Art & Ag in Yolo County

Subi Blue, my 2017 Subaru Outback, headed to Woodland on Thursday to a working farm for a morning of photography with friends. Headed out early to hopefully get better light and beat the summer heat.

Camera gear stowed, directions printed, and Jeanne and Laura safely fastened we headed to Fong Farm. Upon arrival Nancy greeted us with a map of this farm. I was told that the Farm gave us unlimited access, but be sure to park on the side of the road. The barn and metal shop provided many photo opportunities.

Time stops for no one!
Shapes and textures abound.
Parts from days gone by
Bolts of some kind
All eyes are on you!

Driving down dusty roads past a tomato field my Subi Blue gathered a fine coating of silty dust.

Barn surrounded by field of tomatoes 🍅.

At some Art & Ag events some information is shared about the workings of the farm. Here our map was our only guide. I wondered how these tomato field was harvested.

Three dogs greeted my car as we rounded the bend. I will give the a treat, and a “Good dogs” for doing the job of watch dog. Came right up I front of the car and tried very hard from discouraging me from driving down the dusty road. Sorry no phot opportunity here. No dogs were hurt, and eventually they trotted home.

Next we passed a field of yellow and orange thistles. Being a city girl I couldn’t imagine why a farmer would plant so many thistles. They are interesting flowers to photograph, but a bouquet of thistles?

Then we checked the map, and discovered we were looking at a field of safflowers. Ok, armed with no knowledge, I am guessing safflower oil?

Safflower field as far as the eye can see

Plein Air artists also enjoy the Yolo County Art & Ag events.

Painting a willow tree along the canal
My artist perspective. Safflower field in the background. Sutter Buttes in the distance.

That ended the tour of the Fong Farm. We went in search for a field of Sunflowers. I had already visited a field earlier in the month, but now I had my new Fujifilm xf 80 macro lens with me.

My best bee capture
One resilient sunflower standing up to time
Shadows captured in the backlit flower
Not ready for prime time
My best side please
Take time to see another point of view
Think about the BEES! Where would we be?
Bowing down. Countdown till the sunflower season ends.

Denny’s for lunch and then home.

One last stop for my Subi Brown. Bob’s Car Wash. Needed to get a full wash including undercarriage. After such a day I am glad that I put off going to the farm with a clean car. Wow!

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.

Image

Point Reyes National Seashore: Ocean Calling, but first explore the area’s history.

My friends know that I am drawn to the ocean. So we head to Point Reyes on a Saturday morning.

First stop is the Bear Valley Visitor Center where we meet with other photographers from Exploring Photography Meet Up. Laura picks up a hat, and I purchase a tee shirt celebrating the National Parks 100 year anniversary. 100% cotton, and made in the U.S.A.

We head out for a hike. Following the Earthquake Trail This is not my first time on this trail, but this time I have my Nikon with me.

1607_09_PtReyes_3179

Easy, short 1 mile hike

1607_09_PtReyes_3174

Serene lush setting

The San Andreas Fault line runs through the Point Reyes National Seashore area. The Pacific plate moves 2 inches per year, but on April 18, 1906 a 7.8 earthquake caused the Point Reyes peninsula moved 20 feet northwestward. The San Francisco earthquake caused much damage due in part to the fires that followed.

1607_09_PtReyes_3177

Walking along the San Andreas Fault line

1607_09_PtReyes_3185

Bird grabs a blackberry

1607_09_PtReyes_3186

Morning Glory

1607_09_PtReyes_3188

Quiet bench along the way

1607_09_PtReyes_3192

Spider web captures the sun

1607_09_PtReyes_3197

Hanging moss

1607_09_PtReyes_3200

Profile of relaxing pose

1607_09_PtReyes_3201

Elephant running

 

1607_09_PtReyes_3206

Much information to assist in preparation for the “Big One”

1607_09_PtReyes_3208

Don’t ignore the power of mother nature!

This meet-up has set up an itinerary, but the schedule allows for some changes. Before we head to our next destination, we pay homage to the infamous S.S.Point Reyes. This 380 ft. cargo ship is grounded on a sandbar in Tomales Bay. Located in the town of Inverness this ship has been a magnet for photographers. It was towed to its location, and was never shipwrecked. The protected inland area allowed the slow decay of this vessel. Until one night about 6 months ago when it accidentally caught fire during a photo shoot. Damage was done to the back end, and there is a question as to how long it will remain here. There are so many photographs that I was not totally interested in capturing it myself. But  how can I resist. Recommended time for shooting is the golden hour, but with fog that was not going to happen. Anyway, I Iike the foggy atmosphere.

1607_09_PtReyes_3210

A perfect photographic spot to end its journey.

1607_09_untitled_087

I played around with some processing techniques. It is not hard to see this as a painting.

1607_09_PtReyes_3216

During the earthquake in 1906, the pier in Tomales Bay sustained considerable movement. During restoration it was found to be curved, and 12 feet shorter.

1607_09_PtReyes_3226

Bailey’s pier at Inverness

Our next stop was to Abbott’s Lagoon. Here my friends and I encountered an easy trail with much nature to photograph. Now that I am home I can learn about some of the plants in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

1607_09_PtReyes_3251

This is a thistle, but I’m not sure which kind. I like the splash of color it lends to the area.

1607_09_PtReyes_3258

Even with closer photographs my chart to identify this plant is lacking.

1607_09_PtReyes_3283

My path forward

1607_09_PtReyes_3306

California Quail

1607_09_PtReyes_3313

There was a crooked tree…

1607_09_PtReyes_3316

This black beetle may have landed on some Cow Parsnip.

1607_09_PtReyes_3320

Two friends resting

1607_09_PtReyes_3327

Abbott’s Lagoon trail

1607_09_PtReyes_3328

This may be Brownie Thistle

Our next stop was Pierce Point Ranch. No sign of promised sun, and we picnicked nearby. I was surprised by how many dairy farms were located so close to the coast. Pierce Ranch was one of the most successful dairy ranches in the area, and the buildings provide some interesting photo opportunities.

1607_09_PtReyes_3331

1607_09_PtReyes_3332

I like the way the fence leads your eye to the farm house.

1607_09_PtReyes_3336

Lovely light in this barn

1607_09_PtReyes_3340

Foggy and cool

1607_09_PtReyes_3342

Outhouse

1607_09_PtReyes_3345

Reflections and foggy

1607_09_PtReyes_3347

Reflections and a peek through the door

1607_09_PtReyes_3348

Self guided tour through the farm complex

1607_09_PtReyes_3351

Goldfields

1607_09_PtReyes_3354

This interesting bumble bee is targeting this yellow wildflower.

1607_09_PtReyes_3356

I can’t identify the flower, but the bee sure knows what he wants.

1607_09_PtReyes_3357

Monochromatic capture

1607_09_PtReyes_3358

Though the fog I see the Pacific Ocean

1607_09_PtReyes_3359

1607_09_PtReyes_1000431

1607_09_PtReyes_3360

1607_09_PtReyes_3363

Careful not to step on this catarpillar

1607_09_PtReyes_33641607_09_PtReyes_3369

1607_09_PtReyes_3381

Farmhouse scene

As we were leaving the Pierce Point Ranch area we finally see some Tule Elk. This is also home for the Tule Elk Preserve.

1607_09_PtReyes_3390

Tule Elk

Still hoping for sun we head to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Too foggy to even see the lighthouse.

We head to North Beach, and here comes the sun. Yeah!

1607_09_PtReyes_3406

Only a part of North Beach is open for the public.

1607_09_PtReyes_34091607_09_PtReyes_34121607_09_PtReyes_34201607_09_PtReyes_34231607_09_PtReyes_3425

1607_09_PtReyes_3435

Finally get to hear the roar of the ocean waves!

1607_09_PtReyes_3447

Wildflowers along Point Reyes North Beach

Great day, and a big thank you to my friends Anne, Laura, and Linda!

Until the coastal waters call to me again.

 

Summer is here, looking for chill in Petaluma

Camera Totin’ Tuesday folks are looking to get out of the Sacramento heat. Petaluma is located south west of Sacramento, and less than 2 hours away. The day we visited the weather did not disappoint.

Founded in 1858 Petaluma makes an effort to maintain a mid-19th century charm. Located on the Petaluma River and close to the Bay area, Petaluma provided locally grown food to San Francisco and Oakland starting during the Gold Rush. Today, it can serve as a jumping off spot in Sonoma County. Close to the coast of Point Reyes, 30 minutes outside of the Bay Area, and near Napa and there is plenty to photograph is this town.

The Petaluma River provided easy access to transport goods to the coast. Today, it serves as a focal point for the town’s center.

1606_24_Petaluma_073

Bridge over the Petaluma River

1606_14_Petaluma_2779

1606_14_Petaluma_2770

Decaying pier no longer supports train tracks.

The Free Public Library building is filled with such classic details. This library built in 1904 with money donated by Andrew Carnegie is one of over 1600 library buildings constructed in the United States between 1886-1919. The town had to come up with money for books, salaries, and maintenance. Born poor, Carnegie was denied use of a public library because he couldn’t afford the $2.00 library card. He proclaimed “Free Public Library” on the front of this building to show that all could make use of the facility. Carnegie understood that access to information improves a person’s ability to better oneself.

Philanthropist  Andrew Carnegie gave away 90% of his wealth.”The man who dies rich dies in disgrace,” Carnegie said. In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves,” he wrote.

1606_14_Petaluma_2742

The buildings are impressive. I photographed this one in Eureka, California. Many serve another purpose now such as museums, and community centers. As a retired librarian, I hope that these buildings continue to serve the public need for information.

1606_14_Petaluma_2749

The McNears were part of Petaluma history

1606_14_Petaluma_2748

1606_14_Petaluma_2756

Brick wall with window capture my attention

1606_14_Petaluma_2747

Time out for a tune!

1606_14_Petaluma_2767

Small town main street today

1606_14_Petaluma_1000321

Green Tower Clock

1606_14_Petaluma_2762

Display Window of a music store

Lunch was enjoyed at The New Yorker Pizza & Restaurant.  I’m always on the lookout for “New York Pizza”. Though this time I enjoyed the meatball hero. Afterward we wondered into the Shutterbug Camera Store. Money was safely tucked away. This time.

1606_14_Petaluma_2782

Faded sign on side of building

1606_14_Petaluma_2787

Spider makes a home

1606_14_Petaluma_2797

One of many Victorian Era houses

1606_14_Petaluma_2824

Arch and picket fence detail draws me in

1606_14_Petaluma_2820

Always looking for signs. So polite!

1606_14_Petaluma_2811

Bee sure is enjoying a drink

1606_14_Petaluma_2816

Bee has moved on. What is this flower called? Be Gone!

1606_14_Petaluma_2805

Soft purple frilly flower. Do you know the name?

1606_14_Petaluma_2821

Love the lighting on this pretty coral rose. I do know the general name.

1606_14_Petaluma_2806

He loves me. He loves me not? He loves me!

There are many churches in Petaluma. Taking a walking tour we came across a church on nearly every block.

1606_14_Petaluma_2834

Stain Glass found in St. Vincent de Paul Church

1606_14_Petaluma_2833

Abstract lines

1606_14_Petaluma_2836

A friendly, portable tripod

We ended our walk around town. Taking in the architecture, nature, and friendly spirit of my photo buddies. Good bye Petaluma. May be back again.