Saturday, December 10

Happy Accident on the Carrizo Plain

When I told a friend that I was heading to Carrizo Plain with a birder, she asked if I made bird photographs. Not me, I said. I am not equipped with the gear or patience to make a practice of capturing birds in pixels.

But every so often, life hands you an opportunity that works. So here is my best bird photo ever (and that probably applies to future endeavors, too).

When we first encountered this red tail hawk (Nan identified it), it was perched on a fence post smack in front of us. It was patient and posed while I grabbed my camera and adjusted the exposure settings.

Oh yeah, shooting through the windshield in autofocus does not work.

Manual focus worked but don't look too close as focus is not my strong suit. Besides the hawk had given up posing for me and returned to the business of scanning the landscape for dinner.

Shortly after that, something spooked the hawk and it took off then settled down just left of the car. Just outside my window! I quickly snapped off a few frames (checking the focus as I went) and magically caught some good ones. Please - click the panel for a better view.
What a happy send-off from the Carrizo Plain.

Thursday, December 8

From The Basin Through The Valleys To The Plain

Up San Marcos Pass to the overlook and this sharp-eyed California grizzly among poppies.

Pause at Bradbury Dam to examine Lake Cachuma. The water level is troubling - so low.

But, on this autumn morning, green promise in the oak landscape.

Down into Los Alamos Valley, we hurried to lunch then sped off across the Santa Ynez Valley.

We drove Tepusquet Road both ways before turning toward Santa Maria Valley.

Does Tepusquet come from the Spanish "tepuzque" (in English "tease").

Tomorrow, Carrizo Plain.

Thursday, September 15

The Winstons and the Moon

On Winston Ridge
Alison and I went out for a walk. We were looking for a bit of weekday conditioning and originally thought about Mt. Baldy but circumstances led us to adjust our aspiration. I had lately been introduced to the charms of Winston Peak and Winston Ridge so we went there instead.

Here are some of my photos from that afternoon hike.

Not on the Backbone Trail but...
We walked out to the Ridge first and dawdled over lunch so that we got the great afternoon into evening light on our walk back.

Hardscape and ephemera

Inspired by Steve Anderson of
backlighting renown

A nice shot of Alison creating a masterpiece in the sunset glow.

Lunar work in progress.
Thanks to the Meanderthals in general and Don Siminski in particular for introducing me to the Winstons. Don encouraged me to hike to the summit as our morning hike wound down. I proceeded with a few others who turned off on a logging road short of the top. What I found was a beautiful boulder-laden summit, fairly broad and so inviting.  I'm looking forward to visiting again in the winter and especially in the spring.

Thursday, September 8

In the Patriarch Grove

Saturday evening was beautiful high in the Patriarch Grove.

Saturday, August 20

First Frames At Home On Cashio Street

When I am being a responsible photographer preparing for an outing or another occasion that will generate a lot of photo files, I charge all my camera batteries, clear my memory and reformat my disks. It feels good to start fresh.

But I find that empty space in a camera is a vacuum. Photos want to rush in so I am compelled to snap the shutter. Here now!
When I am lucky, there is nice light in front of me and a tidy counter or something interesting on the refrigerator door.
The images in this collection are some of those casual, spur of the moment, homely snaps.
In truth, I like to have that comfortable image at the front of my memory, literally a home base.
Home is the spot where, when the new shots run out, I find comfort in the familiar. It's a happy place.

Tuesday, June 7

Compost Composition

That cabbage and peony arrangement from my May 29th post looks good even on the compost pile.

Sunday, May 29


Last weekend, there was an event at my place that called for a table-top shooting studio and flowers. And so all week, I've been able to take advantage of the "May gray" light coming from my north window with flowers in the studio.
This morning I met the arrangement you see at the top and this afternoon, I've been experimenting with various details.

Could it be Rorschachian? What do you see when you look into the peony?