Just enjoying it: Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

We just wanted to go shooting for enjoyment, and not too far. So we found the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in Volcano, California. This land preserves a large amount of marbleized limestone with about 1185 mortar holes–the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America. Women would gather together and visit as they ground their grains in the mortar holes.

There’s also the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum and a reconstructed Miwok village on the grounds. The one building I had fun photographing was the Ceremonial Roundhouse which is used for various social gatherings and ceremonial events. Since it is used currently for those purposes, we couldn’t go in.

My challenge during this outing was the brilliant sunshine and the shade. This drove the camera sensor crazy–me too. I tried some handheld HDR (tripod wasn’t with me), and focusing on the shade and then raising the camera which blew out the sunny area. The best I could do was to focus on the sunny area and move the camera. Fortunately Lightroom has a graduated ND filter and a shadow slider. Both came in handy during post processing!

But, it was a perfect outing, and we did enjoy it. Sometimes you just have to get out!

 

Three years for a first: Daffodil Hill, Volcano, California

I finally made it to Daffodil Hill, in Volcano, after 3 years of trying to get there. Explanation: It’s only open a short time and if it rains, they close. And, it’s closed each time I was scheduled to go.

This ranch has been privately owned by a family since 1887. They open for about a month in the spring, inviting the public at no charge. They do accept donations, but you are never pressured to make one.

Richard and I went on the first Sunday they were open. A weekend visit meant more people. More people meant shooting either close ups of the flowers or include the other visitors. I did both.

But, this was a day of “firsts.” I’ve never been able to take a photo of a peacock with its colorful feathers open, but I did this time! What fun. One photo buddy said they only grow and display those feathers during mating season. I guess timing was on my side. The males are the peacocks, females (who don’t have the brilliant feathers) are peahens, the little chicks are peachicks. It takes about 3 years for male peachicks to have feathers to display.

So, here are my first images of my first visit to Daffodil Hill. I’m putting more than usual in because I wanted you to have a good idea of the farm. I have twice this amount edited.