Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #221 Flower Favorites – and Why?

This week Ann-Christine (Leya – To see a world in a grain of sand) hopes I will bring some colorful joy to us all. She would like a story to go with them. I have plenty of flowers in my photo library. I have a garden, but between lack of time, heat, and a puppy I don’t have many flowers. I love to visit and appreciate the efforts put in by others.

This is my unexpected flowering succulent. An ice plant relative.

Following the annual cycle of blooms, I visited Daffodil Hill in the spring. Over the years it’s popularity grew and overwhelmed this rural setting, and the privately owned ranch closed.

Daffodil Hill provided the backdrop for this photo with some visiting guide dogs in training.

Years ago I went with a friend on a cloudy, misty weekday. Few visitors that day.

So many varieties have been planted over the years. I miss this place.
A peaceful place., until word got out.

With friends we go out searching, and come across many beautiful flowers as a bonus!

Mustard flowers bloom among the grape vines in Napa Valley
A sea of flowers cover this hill
Love my California Poppies

Finding pollinators among the flowers is always a fun photograph.

Going to the California coast I love the different flowers I find.

Coastal wild flowers
Pride of Madeira

Botanical Garden and local nurseries display flowers of the area.

As you can see I love love being out finding flowers. My macro lens often brings a breeze, so not many macro shots. My gear now is Fuji xt4. I used my Nikon D7100 for my earlier shots. Now even my iPhone 13 pro gets some use.
i hope these flowers brought some beauty into your day, Any particular flower or image caught your attention?

Oh I forgot to say what flower is my favorite! I don’t have one. I am just not a real fan of cut flowers. I don’t like when they fade.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #211 What’s your photographic groove?

Anne’s challenge this week is, “What’s my photographic groove? What type of photography do I truly enjoy doing?  I will show you wonderful images and tell you about them.

This challenge has me thinking. When I was enrolled and pursuing my Photography Certificate, I was exposed to many photographic experiences. My practical mother continued to ask me what I intended to do with my photography. One idea was to start a Pet Photography business. Another idea I had was to author a picture book. I had just retired from a Library/Teacher career of 25 years. I didn’t know way direction to take. Life happened. My parents and grandchildren needed my attention. By the time I finished 40+ credits I decided I was going to do photography on my own terms – for my own personal enjoyment. I didn’t need another job. So I guess you can say my photographic groove is “Focus”. I use my camera to help me see the world around me. I capture whatever I come across.

Often, my camera helps me connect to my surroundings. Sometimes nature, sometimes people, and sometimes taking a quirky look.

My camera connected me to a good group of friends. This group has taken me to many places and spaces in the area. Visits out of town to Niles, Ca. Trips to the Sacramento Zoo. Visiting a local urban micro Farm at End of the Road in Orangevale, Ca.

My photography helps me focus on the present, and preserve memories to reflect upon in the future.
I have been raising my second puppy in the past 2 1/2 years. Glad I have photos of my Charlie.

Puppies grow into dogs and seem to change overnight. Waiting for them to calm down may take just a bit longer. This is where my iPhone comes into play.


My 4 youngest grandchildren have moved back and forth from Sacramento, California to Knoxville, Tennessee (about 2500 miles). They returned last week for the third time in less than three years. Photos and FaceTime helped during these times of separation. I so enjoy my Nixplay digital frame.

But as of last Thursday, I can see my grandchildren in person. We celebrated the first day of TK and First Grade, and the last day of vacation for my 5th grader with some ice cream at Handels.

Great challenge. Sorry for the late post. I have been having “words” with my WordPress!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #206 Treasures

This week Aletta has chosen the topic Treasures. It can be wealth or riches like precious metals, money, jewels, or anything a person values greatly. I started out thinking of things that surrounded me in my home. I have a number of things that I collect: spoons, bears, and heart-shaped stones. I also have many things that my mother collected: crystal and tea cups. But after thinking about this topic I came to the conclusion that what I truly treasure are the memories that come with every item. Where I was, who I was with, and my experience. Or in the case of my inherited objects just thinking about my parents.

That is probably why photography itself is something that I treasure. It is not just capturing the perfect image, though that is an added bonus, but the experience, who was there to share it with, and taking the time to take in my surroundings. A quiet time, a fleeting moment, and a time to reflect.

But in order to appreciate much of these treasures, I depend upon my eyesight. I have inherited macular degeneration from my mother. By eighty her vision was severely limited, and this loss caused her to be dependent on others. The adjustment was hard. So far, I am doing well, but I can tell my left eye is not pulling its full weight. The human body adjusts and I have no limitations yet. So I am treasuring every moment I can get out with my friends and take photographs. I joke with my friends, and say when I can’t see can I still go out and pretend to take pictures?

I absolutely treasure my dogs. I waited so long for my first dog, Liberty because I wanted the time to be right to care for her. Charlie came next after the time had passed, and then I waited till he was born. But after he crossed over, he sent me my Moxie Love so I wouldn’t be without this companion. I am busy working to train Moxie so that she can come with me when I am out and about. My goal is to take the AKC Good Citizen Test at the end of the summer. In the future, I would like to visit assisted living communities.

There are families that have the quintessential family portrait, then there is my family. Currently, everyone is scattered. I have two married children and seven grandchildren. Grandchildren range in age from 2 years to 25 years old. Each child is a treasure in their own way. Maybe one day I will have a full family portrait, but I will not hold my breath.

This is a challenging blog to write. It does make me take time to appreciate the treasure time and the world around me. It is easy to get off track and think about day to day life. What do you treasure?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 203 Local Vistas

What are your local vistas? Where do you photograph when you don’t have a lot of time or are not on vacation? What about your hometown excites you? Is it the countryside, city, gardens, amusement venues? This week, Anne Sandler: Slow Shutter Speed wants me to tell and show local vistas.

Sacramento has been home since 1980. Yet with my local camera group I still find new things to photograph. There is a certain seasonal flow of vistas that show up during the year. For instance, Anne and I visited the Lotus Flower Garden “Peace Pond” this week. When I turned on the television Rob on the Road was interviewing the person responsible for this amazing Sacramento site. Started in 2005 this is now another reason the go to Land Park.

Within Land Park there is also the WPA Rock Garden. Always something to photograph.

The Sacramento Zoo is also located in Land Park, currently. There are exciting plans afoot in the coming years to move this zoo to Elk Grove so that it can provide a better habitat for the animals. Just a little further to drive.

The flamingos welcome you at the entrance of the Sacramento Zoo

In the coming weeks the sunflower fields located in Yolo County calls for photo captures. This image was taken last year.

No sunflowers were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

For people watching I head to Old Sacramento. No matter how many times I visit I find something new to focus on. But it is often the people wandering around. And people with dogs are my favs.

Trawler and his owner live on a houseboat that was docked in Old Sacramento.

This dog wants to share a drink.
Musician on a lunch break. His dog has his eyes on the fries!

Located in Old Sacramento is the California State Railroad Museum.

I find museum locations good when the temperature rises. This week June 2022 the temperature will be over 100° for multiple days. Also a good time to be home and blog!

Well that is just a touch of what I find locally around Sacramento.