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.

Waiting for the Sun to Set

My friend Anne and I headed to the American River to catch a sunset. The forecast predicted a storm approaching, and we changed our usual Tuesday shoot for Monday afternoon. Hoping for  some good clouds, and a brilliant sunset we found our way to Negro Bar off of Lake Natoma.

Calmly grooming duck

Calmly grooming duck

Quick drink from the lake

Quick drink from the lake

Why are you looking at me?

Why are you looking at me?

At this popular spot I saw kayaks, paddle boats, motor boats, and canoes launched. People were out for some exercise, dreaming of catching the “big” one, and getting closer to nature.

Complementary Kayaks

Complementary Kayaks

Out for some exercise on his paddle boat

Out for some exercise on his paddle boat

Kayaker on Lake Natoma in the late afternoon.

Kayaker on Lake Natoma in the late afternoon.

What surprised me is that I didn’t see many using life vests. The American River looks calm, but the river bottom is uneven. Debris and cold water temperatures play a part in many drownings that make the news here in Sacramento. It saddens me when I read about these events. Strong swimmers lulled into a false sense of ability against mother nature should take notice.

The Lake was calm, and the reflections grabbed my attention.

Colors of Autumn Reflected

Colors of Autumn Reflected

Sacramento is experiencing some beautiful fall colors. I like to capture them before the heavy rains start (hopefully).

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Two Bridges: Lake Natoma Crossing and Rainbow Bridge

Two Bridges: Lake Natoma Crossing and Rainbow Bridge

Great to be out just before sunset. Photographers know this as the “Golden Hour”. This photo makes the point!

Lake Natoma Crossing in Autumn Afternoon

Lake Natoma Crossing in Autumn Afternoon

Golden Hour Reflected

Golden Hour Reflected

This evening the desired magnificent sunset did not materialized, but I love the colors on this image. Hope you agree.

 

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.