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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31

 Our morning rain gathered all the tree pollen in this pretty pattern.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30

Clover and I went for our walk earlier than usual today, and we were rewarded with this beautiful morning light at the edge of West Davis Pond.  It looks peaceful, but the pond is a noisy place this time of year, even at 7:30 in the morning!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29

This was the cute scene out my kitchen window today.  Lucky too, because I wasn't feeling very photo-inspired today.  I'm using all my creative energy finishing up some costumes for Sakuracon in Seattle next week, so I haven't headed out with my camera for two days now.

March 28

Two of my photos currently on display in the Davis Photo Club Exhibit at
Rominger West Winery. Next time I'm getting skinnier frames.
I don't know if there is wine in the barrels, but I think so.  There's an overwhelming wine smell once you're inside, so I assumed they were full of wine.  It's a large open space with lots of barrels stacked five or six high. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27

These pretty yellow flowers are the latest thing to bloom around here.  I think it might be called Yellow Brittle Bush, based on my internet research today.  There is a long row of this shrub at the back of the Target parking lot, and because it is raining again today, I just pulled my car up next to the flowers and rolled down my window.  That's how much of a fair-weather photographer I've become living here in California!  Poor Clover probably won't even get a walk today.  In Washington I could go a month at a time where I would have to walk her in my raincoat.  I've gotten soft!

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26

This scene was also on the way home from the airport yestserday.  And it was just about the time when we started seeing the turkeys, so visually it was an eventful drive home!  This was a full rainbow, and surprisingly not one that someone would chase, because you could see that it ended in front of the row of trees.  Now that I think of it, maybe we should have searched that green field for the pot of gold!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 25

All of a sudden this month I've seen so many flocks of turkeys. Why are they out and about all of a sudden?  I guess it's mating season.  Did they go somewhere else for the winter though?   I was very interesting in finding a turkey photo around Thanksgiving time last year, but I had no luck with that. They had made themselves scarce for sure.  We stopped to photograph two different groups of turkeys on our way home from the Sacramento Airport today.  On the other side of the road were more of this same flock, including one Tom with a huge tail fan.  But the photography was really hazy in that direction.  On this side there were about ten turkeys on this fence.  These two just happened to pose with the prettiest background.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24

Another curbside photo today.  We had to wait for an hour outside Shoki Ramen for table at lunch today in Midtown Sacramento.  12th and R is all cement, so I decided to go for a companion shot to yesterday's post.  Plus, I remembered that we also get a blue curb for handicap, although I guess didn't included that part in the photo very much.  And school bus yellow rumble strips at the crossings.  So we have very colorful streets around here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23

We get our curbs color-coded around here. 
Red = No Parking,
Green = 15 or 20 Minute Parking. 
No paint = ok to park.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22

Yellow lichen growing on a fence along my dog-walking route.  This lichen adds color to a lot of my photos.  The blue is coming from the other side of the fence.  It's some trim on a house, which I lined up with a hole in the fence. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20

Yes I photographed another California poppy today.  Here's the story behind all the poppy photos:  Last week I was walking Clover, and when I got to the flower garden near the pond I saw a cute little ladybug on a purple flower.  But I was still walking with my 80-200 zoom lens, which I had been using all winter, and I couldn't get the shot with that.  So I almost ran home with Clover, and drove back with my small lens and macro filter. Of course the ladybug had moved during that time.  So I photographed the poppy instead.  And that was March 10th, which was my first poppy post.  Everyday since then, when I get ready to walk Clover, I think about which lens I should use, and I decide on the 50mm prime lens with macro filter...just in case I see the ladybug :)  I'm not kidding here either.  But of course I don't see the ladybug on the purple flower, so I end up with another California Poppy photo instead.  That's how it's happening.  I've got to get that ladybug image out of my head!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19

We're finally drying out after a week of rain.  The rain brought down a lot of tree blossoms, and it sort of looks like snow under the trees, I think.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 18

We took a trip to Bale Grist Mill State Park today.  And I forgot the little piece that connects my camera to my tripod, so my indoor photo options were limited.  As I understand it, before electricity they wouldn't light mills because the flour dust was a fire hazard, so it seems like they would have had more windows.  Anyway, bright sun was coming in this window, so I played around here with my camera for a few minutes.  Although the best thing about going to a grist mill is definitely the freshly ground flour!  If you haven't had it, I would really recommend it.  We'll be having pancakes at our house all week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wearing Orange

Today I was thinking about my Grandfather.  A few years ago my mom started writing her memoirs, and there was this chapter called "Wearing Orange."   Grandfather was Scottish (Scotch-Irish) and also Dutch.  When my mom was a kid, he would tell her to wear orange on St. Patrick's Day.  Why?  She never found out, and this fact really bothered me.  I wanted resolution here.  Why wear orange?  I know the Irish flag has both green and orange in it. Is that the reason?  Is it because he was also Dutch, and they're crazy about orange?  When we were stationed in Belgium, we made the mistake of visiting Amsterdam on April 30th, the Queen's Birthday.  And we were overwhelmed by reveling Dutch people wearing orange!  Whatever the reason, I always think about this story on St. Patrick's Day, and make sure to wear a little orange.  So yes, this is another California poppy.  I promised myself I wouldn't photograph them again today, but then I remembered the orange thing so...tomorrow I'll try for a different color, and subject matter...

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16

Another rainy day here in California, gray and dreary.  So it's another good day for a colorful closeup.  This is also a California Poppy.  I'm still playing around with my +10 macro filter, but in the last two photos I've used it on my prime lens, so I've got the aperture at f/1.8.  It's an extreme look, I admit.  I really wanted to show how the bud looks like at traffic cone, but I ended up having to leave the top of the bud off because it falls out of focus so fast.  Also, I didn't know this until searching around online this week, but the California Poppy is the state flower here! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15

This California Poppy was breaking through its cover and just about to open earlier this morning.  The bud is shaped like a traffic cone, and the outer casing splits off when it's ready to flower.  So the green at the top of the photo is the casing coming loose. And the stem, if I had photographed it, would have shown under the bottom right corner of the photo.  I think this orientation makes the flower look like a couture gown.  I'm a huge fan of Project Runway, and the first part of the finale is tonight.  This "dress" reminds me of an Austin Scarlett creation.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14

I went back to the red bud trees again today.  They're still mainly blossoms, but there are a few baby leaves at the end of each stem.  So that's what I photographed today, along with trying to refine yesterday's shot.  I'm not satisfied with my results on the yellow and purple panning shot yet, so I'm posting the little leaf hearts instead. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13

I really love this color combination, and have been trying to figure out how to photograph it all week.  Our red bud trees are blossoming, and around here, the red bud branches attract this yellow lichen.  I decided to try for a more impressionistic take on this beautiful spring palette.  I tried to pan vertically, and maybe it doesn't quite work since the branches curve a little, I don't know.  I think it helped that we've got a rainy day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12

I think these are also a variety of poppy.  Not wild though.  These were growing at a community garden in the local cemetery.  And they were growing on a steep hill, which made it easier to get this angle.  I didn't really know what I was looking for here, so I just took photos at random.   I ended up liking this one best, mainly because it had so many more stems than blossoms.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11

We drove out to the Capay Valley today for the Almond Blossom Festival.  It was one of those driving festivals where you get a map and drive from town to town.  Very beautiful out there, but it was overcast and hazy, so the photography wasn't easy today.  One thing I learned is that people in almond country don't pronounce almond like you and I do.  Out here, the word almond rhymes with salmon!  Say "salmon" and then say it again but without the "s".  That's how they pronounce it!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10

Just yesterday I noticed that we've got orange poppies blooming around here.  This one was in a little flower garden by West Davis Pond.  I saw it walking Clover, but I had to come back to make a close up photo.  I only take my 80-200 lens on dog walks these days.   But I've got this crazy +10 macro filter that fits my old 18-55 lens (52mm).  And so that's what I always use for my close ups. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9

Also from my trip to Napa Valley last Saturday.  I just happened to drive past this scene, and had to pull over quickly.  That left balloon was up up and away, so I only got a few shots.  Early in the mornings hot air balloons are very common here.  And in fact, if it's foggy on this side of the coastal range, then the balloon tour company sends up balloons on our side of the mountains in Winters.  Although I have to say it's probably a little more picturesque in Napa, especially at this time of year. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8

A lone valley oak was putting out leaves this morning on a hill near Vacaville.  I think these colors work nicely together; more of my spring green, plus the first good sky color we've had in quite a while!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7

One of the things I forgot about, when I left for Napa Valley at the crack of dawn, was that it takes a lot longer for the rising sun to reach all the parts of a valley.  This section was still in the shade, so the colors came out much different than my other photos.  But I was drawn to the pattern.  And with this shade of green, it sort of looks like a leprechaun might come skipping through here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 6

 I know this is a lot of wild mustard and spring green on the blog this week.  I guess I'm just so glad for the change of color from earlier this month.   And I have to admit I'm really enjoying my "week off!"  I really like this photo, but it wasn't well received by other members of my household.  I happen to think it's easy on the eyes.  My only concern was that dark band at the top.  I considered cropping, but I decided to leave it to give a vignette.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5

When I was a kid, one of my least favorite crayon colors was spring green.  It seemed like such a sickly color.  In fact, we called it puke green, which hardly seems fair to me now.  Spring green was one of those crayons that always kept its point.  I don't think I ever really "saw" this shade of green when I was younger.  I guess I always saw a more generic green.  Now that I'm (a little) older, I've got an appreciation for the subtleties of green, and for this youthful first green of the season.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4

I had a hard time deciding between this photo and yesterday's photo, so this one was my second choice.  And actually these were the only two "row" photos I took, so I guess I should have taken more!  This one is much more scenic, and very bucolic.  Whereas yesterday's photo was much more geometric, and almost abstract.  Even now I'm not sure I made the right choice.  I guess it's just a matter of mood.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 3

Well today I finally took a photo field trip, which I haven't done all winter.  I set my alarm for 5am, got myself a Starbucks, and drove to Napa Valley.  I've been really interested in this wild mustard growing around the roadside, and I read that it grows between the grape vines out here.  So I guess I've confirmed that.  Although it wasn't quite as ubiquitous as I was imagining.  It's been a while since I've had so many photos to choose for my blog entry.  This was one of the first I took, so the light is very low, and almost backlit.  I'll probably post a few more in coming days.

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2

We have two cats at our house.  Luna is a box cat, and Linus is a string cat.  So this isn't my first blog photo of Luna in a box.  To see earlier versions click the links here and here.  I think this one has the best lighting.  I always think our house is so bright, until I try to photograph inside.  I opened a lot of blinds all the way to make this photo, and I'm glad she stayed put, because she really doesn't like being photographed! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1

Not much time for photos today, so I played around with my camera while my daughter was driving us home from Sacramento.  I rolled the window down to photograph, which really annoyed her.  I keep calling this winter wheat, although maybe that's a midwest term.  Right now it's the only thing growing around here.