Come a little bit closer

Instead of looking at the BIG picture, I decided to explore the world close up. Last weekend while I was out photographing the fields of sunflowers I found that I was drawn to the world of things that fly.

Each year the fields around Yolo County bloom with sunflowers. While surrounded by sunflowers I ended up watching the activity around the flowers. Plenty of bees capturing pollen, and there were the occasional butterfly.

I am here!
Row after row of sunflowers
Butterfly shaped shadow
Mezger’s Zinnia Patch located in Woodland, CA.

Mezger’s Zinnia Patch is a delightful place to visit. This flower garden is privately owned and the public are encouraged to come enjoy the flowers, and pick some fresh zinnias for themselves. The idea is that you should also pick a bouquet for someone who cannot get out to enjoy the flowers in their natural setting. Zinnias available in different varieties and multiple colors. As you enter the field, there are pruning shears, vases and water (for flowers only!). The beauty of nature uplifts the spirit in many retirement homes in Woodland. Sharing has been the reason for Mark Mezger’s continued planting of his zinnia fields.

I have stopped by over the years, and I enjoy watching children selecting, and picking flowers.

Carefully selecting flowers, and placing them together in a bouquet

Not only people stop by for a visit. There are plenty of bees, butterflies and dragonflies.

This butterfly paused for a moment.
Another variety and I caught some sunlight on its wings.
On this flower I found a butterfly and a bee sharing the zinnia!

No dragonflies for me this time.

One last stop on this getting hotter Saturday. The UC Davis Arboretum. As we drove in I was reminded of the many, many trip here with my pooch, Libby.

Plenty of information, and signage to educate the visitor to the UC Davis Arboretum.
My favorite color roses!

I spotted a dragonfly who stopped long enough for me to capture an image.

As close as I could go. Now I am inspired to get a macro lens for my Fuji xt2.

A swallowtail butterfly zoomed around but would not stop.

Taken from a shaded bench. A perfect spot!
Pet owners walking their dogs passed the horse corral.

Time to go. Hope you enjoyed this close-up look at nature. My next stop during the week will be to purchase the Fuji x 80mm macro lens. And hope to get even closer.

People Watching

Many of my images from my last couple of outings captured people.

In Yolo county once a month farmers invite artists to share in their landscape. Camera Totin’ Days takes advantage of this time. Every month is different. In May we went to Great Bear Vineyards in Davis. This painter is relaxing in the shade using oil paints. I found out that she was a retired teacher who picked up oil painting as a hobby.

Plein Air painting

Hangtown Kennel Club held a AKC Dog Show in Placerville at the end of May. I was interested in seeing the labrador retrievers, and cocker spaniels.

Showing off her cocker spaniel
The best Irish Setter on display.

Discovered a new to me breed of dog. The Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian water retriever also known as a truffle dog.

Coming over to see a Lagotto Romagnolo
English Springer Spaniel ready to show off.

We sat by the window in a restaurant in Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf. From this vantage point I caught this couple trying to decide if they wanted to eat here.

Framed by the window.

Last week the temps here in Sacramento edged up to the 100 degrees. Camera Totin’ Days decided to head indoors. Headed to the Crocker Art Museum.

This couple was checking out the animals in the painting. I like the one above. Such a cute puppy!
This is “Art”!
Such a nice smile from a Crocker Art Museum security guard.
The Security Guard was watching me.
Two tourists converse with the Security Guard. He caught me in the act!
Dusting along with some tune!
My husband finds an interesting book in the Museum Shop. I saw some interesting books, and unique gifts on display. A place to go for a future present.
Garden Mannequin posing for me!

Ben’s Barketplace put on a Dog Fashion Show, and since the temperature was reasonable for Citrus Heights I decided to bring my camera along. I do miss my puppy love, Libby.

Dressed to the nines!
This chihuahua had little problem show off her ensemble! Pet owner created her hat!
Happy Labradoodle
Dog’s face says it all! Why am I dressed like this?

I hope you enjoyed going along with my search for interesting subjects to photograph.

Pacific Grove here we come!

A couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity to head to Pacific Grove. Just a quick getaway for our 49th anniversary.

These two were engrossed in conversation. The light was right, and I took the shot.

Breakfast stop at Starbucks

Usually we stop near Gilroy to get some Bing Cherries. With the long rainy season the crop of Bings were delayed. All the end of season rain did not help with this crop.

Got some cherries, just not Bings.
Split cherries

Arrived in Monterey, and decided to explore Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boats awaiting destinations.
Tourists passing street musician.
Interesting way to repurpose a parking meter.
Getting hungry. Tempted with clam chowder.
Cute face!
Life altering copping! We needed to see what this was all about.
Great lunch/dinner. Not sure how my life has been altered? But my tummy was satisfied!
Got so busy eating that I didn’t catch a photo of the cioppino.
Had to grab this sign at another eating establishment. A whole lot of NO!
More street photography from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Our lodging this time was near Asilomar Beach.

The next day we decided to spend in Pacific Grove. Our grab and go breakfast did not make the cut. We went looking for something to eat.

Kind of a running joke. Often we enter somewhere new and follow signs that promise “Information”. But we usually find this not a very helpful way to go.
Interesting sign tells everyone not to play with wind chimes. But where are they? A little late, or did they remove them for safe keeping.
Peeking through the lattice.
Haircut Time!

Many buildings have found new purpose in Pacific Grove. The landmark store now is home to many businesses. This gas station has found a different kind of customer.

After walking along main street in Pacific Grove we head out to Lover’s Point. Sea Gulls and squirrels are unafraid of people.

I’ll pose for you!

Walking along I found some objects to capture my attention.

Got so close to these squirrels with my Fuji xt2 18-55mm lens.

No extra cropping necessary. We just watched each other.
Pretty soon another squirrel joined the party.
Lover’s Point overlooks Monterey Bay.

Watching season 2 of Big Little Lies. Looking for location shots.

Oh, to live near the water!

Ready for an afternoon snack. Belgium Waffle ordered and eaten.

Two forks. We shared this tiny waffle.

Caught a couple more images, and we head back to cottage to relax before dinner at The Fishwife.

Goodbye Pacific Grove. Time to drive home.

Driving next to us while we wait in traffic. Don’t want to end up like these cars.

Fun getaway. Guess I need to plan some more. Where do you like to go when you have a couple of days?

Another Birthday. Lots of good wishes, emotions and “70”

I’m probably not alone in being emotional when my birthday comes along. This year was an especially difficult one. Not sure if it was because it was the “Big 70”. When I think about my birthday the next day, it is just one more day! Did I have unrealistic expectations? I don’t think so. Or is it the fact that I feel I need to make some decisions, and I am not sure what I want. Do I want to travel? Really? And time marches on. Faster and faster.

Much can be attributed to the very real loss of my darling Libby. When it was apparent that Liberty would not be getting better the very tough decision was made. This has caused me so much sadness. My very first dog, and Libby was such a good girl. The sadness comes over me at different times of the day and night. We didn’t have enough time together. My wise granddaughter told me that Libby was there for me when I was going through the tough times over the past 9 years. And now the tough times will be followed by good times. Libby did her job! And she did it so well. But I do feel a big void coming into my house these days. It can’t be helped.

My sweet Liberty Love

June is an interesting month to have a birthday. With the start of warm (often hot) weather there is a need to adjust wardrobe, and see what still works after another year. When still in school I can remember having to take finals on my birthday. As a teacher/librarian there was all the rush to conclude the year. Papers to grade, report cards and paperwork to complete, book returns, inventory and budgets. June was a time to end things.

June is also a time to change up the daily schedule. As a mother when June comes around, summer plans all of a sudden must be made. How to keep kids busy. This transition from very busy to leisure time throws me off.

As an adult June can be just another month. Five months into the year so the year 2019 isn’t new any more. Almost halfway through the year.

I noticed more of my contemporaries are talking about “Bucket Lists”. I’m not sure if I ever had one. What do I want to accomplish? Do I need a goal? I know myself, and I am better when I am busy, but not too busy to feel stressed. I think that I will have a plan to do at least one thing daily. This way I won’t let my emotions get the better of me when I have quiet down time to think. Think positive!

I retired in 2005. Fourteen years ago. My husband of 49 years retired in 2009. Ten years ago. I can hardly believe it. With both of us at home it was the right time to add a dog to our home. Best decision for us! Libby was my happy place. Always ready to show us a wag.

Liberty Love

I know that I want to have a dog in my life. So I am already thinking about what puppy breed is in our future. I’m thinking of an English Lab (any color but black), Labradoodle, or Lagotto Romagnolo. If I can clarify this decision and find a reputable breeder I “may” be able to wait until spring.

Good bye my sweet Libby Love