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.

When life hands you lemons

The diagnosis is in. We’re not happy about it even though we expected it. My brother has dementia. He finally admitted that he’s been dealing with it for a while. How lonely and scared he must have felt. You see, my mother had dementia and came to live with me when she was 79 years.

But now that the elephant was pushed out of the room, he seems to be more at ease. During my visit, he would forget who I was for a few minutes, and then he’d call me his baby sister. My biggest fear is that he will forget me altogether because I’m in Sacramento, a 6-hour car drive, from him.

Through all the doctor appointments, family discussions and emotional outbursts, my shutter finger was yearning to shoot some images. During the week, we went to Moorpark because I remember it as a quaint small town. It’s not so quaint or small now, but I did take some shots. My nephew-in-law was Santa at one of the local Albertson’s grocery stores, and, of course, they couldn’t keep me away. Finally, I needed to take a picture of my brother Chuck and Brenda, who have a difficult road to travel and are determined to travel it together with the help of their family and support of their friends.

This is my last blog from Simi Valley in Southern California since I’ll be on the road tomorrow, going home to my husband, children and grandchildren, and loving them so much.