Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31

These trees near the path along West Davis Pond were tricked into blooming by the mild weather so far this winter.  I've tried photographing this scene for a few days now, but today's light was by far the best. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30

Nice morning light on the trees across from my house as I started out on my walk with Clover today.  This was the first photo I took today too. 
I always like it when that happens.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29

I was surprised to see this turtle out today at West Davis Pond. 
It was late afternoon, and the sun was low. 
So I guess he was enjoying the nice light, same as me.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28

I took my family out to the sandhill crane area in near Lodi tonight, but there were hardly any cranes.  They must already be migrating.  So I ended up photographing telephone poles instead.  Oh well.  Just how it goes some days. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27

Guess this is bird week.  I wanted the crows to land closer, but this was the best I could do.  Mainly I liked the colors here.  This is a lot of color for a field in January. The blue in the background isn't sky.  It's actually the coastal range in the distance.  The hills were under clouds so they photographed blue.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26

Hard to believe, but this is the same Green Heron, taken just a few minutes after yesterday's photo, from a different angle.  Here I think he looks like an Easter egg on legs.  Or a hypnotic plushie.  Look deep into his eyes.  He's like the Hypnotoad from Futurama.  He's a versatile bird, as you can see.  Have I made my case for super hero status?   

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25

Lots of bird activity at West Davis Pond now.  This green heron flew right past me and landed in a nearby tree.  I got several dozen photos as he was busy hunting.  This was probably my favorite, because of his fierce pose.  I'm thinking there ought to be a comic book super hero called The Green Heron! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24

West Davis Pond after two wonderful days of rain.  
With all the trees underwater, there were lots of interesting inkblot reflections today.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23

Where I come from in Indiana, robins are considered a sign of spring.  I can't recall when spring started in this part of the Central Valley last year, but it was early.  I know the orchards were all blooming by mid-February.  So today when I came home at lunchtime to find all these robins on my street (and if there were four, there were a hundred!), it got me thinking of spring!  Do robins migrate in huge flocks?  I suppose so, although I had never seen one before today.  And is spring really just around the corner?  If so, I'm certainly getting spoiled here in California. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22

Hello, Puddles! 
I liked that sections of this photo look like they've been ripped out. 
And the fact that we've got puddles again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21

I'm sure this winter wheat will like all the rain we got last night.
Right now this is my favorite light to photograph in. 
A bright sun low in the sky, and clouds in the distance. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20

Well we finally got our rain today, and I chose to photograph indoors.  There wasn't much blooming at the Arboretum Greenhouse, but I really liked the face on this one.  It could be the main character is some Pixar animation, I think.  And because this was a greenhouse plant, I can report that it's name is Spicer's Paphiopedilum in the orchid family. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19

This seems like a good companion photo to yesterday's, with its expanding sky and bright colors.  It was actually taken a few weeks ago; today we had nothing but gray skies, and no rain to show for it.  I remember thinking when I took this photo and chose not to post it, that I could just take it again on a different night.  Today that seems funny to me.  I guess this is a photo to appreciate on a colorless day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18

We've got clouds rolling today, and it looks like we should finally get some rain tomorrow.  Just before sunset the sun peeked through the clouds out in Yolo and cast this rich light over the ground.  The band of red is a fairly young orchard; as usual I don't know what type, sorry.  But it was that stripe of red that made me stop and pull out my camera.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17

Davis is a big bike town.  This is one of several bike repair stations located around town.  Sort of an abstract take, but you get the idea.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16

I drove through the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Refuge on my way back from Sacramento just before sunset today.  I decided to try photographing the bridge supports, since the water is high right now.  It's been really dry this winter, so they're pumping water in here, although I'm not sure why this is.  I'm not complaining though; the light was nice and the water was calm.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15

I don't normally post two photos in one day, but I'm making an exception today.  The photo of the little baby lamb was taken October 13th.  Today's photo is from the same litter, now three months older.  There are probably a dozen lambs in all, but these four were so in sync that I really found it irresistible.  Also I'm really amazed by how different each of their faces look.  If the little guy from the October photo is in today's photo, then I think he's second from the left.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14

Today was busy and I didn't time things very well, so I was caught without a photo.  This one was taken earlier this month when I visited the Zen Garden in SF.  I remember liking this scene because there was a nice patch of weak sunlight on the door frame.  And also because I could almost fill a crayola 8 count box with the colors here. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11

Well I had one of those days.  The kind where nothing comes easy.  Where even the simple things take too much time.  The kind of day where you look down as you're walking, and where an orange peel in the dirt can be a thing of beauty.   Hey, at least it wasn't a banana peel!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10

Cool clouds today.  Framed by a section of the Death Star on campus this afternoon. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9

This one is from last night too.  I wanted to get to the Sandhill Crane Reserve just after sunset, and this is the scene as I pulled off the highway.  As you can see, I was cutting it close!  Combing through the Todd and Brad Reed 365 Project photos this year, I realized that they make all their sunset photos with a 500mm lens (At least!  Sometimes they use an extender!)  So I guess they start much further from the earthly subject matter, and zoom in a lot more, and in this way they can get a giant sun in their photos.  I, on the other hand, have a lens that zooms to 200mm.  A puny sun by comparison.  But I do like the web of tree branches here. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8

The Sandhill Cranes at Sunset.  This is such an amazing sight! 
I've been wanting to get back here for two months now, and today was my first chance.
Thousands of cranes were flying around, making their eerie calls, but these four came closest and gave a nice silhoutte.  Mt. Diablo is in the background.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7

"Blue Barn!"
This past summer I was at an art fair in Indiana, and there was a painter who did rural scenes, mostly barns and farmhouses.  He used a very limited color palette, and the shaded areas were always painted a purplish blue, which I really liked.  The light was really strong this morning, so I decided to try for this effect. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6

The cranes!  They showed up here today!   I was in the car all day running errands, and I saw them first over the Yolo Bypass but couldn't pull over to get the photo.  Then later in the afternoon I saw them again in Woodland.  Lucky day!  They have the most graceful circular flight pattern, like ice skaters looping around in the sky.  Watching them just made all my errand-running stress melt away! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5

These blooms are starting to fade, but the color was so rich in the early morning light.  I always imagined this was Indian Paintbrush...I really think they look like paintbrushes!  But when I did an image search it turns out I was way off on that.  And it's hard to search a flower name when you don't know the flower!  So I'll post an update here once I figure out the name of these orange mystery flowers. 

*They're Red Hot Poker plants.  Thanks, Audra!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4

This branch against sky theme is one I've been working on for a few months now, usually with valley oak branches.  I'm actually not sure what kind of tree this is; I was thinking it's some sort of magnolia, but I'm not sure if they even lose their leaves in the winter here.  Whatever the tree, I'm satisfied with the lacey look these little branches give.  I was hoping the little bird would turn around but she never did.  At least she gave me an over the shoulder look that shows her beak.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3

From my trip to the Zen Garden at Golden Gate Park yesterday.  This bridge is surprisingly steep, and you climb it like you would a ladder.  It was one of the most popular spots in the garden, with one family after another getting photos here.  I went for the reflection in the pond.  The leaves floating on the surface are ginko.  Too bad my camera can't focus on both the reflection, which is deep in the water, and the leaves on the surface.  The eye can switch back and forth effortlessly, but I have to pick one or the other with the lens.  And I opted for the family, of course!

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2

Today I went to the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Zen Garden.  I like so many photos from today's visit that I'll have a nice reserve for my bad days in January, I'm happy to report.  This one was taken at the botanical garden.  It's a Giant Fishtail Palm, from Southeast Asia.  Or at least my close up view of it in a flattering light!  So far a colorful start to January.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1

Happy New Year!
Beginning 2012 with a lucky blue bird...
the most brilliant blue scrub jay I've ever seen!