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.

Vacation photo adventure

Time to share my photographs from the Island of Kauai. A first with my new Fuji cameras. I recently purchased a Fuji XT-2 with the following lenses. The wonderful 18-55mm proves to be an exceptional kit lens. I added the 10-24mm f4 for landscapes, and the 55-200mm for getting up close and personal with nature. My last purchase was the prime lens 35mm f1.4 for its low light capabilities, and small size. Armed with my Fuji x100F for street photography I was prepared for all occasions.

My goal was not to be hauling equipment that was too heavy to handle. I bought a Kipling bag that I modified with padding to keep my equipment protected.  I packed my lightweight Rick Steve’s backpack in my suitcase. I also purchased some inexpensive neoprene lens cases so that I can safely throw individual lenses into the backpack. I brought along my Mac Pro in its Think Tank Bag. I usually only travel with my iPad, but my friends planned to use their computers in the evenings. Anyway the Think Tank bag helped me stay organized during my travels.

The first day was one of travels, and we arrived at the Lihue Airport at about the same time. I travelled from Sacramento via Honolulu, and they left from San Jose via Maui.

My Fuji x100F was handy to grabbing this image of the tropical garden at the Honolulu Airport. It is a large, spread out airport, and I decided that on my return flight I would grab a cart for my carryon luggage. 

Taking off from Honolulu
Boarding plane to take me to Lihue, Kauai
Luggage arrives, and so do my friends

We unload our stuff at the condo, and head out in search of food. Dinner and then a quick trip to Safeway to get provisions for our stay. Tomorrow we plan to get an early start for a full day of exploring!


 

Quick Get-Away to the Coast

A four day weekend presented itself last week, and my husband suggested a trip to the coast. Libby visited her friends at Carly’s, Alyssa went to her Mom’s and we were left to decide where to go.

Pacific Grove was fully booked, so I looked to Half Moon Bay and booked our accommodations. I last visited Half Moon Bay (HMB) 20 years ago. There we celebrated Joshua and Annie’s wedding on the beach. And exactly 20 years ago we also celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday. With those two celebrations I did not visit the surrounding area so this would be a new adventure.

Got an early start, and stopped for breakfast in Davis. Solomon’s Deli beckoned us.

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Travel should take about two hours, but unfortunately this was Fleet Week and traffic was tough getting through San Francisco. No problem. David brought along cds of rare Doo-Wops, and we only had to figure out what lane to stay in to pay cash on the Bay Bridge. Seems like other travelers were having the same problem with lane switching going on. We let this stranded car ahead of us, and when we got to to toll we were told the driver had paid for us. Nice!

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Bored with traffic delays so I got out my camera and had some fun with my camera. At home I played around just a bit with Luminar 2018.

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Yerba Buena Island Tunnel

Montara State Beach was the first beach we stopped at.

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Found this rock left in memory

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Single perfect California Poppy

Arriving in HMB we found our hotel, and with nice weather, a balcony overlooking the golf course I sat outside and read.  Currently I am reading Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. Her words hit the paper beautifully. Drawn in slowly. Hints of a more powerful meaning are quietly dropped. I’m taking my time reading this novel.

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View from our balcony

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A swing and a hit

Explored the Main Street checking out the shops. Used my Fuji x100F for the street shots.

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Main Street in historic Half Moon Bay

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Since 1898. Imagine!

It is obvious that this town is gearing up for the big Pumpkin Festival happening next weekend. Glad we decided to beat the crowds. Plenty of orange happening.

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Sam’s Chowder House was our dining destination. Ordered New England Chowder, and a Lobster Roll to share. Added a glass of wine and Key Lime Pie for dessert. So good!

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Such a great day on the coast. Part 2 – coming soon! Tomorrow I’m off with my friends and camera.