Sunflowers, Art, and Agriculture in Yolo County

Yolo County opens its farms up to local artists monthly. The last time I took advantage of this event was in July of 2019. Part of the fun of photography is seeing new places, and part is sharing the experience. I finally felt like I could share the experience with one friend, and so we headed out. This was the last part of June, and I was feeling like pushing aside CoVid 19 just a bit.

Sunflowers are showing up all over Yolo county, and there was a field on the Harrison Farm. Not the tallest flowers, not so spectacular, but I was traveling with my Fuji xt2 and my 80mm 2.8 macro lens. The weather was just perfect. With macro photography, even the slightest movement can look like a big magnified blur. Usually, I have experienced a gale-force wind creeps up just as I take out my macro lens. Not this time!

Lots of bees around sunflowers.
Such a flirty face
One amongst many

This Thursday in the last part of June I didn’t expect a large turnout. But I guess others felt the same, and there I was social distancing from a nice group of artists.

Traffic duty. Each car was carefully check in and she explained the guidelines.

Many uses for this pond. The ripples reminds me of an impressionist’s painting inspiration. The rope swings looks like fun. And the kayak and fishing poles is someone’s idea of a relaxing afternoon.

We each tried to capture our selfie wearing our protective CoVid masks.

On this day I carried my Fuji xt2 with three lenses. I heard there were sheep here, and I wanted to grab some animal photographs. Well, the sheep were resting in the corner shaded area. I wanted and finally one ventured out to eat.

Using my xf 55-200 lens I caught this little cutie.
Back in the shady side of the barn
Plein Air artist starting on his canvas
I appreciate the two red barns using my camera
I like the way this gate frames the image.

I wandered around the flower garden for these next photos.

These next images represent still life on the farm.

Backlit lighting on the walnut tree.
Someday I may be found in some baklava. That would be yummy!
Walnut trees. Careful. Drip irrigation leads to muddy sandals.
Pulling away from the walnut orchard was this fire engine kicking up a lot of dirt.

So ends this months Yolo Art & Ag event to the Harrison Farm. Looking forward to my next outing.

Bodega Bay – Off to the Coast

I love the sound of crashing waves. Didn’t think about it much, but once I heard it I felt like taking in all the salty air. A bunch of photographers headed out to Bodega Bay a couple of weekends ago to remember Greg Morris. Bodega Bay played a funny sort of part in his life. A year ago along with other photographers, Greg had a misadventure in Bodega Bay. He ended up with a feral cat. Greg saw a cat in need, and couldn’t say no. Enough said.

Two hours west of Sacramento we entered the town of Bodega.

Town of Bodega proudly shows off its connection to Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock set his film, The Birds on the Sonoma coast and used Bodega and Bodega Bay. Stopping at The Bodega Country Store we are greeted outside by Alfred Hitchcock. It felt like scenes from The Birds with all the memorabilia displayed. The St.Teresa of Avila Catholic Church located down the block was featured in the movie.  Since it was a Sunday, the church parking lot was full, and I didn’t get the landmark shot.

Meeting up with Greg’s friends and family we reminisced, took a group photo, and made our way to Goat Rock Beach,  the acquisition site of said feral cat.  Memorial came together and we each said good bye to a good friend.

We set up this memorial site on Goat Rock Beach

Goat Rock Beach cloaked in a layer of fog.

Earth moving machine left to rust on the beach.

I see all kinds of creatures scurrying up the beach

View of Goat Rock Head

Look out! Waves are coming.

All the colors of the Pacific Ocean

Face splashed. Can you see it?

Something about the rock’s surface caught my eye.

This Sea Gull posed for my camera

After lunch we drive to another part of Bodega Bay. This beach had a different look to it.

Staircase down to Bodega Head Beach. Sand washed away with much rain this winter making the staircase wobble. Beautiful ice plants on the side.

A view of beautiful Bodega Head Beach

Mussels all around

The plant life gives color to the rocky shore

Plant life on the California coast. Growing in the beach sand appears this daisy like flower. Do you know the name of this plant. Leaves remind me of Lamb’s Ear.

Sea Gulls. Couldn’t help it! At least it was not crows. Thank goodness.

I am mesmerized by the crashing waves.

A view of beautiful Bodega Head Beach

I love the textures, splash of color, and patterns found on Bodega Head Beach.

Later in the day looking down on the Bodega Head Beach. Gorgeous!

Ice plants in the foreground, Sonoma coast heading north as far as the eye can see.

We head home as the light is leaving us, and look for places to stop along the way.

Different layers of green enhance the landscape.

Pulled off to the side of the road to capture this idyllic farm scene. Fog moving in from the coast.

More impressive than the sunset is the fog rolling in from the coast.

I so enjoyed my time on the Sonoma coast. I took this trip three weeks ago, and it takes me  some time to post this adventure. Maybe I need the time to process in my mind how I feel about my images. Friends of mine get their images up online, sometimes before I even get home. Do I need to work faster? I think that would be too much like a job, and not an act of fun. Still pondering and looking for a workflow that meets my needs, yet keeps the interest of my readers. Toying with the idea of starting a “Sneak Peak” short post, followed by a more complete one.

We shall see. All I know is that I enjoy getting out and seeing new things with my camera along for the ride.





Off to Apple Hill

Apple Hill, located midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, is the destination for my adventure with my Senior Photo Friends.

There is a direct route to Apple Hill. Get on Highway 50 (east). Get off at Apple Hill exits. But when I travel with my friends we meander and find interesting spots. Quiet spot and crisp air signals a change in seasons.

Autumn alond the American River
Autumn along the American River

The stillness of the river provides a perfect opportunity for this yellow kayak.

Kayak reflecting
Kayak reflecting

Sailor Bar on the American River
Sailor Bar on the American River

Great textures on this tree
Great textures on this tree

Apple Hill supports many family orchards, wineries, and farms. At this time of year pumpkins abound, and all things apple are available. In the past, I brought my kids up to a U-Pick farm. On other occasions, my dog Libby joined me for a day in the country. Today, my camera set my focus.

Apple Orchard
Apple Orchard

These three will not end up in an Apple Pie, Walking Pie, or Caramel Apple. I like the texture and warm colors.

Apples Three
Apples Three

Pumpkin patch located at the Boa Vista Orchards.

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, Pumpkin

The Larsen Apple Barn is one of my favorite spots for photography. This water wheel provides an interesting setting. This year there is no water. Drought is making its point here in Northern California.

Water Wheel found at Larsen Apple Barn
Water Wheel found at Larsen Apple Barn

With this photograph I tried my hand at HDR (High Dynamic Range). I also used Topaz Detail to process this image.

Larsen's Apple Barm Water Wheel
Larsen’s Apple Barm Water Wheel

I love the colors in this photograph. When I take a photograph I often look up additional information. In this case, I wanted to find out more about this colorful flower. This flower Gaillardia, or Blanket flower is a good choice for hot, drought conditions. This perennial is related to the Sunflower family and attracts butterflies, and bees.

Bees attracted to the Blanket Flower
Bees attracted to the Blanket Flower

Red Hot Poker attracts bees
Red Hot Poker attracts bees

The area behind the museum at Larsen’s Apple Barn provided great photo possibilities. Love the front of this old truck. Can’t help but see a face with lots of character.

Old Chevrolet
Old Chevrolet

Another old farm vehicle that I photographed and processed using HDR.

Farm Machinery
Farm Machinery

Late afternoon shadows captured.

Wheel and Shadow
Wheel and Shadow

Not a “Selfie”, but you can tell I was there!

Me and My Shadow
Me and My Shadow

Just liked the way this composition spoke to me.

Animal-Like Abstract
Animal-Like Abstract

At the ranch with my friends
At the ranch with my friends

We ended our day at the High Hill Ranch where many crafters were selling their art work.

Apple Hill is very busy on the weekends with more farms open, crafts sold, and wine tasted. I enjoyed the less hectic time to get out and take photos.