Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bodega Head - Pacific Coast

Ok, I'm finally done showing you Bodgea Head.  It's a place I truly can't get out of my head, nor would I want to.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bodega Head - Paths

The paths at Bodega Head are sandy, cut between many varieties of wildflowers and succulents. including ice plant, which has been a favorite of mine since I first saw them on the California coast in my childhood.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bodega Head - Hand-Holding

I might not recommend you take your four-year-old to Bodega Head, as it is a long way down, and there are no safety measures.  But frankly, that's part of the reason I like it there.  It's just a path set on cliffs, and with that comes a sense of adventure and dangerous beauty.  That, however, could be a little too dangerous for small children, so I recommend hand-holding at all times.  Grandpa did that for me, so I could take photographs, and Wyle was so good.  We explained the danger of falling off a cliff, and so she took it very seriously.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Secluded Beach

From Bodega Head you can spot secluded little stretches of beach.  How you get there, I don't know, but surely some enterprising residents of the area enjoy them on warmer days.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bodega Head

One of my favorite moments this summer was when we went to Bodega Bay.  It's a bit of a tradition to take a day trip there, to take in the stunning views from Bodega Head and eat an amazing seafood lunch.  It was Wyle's first time there and I loved watching her see something new - the Pacific Coast - for the first time.  She's never seen cliffs that hang over the ocean, beaten by the waves.  It was really special.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sea Gull

On many of my visits to my grandparents' home in California, we'd take a day trip to Bodega Bay.  I have such fond memories of it, mostly because it is wildly different than the East coast landscapes I grew up with.  It's frequently shrouded in fog, with seals loitering near the docked fishing boats.  The sea gulls, however, are just the same, no matter where you go, always looking for a handout near a restaurant.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

California Nights

After our time at Yosemite, my husband had to return to work, but Wyle and I stayed with Grandpa for another week.  You never know much time you've got with someone, and really, we had no reason to hurry home.  And I'm so glad we stayed.  It was Wyle's first time to Grandpa's house, where I would spend two weeks every summer when I was young.  It was so fun to see her learn to shoot a bow and arrow in the backyard, and to see her sleep in the same bed I did as a kid.  We went down to the swimming hole and fed the ducks in the park.  And the fair!  We were just in time for her first trip to the fair.  All the simple pleasures,  you know?  It all gave me a huge dose of nostalgia.  Especially just being in Grandpa's neighborhood.  All the neighbors know each other, even the mailman.  It seems so safe there, and so quiet.  Not what you might expect from California, but really, it has such a wholesome feel.  I took this shot of the neighborhood after dark.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Playing With Feathers

On the last two days of our stay in the Sierra Nevadas, we skipped Yosemite National Park proper to do some fishing in the nearby lakes.  At our first stop, all three of us limited out on trout in a manner of minutes, and that night, we ate very well.  At the next two stops we had poorer luck, and Wyle and I called it quits a few hours before the boys did.  She and I had fun wandering around this picnic area, and we collected quite a few feathers.  We spent the rest of our afternoon pretending to be birds.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Come See Me at the Wings and Wildlife Show

I'm pleased to announce I will be showing my photography as part of the The Wings & Wildlife Art Show at the National Aviary here in Pittsburgh.  This juried show and marketplace will include 34 artists working in paint, photography, jewelry, ceramics, wood, and more.

Opening Cocktail Party & Benefit Auction - Friday, November 4, 6-10 pm, tickets $100, with proceeds going to the aviary.  There will be cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for you to enjoy as you get the first opportunity to meet all the artists and bid on art as well as special avian encounters.  
All proceeds from sponsorships, auctions, and ticket sales benefit the National Aviary’s avian medicine, education, and conservation programs locally and internationally.  
Purchase your tickets here.
Ages 21+. Cocktail Attire. 

Public Art Show & Marketplace - November 5-6, 10am-5pm, included with aviary admission

Friday, October 14, 2016

Merced Sequoia Grove


Besides walking up to lower Yellowstone Falls, the only other hike we did was to the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias.  It was late in the afternoon - around 3:00, and there were just a couple of other folks out.  It's about a mile and a half to get there, on a really nice trail, but our little one was really starting to fade and needed to be carried the entire way.  Good thing my husband was up to the task.  There are so many places we go that we couldn't, if he wasn't willing to carry her on his shoulders.

These trees were worth the hike (even with a four-year-old).  They were really something to see.  Even our child was impressed.  I wish my pictures did them justice - they are really so much larger than they appear here.  And they reach higher than you can see.  There are just a a few trees, maybe 20 in total, and they are clustered together at the end of the trail, clearly standing out from all the other trees.It was a quiet, beautiful place.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Yosemite Wildflowers

We saw a few wildflowers in Yosemite during our July trip, including these lupine and columbine.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Glacier Point

This lookout, at Glacier Point, was perhaps my favorite spot in Yosemite.  To look down several thousand feet was awe-inspiring. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tenaya Lake

One of my favorite places in Yosemite National Park was Lake Tenaya.  We picnicked along its white sandy shores, and stayed around to play.  Wyle, of course, was drawn to the water.  I thought it would be frigid, and that she would quickly jump right back out.  I was wrong.   She daintily held up her shorts to begin with, but by the time we left she was soaked.  Typical.  She found a little boat someone had fashioned together out of driftwood, and took it into the water for a float.  That was sort of magical for her.  She asked to keep it, but we convinced her to leave it on the beach for someone else to find.

Grandpa got into the fun, being silly and trying to impress Wyle with this long piece of wood.  He made quite a circus act out of it, and delighted the audience (us). 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Half Dome

Here is a view of Half Dome, easily the most recognizable feature of Yosemite, from Leidig Meadow..

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Leidig Meadow

Right in the middle of the seasonal hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley is Leidig Meadow.  Here you can see deer or bear just a few feet from the paved walkways of the park.  On this afternoon, the sun was just glowing through these grasses, and I thought they were really beautiful, with the breeze pushing them this way and that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Yosemite Oaks

Grandpa picked us up from the train station in Sacramento, and we drove down our cabin near Yosemite National Park.  The first day, we drove around a lot, getting our bearings, and hiking just a little bit up to the lower level of Yosemite Falls.  

The next day, I joined a photography tour with the Ansel Adams gallery.  A resident photographer took us on a loop around the valley floor, stopping often to share some tips and giving us a little history of the park's famous advocate.  I highly recommend it.  It was nice to have some time dedicated to photography within our family vacation, and I found the information really enriched my experience there.  

This is one of the images I took on the tour, of the black oaks growing along the edge of a meadow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

As Time Goes By

Ok, this is the last of the train photos, but it may be my favorite.  We slow down so rarely (especially the little one).  This was a rare moment of repose, and while she may look bored, she's not.  Just enjoying a moment of relaxation.  And that was the real magic of the train trip - having the time to just slow down, without a million things vying for our attention.  It was just us, the scenery, and loads of time.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Things I Saw - Green Blur

Ok, last blurry shot from a train window.  I loved this one, though.  I was careful to catch the trees and bushes as we passed, and closed my shutter before any sky could creep in.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Things I Saw - Nevada Landscape

We woke to these lovely Nevada landscapes after our third night.  How familiar they felt, even after living back east for the past five years.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Things I Saw - Passing Train

Watching another train speed past you, just a few inches away, was a little bit disconcerting. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Things I Saw - Night Train

Of course, on a train, you see lots of other trains.  More passenger trains, coal trains, who-knows-what trains.  

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Things I Saw - Pulley Building

We passed many old buildings on our train trip, and it's pretty tough to get a photo as you are speeding by, but we stopped right next to this one and I was so glad we did.  It's a beautiful example of old Americana.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Things I Saw - Farmland

Some folks complain about driving through America's Heartland, because all you can see for miles and miles are the crops being grown.  But I love witnessing all the green, bursting from the earth, the product of so much labor, all for you and me.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Things I Saw - Twilight Puddle

This is probably my favorite image that I got, shooting from the window of the train.  But I had to set the ISO up so high that it is really grainy when you look closely.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Things I Saw - Street Light and Water Tower

We rolled to a stop in many towns, and sometimes out in the middle of nowhere.  That was always a signal to me to get my camera and see what I could see.  I usually try to tell you where I take a shot, but, dear readers, I confess I did not take notes and now I cannot remember where this was.  But I do remember just savoring the glow of the lights against the darkening sky.