Dr Marm never without my Nikon!

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Lensbaby Fun!

Haven’t really dedicated much time for my Lensbaby lately, so this week made a point of doing just that.

Visited the American River Parkway and caught a few views…

Road less traveled

In California, we are falling into Winter and signs are everywhere…

Piles of leaves

A Winter Tree with a majestic blue sky background

Empty Tree

Visited Old Town Sacramento this week and switched to my Composer with Double Glass and a Star Aperture.  This aperture makes single points of light into a “star” which seemed fitting for the holidays.  Yes, I do know too much of one thing can be overkill, but let’s just say I had a happy reunion with my Lensbaby!

One of my favorite aspects is how the mundane can be turned into magic…a view from the passenger side.

Shotgun!

This is just the lights from cars on Interstate 80…kinda fun view, IMHO!

Actually a view from inside Joe's Crab Shack

Any point of lights will shift with this aperture.

A view from an Old Town window…

Reflecting Light

One last view of a more traditional source!

A bit in Focus

Hope your holidays are merry and bright and filled with those you love!

Fall Finds in Apple Hill

Just about an hour up the hill from Sacramento lies many apple orchards and vineyards, fondly known as “Apple Hill.”  Was thrilled to find some latent fall colors on a trip just before Thanksgiving.

Still needs time to change

Love to take the back roads and enjoy the views…stopped by to catch this row of colors…managed to get it without trespassing–so would have liked a closer view, but had to respect the gate. Figured, I wouldn’t want folks traipsing down my driveway.

In a line

Must confess–not a pano, just cropped from the original view…

Darn long driveway

This is the invitation to stop and take a moment to relax and enjoy!

Table for Four

Also stopped at Boeger Vineyard to enjoy their grounds. Lovely views of the last of fall.

Remnants of rain

The last few

Many folks just come to picnic and enjoy the views.

Reflections

Love the sense of humor…although I didn’t see any puppies ready to be thrust upon unsuspecting parents. Maybe they are in the back?

Sign me up!

Looking forward already to the blossoms of spring!

Winter Frolic at Lake Tahoe

Last weekend had the wonderful trip to the North shore of Lake Tahoe, at Incline Village. In order to get there from Sacramento, there are a few mountain passes–there were chain requirements as I looked at the forecast–but decided to brave the elements. My new Ford Escape 4WD did great–no chains were needed!

With snowy passes, I hoped a shed I had photographed 6 years ago would still be standing–and it was!  You need to know where to look for it, as it is nestled in the trees and a bit off the road. Winter is the easiest time to view it.

1.8 miles from Northstar entrance

Passed these trees on the way to the lake and had to come back for a closer look.

A little holiday cheer!

Frozen in Time

The best thing about storms are when they are coming and going.  This image was taken on the highway to Mt. Rose, almost 8,000 feet elevation.

Cloud height

Missed a day of shooting due to a migraine, but did venture outside to a place about a mile up the road from the condo.  Actually, the vantage point is the parking lot of the Ski resort, Diamond Peak. Found the creek the day before and knew I wanted to visit near sunset.

Quiet and still

This was the best surprise of the day. I turned around and there was an unexpected find…

Setting Sun

I had to make sure that my car was hidden behind the branches, cause I knew I didn’t have time to go move it!

One thing I know, I am really enjoying shooting snowy locations and winter is just starting, so I am hopeful to have more treks to the snow:)

Fall In Yosemite

Reflection View

Visiting Yosemite National Park is a treat.  This year, I have a National Park Pass that I plan on enjoying to the fullest–the inaugural trip was a one day trek with our local Meetup Group. 6a.m. to Midnight is worth it!

There were still patches of fall colors and the reflections were stunning.  Not a cloud in the sky–so had to be a little creative.

Spotlight of Sun

One of the secrets of Yosemite is Fern Springs, located in the Valley and just a small pullout area to park.  Photographers know where and what it is–the smallest waterfall in Yosemite–6 inches for each step.  This visit was before all the leaves filled the spring, so a reflection of the towering trees was visible.  Fall colors are delightful and in spring–the Dogwoods are blooming.  The next two photos were taken the next weekend–you can see the difference a few days and even 24 hours can make!

Surrounded by Trees

Filled with Fall

No reflections visible now!

And a bit of snow…this view was shared in my previous post as well.

Less than 24 hours later...a magical view!

A favorite spot of mine ( and many, I am sure!) is across the road from Fern Spring along the Merced River…

Framed by Fall

Merced River

Merced River Flowing

An advantage of being a passenger–is having your camera at the window.  Just seems like Fall flew by to me!

Window shooting!

A few trees are ready for winter…

Bare Trees

Yosemite–Winter Wonderland

Had the pleasure to spend two Saturdays in Yosemite the past 2 weekends.

These views are from the past weekend. Normally, my posts are in chronological order–but snow in such a majestic locale trumped the Fall pictures from the weekend before.

Folks say that if you want to get shots of snow in Yosemite, you need to be there when it snows, or it will melt.  I was fortunate to be in El Portal, about 2 miles from the entrance on Highway 140.  Didn’t plan on going back into the park on Sunday, but once I saw the snow dusted hills at 2,000 plus feet, I hoped there would be more at 4,000 plus feet, in Yosemite Valley. 20 minutes later, I was in awe of the beauty surrounding me.

For these shots of El Capitan, I trudged across a snow-covered field and tiptoed through slippery rocks in a creek. I planned on getting wet, because I knew the shot I wanted would require me being low to the ground. Had on rain boots and rain pants, so the rest of me stayed dry. (But cold!)  Kudos to Gary Hart and his daughter, Ashley–who let me follow in their snowy footprints. Going to a remote area with risky terrain alone, would not have been smart.  Would not have gotten these by myself!  To view amazing images, see Gary’s website: http://www.eloquentimages.com and his blog at http://www.eloquentnature.com.

Zooming with my 70-200mm

Sunshine appears

These two views, are similar–but I like them both and couldn’t decide which one to share!

Snowy rock floor

Little more clouds...

One of the most famous locations, is the shot from Tunnel View…a photographers paradise!

Few dedicated togs shooting Tunnel View

I stayed here for about 30 minutes. The valley would get covered in fog and then the skies would clear–just amazing to watch the transformations and the variations that appeared!

Rolling Fog

More blue skies

A favorite location for photographers and less populated than the more iconic views is Fern Spring.  This is the smallest waterfall in Yosemite–about 6 inches for each step.

Fall still present

One last view, showing the battle between the seasons…

Glimpse of Fall

This year, I invested in a National Park Pass. Have 11 more months to enjoy visiting our National beauties.  Hoping to visit Yosemite again in December:)  More winter scenes to share.

Morro Bay Visit

Having survived the boredom of I-5 on the way to LA, decided to opt for the coastal route on our return.  Much more scenic and we detoured to Morro Bay.  Morro Bay is know for a huge rock, just next to the coast, aptly named–Morro Rock.  This is actually a “volcanic plug” and reaches 581 feet in height–according to Wikipedia.

All is Calm

Much to do on the water to enjoy the bay.

Wanna go for a ride?

A sailboat sailing by…

Sailing

Bon Voyage

What is a blog for me–without a few views from my Lensbaby?  These were taken with the Sweet 35 Optic.

Small Blur

I couldn’t resist this iconic shot!

Wrapped Around

Look forward to sharing more in the future!

Huntington Beach and Sunset Views

Made a whirlwind trip to LA the first week in October to visit family.

Thanks to Andy Brooks for driving through the storm from heck!  Not fun to be deluged by pouring rain and then hit an area of construction on I-5 only to have mud splash across the windshield.  But we made it safely.

We were rewarded with a wonderful clear sky for sunset on Wednesday night and headed to Sunset Beach.  Although, not a sunset shot–this was my favorite from that evening. (Lensbaby view!)

After sunset via Lensbaby Sweet 35 Optic

We did find a few minutes to visit Seal Beach…

Surf's Up and Head's Up

Leave only Footprints...

Soaring

The following evening, we met up with a friend from Facebook.  Have been enjoying Jeff Scott’s images and originally connected with him through his cousin, Pat–fondly known as Scooter from our Girl Scout Camp days at Camp Mountain Meadows.  It was a pleasure to meet and shoot in person!  Here are a few of the views.

I had put a request in for clouds–but none were to be found in this direction.

Arm in Arm

Still hitting the Waves at Dusk

Sunset View

Did have a good laugh at myself that evening when I saw the shots Jeff shared on Facebook.  We met at the Huntington Beach Pier…have seen many shots from Jeff near this locale.  Since the setting sun location was not in alignment from underneath the pier–I wanted it at the end…decided not to try and get the pier.  So, Andy and I were shooting the sunset on the North side of the pier.  Jeff—was shooting from the South side and got tremendous shots of the sunset with the pier in it! Clearly, just because the sun wasn’t where I wanted it to be–still made for a fabulous shot with great shadows!  Note to self–next time, get the pier in the sunset shot!!  May I always have the ability to laugh at myself and learn from others:)  Thanks for that moment, Jeff!

Twitter Friends—Muir Woods and Bird Views

Deep in Muir Woods

Learned the trick to getting into Muir Woods and good parking is to go early!

@Tuckertown @Torqueflite and @BirdGalAlcatraz and I got there so early, there was no one to take our entry fee.  We did arrive during open hours!

Even a puddle can have a grand view:)

View from a puddle!

Following Muir Woods, we went to the Las Gallinas Water Treatment Plant.  There are many ponds and the birds seem to love the area.

Enjoyed the antics of a pair of American Pelicans–they seemed to be moving in sync!

Fishing!

Bobbing for food!

Down the hatch!

Sipping and swallowing!

Black Phoebe perched near the water.

Just watching...

I did have the pleasure to see a Green Heron for a fleeting moment that landed on a dock in front of me.  I shot first and then asked what it was–good thing, because a quick exit followed my question!

Head shot!

Not quite as clear as I would like, but figured I would share, if other folks haven’t seen one yet!  This was a life bird for me:)

Familiar birds also included the Great Egret and a small flock of Canada Geese in flight!

Mid-flight

Canada Geese

I am learning more about birds and enjoy shooting them, but prefer a lighter lens and am still drawn to scenery shots.  Fortunately–my Lensbaby Composer Pro is very light and always at my side!

Lensbaby view of open space

This shot was shared previously on Twitpic, but one of my favorites from the day!

Liked the view!

 

Was really a pleasure to spend time with Twitter friends–look forward to more visits in the future!

 

San Francisco and Marin Views

SF side of Golden Gate

Had the
pleasure to meet friends visiting from Colorado, that I only knew
from Twitter.  What I do know, I am thankful for genuine
friends and friendships that have come from Twitter and Facebook.
 @Tuckertown, @Torqueflite were grand fun to shoot with!
 Thanks to @BirdGalAlcatraz for sharing the sights and driving
all over the region:) A few images from a time spent that I only
wish were longer:) We went toward Muir Woods, only to find out
early on a Saturday, all the lots were full and the shuttle was
already running.  The trick is to go early! Continued past
Muir Woods and onto a coastal visit toward Pt. Reyes. We then
went to the Visitor Center at Point Reyes…a wealth of information
and tons of trails to explore.

California State
Flower

Traveling
along the Marin Headlands there are many sights to enjoy.
 Considering the time of year–dry grass is a main show!
Before
the day ended–we were able to enjoy another view of the Golden
Gate Bridge from the Marin County side. Special thanks to
@Tuckertown and @Torqueflite for sharing their trip to
California.  Look forward to more visits:)

Marin
County Side View of the Golden Gate Bridge

Bodie State Park, CA #Lensbaby too!

Ghost Town...

Visited Bodie State Park this summer and after 13 miles on the dirt rutted road from heck arrived in a ghost town that was well worth the trip.

This area is so rich in history.  I did not know this was the first place in California that got electricity!

Mono Lake was used to shuttle cargo and materials into and out of Bodie.

Taken from the Bodie State Park Website, a brief description…

“Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.”*

The most magical moment for me is thinking about how many thousands of souls have travelled these same dirt roads for different purposes…work, trade, food, history, and just enjoying Bodie as it was…or is…

These images are from two different visits for me.  The photos with clouds in the background were mid July and the clear skies were from Labor Day Weekend.  If you know me, you know that my Lensbaby travelled with me for both trips!

Hope you enjoy the ghost town.  Must say…the highlight of my visit on Labor Day Weekend was that the first 10 miles of the nastiest dirt road I have travelled on and not 4-wheeled on, is now paved:) I spent the entire time driving marveling at the wonderful access road to Bodie.

The Mill is a main staple still in this ghost town view of history.

Work Source in Bodie

Although the bulidings are so rich in history–I need to do more research to learn about who resided where and when…one of my favorite locations was this old deserted truck!

Need some gas!

Another view...non Lensbaby

This is my favorite view from that visit–the colors just seemed to celebrate this piece of history:)

Viewing in or out!

Old cargo

Rearview Mirror

Want some water?

Worship Window

Just a view

Little Lensbaby Blur...

Think we will be back for another Bodie Blog…

The park hours are very strict, so be certain you have enough time for the road to get into the park to pay your nominal entrance fees and really explore.

A real treasure full of rich history that I will enjoy reading about before sharing more images in the near future:)

One last view via Lensbaby!

Little Historical Blur

* http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509