots. And the results are amazing. I’m going to have to ask him to give me a lesson in Photomatix.

It was fun listening to his stories. I hope you enjoy the images.