Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Detour Through Wine Country on Arbor Road

Detour Through Wine Country on Unpaved Section of Arbor Road

I took this photo while escaping the backed-up traffic affecting almost every route between Paso Robles and Templeton Monday. When I saw South Vine backed up all the way to First Street from Highway 46 West, where I was headed, I turned off quickly on Kiler Canyon to get to 46 through the hills to Arbor Road to 46. It's a tricky detour because if you don't make the turn onto Arbor Road, it's a long slow dirt road to connect to Peachy Canyon Road -- several miles. 

Detour Through Wine Country on Arbor Road
Vineyard on Arbor Road in June, © B. Radisavljevic

I had just rounded a curve when I found a place to pull over and take this photo. Before I was back in the car, a CHP car came by followed by two construction trucks. He probably thought I was lost or in trouble. I reassured him and then asked what was tying up 101 and all the alternate routes. He explained about the work that entailed lane closures in both directions from the 46 West exit. I'm guessing he was leading those construction trucks behind him to the project so they wouldn't get lost. 

If you'd like to take this detour some time or just see what happens if you take the wrong turn, read Kiler Canyon: A Scenic Drive in Paso Robles, California.  Its photos will help keep you from getting lost.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Nature in My World

Today is theme day for City Daily Photo Bloggers, and this month's theme is nature. That's a pretty hard topic to narrow down to just a few shots. Most of my posts on this blog are about nature. I will limit this post to shots of three of my favorite nature subjects: sunset, the Cambria coast, and trees.

I never get tired of sunsets. It's hard to choose just one to share here, but there are more in my other posts. See smoky sunsets during last year's Chimney Fire here. You can find photos of the Salinas River at sundown here. I took these shots during sundown from the Steinbeck Winery.  The shots below were taken in my own neighborhood.

Nature in My World
Sunset in my Neighborhood

This shot contains two of my favorite nature subjects -- trees and the sunset.

 Nature in My World

See more shots of these trees framing sunsets here.

My third favorite nature subject is the ocean. My favorite place to take ocean shots is at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, where this was taken.

Nature in My World
Driftwood on the Cambria Coast at Moonstone Beach
See more views of the ocean along the California Central Coast here.

See more oak tree shots in Deciduous Oak Trees in Winter

What is your favorite nature subject?

See the photos other City Daily Photo Bloggers chose for this theme here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Do Love Trees -- Especially These Trees

These Trees Frame Most of My Sunset Photos

The oak lives right across the street from me. The palms live across the intersecting street from the oak. From my yard, I can frame the sunset between them. My only frustration when photographing the sunset in this frame of trees is the streetlight in front of the oak. 

I Do Love Trees -- Especially These Trees

It's a bit darker in this photo. As often happens, in order to get the sunset shot I want, part of the oak gets cut out. 

I Do Love Trees -- Especially These Trees

Sometimes the oak solos in the photos.

I Do Love Trees -- Especially These Trees

Sometimes the palms stand alone. 

I Do Love Trees -- Especially These Trees

I Think God Made Trees to Complement Sunsets

Of course, there are many other reasons I love trees. They provide shade in summer, turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, provide tasty fruits to eat, and turn lovely colors in the fall. In winter blooming trees provide beautiful reminders that spring is coming soon. They provide places for birds to nest and perch. What's not to love about trees? 

Okay, I do know they drop unwanted seeds in the fall (but the squirrels and birds love them.) Sometimes they drop messy fruits. Raking those lovely colored leaves in autumn is a tradition I like much better than those horrible noisy blowers too many people use now, but I understand that some people consider raking or blowing leaves a chore. I personally think the pros of growing trees far outweighs the cons. Our lives would be much poorer without them. 

I Do Love Trees -- Especially These Trees

What do you love most about trees? Which trees do you like best? Do you have a favorite tree that means something special to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments. 


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Celebrate Birds Every Day

How Will You Celebrate Bird Day?

I celebrate birds every day. Do you?

 Celebrate Birds Every Day

Here's why I celebrate birds.
  1. They fill our world with song. 
  2. They eat insect pests in our gardens. 
  3. They are fun to watch in the wild and in our yards.
  4. They give us eggs.
  5. They hunt rodents that damage our gardens and crops.

Some Ways to Celebrate Bird Day

Do some birdwatching.

Take a walk and see how many different kinds of birds you can spot. Try to capture them on camera. Make a video of their songs. I personally use two cameras. Both give me half an hour of HD video if needed. My Canon PowerShot SX410 IS features a 40X optical zoom. That is very important when capturing birds that go high in trees. I also use an obsolete Nikon CoolPix that's smaller and will fit in a pocket. Fortunately for me, both cameras fit nicely in the shoulder case featured in the PowerShot bundle below. It's really handy to always have both cameras and extra batteries and SanDisks along, and they all fit in the bag with my ID and other small things I need.

If you aren't a photographer, you may want to take along binoculars. A good pocket field guide is also nice to have along.

 Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm) Nikon COOLPIX B700 20.2 MP 60x Optical Zoom Super Telephoto NIKKOR Digital 4K Wi-Fi Camera (Black) + 64GB SDXC Memory & Accessory Bundle Canon Powershot SX410 IS 20 MP Digital Camera with 40x Optical Zoom and 720p HD Video (Red) + NB-11L Battery & AC/DC Battery Charger + 9pc Bundle 32GB Accessory Kit W/ HeroFiber Cleaning Cloth Fvstar Kids Binoculars Pocket Size Compact 8 X 21 for Bird Watching Watching Wildlife or Scenery Lightweight Waterproof and Fogproof (Blue) The Bird Watching Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) Bird Watching Record: Bird Watching Log Bird Watching for Kids: Bite-sized Learning & Backyard Projects Sibley Backyard Birding Flashcards: 100 Common Birds of Eastern and Western North America

Do Something Creative with Your Bird Photos

Use an editor like Fotojet or PicMonkey to make a collage. Both have free versions. I use the premium versions of both because I think it's worth paying for the extra features they provide. 

I also like to make products at Zazzle for fun and profit. Here are some of the gift items I've made that feature birds. 

Put Up a Bird Feeder

I confess I haven't done this yet, but I want to. Many of my friends love watching the birds flock to their backyard feeders. Some even keep a special camera to watch them and play back the video later. If you don't have a bird feeder yet, the selection may overwhelm you. Here are a few of the most popular. 

Get a Bird Bath for Your Feathered Friends

Birds appreciate water. Sometimes when I've been working in the garden with the sprinkler on the birds fly through the water just as children run through sprinklers. Birds need water, and it's not always easy for them to get during a hot summer. I've wanted a bird bath for a long time, but so far I haven't found the right place for it. I do admire those my neighbors have when I walk by them. So do the birds.

How Will You Celebrate Birds?

However you do it, get the whole family involved if you can. Whether you watch birds in the wild or in your backyard, enjoy them. Learn to recognize them by their looks and their calls and songs. Feed them if you are so inclined.

As you can probably tell my photos, I like to watch birds in and around the water. I see many other birds, but the waterfowl are the easiest for me to photograph because they aren't always moving. Even if they are moving, it's usually in the water or on the ground -- not flitting from branch to branch as you are trying to focus on them.

I hope I've given you some new ideas on cultivating the birds in your environment or reminding you of something you've wanted to do but not done yet. Maybe today is the right time.

 Celebrate Birds Every Day


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Climb as High as You Can

Climb High

These roses used what they had available to climb as high as they could. In this case, it was a dead pine tree. Now it's become a trellis. 

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Climb as High as You Can
Roses Climbing Dead Pine Tree to the Top
The roses took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself and used it to get to the top. Is there an opportunity you haven't used that could take you where you want to go?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles

We Love to Eat

We enjoy eating out, but our budget doesn't allow it very often. When we do eat out, we are most likely to choose Touch of Paso Restaurant in our hometown of Paso Robles. We enjoy the food, we can afford to eat there, and it's where the locals hang out. I chose this photo for this month's City Daily Photo Bloggers theme: Let's Eat. 

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles
Hubby Enjoying His Dinner at Touch of Paso Restaurant in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic

The Food at Touch of Paso

My husband, pictured above, loves Touch of Paso because he can eat the liver I won't cook. He likes the way they cook it. He also is glad he can still get sweet potato fries there, since so many other restaurants no longer have them. 

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles
My Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich at Touch of Paso, © B. Radisavljevic

I normally order the Philly Cheese Steak on a French Roll. I get to choose two of these three options to go with it: soup, salad, or fries. See the complete lunch menu here.  We normally go for lunch, but we have to get in before the restaurant closes at 2 PM. Those who want breakfast can get in as early as 6 AM. 

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles
Hubby's Salad with Italian Dressing, © B. Radisavljevic

Touch of Paso also makes great cinnamon rolls and pies. Unfortunately our diet no longer permits us to eat them, but after a hearty lunch we really don't have room for anything sweet anyway. I usually take half my sandwich home for lunch the next day. 

Why Do We Choose Touch of Paso?

Touch of Paso offers a variety of choices for breakfast and lunch.  Lunch options include early dinners for those who like to have their main meal at midday, as we do. Those main meal selections include "down-home"  beef, steaks, chicken, and fish choices. For a lighter meal one can order soup, one of the delicious main dish salads, chili, or one of several choices on the hot and cold sandwich menu. For lighter appetites, one can order a half sandwich with a cup of soup. Many people order this so that they have room left over for a delicious slice of pie. 

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles
Boards Announcing Daily Specials and Pie Offerings, © B. Radisavljevic

While you wait to be seated, you can browse the daily specials and the current pie selection from the boards near the entrance. Local artist works decorate the walls both in the waiting area and in the dining rooms. This is a popular restaurant in Paso Robles and you might have to wait for a seat -- especially on Sunday afternoons. 

Seating Options

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles
Outdoor Seating and Exit from Sun Room Dining Area, © B. Radisavljevic

At Touch of Paso you have three choices. You can eat outside if there's room. You can eat in the sun room that looks out on the parking lot and the surrounding oaks. You can see its door above the steps that lead to the outdoor area pictured above. Outdoor eating space is very limited. The sun room is the next best thing. 

Of course, you can also choose to eat indoors, as we normally do. Indoors you can sit at a booth or a table -- whichever suits you or is available when you come. 

Wherever you choose to enjoy your meal, it will be a great value for what you pay for it. It's easy to take home anything you can't eat in one sitting, and we usually do that. Touch of Paso used to be a home, and the friendly staff will make you feel at home while you are there. There's a reason the locals keep coming back. 

To see how bloggers around the world have treated this theme, see the theme gallery. 

Let's Eat: A Review of Touch of Paso Restaurant In Paso Robles

All text and photos are © B. Radisavljevic, all rights reserved. Please do not use without written permission. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No Words Do Justice to the Exquisite Iris

An Iris Unfolds to Reveal its Mysteries

No Words Do Justice to the Exquisite Iris
Unfolding Iris in Mid-April, © B. Radisavljevic

Spiders and Insects Explore the Mysteries of the Iris

No Words Do Justice to the Exquisite Iris
Spiders Use the Iris as Hunting Ground, © B. Radisavljevic

An Iris Inspires Awe

No Words Do Justice to the Exquisite Iris


Monday, April 17, 2017

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

The Drought Shut Down the Waterfall At Kennedy Adventure in Paso Robles

Everyone, including Kevin Kennedy, had to do their part to conserve water during the drought. That's why the waterfall at Kennedy Adventure was turned off. Here's how it looked in July 2015, dry. 

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

I saw the sign below explaining why the waterfall was dry. I knew I would miss seeing the waterfall, and I did.

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

I missed all our public water features that made our city beautiful. Even the fountain at the entrance to City Park was dry. The photo below was taken on July 5, 2014. 

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

Last year the city completely took the fountain out. See City Park is Wrapped in Orange. 

Now That the Drought Has Been Pronounced Over, The Kennedy Waterfall Is Back

I noticed it when I went to work out on April 11, shortly after the state lifted the drought ordinances.  First I heard it as I walked in from the parking lot and followed my ears to the waterfall. Then I took my camera out and snapped these photos.  

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

I love the little dragonfly sculptures on the waterfall. Here they are close-up. 

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

Can you find the dragonflies below?

Drought Is Over, and the Kennedy Waterfall In Paso Robles Is Back

Have you seen the waterfall since it started flowing again?


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Bee Enjoying Dandelion

Bees Love Dandelions

That's  why I grow lots of them. 

Bee Enjoying Dandelion
Bee on Dandelion, © B. Radisavljevic

Bee Enjoying Dandelion
Another  Bee Enjoying Dandelion, © B. Radisavljevic

 Bee Enjoying Dandelion
The Bee on the Dandelion Changed Positions. © B. Radisavljevic

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Photos of a Wet North County

What's Wet in the North County?

North San Luis Obispo County, California, is not known for its frequent rain. Most of the year non-irrigated land is not wet. Sometimes even our lakes and rivers are dry. Currently the sun is shining brightly and no rain is expected soon. But for City Daily Photo Bloggers, this month's theme is "wet" and this is the day to illustrate it. To do that I have have looked back to my rainy season photos.

Photos of a Wet North County
Atascadero Lake, January 28, 2017

Atascadero Lake

Atascadero Lake is one spot in the North County that usually contains water, but even it was dry in 2014 during the worst of the drought. I'm happy to see it full again. See Atascadero Lake at its best and worst here. The birds are happy to see it full again after the winter rains. We all hope it stays that way. 

Photos of a Wet North County
Waterfowl at Atascadero Lake, 1-28-17, © B. Radisavljevic

The Salinas River

The Salinas River is sometimes wet, but most of the year it is dry. For more wet season photos, see The Salinas River in Paso Robles: Now You See It. The photo below was taken in February at sundown. The recent rains had been good to the river.  I'm hoping it will stay visible and wet until at least the end of April, but that will depend on getting some April showers. 

Photos of a Wet North County
Salinas River at Sundown, 2-26-17,  © B. Radisavljevic

Since I love seeing the river full and flowing, I've made a lot of my photos of the river into products at Zazzle. Here are some of them.

The Cow Parade at Halter Ranch

In February I went on a search for cows in the Cow Parade, an international event. Businesses sponsored artists who made life-size cow sculptures, and the cows were scattered over many locations in our county. I wanted to find all I could in the North County. I found this one on a rainy day at Halter Ranch Winery. It's titled Cowvee Alice. It was created by Jack Foster and sponsored by Halter Ranch. Many of the cows from the cow parade have been made into collectible figurines you can find at Amazon

Photos of a Wet North County
Cowvee at Halter Ranch, 2-19-17, © B. Radisavljevic

 It was not easy to get this photograph. When I arrived in front of the tasting room, the cow was surrounded by people with umbrellas. They weren't moving. I discovered they were all part of a tour of the winery and were gathered in front of the tasting room (and the cow) to listen to the tour leader speak. I decided to join in and learn something. When the tour moved on to the winery, I snapped my photos and then followed the tour. Find out more about this tour here. I recommend it.) If you look closely at the photo, you will see that the sidewalk around the cow sculpture is wet. So was the cow, but it's hard to see that. The vineyards and grounds were also wet. 

Puddles Near the Park

On January 9,  I walked to Larry Moore Park to check on the river after the rain. I took a short cut from the J.C. Penny parking lot across a vacant lot to a back park entrance. On the way I passed many puddles. This is one I liked because of its reflection of the trees near it. It was quite a large puddle and the ground around it was so wet I sloshed as I walked.

Photos of a Wet North County
Puddle Near Back Entrance to Larry Moore Park in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic

The Sunken Gardens In Atascadero

I took this photo of the fountain at the Sunken Gardens Park on a very windy day after the rain. It was wet in many places around the fountain because of the wind's splashing. Of course, the fountain is wet, too. 

Photos of a Wet North County
Overflowing Fountain  after Rain in the Sunken Gardens, Atascadero, © B. Radisavljevic

My Own Backyard

Until last winter, I had never seen my yard this wet. Usually the rain is quickly absorbed by the thirsty ground. After several rainy days, the ground was not so thirsty anymore. Thus the puddles appeared. The white streaks are the falling raindrops.

Photos of a Wet North County

Which photo illustrating this month's Wet theme do you like best? Here are the photos other bloggers from around the world posted to this theme. 


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