Monday, July 1, 2019

How Blue Is The Sky?

The Sky Turns Every Shade of Blue


Dying Cottonwood Tree at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic


City Daily Photo Bloggers are answering the challenge this month to show what the color blue represents to them. The first thing that comes to mind for me is the sky. It's always above me, I see it every day, and it's been every shade of blue I can imagine. For any regular reader of this blog, it's no secret I'm a sky watcher. The sky is what I photograph most often.

In the photo above we see a light blue transitioning into a darker blue. It provides a contrasting background to show off the dying cottonwood tree at Larry Moore Park in Paso Robles.

A Deeper Blue


Blue Sky Over My Rose Garden, © B. Radisavljevic

I often photograph the sky in from my own yard -- especially as sundown approaches. I took this shot from the rose garden in my backyard. I'm guessing I took it in late afternoon. I liked the way the clouds were making a horseshoe around that patch of sky.

The photo below was taken before a rainstorm. I also took this one in my backyard. It was taken after our late afternoon meal on a November day. The blues are lighter with tinges of gray in places. I consider clouds part of the sky.

Sky Just Before a Rainstorm, © B. Radisavljevic

I took this next shot while walking the Charolais Corridor Trail at Dusk. Together the clouds and sky provide many shades of blue.

Charolais Corridor Trail at Dusk in May, © B. Radisavljevic

Blue Sky in My Zazzle Wall Art



Birds Love the Sky



I find it hard to catch birds in flight. They are usually too quick for me. Here's one I did catch in a very blue sky.


Bird in Sky Over Paso Robles Wine Country, © B. Radisavljevic


Here's a crow I caught in flight.

See the full story behind this photo. © B. Radisavljevic


Usually I can catch birds high in a tree or on a wire. The shade of blue is a bit lighter in this photo of the bird at the top of this oak tree.

Bird at Top of Oak Tree, © B. Radisavljevic


This one is on a high wire.

Bird on High Wire, © B. Radisavljevic


Kites Also Belong in the Sky

The sky was very blue when we found this family flying a stunt kite at Moonstone Beach. I'd never seen a dual-string kite before and loved watching this.





I hope you've enjoyed our sky trek. There are more views of the blue sky in these related posts. Enjoy!

See how other City Daily Photo bloggers posted to this theme


Related Posts

Sky Journal with Day of Sporadic Showers: This past post shows everything from deep blues to grayish blues in the sky.

Down by the Station and Welcome Sunshine: This shows how the sky changed from late morning until sundown in several spaced shots on the day after a rainstorm. Lots of deep blue in these shots.

Old Wives' Tale Disproved: Have you bought into this folklore?



Thursday, June 27, 2019

Two Surprises I Found at Larry Moore Park

A Short Walk in the Park


Two Surprises I Found at Larry Moore Park: A Fallen Cottonwood Tree
Fallen Part of Split Tree, © B. Radisavljevic


The house was warm; the background television noise was stressing me. I needed to get out. The sun would soon be gone. So off I went the two blocks to the park. I actually had a mission. A couple of weeks ago I had reported to the park maintenance office that a tree had just split. I sent them a photo. I wanted to see if anyone had acted on my information and corrected the situation. When I checked last week, the fallen part of the tree was still on the ground. You can see it in the photo above.

I was pleasantly surprised on this walk to see they had cleared the fallen tree away. I was sad they had been unable to save the tree, but I guess the split had killed all of it -- not just the fallen part of it. I'll have to give credit to the  maintenance people for getting the job down so quickly. That was my first surprise during my walk in the park.

The Sad Surprise


Two Tree Surprises I Found at Larry Moore Park
New Memorial Tree in Foreground, Stumps of Split Tree in Background, © B. Radisavljevic


As I was walking over to take a photo of the tree stumps, I noticed what appeared to be a small decorated Christmas tree. It had not been there three weeks ago when I walked past that area. You can see it in the foreground on the left.

It looks like they chipped a lot of the split tree right there, since wood chips covered the area. You can also see some of the logs from the tree stacked not far from the stumps. After taking the photo I took a closer look at the little Christmas tree. I had to wonder who would decorate a tiny tree in a public park at the end of June. So I read the note under the tree.


Two Surprises I Found at Larry Moore Park: Small Decorated Memorial Tree
Decorated Memorial Tree, © B. Radisavljevic


When I read the note, it broke my heart. I'm a bereaved mom, too. I would like to know Ryan's story, but I probably never will. Was Ryan one of the homeless who camped in the Riverbed or the child of one of them? Did he drown? Or did his death have nothing to do with homelessness or the river? Perhaps his parents just wanted to put a monument in a public place for him that everyone in the neighborhood who walks the park will see.

Whoever Ryan was, however old he was, someone is grieving his death. They don't want it to be forgotten. I hope they leave this little tree here to grow up. Perhaps Ryan never had that chance. If anyone reading this knows Ryan's story, I hope they will comment below. I'd like to know. I won't tell the city maintenance people about this tree. But I'll keep an eye on it.

I reluctantly left to go home as the sun said goodbye.

Two Surprises I Found at Larry Moore Park Followed by Sunset
The Sun Sets As I Grieve for Ryan and his Parents and a Fallen Tree, © B. Radisavljevic

Other Posts You May Enjoy


Kite Practice at Larry Moore Park at Dusk: My first experience watching a person use a parafoil kite.

What's Lurking Under the Willow Tree? Is that hollow a good place to hide?

What I Observed from My Bench at Larry Moore Park: You can see a lot from a park bench. Includes a video.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Lost in the Elfin Forest in Los Osos in June

How Not to Get Lost in the Elfin Forest


Part of the Elfin Forest Boardwalk with Black Sage in the Foreground, © B. Radisavljevic

A boardwalk loop is the only trail through the Elfin Forest. Once on the boardwalk, it's hard to get lost in the Elfin Forest. There are signs to lead you to every boardwalk destination. You can find the signs and maps to borrow at each entrance. More signs all along the boardwalk explain what you are seeing. Notice the map of the layout on the photo below. It marks all the entrances. On our first visit we entered on 16th Street, a fact I couldn't remember on this visit. Rather I had noted that a boardwalk trail led to the main boardwalk. So I assumed all the entrances were like this. You can read about that first visit in January 2014, here.

Visitor Information Sign. Notice the Map on the Lower Right of the Layout of Trails, © B. Radisavljevic
Look carefully at the map above. Each entrance is located at the end of a residential street. There are some designated handicapped parking spaces at the end of 16th Street and the boardwalk from the parking area to the main boardwalk makes the forest wheelchair accessible at this  entrance. The many benches along the boardwalk offer those who can't walk long distances a place to rest frequently. Because we parked on 16th Street on our first visit we didn't realize that all the other paths leading to the main boardwalk were sand paths. Some, like this one, below, required a step up with no rail to grab.

White Yarrow Hangs Over Root "Step" on Sand Path Leading to Main Boardwalk
Roots in path could trip people who don't see them in time. © B. Radisavljevic

It's Easier to Get Lost On the Way Back to Your Car

We had forgotten which entrance was handicapped accessible on this second visit since we hadn't been here in over five years. I had planned to go directly to Siena's View that overlooks Morro Bay, so I chose the 12th Street entrance. Santa Ysabela, a main street, leads to all the entrances of the Elfin Forest. There are entrances from 17th, 16th, 15th, 14th, 13th, 12th, and 11th Streets. 

We arrived at the forest at around 5:00 on a Monday evening in June. I quickly discovered that there was no place to park close to the 12th Street entrance. It was trash day, so all the street parking spaces were cut short by the trash containers. I had to back up until I could get to a driveway to turn around in. 

Luckily traffic on Santa Ysabela wasn't too bad so I was able to go back to 14th Street without too much trouble. I did find a place to park there. The friendly person who lived in the house we parked in front of told us when we wanted to find our way back to just look for the telephone pole. He said it was the only one in the Elfin Forest. This is what that entrance looks like. I wish I had taken the picture when I entered instead of when I got back. 



On this visit my husband was suffering from a sore knee and when I saw that the entrance only had a sand trail leading to the boardwalk, I knew my husband would never make it. But the view from the car was good, the weather was cool, and Hubby opted to stay in the car with the windows open and just observe while I went onto the trail to take pictures. It turns out he saw more wildlife from the car than I saw on the trail. I only saw one cottontail. He saw several. I saw birds, a coyote, and several lizards like the one below. 

Lizard on Boardwalk, Elfin Forest, Los Osos, June, 2019, © B. Radisavljevic

I didn't dare get close enough to get a better photo without the shadow since the lizard was pretty fast. I was sure it would disappear if I got closer so I did the best I could with my zoom. The flower hanging into the boardwalk is one of the many black sage plants that seemed to be everywhere and buzzing with bumblebees. 

The Flowers


The main reason we had made this visit was so that I could photograph some of the flowers in June. Very little was blooming on our January visit. I wouldn't exactly call it a garden on this visit, but at least there was more color. I was especially looking for this sticky monkey flower, and I wasn't disappointed. 

Sticky Monkey Flower in Elfin Forest, June 2019, © B. Radisavljevic
As I showed you above, the white yarrow was also blooming, and there was black sage almost everywhere you looked. I was able to photograph the sage, but the bumblebees foraging were too quick to capture with my camera. I was hoping they wouldn't invade my space on the boardwalk. They were very loud, but I guess they were contented. 

Black Sage in the Elfin Forest in June, © B. Radisavljevic

I took close to 200 photos, but the rest I'm saving for another blog. In this post I want to help you avoid what happened to me on the way back to the car. 

How I Got Lost


By the time I had walked for about an hour, I knew I should get back to the car in case my husband was getting tired of sitting there. I should have known better. When I finally did get back, he wasn't even there. 

But getting back wasn't as easy as I expected. It's true there was only one telephone poll within the Elfin Forest, but there were many just outside of it close to the other streets. I had forgotten which street we were parked on. Had I remembered, getting back would have been much easier. The boardwalk marked most, but not all exits with signs like the one below. You can't read it, but it says that trail leads to exits on 11th, 12, and 13th Streets. 



Since I seemed to remember parking on 13th Street, I took this exit. The car was not on the exit where I wound up. What looked like a continuation of the trail at the end was really someone's driveway. 

I called my husband to see how he was doing and he was fine. I told him I was lost and asked him about the colors of the houses around him. I could see the end houses for almost all the streets from where I stood, but not any poles I was sure were in the forest. All the telephone poles I saw appeared to be in the forest until I got closer to them. I told Hubby I'd be back to the car as soon as I could find my way back. 

After talking to a few people I met along the boardwalk, I finally took their advice and tried the 14th Street exit, which was clearly marked with a sign. It did lead me back to the car -- but the car was empty. I called my husband again, and he told me he was using a bathroom. Of course I knew there were no public bathrooms in the area so I was confused until I saw him walking toward me from a driveway. He'd gotten into a conversation with the neighbor who had told me to look for the pole. I also learned the man had gone looking for me. His wife called to tell him I had returned. She also invited me to use her bathroom, for which I was grateful. 

How I Could Have Avoided Getting Lost


As soon as I got to the boardwalk, I should have turned and used my phone to take a photo of the entrance to the path I'd used the way it would look to get back on it . Or I could have made a note of the street name where I had parked the car. Had I done that I would have been able to find my way back from a sign by the trail entrance or by the photo of how the entrance to the way back looks. I also could have noted the colors of the houses on the street closest to the trail access or taken photos of them. Knowing the name of the street would have been the most useful, since then when I asked the way back people would have known how to direct me. 

Hindsight is great. I share this with you in case you are as impulsive as I am. If you do what I didn't, you probably will have no trouble getting back to your car after a walk in the Elfin Forest.

In spite of getting lost, I still enjoyed the walk and wish I'd stayed longer. "All's well that ends well," as the Bard said. By the time I found my way back, the sun had begun to hide in the clouds over Morro Bay. 

Looking Toward Morro Bay from the Elfin Forest Boardwalk, © B. Radisavljevic
   

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Too Good to Forget: "Lighten Up" at Studios on the Park

Remembering the Past at Studios on the Park


This blog preserves what I find interesting in Paso Robles. Of course, I can't keep track of everything that interests me or I wouldn't have time to go enjoy it, but I try to make frequent visits to Studios on the Park. Much that is worthy to remember from there happened before this blog started. This "Lighten Up" exhibit had lamps designed by many of my favorite artists.

Many artists in residence back in January 2014 whose work I feature here are no longer there. Many artists not in residence also exhibit their work here. I featured Dale Evers' contribution to this exhibit on my Tidbits from Templeton blog which preceded this one. See his amazing lamp here. Laure Carlisle was also in residence then. So was Joe Thomas. This post will show some of what I skipped when I wrote the first post on that event.

Too Good to Forget: "Lighten Up" at Studios on the Park


Hanging Lights


In the photo above you can see the display of lamps hanging in the atrium. The one in the foreground was painted by Anne Laddon.  One of my favorites isn't visible in this shot, so I'll show it to you below. The title is "Smudge and Squiggle" -- the mascots of Studios on the Park. This lampshade was created by Joe Thomas.

Too Good to Forget: "Lighten Up" at Studios on the Park


Table and Floor Lamps


Most of the lamps on display were table lamps, with only a few floor lamps to be seen. Here is a typical display from this exhibit, and this one also has a floor lamp.

Too Good to Forget: "Lighten Up" at Studios on the Park


This mixed media lamp below is one of my favorites. I like it because I need a lot of inspiration and bright ideas myself. Although to the best of my knowledge Nancy Vest has not yet been an artist in residence at Studios on the Park, she usually is a participant in the Paso Robles Art Association exhibits.

Too Good to Forget: "Lighten Up" at Studios on the Park


Ever wondered what to do with your collection of old cameras? Laure Carlisle had a great idea. Make a lamp out of them. I'll bet you've never seen a floor lamp quite like this before. Displays were crowded close together and in odd places -- wherever they would fit, so it was hard to isolate this lamp from its surroundings. I blew up the cameras a bit so you could see them in more detail without the shade.

Too Good to Forget: "Lighten Up" at Studios on the Park


Which lamp do you think is most inventive? Which would you rather have in your home?Have you ever made a lamp? Feel free to share in the comments. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

"The Circle of Life" on the Charolais Corridor Trail

Best or Favorite Photo of 2018?


This month's theme gives us a lot of leeway. But since we begin a new year today, I decided to chose Robert Roemisch's metal sculpture, "The Circle of Life," to feature. I've always liked this sculpture. It's the first thing that people notice on the eastern entrance to the Charolais Corridor Trail in Paso Robles. The trail itself leads to the River Walk along the Salinas River as it runs through Paso Robles. Roemisch wanted people walking the trail to be aware of the river's environmental and educational value as well as just enjoying it as a place to exercise. 


"The Circle of Life" on the Charolais Corridor Trail - A Sculpture by Robert Roemisch

Over the years I have taken many photos of this sculpture. I like this one, taken at dusk, because it emphasizes the silhouette animals in the circle. It also serves as a window to allow a look through the center at the plants on the other side. I've never yet seen a bear along this trail, but I have seen plenty of rabbits. Most of them detect me and run away before I can capture them with a camera. 

Please check out my poll on the Virily site, Charolais Corridor Trail in Paso Robles, to see which photos of "The Circle of Life" in my collection are most popular. I'd love to  know which you like best, so I hope you will vote, too. 

Happy New Year!

See the favorite photos of other City Daily Photo Bloggers here. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar

A Calendar that Shows Off Paso Robles Wine Country


It's been years since I created a Zazzle calendar to show off our Paso Robles and Templeton Gap wineries and vineyards. Finally, though, I've produced one for 2019. It includes shots of some of my favorite wine country scenes. I hope some are your favorites, too. In this post I'll show you the photos I've included with some information about each.

This may be just the gift for one of your friends this year. Those with gift shops can get lower prices on larger quantities for resale. Here's the cover. I took this shot looking out at the vineyard behind the Rotta Tasting Room in Templeton. It was taken in late March, 2014. Get your copy of the calendar here. 

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar - Cover

January: The Covered Bridge at Halter Ranch


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Halter Ranch Photo

I discovered this covered bridge in a roundabout way. In 2014 I was walking through Studios on the Park as I often do.  I happened into the studio of Carol Timson Ball. She wasn’t there herself, but Katherine Moldauer whose turn it was to man the studio, was able to answer questions.  As I looked at Carol’s paintings of local scenic places, I offhandedly said to Katherine, “That covered bridge isn’t in this county.” Katherine replied, “Yes it is.”

“Where?”

She answered, “At Halter Ranch.” She explained it was a winery at the end of a country road I happen to live near the other end of. I couldn’t believe I had a covered bridge just a few miles away and I didn’t know it.

We simply don’t have covered bridges in this part of the county. What for? There’s hardly ever any rain and our rivers are dry by late spring. Of course, Katherine didn’t explain that the bridge has only lived here since 2009. Naturally I decided it was time I see the bridge for myself, so the next day we visited Halter Ranch, where I took the picture you see above.

February: Zenaida Tasting Room


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Zenaida Photo

Although Zenaida has beautiful vineyards, I chose this photo because it also has gorgeous oak trees. It's hard to choose just one photo to represent a winery. See some other photos of the Zenaida vineyards here.

March: Maintenance in a Bethel Road Vineyard


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Spring Maintenance Photo


This vineyard has had more than one name in the past. It was once JanKris and later became known as Veris. Then Veris was sold and now, after a long time in transition, the vineyard appears to be part of Bethel Road Distillery. I've been watching for the transition and usually see a closed parking lot when I drive by and no evidence this is open except their Facebook page. Meanwhile, I miss the old Veris Tasting Room with its majestic oak tree in front and its lovely gardens and vineyards. There are still vineyards on the property. See what it used to be in my pictorial history of the Veris Cellars . It's my tribute to what was once one of the loveliest settings for a tasting room in this area. It looks kind of sad now.

April: Tooth and Nail Castle and Tasting Room


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Tooth and Nail Photo

Paso Robles Wine Country is constantly changing. The Tooth and Nail tasting room, pictured above, is another example of that.

 Previously it was Eagle Castle, another winery that closed. The castle was vacant for a couple of years. I live near the castle and watched Eagle Castle go up.  It was a bit like a museum and housed many antiques. The tasting room was lively on the occasions when I was there. I was sad when it closed. I saw it sit vacant for many months and then gradually transform into Tooth and Nail. The antiques are gone. Some say the Eagle Castle wine wasn't good enough and that's why it didn't survive. I don't drink wine, so I'm no judge of it. I know it won some awards. I loved the castle and that's why I wrote this pictorial history of the castle itself as I've watched it through the years.

May: Pomar Junction 


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Pomar Junction Photo


One thing that makes Pomar Junction is distinctive is its connection with the railroad. Part of the reason for its name is that the Merrill family who owns it have railroad engineers it its lineage. That's also part of the reason you will find an actual boxcar and caboose at the small "depot" beside the vineyard at Pomar Junction. The photo I used in the calendar is a cropped version of the photo above that focuses primarily on the railroad cars. See some of my other shots of these railroad cars at Pomar Junction here. 

June: Peachy Canyon Gazebo and Picnic Area


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Peachy Canyon Gazebo Photo


Whenever I seek a serene environment, I head for Peachy Canyon tasting room and its beautiful park like grounds in Templeton. I love the oak trees, a couple of which are towering over the gazebo in the picture. Sometimes I see squirrels playing in them. The gift shop inside the tasting room always has something new to see, and I enjoy finding and saying hello to the Maine Coon cats. I found this one near the red valerian near the parking lot.

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Peachy Canyon Maine Coon Cat

July: Classic Cars at Sculpterra Winery on Independence Day


C2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Classic Cars at Sculpterra Photo on July 4

The Independence Day Party hosted by Dr. Warren Frankel at his Sculpterra Winery is our go to place on the afternoon of July 4. So far it's always been free and family friendly. Those who attend learn why we celebrate the day and meet many of our local elected officials who usually say a few words. The photo above that appears in the calendar is one of the many classic cars that some people show off at the party. Those who drive the classic cars seem to get the best parking places, closest to the action. I took this photo at the 2013 party. You can see my illustrated blog post on the 2014 party here. 

August: A Templeton Vineyard with Sunflowers in the Foreground


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Vineyard and Sunflowers Photo


I'm not sure who owns this vineyard. It may be one of the private ones, but I don't for sure. Those sunflowers caught my eye and I couldn't resist taking the photo. I believe I saw this scene on Las Tablas Road in Templeton.  For the calendar I cropped off the lower fence rail. I couldn't do much about the wires.

September: Harvest Time at Doce Robles


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Doce Robles at Harvest Time Photo


It's always hard to choose just one photo to represent Doce Robles. I probably take more pictures there than at any other vineyard because it's such a great place to photograph sunsets. It's also a safe place to park if you head west on Highway 46 West and the sun is in your eyes making you too blind to drive safely. If you visit Doce Robles, don't be surprised if German shepherds greet you before you get into the tasting room.

2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Doce Robles German Shepherds



Niner: Heart Hill in Autumn


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Heart Hill in Autumn


Heart Hill is a natural heart shaped oak grove. Niner Estates planted vineyards around it. In autumn it becomes a spectacular sight when the leaves put on their autumn colors. There's no way I could leave a photo of Heart Hill in autumn out of this calendar!

November: Harvest Display at Turley in Templeton


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Turley Autumn Display Photo

Turley always has an attractive seasonal display near its entrance during the autumn holidays. These displays, like this one, usually feature colorful pumpkins and squashes.

December: Castoro Windmill in the Sunset


2019 Paso Robles and Templeton Wine Country Calendar: Castoro Windmill in Sunset Photo


December is the sunset of the old year, so I thought this was appropriate. Besides that, I love the way this windmill looks in the sunset. I cropped this photo a bit for the calendar page so it would fit the format.

More about the Calendar's Features


The back cover of the calendar contains a list of all photo locations in case you want to identify them. There wasn't room to write everything on the photos themselves. If you decide to customize the calendar with some of your own photos, don't forget to change the descriptions on that back cover.

You can choose between many different sizes and wire binding colors. I made mine white. Order your copy of the calendar here.

Some of these scenes are also featured on posters, postcards, and other products in my Zazzle California Wine Country Memories and Gifts store.  Here's a sample, with some variations:



It is easy to customize the options to get what you want on this calendar. I intended it to be only a twelve month calendar, so I have only included photos for twelve months. You can choose a one or two page layout and chose a different set of holidays to include than the default. Although some photos I have posted here have my name on them, that is not the case as the photos appear on the calendar itself.



Which calendar month photo did you like best?
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