Some Sad News. Followed by some Happy News.

Charlie ended his short life last week. It was sudden. It was very unexpected. I was totally blindsided. This little puppy was finally becoming a trustworthy dog. If you have been following along on our journey you know that he was my special little pup. Coming to me during the CoVid quarantine really bonded us. He was not so comfortable with the outside world, and being aware of this I worked doubly hard to share many different experiences with him.

I hoped to have a dog that would be able to share my world, and so he needed to get used to riding in the car. Short trips, and then longer times accomplished this. He loved his car. Not so much getting out of the car. He was always happier to get back into the car. And he could spot the car in a parking lot full of cars.

Such a beautiful boy

I wanted a dog that would accompany me on walks. He walked with me to the mailbox every afternoon. He knew the words, waited till I got the keys, and attached his Easy Walker Harness. A dog lives near the mailbox, and Charlie always got excited to see this barking dog. But his training was paying off, and I would tell him to sit while I opened the box. Sometimes he would see some of our neighbors and wag, and play the “Don’t touch me” game. That was getting better.

Well, he never wanted to walk past our court. I really don’t know why. So if I wanted to get a walk in we would hop in the car, and go find a park path to follow. Most of the time we did ok. It wasn’t a given that my anxious dog would be happy along the path. Bikes and scooters stressed him. And once he saw that we were headed back to the car he was in full pull mode. That I would not allow, and so we often had to stop until the leash loosened up.

First puppy haircut.

New to me was the process of grooming. Every evening Charlie would get on his grooming table after being enticed with 2 pieces of kibble. I was slowly getting all the supplies needed to start doing a full groom myself. CoVid disrupted the supply chain and I finally got the clippers I wanted in May. Yesterday I spent boxing and returning all the items I no longer need.

Charlie at 1 yr old.

Last winter Charlie visited Lake Tahoe. There was snow on the ground, and he would dig and put his face in the cold snow.

Charlie in the snow at Lake Tahoe

Two weeks ago I took my dog on a vacation to Pacific Grove. It was my first ever time to take a pet on vacation. I am so glad to have had that memory. He absolutely enjoyed the beach. His tail was flying high as he dug into the sand. Then he placed his face in it. I will alway have that to remember. I brought along a pop-up playpen and he went right to sleep for the night.

My happy Charlie
Digging away!
A mouthful of sand!
Visiting Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

I was proud at his progress, and I was beginning to see him start to adjust to the world. Starting at 4 months his skin rash would be infected. Under veterinary care antibiotics cleared it up. But it would return. Allergy was suspected. So when this happened a third time, Charlie started seeing an animal dermatologist. A strict diet was adhered to, and I started dehydrating treats for him also. After culturing the skin site the vet said that the staph infection would not respond to regular antibiotics. We tried a bleach treatment, and the staph infection spread. So the next step was a stronger antibiotic. Now we did a blood test, and repeated it 2 weeks later. The liver enzyme increased. The staph infection was gone, and the medication was discontinued. But over Memorial Day weekend Charlie stopped eating. On Tuesday his vet admitted Charlie into an iCU hospital. His liver was failing. And on my birthday I said goodbye.

This was a very hard blog to write. I have many photographs of Charlie, but I know that there should have been many, many, many more years together.

Well, Charlie must have some special pull, and he knew how much he would be missed. He knew I was a good dog mama. Just before we went to Pacific Grove my neighbor invited me in to see her litter of Golden Retriever puppies. All the time at Pacific Grove I was thinking maybe Charlie would like a sibling. But I put that out of my mind. On Thursday June 3rd my husband and I went over to see the 5 week old pups, and Moxie will be joining our family in two weeks. Phoebe and Bailey have 9 pups, and my neighbors are happy that they will be able to see her grow up in the neighborhood. The bonding process is starting because she has visited her new home twice. So puppyhood starts again.

A puppy pile of Goldens
Present Moxie!
Moxie comes to visit
I get a visit from Moxie at 5 weeks

I guess you can expect many new puppy photographs!

Exploring Kauai – Waimea Canyon

Our first day on the Island of Kauai we head toward the Waimea Canyon. This proved to be our most adventurous day. Anxious to see as much as three photographers in our mature condition we started early with a stop at our local Starbucks. With a perfect cappuccino, cameras, lenses, batteries, and hats we are off.

Heading up western part of Kauai

First glimpse of the canyon

The colorful restaurant begged to be photographed!
Driving along we stop at every lookout point and admire the lush, green landscape


With camera in tow we explore the trail. Our traditional shadow selfie.

I am feeling pretty good about my choice in camera equipment. For this portion of the trip I am switching between my 18-55mm zoom lens and my 10-24mm wide angle lens. I am able to clip the lens case to my jeans, and travel light.

Continuing up Waimea Canyon we arrive at Waimea Canyon Lookout. I have not yet witnessed the Grand Canyon so I marvel at this wonderful landscape.

We started early and we were ready for a break. All along the canyon there are no commercial fast food places. We came across the Koke’e Lodge, and stopped for lunch. Located in Koke’e State Park the view is a stark contrast to the canyon views I have seen all morning. Enjoyed lunch, and then headed back to Hanapepe.

Kekaha Beach our next destination will always be filled with good and bad memories. Happy to see the ocean, after all Kauai is an Island. But as a reminder just as I am leaving the beach, I fall. My lava rock is hard and not forgiving. Luckily my jeans protected my skin, but my right leg, ugh. No one wanted to take that photograph!

Kekaha Beach waves crashing!

Getting into some people photography. Looks like an enjoyable stroll along the shoreline.
Sandpipers going in the other direction!


When I was last in Kauai I remember going over a Swinging Bridge. Too tired, and not quite in condition to go across I viewed it from afar.

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge over the river.



This first day ends with a sunset view from the Waimea Canyon.

Goodnight Waimea Canyon!

So ends my first day on my photographic journey in Kauai. More days of exploring, photographing, relaxing and enjoying time with good friends.

Bodega Bay – Off to the Coast

I love the sound of crashing waves. Didn’t think about it much, but once I heard it I felt like taking in all the salty air. A bunch of photographers headed out to Bodega Bay a couple of weekends ago to remember Greg Morris. Bodega Bay played a funny sort of part in his life. A year ago along with other photographers, Greg had a misadventure in Bodega Bay. He ended up with a feral cat. Greg saw a cat in need, and couldn’t say no. Enough said.

Two hours west of Sacramento we entered the town of Bodega.

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Town of Bodega proudly shows off its connection to Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock set his film, The Birds on the Sonoma coast and used Bodega and Bodega Bay. Stopping at The Bodega Country Store we are greeted outside by Alfred Hitchcock. It felt like scenes from The Birds with all the memorabilia displayed. The St.Teresa of Avila Catholic Church located down the block was featured in the movie.  Since it was a Sunday, the church parking lot was full, and I didn’t get the landmark shot.

Meeting up with Greg’s friends and family we reminisced, took a group photo, and made our way to Goat Rock Beach,  the acquisition site of said feral cat.  Memorial came together and we each said good bye to a good friend.

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We set up this memorial site on Goat Rock Beach

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Goat Rock Beach cloaked in a layer of fog.

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Earth moving machine left to rust on the beach.

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I see all kinds of creatures scurrying up the beach

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View of Goat Rock Head

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Look out! Waves are coming.

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All the colors of the Pacific Ocean

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Face splashed. Can you see it?

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Something about the rock’s surface caught my eye.

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This Sea Gull posed for my camera

After lunch we drive to another part of Bodega Bay. This beach had a different look to it.

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Staircase down to Bodega Head Beach. Sand washed away with much rain this winter making the staircase wobble. Beautiful ice plants on the side.

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A view of beautiful Bodega Head Beach

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Mussels all around

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The plant life gives color to the rocky shore

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Plant life on the California coast. Growing in the beach sand appears this daisy like flower. Do you know the name of this plant. Leaves remind me of Lamb’s Ear.

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Sea Gulls. Couldn’t help it! At least it was not crows. Thank goodness.

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I am mesmerized by the crashing waves.

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A view of beautiful Bodega Head Beach

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I love the textures, splash of color, and patterns found on Bodega Head Beach.

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Later in the day looking down on the Bodega Head Beach. Gorgeous!

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Ice plants in the foreground, Sonoma coast heading north as far as the eye can see.

We head home as the light is leaving us, and look for places to stop along the way.

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Different layers of green enhance the landscape.

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Pulled off to the side of the road to capture this idyllic farm scene. Fog moving in from the coast.

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More impressive than the sunset is the fog rolling in from the coast.

I so enjoyed my time on the Sonoma coast. I took this trip three weeks ago, and it takes me  some time to post this adventure. Maybe I need the time to process in my mind how I feel about my images. Friends of mine get their images up online, sometimes before I even get home. Do I need to work faster? I think that would be too much like a job, and not an act of fun. Still pondering and looking for a workflow that meets my needs, yet keeps the interest of my readers. Toying with the idea of starting a “Sneak Peak” short post, followed by a more complete one.

We shall see. All I know is that I enjoy getting out and seeing new things with my camera along for the ride.

 

 

 

 

Exploring the Island of Maui

North of Ka’anapali the road narrows, and ends up as one lane. There are rules to take care of the situation when two vehicles meet: the car heading uphill has the right of passage, and the other car or SUV needs to back up. This gets pretty tricky on these curvy roads along the cliffs. Faith in the driver is a must, and the views are worth it.

Tiny Baby Pineapple. So Cute!
Tiny Baby Pineapple. So Cute!

Kapalua Coast
Kapalua Coast

Powerful waves along the Kapalua Coast
Powerful waves along the Kapalua Coast

Kapalua Coast provides good snorkling opportunities
Kapalua Coast provides good snorkling opportunities

I see a face. Do you?
I see a face. Do you?

Lone Pine Tree
Lone Pine Tree

Stopping along the way I could see tourists snorkeling, and traveling on mopeds. Julia’s, a vendor located along the northern coast is mentioned in my tourbook as a “must see” experience. The best banana bread in the world, coconut candy that is very addictive. I hope I didn’t lose her card because the tourbook is right. I am not fond of coconut, but this dried and sweetened candy is hard to pass up.

Tourists on mopeds. May be a better way to manuever on narrow road.
Tourists on mopeds. May be a better way to manuever on narrow road.

Worth the trip! Coconut candy. Yum!
Worth the trip! Coconut candy. Yum!

Julia has been serving travelers for many years!
Julia has served travelers for many years!

Throughout my travel on the Island I want to include people in my photos. In Lahaina there is a Banyan tree that takes up the entire plaza. Here is a great place to people watch, and I did just that.

Banyan Tree in Lahaina takes up the entire plaza.
Banyan Tree in Lahaina takes up the entire plaza.

Some left their mark on the roots of the Banyan Tree.
Some left their mark on the roots of the Banyan Tree.

Walking along the touristy street I want to see art work created here. I didn’t want any souvenirs made overseas. I saw a turtule made locally, but I passed up the opportunity, and later could not find it. So tee shirts it would be.

Trinket shops for tourists.
Trinket shops for tourists.

Local street artist at work
Local street artist at work

Lahaina
Lahaina

Iao Valley is beautiful and peaceful now, but it is the scene of a violent past.

Approaching the Iao Needle
Approaching the Iao Needle

Going up to get a closer look at the Iao Needle
Going up to get a closer look at the Iao Needle

Higher and higher
Higher and higher

Iao Needle
Iao Needle

Cooling off in Iao Valley
Cooling off in Iao Valley

Luau entertainment provides a look into Hawaiian history and some good images as well.

Royal Lahaina Luau Master of Ceremonies
Royal Lahaina Luau Master of Ceremonies

Royal Lahaina Luau capture on cell.
Royal Lahaina Luau

Luau Entertainers
Luau Entertainers

Entertainers
Entertainers

Entertainer
Entertainer

Don’t know if you can call it street photography if the locale is the beach, but I do.

Enjoying the warm water
Enjoying the warm water

Beautiful Ka'anapali Beach goes on and on
Beautiful Ka’anapali Beach goes on and on

My footprints in the sand!
My footprints in the sand!

Water Shadow. Proof I was in the water!
Water Shadow. Proof I was in the water!

Enjoying the beach. Love the color. Love the clouds.
Enjoying the beach. Love the color. Love the clouds.

A Look at the Beach
A Look at the Beach

A sunset cruise complete with whale sighting ends our vacation.

Sunset Cruise on cattamoran.
Sunset Cruise on catamaran.

 I captured a whale in this photograph. You need to look closely. It's there swimming with some buddies.
I captured a whale in this photograph. You need to look closely. It’s there swimming with some buddies.

Sunset Cruise complete with sunset!
Sunset Cruise complete with sunset!

 

Many ways to get around Maui
Many ways to get around Maui

Always remember to appreciate what you have in life!
Always remember to appreciate what you have in life!

Vacation over, homeward bound!
Vacation over, homeward bound!

Arrive home, and Sacramento happy with my dog Libby!