Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Warm Saturday Afternoon

17 January 2021

(Started writing this at 11:11PM for all you synchronicity freaks out there!)

I thought I’d attempt to calm things down with some recent photographs made on my phone.

I won’t bother to annotate these much. They are mostly from my neighborhood walks through DOCO to Old Sacramento. Today was a little different, though, because troops are deployed to protect government buildings.

I told my young friend I want to play with her is this park some day.
It’s 70! Jackets off!
Oh-oh, another couple got there first!
There must have been 40 bike riders in this group!

Special times are upon us…

Winter’s Spring

11 January 2021

Here in Central California, it is the middle of winter, but we have only had moderate precipitation so far, and the daily highs are usually in the 50s. So winter here functions much as spring would in other places. With the help of rains, new plants green out, while the low sun and mild temperatures keep them from drying out too much.

I decided to photograph this little dell as the perfect example of this. This is the place I want take my honey (if I can ever get anyone to be my honey) for a little tête-à-tête some warm spring day. Or maybe a picnic?

Last week I photographed ferns and little plants growing out of the leaf litter to illustrate this same process.

Last week I also saw about 8 deer cross the rock field where they have been staying. The bucks were too fast for me, but I caught these two younger ones.

Some of our oak trees keep their leaves in the winter, but the blue and valley oaks (white oak family) shed them. Then the galls growing on them become very obvious. The galls are made by wasp larvae when they secrete some chemical that stimulates the growth of the tissue they were laid in (a bud, normally).

In my quest to open up the second dynamic a little more in my posts (after all these years) I occasionally capture examples of the feminine form, moms with their kids, etc. Here are some:

Here are the same little girls running ahead of their moms. Kids really like to run!

Here is a young lady out for some exercise:

She reminded me of French paintings I have seen celebrating the fuller figure, but I couldn’t find the one I remembered. Here is another, by Renoir:

Bridges are symbolic of linking things that otherwise would have a hard time being in communication. And there are two bridges on the part of the trail I take. Here is the second, a miniature suspension bridge at California State University Sacramento:

May we eventually rebuild all the bridges that have been burned during these recent times of hardship!

Japanese Christmas Card

3 January 2021

This came in yesterday from my friend Patrick who lives somewhere near Tokyo.

Fog

22 December 2020

This was my Monday morning around 10:00 AM on the shortest day of the year.

This lovely red hawk sat patiently for minutes while I photographed it.

Lovely young ladies abound in my environment, and I promise myself to take more pictures of them, but this is the only one this trip. I don’t have the courage (?) to actually stop them and ask them to pose for me.

Looking downstream from the upper part of the river, the fog seemed to be lifting.

But farther downstream it was still thick overhead. (That’s the sun.)

I saw at least six bucks in the park on this particular trip; never have I seen so many! This photo was enhanced to remove the foggy appearance. They could be gathered for the annual rut.

By the time I reached Pond Park (William Pond Recreation Area), the fog was lifting for real.

I hope that the current fog over our lives lifts as completely!

Stormy Monday

17 December 2020
Mural – night kissing day.

I can’t totally recommend falling in love when you’re 66 years old. But I can think of worse fates; much worse.

It rained last weekend, so I went up to the Co-op on Saturday then waited until Monday to go to Folsom with my bike. I had both my camera and my phone (because of her) on me, so took photos with both devices. This series features interiors and landscapes, trying to capture that mood evoked by the stark contrast between isolation and intimacy. I was afraid it might rain again on Monday, but it didn’t – the sun came out (clouds went away).

Rare self-portrait.

The trains are not very crowded these days. They only run I suppose because they are supported by government funds.

On the way to the store I pass over a creek with a bike trail on one side that serves the local super-suburban livers. Though this scene is very serene, I do not envy these people. Like an aristocrat who must have a lovely estate, these people would go crazy if they didn’t have some natural beauty around to help them balance things out.

The grocery store, unlike the train, actually needs customers to survive. Though Monday was a little less busy, there are always LOTS of people in Winco.

After shopping I decided to go over to where some Scientologists I know have their businesses. It is a nice looking business park containing all sorts of buildings that look more or less like these. Reminds me a little of Pullman.

The Folsom end of the bike trail is more posh and park-like than the rest of it. It follows a creek on its way down to the river.

I reached the river as the clouds were just beginning to lift.

There is a lovely forested area along the trail. This clearing is at its edge.

I have photographed this huge field of stones many times, but not usually from this angle.

As I stepped among the rocks, I found this one covered by a big patch of lichen.

I also saw the older buck and his family here, which now includes a much younger buck. They ran away before I could get a good shot. And I saw two different coyotes. I spoiled my one shot, but had to include it to prove I’m not fibbing about the coyotes.

Geese were all over the place as usual. But their decision to move right onto the bike trail betrays their seemingly stubborn lack of good sense.

However, if I were a migrating curlew, I would consider this fenced-in school yard a really nice place to stop over for a while. According to the wildlife people, this species is struggling. But they seem happy enough today in the afternoon sun.

When I got home I for some reason felt moved to send my friend a photo from the hallway just outside my door.

Emotions

Human feeling is nothing new to me. But when I start crying every time I think of someone…I’m just glad I know about Dianetics and not to be overly alarmed. I have already written here about the emotional power that can trickle through from unresolved cycles in past lives, using Dena’s stories as examples. Though I wish I could remember more (!), it is at least some comfort knowing I am being influenced by all that and not only by what I can remember. I have no huge need to figure out what exactly is tugging at me. Which is not to undervalue the power of the friendships I’ve had this lifetime.

Outer Space

9 December 2020

Trying to tell what a huge object is through a tiny view port.

The only things suspended in a vast nothingness that stretches out too far to imagine.

My Aviary

8 December 2020

My aviary consists of the fields, parks, trees and skies of the places I travel through.

My birds don’t always sit still for me to record their presence. But this hummingbird set for me a few minutes.

While the vultures wait for the salmon run, a heron finds something like food to stem its hunger.

The quail are shy but they do love a sunny afternoon.

A flock of curlew enjoy an abandoned school yard – not their normal habitat.

Before the Salmon Run

28 November 2020

Last year’s salmon run up the American River left a big impression on me, so I have been waiting impatiently for this year’s run to begin.

This shot is from 7 December last year:

The fish have not yet arrived this year, though both people and a crowd of fish-eating birds eagerly await them.

This hawk probably followed the crowd here, but most of the raptors are vultures, and there are thousands of gulls.

Though it was only early afternoon, the sun was low in the trees, and made them shimmer in a way that is difficult to capture on film.

Ever attracted to the female form, I felt compelled to capture an image of this woman, fully equipped for dressage, riding on the horse trail with a slow and contemplative air.

My journey home takes me past a water fountain where I usually stop to take a sip. Recently the older one was replaced by a newer model.

The fountain in this little mini-park survives from a bygone era. Some days it gets all sudsy, but today the water ran clear.

I’ve never seen a lion spit like this, have you? But it does have a sort of calming feel about it, and reminds me of what I should be thankful of this season – the (now) rare smile of a kindhearted woman.

A Fall Day in My Neighborhood

21 October 2020

Here it is mid-October, and in Sacramento it still reaches the mid-80s during the day, with no sign of rain yet. Young people riding scooters is a common sight, along with skateboards. And more people, it seems, are coming back outside.

This rust-red steel sculpture stands at the boundary between the new DOCO and the older tourist areas to the west. Macy’s is technically in DOCO, but is one of the few older buildings (probably built in the ’60s) to survive the transition.

Halloween is coming up, but in Old Sac they celebrate the Latino version. The designs used on this banner are very typical of the art used to celebrate this holiday.

Old Sac is popular with both tourists and locals. Considering the recent economic hard times, Old Sac seems to be in rather good shape.

Shops get to hang their signs over the wide boardwalks that serve as sidewalks here. Though people are allowed to drive in here and park, the walking space available is unusual for a modern city. And most of it is protected by overhead balconies.

There are people who live in Old Sac. These apartments directly above shops are particularly picturesque.

Not all my pics of people are crystal clear, as I like to stand at a distance and use zoom, which makes the image more sensitive to slight movements of the camera. We see here a variety of mask-wearing styles. Masks are still required to enter any store, but not outside.

Back at DOCO, they begin to prepare for outdoor dining, which happens every evening. I’ve become acquainted with one of the security guards, and he told me that six different restaurants are involved. You come in and order online, then someone brings your order to your table.

A large digital sign has recently been installed. It currently advertises a Coors product, and a face waxing salon. That’s my building in the background.

Along K Street all the restaurants have set up awnings (needed because of the crows that come to roost in the sycamores around dusk, and rain poop on the ground) so they can have outdoor dining, which allows them to continue operating. Restaurants in other areas have made similar arrangements.

While they have continued to have some problems with violence in downtown Portland, it has been peaceful here in Sac for some time now. Hopefully it will stay that way. Violence might be good for politics, but it’s terrible for business.

Bobcat

10 October 2020

Yesterday while biking home on the American River Parkway bike trail, a bobcat hopped across the trail, holding what appeared to be a dead squirrel in its mouth. While I pulled out my camera, it vanished into the underbrush. This photo taken of a bobcat spotted near Livermore, California, and used in the Wikipedia article on bobcats, will have to serve.

I had never seen a bobcat before. The animal that crossed my path looked a bit like a small tiger, but with tufts on its ears, a short tail, and a curious spotted pattern on its coat. At the time I thought, “lynx?”

So when I got home I looked up lynx. That’s what this cat is called in Europe and Asia, where there are about ten different species. Bobcat? In America there are two species of lynx, and they are called “bobcats.”

Though bobcats are far from common in the park, at least judging from the fact that in my weekly visits over the past two years, this was the first time I’d seen one, they are a hardy and adaptable animal that can tolerate living near humans. They are willing to eat a wide variety of smaller animals, and their major natural competitors are other bobcats and coyotes. Much smaller than mountain lions (panthers), they are not considered dangerous to Man, or even much to his livestock (though I would prefer not to be attacked by one). Their kittens are very cute, but grow fast, as do most young wild animals.

Perhaps at some future time, the cat I saw will be willing to pose and have its picture taken.