Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #150 Let’s Get Wild

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photography Challenge, let’s get wild!  Dianne is talking about Mother Nature untouched and untrammelled, allowed to get on with her work without human help or hindrance.

Looking through my images I am more inclined to capture images with human interactions. My travels haven’t taken me far from home.

Squirrels take up residence in the trees.
And a dragonfly lands on a bush in my backyard!

I did manage to take a trip to the Island of Kauai with some of my photo friends.

Beautiful Kauai
Nene, official Hawaiian bird
Turkeys strutting their stuff
An Egret returning to the nest
Youngsters following along!
A wild discovery at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael, Ca.
Finding nectar in the wilds of Kauai
Northern California coastal fog

Sorry, this wild blog may seem a bit scattered. My very special doodle, Charlie is in the hospital. His liver is not working to its best. The doctors are trying to figure this out. HIs numbers are quite unexpected for a such a young dog. Think good thoughts that Charlie will be home with me soon. We have never been apart.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 148 Spots and Dots

This week the challenge takes me into my abstract/design library of images. Leya asks us to, “recognize and enjoy the different interpretations, meanings and importance of these two little words. Spots and Dots. Because even if they are small…they can make a big difference.”

As a photographer I am always looking for repetition. Here are some dots I spotted.

Can you guess what these are?

This is a swingin’ Hot spot, maybe?

Blu Nightclub inside MontBleau Resort in Lake Tahoe.

Now spots can be thought of as a favorite spot. This coming week I am going on my first trip since CoVid. It is our 50 + 1 anniversary. Last year, well you know, there was not much of a celebration, and it was supposed to be our BIG one. Pacific Grove has been our “spot” for over twenty years. This year will be a bit different. It is also our first vacation with a dog. Charlie is in for an adventure.

Here is my boy Charlie at 15 months

In preparation, I have been taking him out with me to stores, and parks. Yesterday, my grandson Lucas played tee ball. I brought Charlie to the game. He was a bit overstimulated at first. I remained, and after a while he started to relax. I gave out treats to those watching the game to give to Charlie. And he took advantage. The day before in Lowe’s he wouldn’t take a treat. Slow progress.

These are some of the images I grabbed during our last time in Pacific Grove in 2019.

On our way to Pacific Grove we stop and get some Bing Cherries
Lover’s Point
Monterey Bay
Asilomar State Beach

Seafood is on the menu! But we will see how well Charlie deals with all the excitement.

Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey

These are natural occuring spots.

Sometimes, as a photographer you are just in the right spot at the right time!

Taken from the Tower Bridge during a dry lightening storm.

That is all for this photo challenge. Need to get ready to go on a short vacation. Do I even remember how to pack?

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.