Capay Valley Welcomes Photographers

Day started with a down pour, and so we postponed the start of our Tuesday photoshoot. Rained seemed to let up. Thought that if it stopped our photos would benefit from good saturation of color, and puddle reflections. Anne and I started off. We thought that the rain was right since we didn’t have Greg along.

Karen lives in Woodland, and she joins our Tuesday group. She is our guide to the Capay Valley. Our first stop is Esparto.

I can tell that there is a feeling of community in this town.

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Art students create mural for town

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Esparto shows its pride

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Tree bark feels like paper

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Veteran’s Memorial in Esparto behind Road Trip

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Gas Station Repurposed

The rain ended. Headed into the Capay Valley. This agricultural area located north of Woodland is known for the annual Almond Festival in February. This tradition started in 1915. Small and mid sized farms dot the road. Organic and farm fresh sign greet you.

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Newly planted green field surround farm house

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Fertile land meets the hills

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Giant  Grain Silos

Rain left and the sun tried to make an appearance. Bright green complemented the cloudy sky.

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Love the clouds

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The sun hits for a moment and the grass sparkles

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Cache Creek

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation governs the newly developed Cache Creek Casino Resort. Started in 1985 and called Cache Creek Indian Bingo. This is the largest employer in the area.

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Enjoyed the view from the Cache Creek Golf Course

 

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Tree in Winter

Heading home from this short outing. There is still more to explore in the Capay Valley. Things will look different in a couple of weeks when trees will be blossoming. I’ll be back.

Karen warned us that we would see something odd around the bend. Didn’t expect to see a  Helicopter Bus. This is the best photo I could get, but I needed to capture this. I wonder what is the story behind this vehicle. Looks like the propellor was placed on top of this bus. But why?

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What? Seeing is believing!

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My puddle picture

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Clouds and a Great Tree on this rural road

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The sun sets on an orchard

My photo journey for Tuesday is done. My friends and I are working on a new name for our group. To be decided next week. I had a great day!

 

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.

 

Mono Lake Tufas inspire me to try new photo processing techniques

Mono Lake is an ancient  65 square miles lake located 13 miles east of Yosemite National Park. It has no outlet, and continues to become increasingly salty. Amazing limestone rock formations called tufas form from fresh water springs interacting with alkaline lake water.

Mono Lake Tufas

Mono Lake Tufas

Tufa spires start underwater. Thirty foot formations become more visible as the lake levels decrease due to water diversions to Southern California.

Tufa Watches Over Mono Lake

Tufa Watches Over Mono Lake

In 1994 the State Water Resource Control Board in an effort to protect Mono Lake set limits on amount of water that could be diverted.

Gently Floating Along

Gently Floating Along

All kind of objects spring to mind when I look at a tufa rock formation.

Kissing Lambs

Kissing Lambs

It is so easy to imagine faces, and animals.

Animal Look-A-Like Tufa

Animal Look-A-Like Tufa

Serious Tufa

Serious Tufa

I spend time in the late afternoon watching birds around the lake. Some nest on the tufa. Later I photograph a sunset on the South Tufa side of Mono Lake.

Sunset over Tufas

Sunset over Tufas

Tufa Sunset

Tufa Sunset

Dramatic Sunset Over Mono Lake

Dramatic Sunset Over Mono Lake

Getting up early provides photographic rewards.

Sunrise Over Mono Lake

Sunrise Over Mono Lake

Summer Sunrise Over Watchful Tufas

Summer Sunrise Over Watchful Tufas

Early Morning at Mono Lake

Early Morning at Mono Lake

The tufas on Mono Lake are somewhat other worldly, and my photo processing skills felt free to experiment. I used Adobe Lightroom 5.7, Photomatrix Pro 5 and Topaz Plug-Ins: Detail and Adjust.

I semi reluctantly returned to Bodie and Mono Lake with my photography friends Anne and Laura.  My first experience had been clouded by altitude sickness. I am so glad that I set aside my trepidations and I came away with some good photographic memories. Note to self, always set aside initial reservations, and get out and make new memories.

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Exploring the Island of Maui

North of Ka’anapali the road narrows, and ends up as one lane. There are rules to take care of the situation when two vehicles meet: the car heading uphill has the right of passage, and the other car or SUV needs to back up. This gets pretty tricky on these curvy roads along the cliffs. Faith in the driver is a must, and the views are worth it.

Tiny Baby Pineapple. So Cute!

Tiny Baby Pineapple. So Cute!

Kapalua Coast

Kapalua Coast

Powerful waves along the Kapalua Coast

Powerful waves along the Kapalua Coast

Kapalua Coast provides good snorkling opportunities

Kapalua Coast provides good snorkling opportunities

I see a face. Do you?

I see a face. Do you?

Lone Pine Tree

Lone Pine Tree

Stopping along the way I could see tourists snorkeling, and traveling on mopeds. Julia’s, a vendor located along the northern coast is mentioned in my tourbook as a “must see” experience. The best banana bread in the world, coconut candy that is very addictive. I hope I didn’t lose her card because the tourbook is right. I am not fond of coconut, but this dried and sweetened candy is hard to pass up.

Tourists on mopeds. May be a better way to manuever on narrow road.

Tourists on mopeds. May be a better way to manuever on narrow road.

Worth the trip! Coconut candy. Yum!

Worth the trip! Coconut candy. Yum!

Julia has been serving travelers for many years!

Julia has served travelers for many years!

Throughout my travel on the Island I want to include people in my photos. In Lahaina there is a Banyan tree that takes up the entire plaza. Here is a great place to people watch, and I did just that.

Banyan Tree in Lahaina takes up the entire plaza.

Banyan Tree in Lahaina takes up the entire plaza.

Some left their mark on the roots of the Banyan Tree.

Some left their mark on the roots of the Banyan Tree.

Walking along the touristy street I want to see art work created here. I didn’t want any souvenirs made overseas. I saw a turtule made locally, but I passed up the opportunity, and later could not find it. So tee shirts it would be.

Trinket shops for tourists.

Trinket shops for tourists.

Local street artist at work

Local street artist at work

Lahaina

Lahaina

Iao Valley is beautiful and peaceful now, but it is the scene of a violent past.

Approaching the Iao Needle

Approaching the Iao Needle

Going up to get a closer look at the Iao Needle

Going up to get a closer look at the Iao Needle

Higher and higher

Higher and higher

Iao Needle

Iao Needle

Cooling off in Iao Valley

Cooling off in Iao Valley

Luau entertainment provides a look into Hawaiian history and some good images as well.

Royal Lahaina Luau Master of Ceremonies

Royal Lahaina Luau Master of Ceremonies

Royal Lahaina Luau capture on cell.

Royal Lahaina Luau

Luau Entertainers

Luau Entertainers

Entertainers

Entertainers

Entertainer

Entertainer

Don’t know if you can call it street photography if the locale is the beach, but I do.

Enjoying the warm water

Enjoying the warm water

Beautiful Ka'anapali Beach goes on and on

Beautiful Ka’anapali Beach goes on and on

My footprints in the sand!

My footprints in the sand!

Water Shadow. Proof I was in the water!

Water Shadow. Proof I was in the water!

Enjoying the beach. Love the color. Love the clouds.

Enjoying the beach. Love the color. Love the clouds.

A Look at the Beach

A Look at the Beach

A sunset cruise complete with whale sighting ends our vacation.

Sunset Cruise on cattamoran.

Sunset Cruise on catamaran.

 I captured a whale in this photograph. You need to look closely. It's there swimming with some buddies.

I captured a whale in this photograph. You need to look closely. It’s there swimming with some buddies.

Sunset Cruise complete with sunset!

Sunset Cruise complete with sunset!

 

Many ways to get around Maui

Many ways to get around Maui

Always remember to appreciate what you have in life!

Always remember to appreciate what you have in life!

Vacation over, homeward bound!

Vacation over, homeward bound!

Arrive home, and Sacramento happy with my dog Libby!