Summer is here, looking for chill in Petaluma

Camera Totin’ Tuesday folks are looking to get out of the Sacramento heat. Petaluma is located south west of Sacramento, and less than 2 hours away. The day we visited the weather did not disappoint.

Founded in 1858 Petaluma makes an effort to maintain a mid-19th century charm. Located on the Petaluma River and close to the Bay area, Petaluma provided locally grown food to San Francisco and Oakland starting during the Gold Rush. Today, it can serve as a jumping off spot in Sonoma County. Close to the coast of Point Reyes, 30 minutes outside of the Bay Area, and near Napa and there is plenty to photograph is this town.

The Petaluma River provided easy access to transport goods to the coast. Today, it serves as a focal point for the town’s center.


Bridge over the Petaluma River



Decaying pier no longer supports train tracks.

The Free Public Library building is filled with such classic details. This library built in 1904 with money donated by Andrew Carnegie is one of over 1600 library buildings constructed in the United States between 1886-1919. The town had to come up with money for books, salaries, and maintenance. Born poor, Carnegie was denied use of a public library because he couldn’t afford the $2.00 library card. He proclaimed “Free Public Library” on the front of this building to show that all could make use of the facility. Carnegie understood that access to information improves a person’s ability to better oneself.

Philanthropist  Andrew Carnegie gave away 90% of his wealth.”The man who dies rich dies in disgrace,” Carnegie said. In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves,” he wrote.


The buildings are impressive. I photographed this one in Eureka, California. Many serve another purpose now such as museums, and community centers. As a retired librarian, I hope that these buildings continue to serve the public need for information.


The McNears were part of Petaluma history



Brick wall with window capture my attention


Time out for a tune!


Small town main street today


Green Tower Clock


Display Window of a music store

Lunch was enjoyed at The New Yorker Pizza & Restaurant.  I’m always on the lookout for “New York Pizza”. Though this time I enjoyed the meatball hero. Afterward we wondered into the Shutterbug Camera Store. Money was safely tucked away. This time.


Faded sign on side of building


Spider makes a home


One of many Victorian Era houses


Arch and picket fence detail draws me in


Always looking for signs. So polite!


Bee sure is enjoying a drink


Bee has moved on. What is this flower called? Be Gone!


Soft purple frilly flower. Do you know the name?


Love the lighting on this pretty coral rose. I do know the general name.


He loves me. He loves me not? He loves me!

There are many churches in Petaluma. Taking a walking tour we came across a church on nearly every block.


Stain Glass found in St. Vincent de Paul Church


Abstract lines


A friendly, portable tripod

We ended our walk around town. Taking in the architecture, nature, and friendly spirit of my photo buddies. Good bye Petaluma. May be back again.


Life at the Sacramento Historic Cemetery

The Sacramento Historic Cemetery is a great place to visit throughout the year. The changing foliage adds to the visitors experience.

Recently a controversy arose regarding the “historic” title of these grounds. It seems that some want to remove anything that was not in the original design of the cemetery.  Specifically, the City Counsel wants to remove the Historic Rose Garden. I spoke to one person and I was informed that plans to remove roses and trellises was underway. She explained that this would be disappointing to many visitors who travel here to see historic roses. I looked around and imagined the surroundings without the flowers.


The first blooms of the season done, and to encourage new ones they were dead-heading the bushes. The morning that my Camera Totin’ Tuesday group arrived I saw many volunteers busy pruning the roses.


Volunteers are given instruction on how to best prune the roses.


This is such a special place. History, nature and architecture combine. Today, nature seemed to be my focus.



Using my Macro Lens to get close-up


Iceland Poppies


I like how the blue flower plays off the red and yellow blurs


Capturing some nectar


Petals spread out


Carpenter Bee stopping for a drink


Pretty, but I’m not sure what this purple flower is called. Do you?


Wheel Barrows in a Row


Daylily in such a bright color


Lots of bees out today


An Iris in soft purple


So many textures



Gazanias spread out


Hornet visits pink flower. Not familiar with this one. Anyone?


This rose bud is one of my favorite colors.

This place is special and the gravestones are surrounded by beauty. I hope you enjoyed my little tour.


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.