Photographing the Sutter Buttes

Another week and Camera Totin’ Tuesdays is off to the Sutter Buttes. Starting in Woodland I am impressed with the water-wise landscape in my friend Karen’s front yard.

Low water and low maintenance landscape. In a couple of weeks Poppies will bloom.

Our first stop was Mary’s Chapel. Created in the 1850’s the cemetery is about 2 miles north of Yolo in Woodland.  The chapel was build in 1857. It is called Mary’s Chapel because after a fire destroyed the church, Mary Cross Pockman asked the community to rebuild.This local cemetery is still used by the community.

Mary’s Chapel
Mary’s Crapper built May 1912
Cemetery at the Mary’s  Chapel
Mustard field blooms at the foot of the Buttes
Bees are buzzing
Yellow Mustard all around
Orchard blossoms create look of snow
Orchard with pink blossoms
Pink Blossoms Frame the Buttes in the background

Looking at these hills I see a sleeping person.

The Sutter Buttes are green after the drought.

This cow was a distance away, but I caught her turning her head and looking my way. Maybe she likes my “Julia” voice.

Cows enjoying the green fields on the Sutter Buttes

Blurry background achieved with small depth of field.

Wildflower stands out.
Our travel around the Buttes passed this farm with some unusual animals.
What is this llama thinking?
Goat was looking for a hand-out.
Leisurely ride around the Buttes

We arrived at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, and mosquitoes greeted us in heavy swarms. All these photographs were taken exclusively from the automobile with windows closed.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

I have been working with Adobe Lightroom cc for the past 3 months and after watching more tutorials I am developing my images in a new way. Tweaking highlights, shadows, white and black tones, saturation and luminance.

Seascape at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
Reflection at Gray Lodge Wildlife Center
Sunset at the Sutter Buttes
Silos in the Sunset
Farmhouse on the Hill
Sunset through the orchard
Sun goes down

Another great day enjoying my surroundings in Northern California and sharing it with friends.











Loss of a friend. Message – Be open to new experiences

Today I got the telephone call I was expecting. My friend Greg now has a new bird’s eye view of the world. Photography brought us together, and this past year I enjoyed his company on many of our Tuesdays with Seniors photography outings. I met Anne and Greg at the same time, and we formed a team on many Tuesdays.

Our day was never very predictable, and it was much more than just finding a spot to take pictures. We met at 9:00 a.m. loaded with camera gear, and much enthusiasm.  Greg never was one to take a direct, fast route.

Michigan Bar Road. Lovely colors. Using my tripod and some post processing tips from Greg.
Cows looking for some shade. Greg sings to them.
Off the beaten path


He liked looking for alleys, narrow lanes, and forgotten places. Sometimes we ventured back to check out the scene again and again. Each time he marvelled at discovering something new.

Quiet spot in Folsom.
Another new place to explore.
Locke, Ca. a Greg favorite.
Captured at the Highland Games in Woodland. Not a selfie.

Greg volunteered at the California Auto Museum, and arranged for Sac Photographers to spend a morning there.

Journeying along with Friends

Greg liked talking to people, and occasionally Anne and I would have to interrupt him. He often tried to embarress me, which my husband says wouldn’t be too hard.

Got to talking with a local Knight’s Landing resident and pooch.
Love the dog’s expression
Never know what you will find when you went out on Tuesday.
This time the local resident captured Greg’s attention in Plymouth, Ca.
Knight’s Landing
Greg enjoyed showing me this double outhouse. Luxurious accommodations.
Greg and Anne finding something of interest in Jackson, Ca.

Greg explained HDR to me. It helped me capture this image.

Majestic hotel lobby of the National Hotel

After shooting all morning, or just driving around we would stop for lunch. Sometimes we ate at a Chinese, or Mexican, or BBQ restaurant. Then there was this one time we went looking for a pizza place and found all restaurants in the town  closed. (Remember, we liked the quiet of shooting on a Tuesday.) So we found a country store, and made our purchases. Arriving at a restaurant I never knew what wisecracks Greg would come up with. In the afternoon we stopped and Greg would fortify himself with a chocolate bar, soda, and jerky.

Ate here. I think we can still return.
Worth a trip to Jackson
Carlos, the owner of Fat Freddy’s in Jackson Ca. In a past visit Greg learned all about how this eatery got its name, and more.
River Walk farmer’s market
We stayed close to home and enjoyed the farmer’s market on the River Walk in November.

Greg’s knowledge of the area extended beyond driving logistics to historical information. I learned a lot. Our discussions ranged from personal stories, to politics, to solving the world’s problems. Bernie just lost a vote. In the end the day ended with each having some new thoughts, many images, and a feeling of camaraderie.


A soft spot for strays.

I told Greg that my first car was a Ford Maverick. He said I needed to take a picture of this car.

Greg identified this car as a Ford Maverick. Not.
Having fun at the Highland Games.
I will keep looking for another road to follow. 

I thank you for opening my eyes to new experiences. Thanks Greg.

Jackson California Outing

Another Tuesday outing with my friends Anne and Greg. First stop is revisiting Michigan Bar Road.  The cool winter fog presents such a change in atmosphere in the images. The summer sun that beat down on me gave my photos shadows and highlights. Now winter fog and mist saturate colors. I grab a couple of shots of the curving road lined with barbed wire fence.

Michigan Bar Road Curves
Michigan Bar Road Curves
Dried wild flowers hug the barbed wire

Cattle grazes in the pasture.

Cows Grazing
Cows Grazing

Fall colors, a recent memory, are not visible. The color palette are grays, browns, and greens. Definitely have a feeling of winter approaching. Later in the week there is talk of a storm. I have heard this before. The drought here is real, and somedays I long for time to hibernate, and catch up on all kinds of projects. Then, I’m out shooting, and I am glad for the dry weather. Guess I should appreciate what I have since I have no control over weather anyway.

Farm animals got to listen to my “Julia Childs” voice as I call to them. I can tell they respond to my voice. The cows come closer, the horse looks my way. I am patient, and enjoy the time I spend trying to get a good image.

Cow Listening to "Julia Child" Voice
Cow Listening to “Julia Child” Voice
Slim Pickings for Cow
Slim Pickings for Cow
Do you like my earings?
Do you like my earings?
What's on the other side?
What’s on the other side?
Follow the leader.
Follow the leader.
Perfect rural setting
Perfect rural setting
That's what I think about that!
That’s what I think about that!
Love the markings on this horse.
Love the markings on this horse.

Next I concentrate on my landscape photography. I am using my tripod, and bracketing my shots. I capture 5 frames with different shutter speeds so that I can merge them using HDR  Photomatrix Pro 5 software.

Stopped at Michigan Bar Road farm
Stopped at Michigan Bar Road farm
Rural Landscape

Our lunch destination is Fat Freddy’s in Jackson California. The menu is simple. Carlos has been serving hot dogs here for the past 19 years. He started with a hot dog cart, and opened up “Fat Freddy’s” nineteen years ago in Jackson. Over a Kraut Hot Dog and delicious Cappuccino Milk Shake Carlos told the story as to how the place was named. His original thought was to name it “Wanda’s Wonder Buns.” This name was strenuously rejected by his wife Wanda. After some thought Carlos gave in and Wanda came up with the name “Fat Freddy’s”.  Seating is counter style and the tiny “hole in the wall” space is eclectically decorated.

Worth a trip to Jackson
Worth a trip to Jackson
Carlos, the owner of Fat Freddy's in Jackson Ca.
Carlos, the owner of Fat Freddy’s in Jackson Ca. Always ready for conversation.
Cappuccino Milk Shake @ Fat Freddy's
Cappuccino Milk Shake @ Fat Freddy’s. So thick and yummy!

Walked off lunch by strolling around town. Many retail establishments are   dressed up for the holidays, but on a Tuesday some places are closed. Lots of pedestrians window shopping.

Main Street in Jackson Ca
Main Street in Jackson Ca
Retail signage
Retail signage
Retail Signage
Retail Signage
St. Patrick Church in Jackson Ca.
Historic Plaque
Historic plaque tells an interesting story.

The Chamber of Commerce suggested that we stop at the National Hotel. The staff welcomed three photographers, complete with tripods. It felt like I had been transported back to a lavish Victorian era hotel around the  1860’s. The ambiance of lighting makes taking photographs challenging. I definately needed to use my tripod. For some of the images I bracketed 5 frames and then imported the files in Photomatrix Pro 5 from Lightroom. I hope I did the National Hotel lobby justice. If you are in the area this is a place to visit. I didn’t get to see the rooms, but I am tempted to make a reservation.

National Hotel
National Hotel
Majestic hotel lobby of the National Hotel
Majestic hotel lobby of the National Hotel
National Hotel Lobby in Jackson
National Hotel Lobby in Jackson
National Hotel ready for the holidays!
National Hotel ready for the holidays!
Ceiling Tiles
Ceiling Tiles
Christmas Ornament
Christmas Ornament Reflection
National Hotel lobby features this book. Any ghosts haunting this old hotel?
National Hotel
National Hotel Santa

This hotel retained many antiques which creates an interesting atmosphere. I have never seen this before.

Antique Cigarette Machine. Only 25 cents
Antique Cigarette Machine. Only 25 cents
Glass Work on door in National Hotel

Thanks for the hospitality in such a gracious hotel.

Before heading back to Sacramento we made one more stop along the way.

Leaving Amador County
Leaving Amador County
Defeat and Victory!
Tree fight it out.


Heading back to Sacramento. Fog is rolling in.
Heading back to Sacramento. Fog is rolling in.