If you’re dreaming of a wedding set in the country, Pheasant Trek at Dunnigan Hills may be the place for you. A working ranch of olive groves and vineyards, Pheasant Trek, in Yolo County, mostly bills itself as a wedding and event destination. We were invited there through the Yolo Arts and Ag Project.
On the way there we stopped to catch this scene and more.
The actual ranch consisted of buildings, a barn, a water tower converted into a bridal dressing room, an enclosure for a cow and two donkeys. Here are some of the buildings seen from the central part of the ranch.
Here are the animals.
I walked around to the back of the ranch and found these.
Yes, I was a little disappointed, but there was enough to photograph and keep me busy. I’m wondering what Yolo Arts and Ag has in store for us in July? Really, I’m very appreciative that we are allowed to photograph in these venues.
What can I say. May was sometimes good and sometimes disappointing–for photography. I’ve taken you on many Yolo Art & Ag farm tours and this one of the M3 Ranches in Woodland promised such varied crops like olives, garlic, almond trees, agave plants and more. How exciting! Well, maybe not.
The first clue was there was no greeter to take our names. The roads were open and we drove around them. I’m thinking maybe we missed something???
We did find the almond trees. At least we think they are almonds.
Then we found a pond that they call their oasis.
And now the agave plants.
The grape vines already had fruit.
I think these are the olive trees. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
I’ll end with some of the vistas I photographed.
Working with the images for this post, I’m thinking it wasn’t such a disappointment after all.
To begin, we visited the Manetti Shrem Museum, an art museum on the U. C. Davis campus. More than what’s inside, I love the exterior. All the lines and angles. They can also be found inside. The first image shows some of the exterior as seen from the hall in the museum. The second photo is cropped in to show more of the detail in the metal. The shadows also add design to the image.
The second set shows a winter scene at Donner Lake. Photographed from the roadside, the long, curved driveway invites the viewer toward the home. I drastically cropped in the image to show the window and its reflection which creates a design of its own. I’m glad we can crop in a photo and respect the owner’s property.
Next we have a path at Fort Ross on the California Coast. Uncropped it shows a winding path leading through a tree umbrella. Cropped, the focus is on the detail of the trees.
Last we have an old farm building. This was taken at one of the Yolo Art and Ag Project farm visits. In the landscape a photographer is taking a picture of the same building. In the close up, I focused on the window. Processing it in black and white added a more realistic quality to the age of the building. Do you think the photographer was doing the same thing?
Thank you Patti for showing us how getting closer can change the look, feel and story of an image. And thank you Tina for encouraging us to find our oddest ends last week. Next week, Ann-Christine will lead our challenge. Please remember to link to Patti’s post and tag Lens-Artists so we can find your post in the WordPress Reader.
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!
Sometimes you just feel like a winner! That’s the way I felt when we (Marlene, Ray, Richard and I) went to the monthly Yolo Arts and Ag Project in Esparto. The flyer said that at Capay Canyon Ranch we would be able to see the almond orchard and processing of the almonds. Usually we go when the trees are blossoming and that’s all we get to see. And you feel more like a winner when you find a wonderful photo opportunity on the way there and back. Here’s what our morning was like.
On our way to Capay Canyon Ranch.
At Capay Canyon Ranch.
I managed to get some of the warehouse and machinery before I was asked to leave for safety reasons. I truly thought we had the ability to photograph anywhere we wanted.
I walked around and found some almond trees and grapes being dried for raisins.
Then I found where the almonds were getting ready for shipping. There were large mounds of almonds everywhere with bags to mark where each were to be delivered. It was a treat to catch the large machine as it dumped almonds on the mound.
Then on our way home, we came upon this old house. Now who can resist photographing something old and falling down?
A great big thank you to Capay Canyon Ranch for giving us access to an amazing photography and learning opportunity! I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Not having been around many horses, I take advantage of every opportunity to photograph them. For me, they are gentle giants. When the Yolo Arts & Ag Project invited us to visit the Pine Trails Ranch in Davis, I went to see what the horse ranch was all about.
The first horse to greet me was this friendly one. He came right up to the opening in the gate, poked his head through and grabbed my attention. I was able to pet him and visited him more than once.
Next I saw this beautiful horse wearing a fly mask.
There were a few horses in a row of stalls. Now, can any photographer not take a photo of leading lines?
One horse owner didn’t mind me taking pictures of his horse.
Lessons were in progress. The young girl was waiting her turn and warming up her horse, while the woman was just finishing. After the lesson the horse was waiting to be groomed.
I was lucky to find another horse owner cleaning her horse’s shoeless feet. She said her old horse didn’t need shoes because she wasn’t that active. But, her feet needed to be taken care of.
I also found some interesting scenery to photograph.
I enjoyed my morning at the Ranch and my time with the horses! Thank you Yolo Arts & Ag!
Think Anne, think! What inspires you? Patti is asking us what inspires me! My pondering was interrupted by a late breakfast at our Club House for newcomers who moved in while the complex was in lockdown. Now with relaxed rules, we can enjoy community life again.
At that breakfast, an artist, Al Fichera, who paints on his computer via a Wacom Tablet approached me to tell me how much he enjoyed my photography. “You’re a great photographer. You must have had some art background.” If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’ve had no art background and deem myself not the creative type. Al went on to say I must know composition instinctively. The conversation went on a little longer and in the end, I was truly inspired. Below is one of his pictures.
For me, my inspiration comes from people. Bob Scheibel, professor at L.A. Pierce College, inspired me to write. He held my hand through my first three articles for the L.A. Daily News in their weekly Neighborhood section and then let me fly on my own. This was during my first semester at Pierce in the journalism department. With his inspiring me, I went on to win Columnist of the Year in 1987. The plaque is on my wall.
Inspiring me personally are my dear friends Carol and Alyse. Carol was handed a death sentence by a doctor. She had multiple things wrong with the worse being Polymyositis, a degenerative muscle disease. To her doctors’ amazement, she lived for 23 years, before she died, when she was given less than one year. Her courage to withstand pain and her will to live was truly inspirational.
Also inspirational is Alyse who care gave to her all those years. I would stay with Carol to give Alyse some respite.
Now on to photography. I’ve often called my dear friend Marlene Frankel my photo muse. While she didn’t directly inspire me, just being out in the field with her helped made things click. For instance the photo triangle finally made sense while shooting with her. If I have a camera question, she’s first on my list to call. We’ve had a lot of fun together and she’s a sometime contributor to LAPC.
The next photographer to inspire me is Lucille Van Ommering. When I was entering two photos for the In Focus competition, Lucille took me under her wing and gently showed me how to print out my pictures. I remember telling her, “Wow, Lucille, I’ve never seen my photos that big!” She not only printed them, but showed me how to mat them. I left her house so inspired! Thanks Lucille!!
Next is the Yolo Art & Ag Project that invites artists and photographers onto farms and orchards for a morning of fun. I would never have been able to get onto the properties otherwise.
And finally the LAPC group under the leadership of Tina, Patti, Amy and Ann-Christine. You inspire me with your kind comments on my posts and your faith in asking me to be a guest host for this great group.
I was worried that my younger grandkids, 12, Ryan, and 10, Olivia, would become bored during this farm visit Woodland and the Clos Cavanis Farm–a Yolo Art & Ag project. So I made sure they had their cell phones with them for picture taking. There would be no animals, orchards or farm machinery to look at but just the house and barn.
As per the flyer, “Preserving history is important to Van and Catherine Overhouse. That explains why they spent the last two decades bringing their 1868 Victorian Italianate home back to life. “We saved the house” says Van who recently completed repainting the exterior- which took 2 years working 40 hours a week – the final stage in the restoration.”
So I thought we’d be just photographing the house and barn–a quick trip. Olivia had dabbled with painting, so we talked with the artists. We also took pictures. The kids settled on macro work with their phones. They both took excellent pictures, and Ryan caught on quickly. It also helped that Catherine had baked delicious scones for us to taste. We were there 1 1/2 hours, and Olivia asked to come to the next farm visit so she could bring her paints.
Here are some of my pictures of this beautiful restored home.
We then went to the Mezger Family Zinnia Patch which was close by. Each year the Mezger’s grow zinnias and encourage the public to come and pick the flowers. They also provide vases when available. People who pick the flowers are encouraged to share them with “shut in’s” who can’t get out to see their beauty otherwise. Olivia picked some flowers for her mom. Here are some of my photos.
If Olivia still wants to, she will come with me in August and paint. I’ll bring chairs, do my photography and relax. Not a bad morning!
Heat and drought! Not a good combination. We are in the midst of wildfire season here in the west, and Northern California is getting its share. But what makes us smile are the sunflowers. Yes, it’s also sunflower season here.
In the middle of June, the wonderful Yolo Arts & Ag Project brought us to the Elkhorn Basin Ranch in West Sacramento. It was going to be a hot day, so we got there early. Artists and photographers were lined up to sketch, paint and photograph the cheerful sunflowers.
Now these sunflowers were grown mainly for seed to ship overseas, and to my surprise, they were not super tall. I’m short and I always have a difficult time to photograph fields even with my three-step ladder. I was in photo heaven. Also the farm manager allowed us to walk into the field a little bit.
So, here are some of my images from that morning.
An artist stops to smile for the camera.
Before we reached our destination, we did stop to take images of this orchard.
The Elkhorn Basin Ranch is owned by the Yolo Land Trust and leased to Don Beeman and Garcia Farms.
I love suburbia with all its conveniences, but I also like to visit the forests, beaches and country sides. The Yolo Arts & Ag program allows me to take my camera onto ranches, orchards and farms that open their facilities to artists and photographers for two half days a month. It’s a great opportunity for us to wander in and out of barns, see old machinery and have a glimpse of a life we don’t live.
The Hungry Hallow Ranch in Capay was a large facility that gave us access to the entire property. But when we entered, we mostly saw machinery in barns, old vehicles, young olive trees and hay bales. Marlene, Ray and I said that there was nothing new here. Richard was excited saying that this is what he loved to photograph.
I think Richard was right. I did find a lot to photograph and learned a lesson. Don’t judge a photography shoot by first glance. I made the most of our morning. I took close ups of machinery.
Then there was an artist painting.. There were many, but I liked this shot the most.
And the olive orchard. You can see that the trees were young.
And the barns.
I also found a grape vine or two, a wood pile large enough to cover the side of a barn and an awesome tree.