Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 171 Weird and Wonderful

This week Ann-Christine invites me to have the opportunity to share my weird and wonderful images in this challenge! By accepting this challenge I will showcase some of my images of natural weirdness, items I found strange to photograph, and images I created through photo techniques.

This mutant Sunflower captured my attention! Was it an overachiever?

Here in Sacramento we are starting to get a taste of autumn. On Sunday we experienced record setting rainfall. They called it a bomb cyclone. It was time to dust off those raincoats and galoshes. Since California has been in a drought many of us were caught off guard. My puppy Moxie has never experienced rain, and was not too impressed. She was glad to wear her raincoat for our many, but quick outings. After the rain I just discovered the weirdness of mushrooms popping up. One minute nothing, the next minute fully formed fungi. Don’t know the toxicity of these mushrooms, but I am taking no chances on Moxie discovering them.

The next couple of images are part of the life cycle of decay. There is a certain beauty in observing rot.

These post have changed over the 30 years in my landscape, yet there is life.
Tis the pumpkin season. I see the heart of the pumpkin!
Decaying squash
The salmon come up the American River to lay their eggs and die.
Each gull finds its own rock!
A certain weirdness to the play of fish and bubbles.
This image speaks to me. It says, “Halloween is just around the corner. Get those treats ready or you will be tricked!”

The following are strange images I came across.

There are probably drivers on the road who follow this sign. Not me! Beliefs are another story.
What do you see? Found around old farm machinery.
Does this meet with your definition of weird?

The following images were created by painting with light.

A bouquet of flowers
Think of a scary movie!

Lens-Artists Challenge #170 Street Art

For this week’s challenge, we’re exploring art–outdoors, in the park, on the street–for all to enjoy. Thank you Patti for acknowledging all the art around us.

The last couple of years Sacramento has been encouraging creativity. Alley walls, sidewalks and dumpsters have provided the canvas. Artists of all ages come out to celebrate.

In 2016 alleyways and building throughout Sacramento became the canvas for Wide Open Walls (WOW). This annual event has brought art to all. This year my fellow photographers ventured out without me because Moxie’s puppy class is priority one.

WOW from 2020. One event that our group could enjoy safely.

Another annual event I usually enjoy is Chalk it Up. This artwork is not permanent, but fun to watch, and photograph. The sidewalks around Freemont Park serve as the location. Each square represents an organization, individual idea, or business venture. Again, I did not photograph it this year. Last year, CoVid protocols spread this event out throughout the city.

I came across the Art of the Dumpster in a vacant lot. Each dumpster had the artist’s statement displayed.

Glad I had my camera handy when I came across this dumpster art show in a vacant lot.

I am always on the lookout for murals that informs visitors about the town.

Stopped in Truckee, Ca. (Calif.) one winter day.
I learned something about the City of Livermore.
Lincoln pride is showing.
CCA Murals for Esparto. Their heritage is on display.

Learn about Carmichael’s roots at the Great Wall of Carmichael
If you have been to Old Fair Oaks you would know why this mural was
painted by 2 Bella Vista High School students Class of 2019.

How many of us have been stuck in an airport? I’m glad to find that these public spaces are now being adorned with art.

Leap by Lawrence Argent
Samson by Brian Goggin
I’m not sure in which airport I found this sculpture. It may be from the Indianapolis Airport.

The original Tower Records started in Sacramento and was located in the drug store that shared space with the Tower Theatre.

Murals found around Tower Records establishment on Broadway.

Mural at the Art Supply Warehouse in Southern Ca. It grabbed my attention!
Found this on a street in San Francisco with my granddaughter
A sad statement.
Paying respect closer to home in Capay at the Road Trip Bar & Grill
Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills, Ca.
“Portal to Big Sur” by Aaron Appel and Abe Toke.
Came across this natural display of public art at Half Moon Bay, Ca.

Making the most of the space that surrounds us with art. It is nice to find such “eye candy” where you least expected! Just be ready to experience beauty.

Can you really ever plan something?

About two weeks ago I prepared myself to be a long-distance grandma. I began to investigate photo frames to get pictures all the time. It would be some time before David and I could travel to be together. Thoughts went through my mind, and I felt sad but hoped that by moving to another state her family would find peace and happiness.

Packed up and ready for their big adventure!

My daughter and family sold their house and packed up to move to Knoxville, Tennessee. This was a sudden decision pushed forward quickly by the CoVid 19 pandemic. School was starting soon and her thought was attending school was better than distant zoom learning. Well, after driving for 4 days in the van with her family of 4 boys and a small dog they arrived in Tennessee. Driving up a road named 13 curves proved to be Knoxville’s undoing. Got a call, and in less than 2 weeks, the family arrived back in Sacramento on September 8th. Costly lesson learned. Don’t buy a house sight unseen in a place you have never visited. Luckily, her husband was able to resume his job.

Life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Charlie enjoyed having visits with the boys. Eli is particularly good with him. and his pitching arm has landed a couple of balls in my neighbor’s yard. Lucas, the four-year-old, helped with the training by playing a game called, “Mother May I”. The baby has clean toes compliments of Charlie’s licking them. Wyatt, the two-year-old just thinks Charlie is funny.

So Eli started third grade on Zoom, the family made use of our water (showers and laundry), and my stressed-out daughter took care of reestablishing herself. Moving is always a stressful situation. Looking for a home with a contingency is not much fun. It is a seller’s market. Good for the house she is selling in Tennessee, not so good for finding a home she plans to live in.

All her stuff finally made it to Waldon, Tn. in a Pod. It took almost a week of negotiating a “Gypsy Moth” form to get her possessions to return to California. It was filled and refiled almost a dozen times. The date of arrival is in early October. The question remains, where will this family of 6 live???

Tension abounds here, and everywhere.

The strangest year – 2020 – note the cobwebs!

Inhaling the smoke from the fires that surround the area can be the equivalent of smoking 20 packs of cigarettes according to the governor. Add to this a presidential election year. Sorry no pictures. I only went outside to take Charlie out for many, many days.

This is a very, very, very important presidential race. This county desperately needs some sanity in a leader.

Becoming “Ruth less” with the passing of the Notorious RBG. I think this was designed before her passing, and I hope that next year she will reign supreme!

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Add to this the large response to protest continued police killings of our black citizens and the tension is felt by all. Some of the businesses are boarded up to prevent loss of property. While many peacefully protest there are others who take advantage of the situation and break, trash, and steal.

Boarded up windows provide a place to share words of hope!
I found this painted on a parking lot space

And then there is CoVid 19.

Face Covers Required

As of this writing, more than 200,000 people have died here in the United States. It has been 7 months since the Corona Virus has taken a firm grasp in our state. I heard rumors of a virus in mid-February, but it was March before changes started to happen. Now in downtown Sacramento, there is evidence of this pandemic.

Reminders everywhere. Masks help reduce the spread of CoVid

To mask, or not to mask.

Sorry sight. I’m sure there was a trash can close by.

To go along as if there is nothing to be concerned about, or to ask the question, “Is it worth the risk?” For the most part, my husband and I have chosen to be cautious. David is a diabetic who smokes. I have a post nasal drip that will probably clear out anyplace I venture out to. Most of our shopping has been online. Many of my activities have been delegated to Zoom Meetings. Even Charlie is being trained on Zoom. When I do go out I am masked. Actually, since the arrival of my puppy, there has always been someone here with him. We go to no restaurants, travel no further than a couple of miles, and if I am out it is an outdoor photoshoot with few people around me. So all the family comings and goings started to play on our minds. This did not sit well with all. No one likes this intrusion into our way of life. But I want all to be safe rather than sorry.

This past weekend I ventured downtown to meet up with my CTD friends. Since 2017, Sacramento has invited artists to participate in “Wide Open Walls”. Murals are painted on the walls around the city. The event usually runs about 10 days, but with the smoke, heatwave, and CoVid 19, and political tensions have extended the event. This time I did not capture any artists hard at work.

There is much evidence that this country wants to unite for the good of all its citizens!
Black Lives Matter. We stand with you.

For many years I taught 4th grade with the social studies curriculum being California. This mural reminded me of the first chapter where I taught the four regions – Coast, Desert, Valley and Mountain regions.

California diversity. Four distinct regions of the state.
PEACE – Amazing artwork.
Making the alleys soar!
Painting on such a large canvas. So peaceful looking.

Sometimes parts of murals interest me.

This mural fascinated me the most.

Along with the murals I enjoyed walking the streets of downtown Sacramento. This year I missed the “Chalk It Up” event. To create a safe environment this event was spread out . I came across this one, and wanted to show myself enjoying the artwork. Plenty of electric scooters just left on the sidewalk. Bumper sticker that says it all! Vintage retail sign l liked.

This mural prompted me to look up Betty Inada

So much happening, so many decisions to make

When last I sat down my grandson Baby Colton arrived, and a week later my puppy-to-be made an appearance.

Three weeks later and much has happened. My 22-year-old grandson visited us for one week in February.

Sacramento Metropolitan Airport public sculpture. I see my red Samsonite!

I haven’t seen him in two years, and the visit ended with him saying, “Best vacation ever!” Not that he has taken many vacations in his short working life. It seems like for being on his own he is doing well. But there were a few details that needed to be addressed. Haircut, eyeglasses, cell phone upgrade, and work clothes set the stage for a busy week.

One thing I have to say about this guy is that he is a foodie. Straight away he planned to eat his way through Sacramento. Straight from the airport, we head to his favorite Fish and Chips place. Interestingly enough, the owners remember him. I guess he frequented this establishment when he lived close by. For dessert, I visited Icicles. Curled up icecream created right before your eyes.

Delicious. Never knew this existed. I plan to visit again.

After taking care of all those details, we planned a day out of town. At first we wanted to go to San Francisco to meet up wtih my son and family. With everyone having a different schedule this was difficult to arrange, and so we went with plan B. Headed east with Reno being our destination. This is the first February where we didn’t have a drop of rain. Weather is just lovely, but I am starting to hear talk of drought again.

First stop, Donner Summit. Checked out Donner Lake. I tried to imagine the Donner Party stuck here.

It was the end of February and there was no snow around.

My two guys!
Some fishermen getting ready to cast their lines.
Another tourist from the Sacramento area. Love the colorful sari.

Searched for a open restroom. Didn’t know this was a seasonal condition. LOL!

We visited the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center with a very nice restroom.

We continue on to Reno and arrived about lunchtime. Headed for miles of food buffet.

Buffet at the El Dorado Casino

My grandson first took a look at the miles of desserts.

Miles of tempting desserts

He then placed his drink order. He has a unique way of ordering his meal items. But he does it with a pleasant demeanor and the servers try to oblige him.

We walked around Circus Circus, but no performances to view. We checked out the arcade. We needed to walk off that meal!

Tried our hand at 25 cent poker machine, and quick when we were ahead. Winner of $0.55. It was nice sitting and talking while we tried to beat the machine.

Argggh!

Thanksgiving in February with all the trimmings, except pumpkin pie. My grandson requested this holiday meal back in November so I kept a turkey in the freezer for this occasion. He remembered that I usually put walnuts in my stuffing. Not this time. Oh well. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to cook for a couple of days afterward.

Been paying close attention to the upcoming presidential race in November. California moved up the primary vote, and Super Tuesday came and went. No further comment here. I just hope, upon hope that our next president will be someone other that our current ____. You fill in the blank. Decisions, decisions, but not the greatest of choices.

My grandson headed back to Knoxville, and we focused on our upcoming trip to New York City. Then the news of coronavirus ramped up. Decisions, pro/con. After much discussion, we decided that New York City will be there, and we would postpone our trip. Booking.com made it easy to cancel the hotel reservation. I had a harder time with AAA air travel. I purchased travel insurance for my Jet Blue tickets. But I would need to file a claim, and there would be a big hassle. I called Jet Blue and they agreed to give me a 1-year credit for the tickets.

So next up, was opening day of baseball. But it was rained out. Luckily, game was called early. Go figure!

Each day from 1 pm until 7 pm I get to watch puppy television, starring Ginger and her litter of 10. And after 4 weeks they are playing and eating gruel. Next weekend the plan is to drive up north and meet the pups in person. Ginger has 10 puppies. Three girls, and seven boys. I am pretty sure that we will be bringing home a little girl pup, but we will see after we meet all of them next week. We wanted a solid colored pup (only a couple of boys fit that description), but all are so cute and personalities are starting to form. That is more important in the decision process. So excited.

So that is it for the moment. Trying to stay healthy. Relaxing and getting ready for my new adventure.