Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Images

The other title to this post could easily be "I LOVE COLOR!" This entry is composed of just a few of the photos I snapped during ECCO's Thanksgiving Celebration and Artists' Creative Weekend, following.

1.  A Thanksgiving Turkey who didn't want his picture taken. I wonder if anyone recognizes who he is!                                                                                                            




2.  Another Thanksgiving Turkey, this one more cooperative and a sample of all those who graced ECCO's beautiful tables:

3.  Yet another turkey--created by turkey carver extraordinaire Michelle Lalev (who inherited the job from her mom a couple of years ago). This one she didn't have to carve, though. She just had to cut and place these colorful veggies. My photo doesn't do her creation justice.


4.  Last, and definitely least, is a photo I took of a bouquet I brought in for our Artists' Creative Weekend. I can't help it. I just LOVE COLOR, the more the better.




Friday, November 20, 2009

The Buckeye





























The above odd-looking shrub/tree is an Aesculus californica, a member of the HIPPOCASTANACEAE (Horse chestnut family). They're seen all over the central California area.

As it leafs out in the spring, its long, luxurious white flower fronds make a spectacular splash against the greening hills. Unfortunately it is one of the first plants to turn brown in early summer, losing its leaves. By late summer all that remains is what you see above:  bare branches with pendulous fruit, appearing akin to a strange, spare southwestern Christmas tree with ornaments.

In the past the California Buckeye seemed like an eyesore to me, but for some reason this season they are strangely appealing. And I'm not alone. Over the past few weeks I've noted a number of people pulled off, cameras in hand, capturing its image for posterity.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall Colors


I love color, the more the better.

It's not New England, but there's definitely fall color around here. Witness this photo, taken in Yosemite Lakes Park on November 16.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Unexpected

Of all the images you might expect to find on my photo blog, the one below isn't it.

When I moved to the mountain area, nearly 20 years ago, I promised myself two things:

1.  I would never live in Yosemite Lakes Park. I thought it was too "yuppie." Too suburban. Too "big city" playing at being country. I continued to hold that thought until I moved here in February. Now, 've got to admit, I really like it here, for a multitude of reasons. It's a great place to€ be.

2.  I would never live in a house that had a palm tree in the front yard. That promise bit the dust, too, and the photo above is the proof. The tree of which the above frond is a part sits square in the middle of the front yard, right by the walk leading to the front door. I'm not as crazy about the tree as I am about YLP, but I do like the photo!

I must learn never to say "never."


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yosemite Valley 10-5-09

We'd planned it for a week. We wanted to make one more trip over Tioga Pass across the Sierra Nevada to the Eastern Sierras to look for fall color, and we set the date for Monday, October 5. Wouldn't you know it? On Sunday, October 4, it rained and hailed in the foothills--and snowed in Yosemite at 5,000 feet and above. That closed both Glacier Point Road and Tioga Road until later in the day on Monday, too late for us to rush across and get back in time for me to be at work on Tuesday.

As we looked at the southern rim of the valley, it was still possible to see remnants of the snow that had fallen the day before on the rocks around Sentinel Rock.


















We ended up spending the morning in Yosemite Valley. It was coooolllllldddd and green. Very few of the trees have turned color yet, so I was able to find only a couple of specimens of fall splendor.


These are among the few Pacific Dogwood trees whose leaves have started to turn red, found along the Merced River on the trail from Happy Isles to Mirror Lake.




This was the only bed of "colored" leaves I could find, again on the trail between Happy Isles and Mirror Lake.

As many times as I've been in Yosemite Valley, it was the first time I'd ever walked that trail, right alongside the river. I was amazed that I'd never seen it before. It isn't at its most beautiful right now, but of course every season has its own beauty in Yosemite. There is no bad time to visit the Queen of National Parks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yosemite Valley Dogwood

For those who had any doubt, the Pacific Dogwood is one of my favorite flora forms, in all its formats.
I discovered this one just outside the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley last Tuesday, before I was knocked off my feet by a massive cold.

It was my pleasure to take part, with my new friend, Carolyn, in a photo walk sponsored by the Gallery and led by my friend Christine White Loberg. The walk is something I've promised myself for many moons, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.


Fall colors had not yet landed in Yosemite Valley, but it was beautiful, if water-free, nonetheless. But then, when isn't Yosemite beautiful?

Are you watching Ken Burns' National Parks series? I am, and I'm loving it.




Thursday, September 17, 2009

Those Eyelashes! It's not fair!

This is one of my good friends, who lives outside my house, naps in my flower bed and eats what few plants exist here. She hangs out with her two fawns and a few other friends, and I'm privileged to greet them often when I arrive home from work or play.