Thank you Patti! This challenge made me stretch beyond my normal type of photography. What I finally came up with are a few things around my house that bring me joy.
First are my bamboo wind chimes. I love the sound they make even in a slight breeze. As you can see, they are old and cracking, but they still sound beautiful.
Also outside are my red chairs. I saw two red chairs during a visit to Volcano, a very small town in the gold country, and was instantly drawn to them. When I repainted the house I had to get some. They are a perfect accent for my gray and charcoal color choice.
One thing about me that you may not know: I’m a huge Mickey Mouse fan and love almost everything Disney. So Mickey is in my house big time. One Mickey treasure is my toaster given to me by dear friends. It’s really not good to use since the outside gets hot. So, it sits as a decoration on top of my kitchen cabinet. Who could not enjoy that first cup of coffee after looking at Mickey!
My fondest Mickey treasure is a big puzzle my older grandson, Christopher, made for me. Each piece is a scene from a Disney movie. He framed it and it hangs at the end of my hallway. Here’s the puzzle and a close up so you can see the puzzle pieces. It’s amazing.
And finally, my dog Gem. He’s a Schnoodle and is 10 years. We walk every day, so I guess he’s an everyday thing!
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!
On the way to the village
Miwok dancer sculpture
Another eating area view
I loved the structures that we think were made from tree bark.
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.
The farm is very hilly, but not difficult.
This white daffodil is one of the many varieties.
There were many old structures, and many people taking pictures near them.
I like this one the best.
Some more landscape.
Another variety. I’m sorry I don’t know the names.
The different flowers may not have different names!
Another structure among the daffodils.
An old wheel spoke.
Many people were taking posed pictures.
Look at this handsome dude.
They manage pretty well with their large tail feathers.
There was a good amount of old rusty equipment placed near the flowers.