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.











It’s Good To Be a Local Tourist!

Announcing the name of my photography group, Camera Totin’ Tuesdays. Spent much of the day with my favorite people laughing over the many names, and acronyms possible. Settled on this one. Going out every Tuesday with this group opens up my horizons. For the past 35 years I lived in Sacramento.  Exploring the surrounding areas demonstrates the richness of the area photographically. My friend Karen shares local history, and always prefaces her remarks with, “You must have been here already.” Surprisingly, no. I must have been very busy with work and kids, or just not curious enough to get in the car for a ride around Northern California by myself. Remedy, get a camera and surround yourself with good friends.

This particular Tuesday we headed to Auburn. My friends wanted to try their hand at smoothing out rapids as the river flows over rocks. They brought along ND filters to achieve this affect. Destination: Lake Clementine. The lake did not impress, but in all honesty we got there late and didn’t complete the hike. I used a circular polarizer (since I didn’t have a ND filter) for some of the shots and slowed down my shutter speed to try and achieve smooth, flowing water.

North Fork of the American River
Smooth water rocky shoreline
Graffiti along the river


Actually for this goal we should have started earlier to avoid the bright sunshine. The Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California, is amazing. It is the 5th highest bridge in the United States.

Foresthill Bridge
Foresthill Bridge

In 1898 the classic design of the  Auburn Court House  replaced the prior building destroyed by fire. I usually have trouble finding the right angle to photograph buildings.

Auburn County Courthouse
Replica of the Auburn Courthouse reflected
Exhibit at the Placer County Museum
Placer County Museum
Auburn Hook and Ladder No. 2 since 1852
Advertisement found on a brick wall in Auburn

I processed this photograph using Topaz Texture Effects. It fits historic Auburn, don’t you think?

Advertisement on a brick wall in Auburn.


Interesting door
Love all the textures
Just passing through Auburn

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of this unusual find. In my neighborhood I saw a similar vehicle just before “Burning Man”. Wonder what this one is used for.

Strange vehicle spotted while looking for a sunset.

We went searching for a place to watch and photograph the sunset. Passed this private ranch. My friend Anne told Karen and me to ring the bell and ask permission to park in the driveway. Sure thing. The owner and his two Portuguese Water Dogs greeted us and allowed us to park just in time.

Sunset with lens flare
Found this beautiful site to catch a sunset
Auburn Sunset

Another great day out with my friends and my Nikon D7100.


Local View of Napa

Another Tuesday, and I am off to Napa Valley. I thought this would be a return trip to a familiar place. Wineries, galleries, and grapevines. Wrong. I was treated to an insider view of the beautiful landscape.

First stop Solano Lake Park.

Lake Solano Park
What do you see? I’m always seeing something. This time, a kind of rabbit. Or the shape of one of my grandson’s stuffed monsters

I looked up the Monticello Dam and found out that this spillway provides a safety valve during an El Niño. I guess I will need to make another visit since California is still in a drought. The concrete structure inspired this photograph.

Monticello Dam curves
Monticello Dam curves

Across from the dam a highway crew was shoring up a cliff to prevent a rock slide. I got the opportunity to photograph as the workers were scaling the sides since we had to wait for a lead car.

Cliffs found near the Monticello Dam
Cliffs found near the Monticello Dam
Highway crew scales cliff
Highway crew scales cliff

The Butter Cream Bakery located in Napa provided us with a real local dining experience. Yum!

I took this photo and processed it two different ways trying to get a feeling of the age. Dull versus extreme bright colors. Which do you like?


Butter Cream Bakery in Napa
Butter Cream Bakery in Napa

Does this bring back a 1950’s feel?


Or does the bright colors take you back?


Mustard flowers grow along grape vines
Mustard flowers grow along grapevines
Mustard blossoms all around
Mustard blossoms all around
Napa Valley view westward
Napa Valley view westward
Alpaca graze in the Napa Valley
Alpaca graze in the Napa Valley
Napa Valley Grape Vines and Mustard
Napa Valley Grapevines and Mustard


Ditto pokes his head out to say hello
Ditto pokes his head out to say hello
More concrete forms. What is it?
More concrete forms. What is it?
Tree in winter
Tree in winter
Wine Bottle Art Sculpture
Main Street in Napa at the Golden Hour.
City of Napa 

Hope this shows a different side to the Napa experience. Traveling with my camera exposes me to so much around me. (Pun intended!) Tomorrow I am off to explore with my great camera group. New name for group coming next time.





Week 1 of 52 in 2016 – My Project Starts

As the first week of 2016 comes to a close I embark on my new photographic project – one image each week posted here, on my Flickr site, and with my Facebook group, Sacramento Photographers. I plan to take most images during the week posted. Occasionally I will try a new processing technique to give a new look to an older photograph.  I like the Flickr group, Give us your best shot!  And that is what I plan to do!

The site of Dry Creek allows me to see changes with the seasons. This past weekend the weather was colder, and downed logs and debris was more visible.

Week 1 of 52 in 2016:

I see my journey starting here. A familiar place that changes over time.

Dry Creek after some rain

Hidden away I spotted these colorful fungi.

Fungi nestled in leaves
Fungi nestled in leaves

This moustacheiod giant sleeps soundly.

Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant

Delicate flower gone to seed. Wonder what it will look like in Spring?

Simply Complicated
Simply Complicated

A lonely tire swing reflects on its current dilemma.

Tire Swing Awaits Summer
Tire Swing Awaits Summer

I always see friends ready to pose for me!

Wild Bird Poses
Wild Bird Poses

I enjoy my photo outings!