Sunday, November 15, 2009


One of my favorite places to take pictures in California is at Sycamore Grove Park in Livermore. On a recent walk, on a gorgeous fall day, my husband and I came across a family of deer. (I always bring a chaperone along when I walk here because of recent mountain lion spottings.) Once we saw the deer, we quietly walked in their direction and I took photos, while trying to get as much fall foliage in the picture as possible. It was thrilling to watch as they ran from one shady spot to a next. We waited patiently for them to walk into the sunshine which made for a more interesting photo.

Another great place to take Autumn photographs is in Washington State.  I always feel blessed if I happen to be there during the fall months.  The colors orange and yellow make me very happy.  Here are pictures from Prosser and Spokane, Washington.

To see more of my Autumn photos, go to:  Autumn

To see other artists' work on Fine Art America, go to:  Autumn

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crater Lake

About 5 years ago, I visited Crater Lake for the first time. It was a beautiful day and I took some nice pictures of my two daughters with the lake in the background. Funny, but I never even dreamed of taking pictures of just the scenery. I was in Mom-mode. In July, my husband and I visited again, this time I was in Photographer-Mode. My goal was to try and capture the amazing blue color and figure out a way to show the vastness of the surrounding mountains. I prayed the whole way that there would be some interesting clouds, to make it just a 'bit' different. Being unique is a challenge, especially when millions of people have stood on the same spot, taking the same picture. I was thrilled to see one storm cloud hanging over the lake. Besides obsessing over this neat cloud, I obsessed over the craggy, weathered trees with lovely silver bark and the patterns in the melting snow.

This second time around, I learned some valuable lessons that I would like to pass on to you. 1. Take mosquito repellent. The melting snow is a breeding ground for massive quantities of these evil little guys. They especially love my husband, who safely stayed in the car and drove me to wherever I wanted to take pictures.
2. The lodge is amazing, but book early if you want to stay there. 3. Do not plan to stay in the area without reservations. It will take you another hour to get back to civilization and you don't want to get stuck without a place to stay. There are bears in them woods! 3. Crater Lake is off the beaten path, but is definitely well worth the trip.

To see more of my Waterscapes on Fine Art America, click HERE.

To see other Waterscapes on Fine Art America, click HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Walk in Sycamore Grove Park (Livermore, CA)

In northern California, my favorite time of year is spring when the hills turn a beautiful shade of green. You learn to enjoy it while you can, because soon enough they turn back to their signature 'golden' color. On one April day, I went out in search of a good place to take pictures. I found it in Livermore at Sycamore Grove Park. Okay, I'm going to humbly admit that I really didn't know what a sycamore looked like, but they are now one of my favorite trees. Their white bark and rambling branches create a lovely contrast to the 'spring green'. Sycamore Grove is popular with runners and has a winding trail that is a bit too remote for me. It didn't help to see signs posted, warning of possible wildlife encounters. Yeah, that did make me a bit nervous, especially since news reports had told of mountain lions wandering this area and being spotted in backyards! Luckily, my only wildlife encounter was with a huge hawk, sitting not more than ten feet above me in a tree. It was truly a magical moment, to look up and see his 'hawk eyes' staring down at me. I quickly swung my camera up (remembering it now, it was in slow-motion) and got a shot of him flying away. A perfect mano-a-nature moment. :)

To see my hawk and other photos of this nice spring day, click on the picture labelled 'Sycamore Grove Park' to the right.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Half Moon Bay, CA

One of my favorite daytrips was to Half Moon Bay, California. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this area, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. Our main goal was to spot some elephant seals along the coast. They normally show up during the winter months (January to March). I find them to be such interesting, unique and unbelievably huge creatures. We first spotted them last year at Point Reyes National Park (Chimney Rock) and I fell in love! This trip took us first to Half Moon Bay Recreational Park. It looked like a great place to picnic and camp, so we hope to make it back there with someday. After a nice discussion with the volunteer at the information center, we learned that one lone elephant seal had been hanging out at the Pigeon Point Light Station down the road. We stopped for a walk along Pillar Point Harbor and then drove through the town of Half Moon Bay (nice shops and lots of interesting restaurants) to get to Pigeon Point, just off of Hwy 1. It turned out to be a photographer's paradise--neat lighthouse, quaint little blue and white cottages (actually a hostel) and cute paths with white picket fences that take you all around the point. Absolutely beautiful views in every direction! I especially loved seeing the ice plants that grow on the rocks and cliffs. Unfortunately, the elephant seal wasn't hanging out there anymore, but another talk with a ranger sent us further down the road to another beach where they 'might' be. It took several turnarounds and some serious map-reading to find it, but we eventually were rewarded with the beautiful sight of around 8 seals lounging on the beach. We very respectfully walked around them--giving the wide berth that the ranger suggested of 50 feet (not the 25 feet that was posted on a sign). I was thankful for my 250mm lens that let me get close up, without getting too personal. :)

To see more of my Seaside photos, click HERE.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome to my photography blog. This is an invitation to walk 'down the garden path' with share my travels through photos and friendship. Please feel free to comment and give tips. All are welcome. My philosophy on life is that you are enriched by learning new things. Currently, I am learning to take the best pictures that I can with my first SLR camera--a Canon Rebel XSi. I also have a Panasonic 'point and shoot' that I love and a Nikon Coolpix 8700. Each has its own special purpose or advantage. The Panasonic is lightweight and great for keeping in my purse at all times. The Nikon also fits in my purse, is a bit heavier, but has more options for manual selections--perfect for daytrips where I will be walking a lot and plan to take lots of pictures. The Canon is the most versatile, but definitely heavier. This is what I use for 'serious' photo days and for walks around my neighborhood.

One of my favorite things to do is hop in the car, with no particular idea of what I want to take pictures of, and just look around until I find something interesting. You should try it. Since taking up photography seriously, I have not been bored. Even in the winter, I have discovered such unusual nature shots that I would have never noticed before. Just look a little closer, and you will 'see' beauty and interest where you never thought it existed.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog. Besides this, I am working on a website dedicated to my photography. Check it out at On it, I would like to highlight other photography sites so, if you have one, please send me the link and I will include it.