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.

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.

Effie Yeaw

This nature center always produces different images each time I go. In April I met my Camera Totin’ Tuesday group for a look at nature in the late spring.

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This eensy weensy Spider met me at the pond

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Don’t know what flower will appear.

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Caterpillars two-by-two

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Jackrabbits two-by-two peeking

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Another one scampers away

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A field of wildflowers

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Wild Turkey strutting

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Not much help in case there is a fire. No sign of hydrant nearby.

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Finally located the fire hydrant.

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Looking over Effie Yeaw to keep nature safe

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Butterfly stops for a drink

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Hawk peers out from nest

I’m glad I live close to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. Almost time to go again. This time I will get a head start with the heat, and go for a sunrise shoot.

Hanging out in Folsom

Camera Totin’ Tuesdays stayed close to Sacramento this time. The winter rain filled the reservoirs and the American River is running fast. Headed out looking for some waterfalls. With the recent rain the Salmon Falls Trail was under water. So we found another interesting path that overlooked the river. No waterfalls photographed today.

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Not the Salmon Falls Trail overlooking American River

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Viewing the American River from Not the Salmon Falls Trail

Puffy white clouds add interest to these photographs.

Pulled out my Macro lens for some close-up shots.

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Macro view of Pine Cone

Use a shallow DOF (depth of field) for this picture.

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Flower blossoms

Traveled on to check out the American River from another location.

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American River in early Spring

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Great clouds

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Butterfly stops for a sip

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Love in the afternoon

I’m not so sure everyone would agree with this sign. But for me, “Safety first!”

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Interesting sign found in Folsom Historic District

The last three weeks I have been photographically very busy. Using Shutterfly.com, I created a story book using some of my photographs.  Just got the book, and now I am already thinking of my next project. Then along with the weekly Tuesday trips, I took a short trip out of town to emerse myself in Sonora,  a local area about 2 hours from Sacramento. This past weekend the California coast at Bodega Bay called my name. So many new images to review, edit and include in my blog. Sorry for the delay, but good things are coming!

I’m positive that being busy is just what I need. I feel productive, and energized. It also helps me appreciate all the people and places that surround me. Today is a more quiet day at home. My dog Libby is getting a bit of overdue attention. I will pick up my granddaughter from school and we get to spend some time together. And dinner will not be a last minute decision.