Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Autumn And My Friend The Duck

"Rest your eyes well before September
 because with all it's colors autumn is coming to visit them!"

~Mehmet Murat ildan

Another look, at the time we spent in Victory Park last Sunday. The fountain to the left side of the museum, made an already stunning landscape, all the more charming, and the beautiful ducks that were alternating between swimming and sunning themselves, brought it all together, to make for the best autumn afternoons I have had all season! I wish I had that day back right now because, to be truthful, I could live in that day for the rest of my life, at least that's how I feel right now, but who wouldn't want to live in a warm day in autumn, filled with every color imaginable, a slight coolness to the air and delightful wildlife to share it with? 

My new duck friend looks pretty happy!

#12 Leaf Of The Day
December 12th 2017
Berkeley, California

Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Haggin Museum And Victory Park

"Come said the wind to the leaves one day, 
Come o're the meadows and we will play.
Put on your dresses scarlet and gold
and the days grow cold."

~1880's Children's Song

For the first time since moving to Stockton, in 2015. I ventured out yesterday to see, and photograph the outside of the Haggin Museum! It sits in the middle of the GORGEOUS Victory Park, and too my delight, provided me with a lot to enjoy, and photograph! It is definitely one of my favorite places, now, because I need the amazing comfort it brought me! All the colors of the trees, kissing autumn goodbye, and amazing pond, with some very cooperative and photogenic ducks, and water fountains, and several folks walking adorable dogs, on leashes of course, all decked out in the finest holiday sweaters! Is the anything more fun then seeing a dog, rock a really great sweater? 

The sun was perfect, by the way, warm, but not summer oppressive, and not winter cold. It was one of those perfect autumn days! Alan and I sat on a bench, for about 45 minutes, just drinking it all in, then I walked around, and just lived in the moment, with my camera, preserving forever, a day I really needed! As beautiful as it was, I hope I will be able to see it again, through the lens of my camera, on a nice foggy day, before autumn is officially gone. Autumn trees take on a sad beauty, that helps me let go of the one season, I truly live for. The color of the remaining leaves, at the end of a year, gives me a strange kind of hope for the year yet to come, even with it's uncertainty!

Years can take some odd twists and turns, but I can get through it by focusing on the last season of the year, and my hopes for the next new start! I will be visiting the Haggin Museum and Victory Park again, hopefully in December, but maybe when January rolls around I will venture in to see the variety of exhibits! It has quite an eclectic collection of art, exhibitions, and it even touches a bit on the history of Stockton. For now, at least until January, I want to focus on the incredibly beautiful park surrounding it! I have to hold onto every last minute, of the autumn of, 2017!

 I will be featuring a different set of pictures from this photo shoot each day this week, so be sure to check back!

Lady Walking Dogs In Sweaters
Autumn Tears
Little Lady Bug Friend

#11 Leaf Of The Day
December 11th 2017
Victory Park/Haggin Museum
Stockton, California

Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Autumn Roses And Curses

"Autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible on mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read, some attempt at description,
 or some lines of feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations."

~Jane Austen

I reached into the archives for this rose photo, from 2013. My current December files are a bit anemic! I need to get back out with the camera, and maybe I will later today, we'll see what the day brings. I am trying to ignore the fact that it is December 10th, a slightly amusing, and slightly dreaded day in our house, because of all the hilarity over the years, and of course the fact that it's cursed. 27 years in a row, we have some kind of financial boo-boo occur. It's been everything from getting robbed... twice... to someone renting a car in my name, and then crashing it, to last years adventure. 

We stopped into our local Bargain Market, to pick up some plastic food containers, and a few other items, but when we went to the check out, sure enough, it happened... the total for 3 small items came to $109.89! Alan and I started laughing, because we knew what it was, but the checker, well, not so much! It took roughly 30 minutes to find out what had gone wrong with the scanner! The containers should have scanned at $9.00 but obviously, they didn't! Then to make it all more fun, it was ultimately discovered that, only the set we picked up had the problem! The rest of the same lot was fine. Oh December 10th, it just wouldn't be the holiday season without you!

#10 Leaf Of The Day
December 10th, 2017
Stockton, California
Mood: Amused

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Taking Down Decorations

A bare tree stands
with roots at both ends
in December days

~Kiran Bantawa
Bare Trees

Alan and I were talking things over last night, about the holidays, and if we really wanted to do anything about it at all. Any decorating, or playing of board games, or visiting our favorite haunts like, Union Square, in San Francisco. Our moods have been dark and heavy lately, politics overwhelms everything! Should we buy gifts this year? Because if Trump's tax plan passes, well, we are going to be in a financial pickle come the new year. And then there is the fact that we are just getting over colds. Both of us sick, for most of the last week!

Yep... we are in a funk. I think we will push through this, but it didn't help that I got a rather large mailer from a local Funeral and Memorial service provider! And not just any one, the one that currently hosts my dad! Don't those people know that this is the time of year when suicides rates are at their highest? Come on guys, you can't get rid of me that easily! I'm just trying to think of that unfortunately timed ad as a, Fuck You, and Happy Holidays, from my dear old dad! He had that kind of sense of humor!

We will push forward. We will put up a holiday tree and some decorations, and we will find the spirit. I know we will. We just have to make an effort. That's the hard part. Making the effort. Anyway, we are about to turn to a new year, 2018, and hopefully some really nice turn of events will happen... call it a 2018 miracle! You never know, maybe 2018 will completely make up for all the pain of 2016, and 2017. It could happen, and if it does, I will put the damn holiday tree up in May, if that's when Trump is finally removed from office! You. Just. Watch. Me! 


#9 Leaf Of The Day
December 9th 2017
Cull Canyon Park

Mood: Sarcastic

Friday, December 08, 2017

Darkness And Light/Plus Leaf Photo Catch Up

"December, being the last month of the year,
 cannot help but make us think of what is to come."

~Fennel Hudson
A Meaningful Life
Fennel's Journal No. 1

Did you miss me? Yes, I took a few days off, to be sick as a damn dog! Alan and I both were. Coughing. Fever. Chills. Sick to our stomachs... wait... that wasn't about having a cold, that was about politics. Once again, politics couldn't help but drown all of us, in it's seedy waterfall of despair. I don't really want to talk about it, but I will share to the extent that I am fed up with witch hunts, lack of due process, and fear on a national level, of boogeymen, and clowns! There is a lot of REAL things to be afraid of. Once such thing to fear, and may have, indeed, got us here is tribalism. Don't think so? Look around. This season's theme of, American Horror Story: Cult, has pretty much nailed the current political, and social climate.

Women are becoming cultists, and hey, it's not that I don't get it. I experienced the same kind of evil, as the women coming forward have. Rape. Sexual Assault, and harassment in the workplace, and I even feel like the men who perpetrate these crimes and uncomfortable situations, should be brought into the light of day! But not because of false equations, not because politicians, who find their political roads to the top, by using fear, political fear, intimidation, of anyone, or appearance of "moral high ground." That's a little easy, don't you think? Al Franken was forced to retire from the U. S. Senate yesterday, and denied DUE PROCESS, that HE REQUESTED, after the first accusation, because Democrats want to gain ground on the senate race in Alabama.

I want that too, but to sacrifice one of our own, with NO proof and without hearing both stories, is wrong, and always will be. To fire every man, or woman, for that matter, who finds themselves in the same situation as Al Franken did, without due process, doesn't help women like me, survivors of sexual violence, it sets us back! Years! Right now, we have to hold onto everything that makes us America, and as painful as it can be, DUE PROCESS is part of that! America is falling away, more and more, and becoming something I don't recognize. Something that we might truly need to fear. So, when I read the quote I used for this post, I knew it summed up how I felt completely, and definitely bears repeating...

"December, being the last month of the year
cannot help but make us think of what is to come."

I don't think I am looking forward to 2018.

 #8 Leaf Of The Day
December 8th 2017
Tilden Park, Little Farm,
Berkeley, California

 Leaf Gallery 
( Click Each To Enlarge )

#5 Leaf Of The Day
December 4th, 2017
Cull Canyon Park

#6 Leaf Of The Day
December 5th, 2017
Tilden Park, Berkeley, Ca

#7 Leaf of The Day
December 7th, 2017
Stockton, California



Monday, December 04, 2017

The Full Cold Supermoon In The Constellation Of Taurus

"I, swear, the reason for full moons is so the gods can move clearly see the mischief they create."

~Michael J. Sullivan
Age Of Myth

It's December's Full Cold Moon, it's in the constellation of Taurus, it's, the last full moon of 2017, and it is a supermoon! That's a lot for one lunar event, but it explains some things too. President Trump's insane twitter rampage this weekend, and I am betting his Tweeting will only get more outrageous, as we get closer to the morning! Also in full moon events, The Philadelphia Eagles lost to Seattle, and Alan and I BOTH have head colds!

It's the perfect merging of events, set up in the sky to knock my mood and my body flat of it's ass! Still, I loved looking up at that moon, it was cold outside, not freezing, but definitely cold, but what a sight! It made me long for Twin Peaks in San Francisco, because it would have been an amazing place to watch it rise, over the East Bay hills. I miss San Francisco, but photographing something that amazing, from my own yard, was pretty wonderful too! I'm grateful, and I miss San Francisco. See, I can do two things at once!

 #4 Leaf Of The Day
December 4th, 2017
Cull Canyon Park

Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Sweetest Season

"Wind warns November's done with.
 The blown leaves make bat-shapes, web-singed and furious."

~Sylvia Plath 

I was in Quincy, in late October, and I was losing the light quickly. I had to hurry to get all the pictures I could, and play in those beautiful leaves as long as possible! Truth is, there would never be long enough of any autumn day for my liking. The seasons of summer and autumn always seemed backwards to me. Summer gets the long hot days, when you can't think straight from the oppression of heat, and the only real color is green.

What was God thinking, putting this overwhelmingly beautiful season in front of us, and not giving us enough time to see it at our leisure? I am basically in the autumn of life, and I want to cling to it. I am smarter now, then at any other time of my life, and wouldn't go back to stupid spring for anything. Autumn is wisest season, but by the time one realizes it, it's cold and dark, and winter comes, and time goes deeply quiet. I am going to photograph autumn, for as many years I have left!

Never, ever, waste an autumn day, 
no matter what the weather is, or how much sun is left.  
It's all a gift. 

 #3 Leaf Of The Day
December 3rd 2017
Placerville, California

Mood: Quiet

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Bare Bones And Grape Leaves

"Autumn is a cunning muse who steals by degrees my warmth and light. So distracted by her glorious painting of colors, I scarcely realize my losses until the last fiery leaf has fallen
 to the ground and the final pumpkin shrinks. 
Autumn departs with a cold kiss, leaving me to suffer the frigid grasp of winter in prolonged nightfall."

~Riche;;e E. Goodrich
Making Wishes

So much happened yesterday! December 1st, got off to a cold start. General Michael Flynn, pled GUILTY, to lying to the FBI and is promising to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation. FULLY COOPERATE! That should have sent a cold chill up Trump's spine. If he had one. Jared Kushner should not get too comfortable either. Flynn has promised to testify regarding Kushner's interactions with the Russians as well. Burrr. Putin must be so proud! Apparently, like Trump, "he only picks the best people."

And so far, December 2nd is proving to be a different kind of chilling darkness, for others. Not where I live, but in the world in general. History will document the end of this autumn and events. And I think this coming winter will be remembered for it's bare bones. I am just going to try to make my way through it, with Alan and the boys, and fight on. At least I still have a heart. At least I have love. And I have photography.

 I am not sure what 2018 will bring for Alan and I,
 we will have to deal with that when it gets here. 
Hopefully there will be more warmth than cold.

Grape Leaves
Tilden Park 
Botanical Garden
Berkeley, California

#2 Leaf Of The Day
December 2nd, 2017
Berkeley, California

Mood: Quiet

Friday, December 01, 2017

Harvest Fruits

The cheerful sundial;
it falls in the shadow
of they leaves.
There where your branches
brace themselves
against the gate of Heaven. 

~Kristian Goldmund Aurmann

While driving around Carson City last month, I saw a lot of amazing trees, and beautiful autumn leaves, some still on the trees, and some in big piles of harvest colors on the ground, but one of my favorite sights, was this apple, the very last one, still clinging to the tree. I'm pretty sure that if you touched it, even very gently, it would fall to the ground. Last year, I came across a deer in the same yard, eating the apples that had fallen, so I am pretty sure at some point after I left, that's exactly what happened again.

It's a nice thought that the beautiful, yummy apple, was enjoyed by a deer! They are such beautiful animals! It was the last apple of autumn for that tree, and every last bite would be enjoyed, not left to simply rot. I think next year, when I head to Nevada, to photograph the autumn leaves again, I hope I will get to see more deer, looking for apples to eat, from what's becoming one of my favorite trees of autumn to photograph!

I came across this persimmon tree, while leaf peeping in Knight's Ferry, California, in late October. It stopped me in my tracks! It was amazingly beautiful, and full of beautiful, ripe fruit! I have never eaten a persimmon, so I can't say if I like their taste or not, but when I was a little girl, my best friend and I used to sit under a neighbor's persimmon tree, and enjoy their scent. It was a great place to read books together, and play with puzzles, and our do our favorite thing of all, listen to all the fathers on the street, yell at their TVs, cheering on their favorite football teams, collage, and pro!

We laughed so hard at our dad's enthusiasm for football! Oh my, the fun we had all those autumns. We did this for about 5 years, and then he passed away, suddenly, in an accident the next February. He was hit by a car. It wasn't the drivers fault, he darted out into the street without looking. Our entire street changed, the other kids and rarely played together again. A part of us grew up very fast after he died, and I never sat under that tree again. I released the pain of losing my friend years ago, time heals, but now, when I smell ripe persimmons, I only have the best memories of my friend, and all the fun we had in those 5 autumns, under the beautiful tree, with the spicy, sweet scent.

#1 Leaf Of The Day
December 1st, 2017
Stockton, California

 Mood: Happy
~Me :)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Your Ultimate Art

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
November 9th, 2017

"East day is born with a sunrise
and ends in a sunset, the same way we
open our eyes to see the light, 
and close them to hear the dark.
You have no control over
how your story begins or ends.
But by now, you should know that
all things have an ending.
every spark returns to darkness.
Every sound returns to silence.
And ever flower returns to sleep with the earth.
The journey of the sun and the moon is predictable
But yours, is your ultimate ART."

~Suzy Kassem 

Yesterday was stressfull. Trump had his craziest day yet! It was so crazy, in so many directions, that I couldn't link to just one article to cover all the crazy! George W. Bush on his worst day wasn't as embarrassing, as Trump was yesterday. And Dick Cheney, wasn't as scary as Trump was yesterday! If we live to have a history, and you come across my blog one day, you will already know how cracy life was at this time in America. I am convinced on a daily basis that all that's going on, isn't real. It simply cannot be real. But it is real, and things just seem out of control. No, they don't seem... they are!

I haven't been out with the camera, since vacation ended. There just hasn't been time! Alan has been working overtime, and Dylan has been ill, and the Thanksgiving holiday has just come and gone, and that means Christmas is less than a month away, so I am getting everything ready for that, and yes, there are some other problems. Not between Alan and myself, but with our finances. But money comes and money goes. Right? It just is what it is.

But if it was just Trump that was weighing on me, and most of the folks on Twitter, it would be one thing, but add in all the real world problems, and it all becomes unbearable. And that is exactly what he wants! He wants to scare people into respecting him, but he doesn't realize is, is that he will never win anyone's respect, that he will only make folks dislike him, but they will also not want to be associated with you... at all! How many bullies have real friends, and how many just have toadies? And most clear thinking American's don't, like him, but somehow its the minority of non clear thinking Americans that are keeping him in power, at least for now. 

But, once again, history will record all this, and events yet to come. I can't write the ending of how this will all come out, and frankly that's a huge relief. Maybe I don't want to know. I think about Mueller arresting the entire Trump family, justice being done, and they are sent to a nice cell, somewhere, and they out live their lives like the criminals they appear to be. End of story. But days like yesterday, make me believe that we might end in a large, angry mushroom cloud of devastation, because Trump isn't the only crazy person on earth, there is also Kim Jong Un to be concerned about!

And again, I can't write the ending to how that will come out either. Nor do I want to. I don't really want to know. I just want to have my normal life back. I want a truly boring day where nothing happens. I want to... stop living in fear. The camera helps, and I am going to try to go out with it soon. Photography has always brought me such pleasure, and I always seem to do my best work when I am depressed, frightened, grieving or scared. I wonder why that is? Maybe art is where we should all go to, when life gets hard, even if it's only stick figures we draw. I've heard my whole life, "art heals" maybe it's really true. Maybe the poem above is right, maybe each day is "your ultimate art."

San Francisco, California
October 26th, 2017

 Each time I see a beautiful sunset or sunrise, I have to pinch myself because I can't believe that I'm awake and not dreaming."

~Anthony T. Hincks

#30 Leaf Of The Day
October 28th, 2017
Placerville, California

Mood: Sad

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Can Every Day Be Rob Lowe Day?

Preston Castle Boys Reformatory
Ione, California
October 14th, 2017
"You need a break every once in a while  to enjoy the everyday
 and you need the every day
 to enjoy the break you take every once in a while."

~S. A. Tawks

Okay, well, this is how it went. Our vacation this year began on a sad note. Every single thing I had planned, fell apart a little before it officially began. I had several day trips to cities in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties, unfortunately, most of those areas were on fire! It was a sad event, not for us, but rather for the folks caught in path of the devastation. So, as disappointed as I felt about not being able to see some of the places I had looked forward to, that was really nothing, compared to what all those folks were going through. But as our vacation came closer, it became more and more apparent, we would need to make other plans.

We usually start our vacations in Orinda, California, at the Orinda Theater. The second Thursday of every month is free movie night, and each October they tend to show a Halloween themed movie, and this year it was A Nightmare On Elm Street. Neither Alan, or myself, had seen the film, so we thought it would be terrific to see it, for the first time together! Well, when it came time to go, we found out that the air quality in the Bay Area was so bad, the powers that be warned against going outside there, if you didn't have to, and because we both suffer from allergies, and breathing difficulties, we also had to cross that off the vacation plans.

On October 13th, our wedding anniversary, we got some take-out food and tried to plan our next course. Neither one of us knew what we wanted to do next. NO CLUE AT ALL. So, we decided to give it a couple days, and see what we could come up with, and that's where Rob Lowe comes into the story! One night I was up really late, looking for something spooky to watch on TV, when I came across a new show on the A&E network, The Lowe Files. I hadn't heard anything about it, so I decided to watch the first episode to see what it was like. As it turned out, the first episode was set out here in the Central Valley, at Preston Castle Boys Reformatory, in Ione, California.

The show is about Lowe and his two sons, traveling together, looking for ghosts, Wood apes, Bigfoot, and so on. Mostly it's about their spending time together, having little adventures, and enjoying being a family. The show is funny, heartwarming, fun, and at times it was fun to watch Rob Lowe get scared! The show doesn't take itself too seriously, like some of those shows do, which I find refreshing and I really hope there is a season two coming along next year! Check it out, it's truly worth watching!

But back to Rob Lowe Day. After we watched the first episode, we decided to follow in Rob's footsteps, and that all started at a donut shop in Galt, California! Now, this was big for me because I am a bit of a donut snob. I am definitely a Krispy Kreme girl. I like how light and airy they are, and they just melt in your mouth, so getting me to go to a different donut shop, especially in Galt, was, just a week earlier, quite the change of pace for me! Galt is a very small Central Valley town, with not much to see, other than a small amount of public art, some strip malls, and lots of farmland. In other words, it's like every other town in the Central Valley... rural. If you've seen one cow, you've seen them all... right? But Robe Lowe seemed to think the area was so pretty, it reminded him of England! Um... what, Rob Lowe? You can't be serious! But it made me curious, what did he see? And would it be possible to see it differently, like through his eyes?

 I didn't think there would ever come a day, when I would look forward to a visit to Galt to buy a donut, but it was part of the whole Rob Lowe adventure, so I played along, and to my delight, the donuts at the shop he visited, Happy Donuts, were pretty good! I had to admit that now, there was another donut shop, that I liked almost as much as Krispy Kreme! Alan loved that, because he has never been a fan of Krispy Kreme, so at least we now have a place we both enjoy! And he also enjoyed how giddy I was to go into the shop. I still don't know why I so weird about it, it's not like Rob would be there that day, but it was strange feeling to know I was standing where he stood, trying to pick out a donut!

After picking up the donuts, it was time to head to Preston Castle.We laughed along the drive, and I played the theme song to the Lowe Files, Don't Fear The Reaper, on my bluetooth, and of course the theme to St. Elmo's Fire, my favorite Rob Lowe movie. We talked about the show, and how one day we would love to go on a ghost hunt of our own, and just forgot about Trump, and the fires, and the other problems we are going through right now. We just had fun together, and it was just about the adventure. It's not like we expected to see a ghost, in the middle of the day or anything, but we did some speculating on what it would be like if we did!

When we arrived in Ione, we hit the downtown first, and as we drove into town, we saw witch, and yes, a tiny ghost, with a candy bucket, doing a little early Halloween celebrating or perhaps some Trick Or Treating! We laughed for a few moments about that, walked around the old gold rush town, and then headed up to the castle. It was closed, but it has a long driveway, and I was able to get some photos of the Gothic castle, and some trees, and I even got to photograph a new bird for my files that I hadn't photographed before! The beautiful Acorn Woodpecker. 

And then it was time to head back home. We still laughed most of the way back home, and debated the best Rob Lowe movie, we both have our favorites, and we watched several of his movies that night, and yes, ate our donuts. St. Elmo's Fire and Stephen King's The Stand. I loved him in both, but I still think I enjoyed him in St. Elmo's Fire the most. I don't know, maybe because it was made during the 80's and there were some things about it I could identify with.

Plus we are the same age as the Brat Pack, and I think it's a generational thing. Either way, because of Rob Lowe, we had the best day, that was truly a departure from all the cares of the world, that he and I tend to get caught up in. I really need to stop following politics, but I know I can't, and that's why our next vacation can't come soon enough! If things had been different, maybe I would have taken some sort of job relating to politics, or perhaps put my love of photography in the mix, maybe as a campaign photographer, shrug, If I could, I probably wouldn't change my life much, I like where I am, but I could do with less stress. So I will be looking forward to our next vacation coming around, and when it does, we will be celebrating Rob Lowe Day, October 14th, 2018!

 My Rob Lowe Day Album
October 14th, 2017

Central Valley Stonehenge
Ghostly Stone Face
 Thank You, Rob Lowe, For Reminding Us...
 It's About The Adventure!

#29th Leaf Of The Day
November 29th, 2017
Cull Canyon Park

Mood: Happy
~Me :)