Patti says, “For this week’sLens-Artists Photo Challenge #136, we’re circling back to the alphabet. This time, we’re going to focus on the letter S. What images can you find that feature a subject that begins with the letter S? Here are some ideas to get you started.”
My friends and I visit sunflower fields in Yolo County.
In Sacramento, there is the Museum of Medical History. An interesting place to visit when it reopens after CoVid. So my first letter S is for Skeleton with its funny sign.
So many things that shout out to me, “Pick me! I start with the letter S!”
The story of my new purchase. It started about a year ago when my friend asked if I was interested in parting with my Nikon D7100. A perfectly good, solid camera I have been using for many years. Well along came my mirrorless Fuji x100f. Fun camera and great for grab n go, street photography. This led me to reconsider my Olympus mirrorless that I did not find any happiness with. So KEH (company buys used cameras) came along and purchased all my used Olympus stuff. I replaced it with my Fuji xt2 and some lenses. I found my system. Oh, so back to the Nikon. Well, I still used it, but not as much. I hate to have a camera sit unused. So I sold the camera to a friend of a friend. Now I had a lot of additional lenses I have collected over the years, and along came KEH again. This time buying all the rest of my Nikon gear. I now had credit at my favorite camera store, Action Camera in Roseville. And I let it sit since I did not really need anything. CoVid strikes, and I have too much credit at a small retail establishment. Fuji just put out the xt4 so I decided to use my credit and order this new camera.
Meanwhile, my friend Anne purchased a Fuji xt3, and she wanted to try out her new x100-400mm telephoto lens. To be a real birder you need a long lens, big muscles, money, and lots of patience. I lack big muscles so I shy away from a lens I am not willing to or have the ability to hold. But I can’t say my interest wasn’t piqued just a bit. Especially. if my friends were going to be out shooting birds, peacefully. My longest lens x55-200 wasn’t going to be long enough for birds,, but since we would primarily be in a car I also took my wide-angle lens and my macro lens. My Subi Blue needed a wash so I offered to drive.
The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is located along the causeway on Interstate 80 between Sacramento and Davis. Nice and close to home. In natural settings, you never know what you will find. But anytime I get away with my camera in hand is a good day. There are some impressive upgrades to this camera, but I just set up the basics this time out.
President Clinton designated this floodplain in 1997 as a wetlands to be restored. It serves as a flyway and home for many birds.
I was interested in capturing landscapes, Anne had her long lens and her focus was birds.
Quietly got out of the car and hunted flowers and insects.
My Fuji xt4 performed well in the field. The feel of this shutter is amazing. Hard to describe but it is different is a wonderful way! I was happy to capture these images to remind me that nature is not too far away!
P.S. My friend decided that she would return her long xf 100-400mm lens, and get the xf 80mm f2.8 Macro that I just love. So I will also save myself some money.
I have gone on a couple of photoshoots since the reopening from quarantine. Each was outside and I mostly stayed to myself. Usually, after an outing, my CTD group likes to grab a bite to eat. I’m not there yet and pass on the friendly banter with my fellow photogs.
Old Fair Oaks Village provided the backdrop of my first time out with my friends. Easy for me since it is about 5 minutes away.
WPA Rock Garden and Land Park Pond provided a nice opportunity to get out and use my Fujifilm 80mm 2.8 macro lens with my Fuji xt2.
Walking around William Land Regional Park I find all kinds of wildlife enjoying the pond. Dragonflies, ducks, and turtles all using the pond in peace.
Now this is how to keep social distance when meeting friends.
The Sacramento Zoo has now reopened. As a zoo member, I was invited to preview the new format as it reopens. Only members were allowed during the first two days with a set appointment time. CoVid 19 guidelines are stated online. As I entered the zoo I was reminded to stay with my flock, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet away from others. I had a 1pm appointment time. Not my usual zoo time since I like to visit first thing in the morning. I was lucky, and the weather was very mild. Perfect.
The zoo has been closed for 3 months, but the facility has been making some changes to accommodate new zoo occupants. Flamingos welcome the visitors.
And these flamingos have gotten all sorts of mixed signals. It’s confusing! And possibly not in the best interest of the flock, or in the case of flamingos a flamboyance.
An ostrich, a duck, an emu, and a Himalayan Monal all walk into a …….
Usually, when I arrive at the zoo in the morning the Red Panda is sleeping. Found this one ready to pose for a close-up.
New residents here at the zoo.
As a nod to Tom Paxton and the cd Goin’to the Zoo I’ll call this “Allen gator. A little alligator with a great big bite, he was Allen gator he wanted to do what’s right!”
My head has been so full of noise that I did not realize that I have been neglecting to write.
So what what has caused me to think that my brain is playing “Pong”. I think that my loss of focus has been due to my dog deprived life. I have changed my sleeping pattern to a staying up late (2 am). I have always been more of a night owl since I retired, but this is getting ridiculous. This week I am making a better effort to wake up before 8:00 am, get going, and not drift back to sleep.
So what else is going through my head. It bounces from one interest to another. From Genealogy to Photography to my newest interest in Quilting. Not that these interests can’t coincide in one person, but that each pulls me away from the other. My son called this “dabbling”. Maybe I just continue to find new and interesting things to learn.
Oh, probably the most disorienting part of my life is news and the media (ie Facebook). Need I say more?
One moment I am all about connecting the dots on my Ancestry family tree. I just started writing down my own personal story as a child of two Holocaust survivors. My hope is that I will one day be able to articulate a coherant story to others. I am a participant of CVHEN (California Valley Holocaust Education Network) and Sacramento Second Generation Holocaust Survivor’s group (now renamed Holocaust Survivors and Descendants). Though I find that with all my reading on the subject I sometimes need to take a step back from this subject. It is at that moment I take up another interest.
Photography helps me get out. Sometimes I just need to force myself to get out of the house. And away from the television and the continued crazy news that surrounds me. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand, but I have some very serious questions as to where this country, and the world is headed. This very clearly harkens back to my family’s past “real” experiences. So with camera in hand, and a great group of friends we head out to explore local spots. So far the weather this fall/winter has been quite favorable to getting outside. In other words, Sacramento has not had very much rain.
The climate here in Sacramento has changed in the almost 40 years I have been here. I remember all the fog that enveloped Sacramento when we first moved here. Moving into my first house in 1980, there was so much fog that lasted throughout the day that I didn’t even know which window would receive sunshine for the first 3 months (December through February 1981). Then we had record rains. I remember driving from my house in Sacramento to Orangevale 10 miles away and not knowing if the visibility would allow me to make it to work on time. I never understood the mass pileups on the freeways when I was in New York. The fog just engulfs you from out of nowhere. It has been quite a while since I have seen that kind of fog. I just looked up Tule Fog, and discovered why scientists say there is less of this phenonomun. Cleaner air. Good for the driving public. Do you remember the Tule fog? Can you see that my focus drifts.
Back to photography. Since my camera group changed the format from Camera Toutin’ Tuesdays to Camera Toutin’ Days our busy schedules get in the way. Doctor and dentist appointments, haircuts and massages, grandkids, and life may get in the way, but a steady group of 6-8 shows up. I am lucky to have found a good group of friends to share my joy in photography. I know that I can always find peace with my photography.
Here are some of my images from the year 2019. Not my most productive year. I did have that spinal surgery that kept me out of the loop for a while.
Looking back through my images I found some inspiration.
The year 2020 starts tomorrow. Bigger and better plans for the coming year. Around February 8 a new grandchild is set to arrive. That makes #7. My daughter is having a boy to add to her 4 boys and 1 girl. Busy family.
Ginger and Ace are expecting puppies in February. I am hoping to to bring one of the pups to my house in March.
Heading to New York “The Big Apple” in March before our puppy joins our household. Planning to play tourist. See a show, visit relatives, and gather genealogical info. Also NYC is great for street photography and of course eating.
And I hope that everyone around me can follow this saying. There is entirely too much animosity circulating now.
Happy New Year to all my friends and followers. Here’s hoping for a bright 2020!