Saturday, September 08, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Something Different

"I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs, because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it."


My car, Lilith, will be 1 yr old on September 29th. In that I am one of those, "girly-girls" I only really know the basics of what makes her tick, but the idea of the challenge this time, was to step out of your comfort zone, so, while I know how to turn on the engine, how to change the radio station, how to make the wipers work, and oh yeah, if things go ever so slightly awry with the engine, tires or brakes, I also know how to push the little green panic button that notifies OnStar, I don't really understand much more then that. LOL. So, in trying to achieve "something different" for this challenge, I decided to learn more about what makes my car go. Here is what I learned...

There, that was easy, and now I feel so smart! Next I might learn how to change a tire. I am woman... hear me roar! ROFL! This challenge came to us by way of Nancy, author of the blog, Nancy Luvs Pix. Be sure to pay a visit to her blog, to see her entry, and then be sure to visit all the Robins. It is our first challenge, since we changed the day we play the challenges to Saturdays. The Robins are a creative bunch of bloggers, artists every one! :) Just click the links below.

Linking List

1. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

2. Carly... Ellipsis

3. Janet... Fond Of Photography

4. Annie... Pictures of Craziness

5. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix

6. Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life

7. Jessica... QuickSilver Dreams

8. boliyou... Percolation

9. Vicki... Maraca

10. Gina... Gina's Space

11. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

12. Steven... (sometimes photoblog)

13. Tara... A Long Walk Home

14. Teena... It's all about me!

"All About Lilith"
Berkeley, California
September 7th, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Glow

"The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere, the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling, gloaming on the sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

-John Muir

I am really tired, it was a long day, so I am making this a brief entry. I did get a chance to take some photos of the sky, with the effects of the Moonlight fire and the Lick fire, still hanging heavily in the air. The fire has now grown to 27,000 acres, and there are over 1,800 firefighters attempting to bring it under control. They still have a long way to go. I was able to get a photograph of how it appeared here in Berkeley at about 7:30, Thursday morning, and another shot as it appeared at about 6:15 in the evening, just north of the Monterey Peninsula . As you can see, the sky is a deep red glow, and the air is thick and gray. Sigh. And to think, this all started from an illegal fire ignited in a barrel. :( It brings back a lot of memories of the Oakland/Berkeley firestorm of 1991.

"The sunset caught me, turned the brush to copper, set the clouds to one great roof of flame above the earth."

-Elizabeth Coatsworth

27,000 Acre Coe Park Fire Shows No Sign Of Slowing (CBS - KPIX)

"The Glow"
Berkeley, California
September 6, 2007
7:30 AM

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Butterflies, Wildfires And Music

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

-Maya Angelou

The sky around the Bay Area was really hazy yesterday, and it is expected to be so today as well. There are 6 major wildfires in California right now, two of which are directly affecting the air quality here in the San Francisco area. In Livermore yesterday, visibility was down to just 2.5 miles. The two fires affecting us the most are the Moonlight fire, north of Sacramento, and the Lick fire, which is in the South Bay, near Mt. Hamilton. Both have left the sky with an eerie orange cast to it. Beautiful in a sense, and at the same time, really spooky to me. I have had a lifelong fear of fire, well, since I was 3 years old anyway. I remember that night so vividly, it was a late, hot summer night, in 1965, when I saw my father, and his carpool buddies, pulling our neighbor, and her children, to safety from their burning house. It brings back some memories, and some fear. It's a strange thing, as frightened as I am, I have a desire to see the fire up close. I doubt I will be able to get too close, but there are a lot of safe vantage points, where I might be able to snap a couple photos of the smoke.

One thing about the smoke and haze, it made it possible to for me to get some photographs of a butterfly I have been trying to get for most of this summer. The Red Admiral. Because of it's dark colors, I had been finding it difficult to photograph it without it being washed out against the colors of the flowers it frequents. It is such a pretty butterfly, but it has been very good at both teasing me, and then evading me, so I had that working against me as well. Silly butterfly!

I found the Red Admiral in Golden Gate Park at the start of the summer, and have made taking it's photo a goal. When I finally got a got a good chance the other day, I tried to get shots from as many angles as possible, and I did pretty good I think, but I want to do better, so it is still on my list of goals, right along with capturing a perfect photo of a bumble bee in flight. The Dahlia garden in GGP will be around until the end of October, and according to my information about the butterfly, the Red Admiral should be as well, so I will keep at it. The exercise is good for me, and it is a great distraction from...well...things I need to be distracted from. LOL. You know by now what pushes my buttons. :) There is nothing like music, and photography to bring my soul to peace. Watch the video!

"Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time."

-Deborah Chaskin

Weather Sparks Concern For Lick Fire (KGO TV ABC)

Smoke From Fires Impacts Bay Area Air Quality (KGO TV ABC)

Red Admiral Butterfly
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
September 4, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Secret Joys

"Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way."

-Douglas Pagels - These Are The Gifts I'd Like To Give You

I have been trying to soak up the last of the summer, so yesterday I decided to spend a little time at the Palace Of Fine Arts. The grounds are simply stunning this time of year, and there is a lot to see with the camera. The sun was moving in and out of the clouds and fog... I love it when that happens. The scene in front of you can at one moment be softly lit and cool, almost dreamy, and then the next minute it seems to come alive with the warm sun and vivid color. It is a peaceful place to meditate, and then do some brisk walking. Beauty everywhere. Ahhhh... that's better!

Palace Of Fine Arts
San Francisco, California
September 4th, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Expression

"A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears."

-Anne Roiphe

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Present a picture that clearly shows a particular emotion. Happy, sad, thrilled, bummed, anything in between.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I LOVE photographing faces. People faces, animal faces, and especially mannequin faces. Emotions are fun... sometimes. :)

"But some emotions don't make a lot of noise. It's hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint - like a heartbeat. And pure love - why, some days it's so quiet, you don't even know it's there."


"Lets not forget that little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and we obey them without realizing it."

-Vincent Van Gogh

"Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf."

-Jonathan Martensson

"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy."

-Jom Rohn

"Isn't She Lovely"
Berkeley, California
Summer, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Summer Of Love... 40 Years Later

"If you're alive, you can't be bored in San Francisco. If you're not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life."

-William Saroyan

There was a free concert in Golden Gate Park yesterday. A concert to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Summer Of Love, 1967. It was estimated that well over 50 thousand came to the park, to step back in time, if only for the afternoon. It's funny, while America might be a little better off socially, there are still some striking similarities to the summer of 67, in that America, once again, finds itself in an unjust and unpopular war. I wasn't able to make it to the city yesterday to attend the concert, but it was interesting to see folks on the news, of all generations, come together to recognize such an interesting era. I think a lot was learned from those years, although perhaps not enough. I am looking forward to going to the 50th anniversary celebration, already being planned for the summer of 2017. Of course I will bring my camera, and my peace sign, although hopefully I will be wearing it as just a piece of symbolic jewelry, because America will be once again at peace, with no war in sight. Heres hoping!

Here is a sampling of how the Haight/Ashbury district looks today. It still has a funky, free feel to it, and there is something wonderful to discover and see at every turn. Just thinking about it makes me smile, it is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco, unfortunately I don't stop by there very often. Maybe I will put that on my list of things to do this week...visit Haight/Ashbury. Be sure to click on the above YouTube video. It is the music video of Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco," which was written by Papa John Phillips, and which became the official anthem of the Summer Of Love. It's one of my favorite songs, and fits the city perfectly.

Corners of Haight and Ashbury

Haight Street Market

Jerry Garcia's former residence, located at 710 Ashbury Street

I took this picture of myself, by focusing in a darkened window on Haight Street. I think it came out kind of cool!

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

-Jimi Hendrix

Thousands Gather For The Summer Of Love Anniversary

"San Francisco 40 Years Later"

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Weekend Assignment #181: The Reveal

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best."

-Henry Van Dyke

For those of you who read my Weekend Assignment entry, and guessed that my lie was #2... congratulations... you are absolutely correct! :) While I completely adore the pelican, my actual favorite bird is the Snowy Egret. I found a beautiful one at the Palace of Fine Arts last week, but as you can see the lighting was not with me. It was in the afternoon, and it was way too bright, so I am hoping to get back over to the palace a littler earlier in the day, one day next week, to again photograph the egrets. I also saw a gorgeous Blue Heron that day, and I am especially looking forward to photographing that bird as well. We'll see what I come up with next time.

"Snowy Egret"
Palace Of Fine Arts
San Francisco, California
August, 2007
Late Afternoon

A Green Christmas

"Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind."

-Mary Chase

Suzanne, of the blog, "New Suzanne R's Life," came by with a new meme. A Christmas meme. I can't believe how close we are to yet another Christmas. Parts of 2007 seemed to go by at a crawl, I didn't think January would ever end, and February was even worse, even with the shorter days in the month! But the summer, has seemed to just fly by. It will finally be autumn in just a couple weeks, and we all know what comes next... winter... and Christmas. So, I leaped at the chance to do a meme devoted to Christmas, because I think I might need a little extra help getting into the spirit of the holidays this year. Thank you Suzanne, for thinking of me, and giving me the heads up about this cute meme. :)

A Green Christmas

1. What is your favorite Christmas Gift?

A. In 1992 I got Ross, the moose you see in the photo above, he is my favorite stuffed animal, but in recent years I guess it would have to be my digital camera. It is a Minolta DiMage Z1. I got it for Christmas in 2004, and it hasn't been out of my hand a day since. :) I LOVE my camera.

2. What is your best memory of Christmas?

A. The year we took a holiday vacation down the California coast. It was beautiful and relaxing.

3. Depending on where you live do you have a hot or cold Christmas?

A. That's a tricky question. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The climate here is mostly mild all through the year, so we don't have extremes of either.

4. Would you prefer to try the opposite weather at least just once?

A. Well, in that we tend to have mild winters, I would have to say yes. I would really like a nice, snowy Christmas just once. I have always wanted to build a snowman on Christmas morning.

5. What do you prefer in a tree? Fake or Real?

A. I love real trees, but I like the fake ones because they don't carry as big a fire danger.

6. What Is Your Favorite Carol?

A. I really like "Christmas Time Is Here" from, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

7. What is your favorite Christmas dinner?

A. Autumn Baked Ham, Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Creamed Peas w/onions, Plum Pudding, Hot Baked Dinner Rolls, and Fruits of the Forest Pie.

8. Do you wear a Santa Hat at Christmas?

A. Sometimes, and then other times I wear antlers. :)

9. Have you ever seen Santa delivering gifts?

A. Of course, I tune into Santa at NORAD every Christmas Eve!

And so, there are my answers. :) Care to play along? Just copy and paste the questions into your blog and answer away, but please remember to comeback here and leave me a link to your entry so I can see what you wrote. :) Thanks again Suzanne. :) Click here to see what Suzanne's answers were.

"Ross At Christmas"
December 11, 2007