Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Art About Town: Sacramento (Eclipse)

Crocker Art Gallery Museum
Sacramento, California

"We all grow tired eventually; it happens to everyone.
 Even the sun, at the close of the year, is no longer a morning person."

~Joyce Rachelle

This lovely sculpture is called "Eclipse" and it sits next to the Crocker Historic building on 3rd and O Streets in Sacramento. The E. B. Crocker Art Gallery is a beautiful place, that has brought me a great deal of inspiration over the years. I am enjoying being able to visit it's grounds, now that I am living so much closer to the museum. Hopefully I will get one more chance to photograph the trees on the property as well, before autumn says goodnight, on December 22nd. Sigh. I love Sacramento for so many reasons, the food, the history, the culture, the leaves... oh yes... the leaves and trees, and I consider myself very lucky to be able to keep learning about all it has to offer! 

 #80 Leaf Of The Day
December 11th 2019
Sacramento, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What Is Autumn?

Duck Pond
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California

"What is autumn?
 Here is a very simple definition: Autumn is a queen,
 Queen Of Beauty beauty"

~Mehmet Murat ildan

I photographed that leaf last October, in Golden Gate Park, but decided to wait until now to post it because I knew as we inched along, toward the last few days of Autumn, I'd have some difficulty in getting new photography done. December is always a challenge for me, because of the sudden onslaught of cold weather. Its quite rainy now as well, which is nice, but my body hasn't isn't used to the changes yet. It's okay, I will get there, in the mean time I still have plenty of leaves left to photograph. Fortunately, they aren't underwater! It was a completely different situation the day I took that photo above. It was hot, and didn't have a single cloud in its azure blue sky. The whole day was as perfect an autumn day as it gets! It tasted like Apple juice and pumpkin pie. It had too many smiles in it to count! It was Family Day, so it was about love and happiness! It makes me feel warm thinking about the fun Alan and I had! It's going to be a crazy year coming up, but I know that what will get me through is looking forward to next October, and beautiful autumn!

 #79 Leaf Of The Day
December 10th 2019
Nevada City, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me  :) 

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Autumn Migration Of The Cedar Waxwing

"In autumn, the entire backyard became a mass of lollipop yellow leaves, so bright they lit up the night like daylight. Birds nesting in the trees would get confused because they couldn't tell what time of day it was, and they would stay awake for days until they dropped out of the branches with exhaustion."

~Sarah Addison Allen
The Peach Keeper

I found a new bird in my yard last night. Meet the Cedar Waxwing! They are tiny colorful birds, with white and peach colors on the head and breast, and dark gray and almost purple on the head and back, and red at the tip of the winds, but a splash of bright yellow at the very tips of their short tails. Absolutely gorgeous! They had a short, soft chirp, which I found rather pleasing.They were nesting in the tree top in my next door neighbors yard, so I wasn't able to get as close as I wanted to. My photos DO NOT DO IT JUSTICE! So, cross your fingers for me, that I will get some more practice in over the next few days. They are definitely migrating, as they already have their winter plumage on. Autumn is getting sleepy, we had a cold storm this past weekend, my beautiful leaves are getting more and more difficult to find, and there are new types of birds, stopping by to say hello, on their way to a warm bird resort for the winter. My heart is breaking. But my camera is happily imagining how Winter will inspire!


Read about this amazing bird here... Cedar Waxwing 
 (Audubon Guide to North American Birds)

#78 Leaf Of The Day
December 9th 2019
Nevada City, California

 ~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)

Sunday, December 08, 2019

November Shadows

"The canopy of the woods was spread out beneath me and
 it looked as if autumn had taken a great torch to the trees,
 burnishing them gold, red and bronze."

~Kate Morton
The Distant Hours
November is my favorite month to work with shadows. The sun seems to be at it's harshest, probably because sometimes the cold hasn't quite caught up with autumn, or the date on the calendar. November can be bone chilling or, by contrast, it can make for the last remaining days of shorts weather. On that particular day in November, we were just a little over the halfway point for the month, and it was warm, with almost no breeze. The trees next to the Crocker Museum were full and wild with color, but the afternoon sun was harsh and demanding. I didn't stay long, but while I was there I enjoyed playing with the available light, and was mostly pleased with the results.

Sometimes when you are out with the camera, and enjoying yourself, you feel like you had your best day ever for photography, then when you get home, and upload your work for editing, you feel a lot different, like you just wasted an entire afternoon. There is a lot of pressure to put on ones self when it comes to taking a good photo, and I am admittedly, my own worst critic. That particular day was a mixed bag, I did okay, but  I wish I had done great. I did a self portrait in shadows and while it's not my best, I have an area now to fine tune. A place to grow in the shadows. Background, foregrounds, textures, natural filters. Steven always gave me such good advice for fine tuning things. I miss my friend a lot.

#77 Leaf Of The Day
December 8th 2019
Orinda California

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Autumn In Berkeley

"There's something to walking with autumnal thoughts through the evening fog. One likes to compose poems at a time like that."

~Hermann Hesse

Grape leaves! Beautiful, glorious grape leaves! Berkeley, Tilden Park to be exact, has a lovely fence line filled with grape leaves. It is right between the small botanic garden and the Brazil House. It's stunning in October. It has every autumn color in one place. One quiet corner of the park that you would completely miss, if you weren't look for the autumn leaves. It makes me sad that folks could drive through the park and not see all that beauty, living peacefully, in that one magical spot. The best part though? They will be there again next October. And I will be there too, Camera in hand, overwhelming happiness in my heart. And some love too. How could anyone, not love this?

 Photographed October 9th 2019
Tilden Park Botanic Garden
Berkeley, California

 Autumn Leaf Of The Day...

#76 Leaf Of The Day
December 7th 2019
Sacramento, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)  

Friday, December 06, 2019

Autumn Reflections In Golden Gate Park

"Looking up, I observed one solitary leaf that remained
 on a spindly branch of an old oak tree. And as winter's frigid winds
 blew against it twisting it this way and that,
 I thought that it was either committed to holding on as long as it could or it was afraid to let go."

~Craig D. Lounsbrough

 It was a beautiful day at the duck pond, in Golden Gate Park, on October 23rd, and the leaves were falling almost constantly. They reminded me of a sky full of stars, but they also reminded me of soggy cereal. Mostly they were just so damn beautiful they made me smile! I really miss Golden Gate Park, we spent a lot of time there when we were in the Bay Area, and I don't think I realized how much it had really meant to me. I don't get to see it as often as I would like to, which makes it all the more special when I do visit I suppose. Lesson learned... never take the places you love for granted, life is very uncertain. I took these photos on Family Day, which means I got to make another wonderful memory, in a place I love, with the guy I love, and that's the best of all worlds.

#76 Leaf Of The Day
December 6th 2019
Grass Valley, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Black And White In Autumn

Autumn moon
Incantations in the dark river
Winter's ghost walks with covered face
And silver bones wait in all animals
To be bone cloth upon her shoulder
Wait for her happiness in that they are silvers

~Tamara Rendell
  Mystical Tides

I have been looking through my archives, as I usually do at the end of each year, looking for photos I may have passed on posting, or taking ones I did use with a specific thought in mind, and perhaps giving them new life by converting them to black and white or by adding a filter, to bring out a different emotion then when they were previously used or posted. It can be a lot of fun to remember the day I was out with the camera, and do a deeper emotional dive at how I feel about the same day, months later. It's funny how your memory can move a day around, either positively or negatively, once the pressure of actually being in that day is removed. As autumn turns to winter, thoughts change too. I like the leap into darkness, I always have, even though it spells the end of the outrageous color of autumn. The black and white of winter gives my eyes a chance to relax, and return to the almost exquisite pain of waiting for autumn to come back. It's good to have something to long for, something you know is waiting just out of fingertips reach. It encourages to heart to keep beating. There is a purpose to wait for. It's the best way I know to not fall for lies of loneliness.

 Leaf Of The Day

#74 Leaf of The Day
December 5th 2019
Berkeley, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)


Wednesday, December 04, 2019

I Love No Leafless Land

"Give me a land of boughs in leaf
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land."

~S. E. Houseman

Autumn falls at my feet...

#73 Leaf Of The Day
December 4th 2019
Stockton, California

~Mood: Quiet
~Me   :)

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

In Dreamful Autumn

~Ernest Dowson
The Poems and Prose Of Ernest Dowson

Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees
That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as a summer: summer's loss
Seems little, dear! On days like these

Let Misty autumn be our part!
The twilight of the year is sweet:
Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
Eludes a little timer's deciet.

Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream.

Beyond the pearled horizons lie
Winter and night: awaiting these
We garner this poor hour of ease,
Until love turn from us and die
Beneath the drear November trees. 

 #72 Leaf Of The Day
December 3rd 2019
Cull Canyon Park

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)

Monday, December 02, 2019

Autumn Cathedral

I stood in a clearing among a stand of beech trees, leaves as red as rubies, branches black as jet. It was sunset and shafts of richly colored sunlight struck through the delicate pillars of the tree trunks, as if through the lancet windows of a cathedral."

~Kate Forsyth
Bitter Greens

October leaves in every color of autumn. Honey, cinnamon, caramel, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, rum and brown butter. Delicious October, my favorite month of the year!

And Now...
#71 Leaf Of The Day
December 2nd 2019
Grass Valley, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me   :)

Sunday, December 01, 2019

There Really Is Something About Autumn...

 I am pretty sure I have used that quote in a previous post this year, but there really is something about Fall that makes me feel alive, but I have never been able to figure out what it is exactly. All I know is, my mood suddenly improves. I am a much more positive person over all and I think more clearly then in any time during the previous seasons of the year. It's like the first day of autumn each year is like New Years to my soul. I suppose if I haven't figured it out by now, I won't be in the future, so it will more than likely remain a mystery. Which is fine, but a part of me does wish I knew what it was, so I could have little moments during the rest of the year! But perhaps I am being greedy in wanting to take more than my fair share of the magic of a perfect autumn day.

#70 Leaf Of The Day
December 1st 2019
Nevada City, California

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Autumn Treasure Hunts

"Early this morning I read about your autumn, and all the colors you brought into your letter were changed back in my feelings and filled my mind to the brim with strength and radiance.
Yesterday, while I was admiring the dissolving brightness of autumn here, you were walking through that other autumn back home, which is painted on red wood, as this one's painted silk."

~Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters On Cezanne

That was one of my favorite leaves from this autumn. It's butterfly shape was magnificent! It's so unusual, and I found it fairly early in the season. October 5th, to be exact. It was on one of my favorite trees, in Ione, California. There aren't many trees there that I consider an autumn go to, but in the back of a park and ride, on the edge of town, are two small trees that produce tiny colorful leaves, and this year, this little butterfly leaf was waiting for me. Sometimes leaf peeping is a little like a treasure hunt, which is great and its just one more reason why I love it so much! Hopefully, I will get to go autumn leaf searching every year for the remainder of my life. One day, someday, I hope to be able to visit New England and jump into a big pile of leaves in Massachusetts or upstate New York, but it's a dream for right now, which is okay, because daydreams like that, inspire me to keep looking forward and not back. The very day autumn passes away this year, will be spent preparing for leaf peeping next year. I love the research, and I love looking forward to the beauty that will be coming my way!

 #69 Leaf Of The Day
November 30th 2019
Sacramento, California

~Mood: Happy
~Me  :)