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

Friday, December 27, 2013


It sounds like today should be the last foggy day in our most recent weather system.  We were supposed to have sunshine this week, and I hear that it is sunny near the coast, but inland we are socked in with a foggy weather system inversion.  I'm not minding too awfully much though, because I think it makes for interesting photography! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge

Well, I finally got out to the nearby Ridgefield Wildlife refuge!  I did try visiting here a while ago, but it was during the government shutdown, so the gate was locked.  I'm glad I finally ventured back out here.  So many birds, although I guess I really didn't photograph them in this shot (there are a few ducks sleeping on a log if you can find them in the fog!)  I'll plan to head on in clearer weather.  I think we might have the fog for a little longer though. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my blog friends a very Merry Christmas from the foggy Pacific Northwest.  These red berries along the Methodist Church lot in Ridgefield really stood out today in the thick fog; I hadn't noticed them before.  Should be a good night for Rudolph!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yolo Bypass

I was surprised by how much water there was in the Yolo Bypass area when I drove the auto tour there last weekend.  They must have gotten some rain when we got snow last week.   All the fields were flooded there, and so many of them were full of birds; it looked like snow geese but I couldn't be sure.  The birds are very good at staying in the fields not accessible through the auto tour!  Still there was plenty so see and photograph.  I liked this reflected plant life, especially the thicker plants, which reminded me of notes hanging on a musical score.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Under the Gingko Tree

I remember that the gingko trees didn't lose their leaves until December here in Sacramento, but this seems especially late!  Hardly any leaves have dropped off this tree, which is technically not on R St. but on the intersection with R (either 11th or 12th...Sacramento is not so creative in their street naming, but it does make it easy to get around!)  I guess it was the bright pink spray paint that made me take a look at these steps with their sparse collection of leaves.  A future renovation for sure; there was also a spray painted X, which I left out of the photo.  Guess I just liked that bright pink line.  It's not a color you see very often in construction!  I'll be curious to see how this area looks when I have a chance to visit again someday. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Gingko Tree

This photo was inspired by my nephew, Noah.  He's decorating his room with a collage of frames, six oriented for landscape and six for portrait, and he requested some photos for all these frames.  I had a lot of fun picking out different colors and patterns for this project, but I realized two things:  1. I rarely photograph in portrait orientation, and 2. I rarely photograph yellow and red.  It seems like I mainly photograph blue, orange, and green.  I even photograph purple more than I do red or yellow!  So when I saw this Gingko tree in Sacramento over the weekend, I decided to photograph portrait orientation.

Monday, December 16, 2013

R Street

I really like these old industrial building lights along the R Street corridor in midtown Sacramento.  R Street is one of my favorite areas.  It's an old industrial area that is being redeveloped, and some of my favorite shops are here.  (In case you were wondering, Rumpelstiltskin, Tea Cozy, and Shoki Ramen...hitting all three of these is the perfect Sacramento hat trick for me!)   This particular light is at the old rail building between Shoki Ramen and The Artery, which houses the other two shops.  I've posted lots of photos from this street over the last few years, all sort of abstract and industrial.  If you're interested in seeing the whole set, just click on the R St. link in labels, and all the posts will show up together.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hello, Sunshine!

I had a short weekend trip down to my old photography stomping ground in Sacramento and Davis this weekend.  The cause for the trip was the member reception at Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento.  One of my photos one third prize in their juried member show, which was fun and exciting, and also a little amazing and humbling because there are so many talented photographers there!  So fun to be back in the sunshine for the weekend, and even though I didn't do much photography while I was there, I tried to get a few photos at some favorite spots.  This one is on R St. in midtown Sacramento, just down the street from Shoki Ramen House.  I photographed this rusty old building light a few years ago when this metal building was still silver.  Now they've painted it white, which gives the photo a Greek Isles feel, especially with that crazy blue sky! Anyway, a few more Sacramento photos to share in the next few days...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

White Water and Green Rocks

So much rushing water and greenness around here, I have to remind myself not to become too complacent about the natural beauty of this Columbia River Valley. This photo was taken on my drive up along the Lewis River last week. It's just a small tributary, name unknown to me.  As far as the photography goes, I haven't quite mastered photographing these green and white scenes, although I'm not sure yet what it is that I would do differently. Luckily I will have no shortage of opportunities to practice!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Weather Nexus

All the winter weather from the past week met yesterday afternoon: last remnants of snow on the ground, fog still hanging in the air, and then came the rain. With temperatures hovering around 35 degrees, we just missed the freezing rain that was forecast.  It made for an interesting scene!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


We saw the new Disney animated film, Frozen this morning, and really liked it.  The animation was so pretty and the freezing scenes were very mesmerizing, somewhat reminiscent of the Tchaikovsky scene in Disney's Fantasia, but with today's animation capabilities.  I won't give away the plot at all, except to say that it's an update on the classic Disney storyline as well.  So strange that when we left this was the scene outside.  I kept imagining the frosty tree outlines would grow like they do in the movie.  This frosty covering is left over from another strange weather event here yesterday, freezing fog.  We actually had a snow day, or more accurately, a freezing fog day.  I didn't even know such a thing as freezing fog existed, but as the name suggests, it's just fog that settles in and then temperatures that dip below freezing.  It left this frosty fog coating on all the branches.  Sorry I don't have a more vibrant example for you, especially those of you who have already seen Frozen.  This one is sort of washed out looking.  Still, it was pretty cool to walk out of the cinema and be greeted by a scene like this!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Black, White, and Red all over

This is definitely my kind of patterny scene, with those black pots sort of tesselating into the red branches.  It had an m.c.escher feel to it.  I'm going to update this post tomorrow with some more info.  I wrote down the name of this nursery, but can't find the paper right now, so I'm not even sure what kind of trees these are.  I'm guessing Sweet Gum, just because there is a young sweet gum right out my kitchen window with just this kind of thin red branches.  This nursery is only a mile or so from my house, so I'll drive by it tomorrow, and see if I can find out.  All our snow will be melted by then.  We've finally warmed up above freezing.  Not going to miss that cold weather, but I sure will miss the snow! *12-12 Sorry, no specifics to update.  It's a microseed company, but the phone number listed is no longer accurate.  So the mystery of the red trees continues...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beaver Dam

This was a lucky find, driving out past Woodland the other day.  Too bad it's not closer to home; I think beaver dams are so pretty, and I love all the birch trees in the background.  I'll have to stop back here again whenever I'm up this way. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ice Clouds

In the Central Valley, when there is a danger of a hard freeze, orange growers will water their orange trees coating them in ice to protect them.  It seems counter-intuitive, and yet it works.  Well it turns out the same thing is true for the saplings at this reforestation farm along the Lewis River near Woodland, Washington.  Fields with trees less than a year old received a heavy dose of ice this week, as did the two year old hemlock field that I photographed here.  I guess hemlock saplings are just extra sensitive to the cold.  After several years, these little saplings are sold to foresting companies to replant forests after logging.  As far as the photography goes, this sure made for a surreal scene!  I was imagining it like a forest in the clouds.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Purple Horse Coat

OK, I'll admit, I really like the ambiguity of the title.  But the thing is, I was really noticing these horse coats yesterday.  We have a lot of horse farms just out of town, and I was so interested in all the different colors the horses were wearing.  It's not something I've paid attention to before; I'm sure it was the snow that drew my attention to the colorful clothing.  I don't know how cold it needs to be for the horses to be decked out in their colorful coats (it is plenty cold here right now though with temps well below freezing all weekend!)  I"m curious about this now, so I'm going to start paying more attention to all these horses.

Friday, December 6, 2013


We got snow today!  We weren't supposed to, but we did!!!  No snow day, which was a little surprising.  I don't think they were expecting much accumulation.  In our little river valley area I'd say we got four inches, which is a lot around here because they aren't really prepared to treat the roads quickly and it's awfully hilly.  Of course I ventured out with my camera, so I'll have a few more days of photos to share.  For today though, how do you like them apples?!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ecola State Park

Indian Beach in Ecola State Park is a great rocky beach for exploring tide pools.  This was the area where we saw the most tide pool life; as I mentioned in an earlier post, most of it was still under water because we came too close to high tide.  I liked the ripply beach pattern in the foreground of this photo.  The big rock outcropping near the center of the frame is just starting to get full morning sunlight.  Along the horizon near the right is Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.  I'm not sure how far off the coast it is, but not quite so far as it looks in this photo.  My framing really diminished it, but I did like the idea of including it in the image.