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

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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. 



**


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The First Week of Spring

Floral Signs


Not only is every flowering tree in bloom or dropping its petals, but other flowers are showing their faces. This is one I saw near my mailbox.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The First Week of Spring
First California Poppy I Saw this Spring, © B. Radisavljevic

For some reason, I treasure this gazania which sprouted in what's left of my lawn. I won't let the gardener touch it when he mows. I hope it spreads.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The First Week of Spring
Volunteer Gazania in my Lawn, © B. Radisavljevic


A New Crop of Weeds Mingles with Flowers


This iris flower has faded, but its neighbor irises are all budding, so I expect more soon. How fast this flower disappeared, and how quickly new buds appeared. I took this photo five days ago. Today the gardener whacked the tops off these grassy weeds that surround this iris bed. If you look very carefully, you can see the new buds. They are bigger today. 

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The First Week of Spring
Early Iris Surrounded by Weedy Grasses, © B. Radisavljevic


The Bees Are Busy, Grateful for the Holly Flowers


Do you see them at work?

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The First Week of Spring
Bees in the Holly Flowers, © B. Radisavljevic

You might also enjoy Insects Love Spring Wildflowers


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: California Central Coast Snow in March

Here's How It Snows in Paso Robles

California Central Coast Snow in March
It snows in flower petals from the Bradford pear tree on the first day of spring.  
California Central Coast Snow in March
Bradford Pear Blossoms on Tree


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: An Overflowing Fountain in Atascadero

The Fountain in The Sunken Gardens Overflowed During February Rains



The fountain in Atascadero's Sunken Gardens overflowed during the February rains.
The fountain in Atascadero's Sunken Gardens overflowed during the February rains. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Flags at Barney Schwartz Park

Sunset at Barney Schwartz Park


While chasing the sunset on the way home from my photo shoot in Union Road Wine Country, I was trying for some views of the setting sun at Barney Schwartz Park. I discovered I'd parked at the wrong lot and I had to cross one of the playing fields to get this.

Flags at Barney Schwartz Park
Sunset at Barney Schwartz Park


The Flags

As I walked back to my car I noticed the flags. Since I usually park in a different lot, I'd never seen them before. Seeing them in the east as the sun was going down did something to me emotionally. In this photo the flags are backward. 

Flags at Barney Schwartz Park

From left to right are the flags of the United States, California, and the City of Paso Robles. Below, the flags are in turned the right way, since I walked around the lot to shoot them from the proper direction. Unfortunately,  the new perspective made the Paso Robles flag appear lower than the California flag, but that's only an illusion. 

Flags at Barney Schwartz Park in Paso Robles, California


It seems the older I get, the more the national flag means to me. I feel it's by the grace of God I was born in the United States and that all my life I've had my liberty protected by the United States Constitution. I've taken liberty for granted for over seventy years and only realized it in the past few decades. Now I know how special liberty is. I wish all people everywhere could experience this freedom instead of the tyrannical governments many have experienced since birth. Yet I realize that to preserve this liberty we must be vigilant. 


What do you think or feel when you see your national flag?

***

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky

Black and White in Color

In March, the City Daily Photo Bloggers have been challenged to post photos taken in color that appear almost black and white. I've been digging through my files and I found these photos of sights on the ground. I took this shot by the Salinas River on one of those occasions when it was full. The sand easily picks up footprints. 

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Prints in the Sand by the River


This next photo was also taken close to the river.  The current has left patterns in the sand. 

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Patterns in the Sand by the River


Black and White in Color: Look Up at the Birds and the Sky


Several birds have congregated on the wires. 

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Birds on the Wires


One bird perched in a tree. 

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Bird High in a Tree


The turkey vultures dominate the sky on these cloudy days, but don't they always? 


Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Turkey Vulture Flying above Cloud

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Turkey Vulture Flying over Wires


Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky


To conclude this challenge, I return to the view I shoot every night from in front of my house framed by the oak and the palms. 


Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
A Gray Sunset


I think I've met the challenge to let color pass for black and white, but the truth is I don't much like black and white. I think God gave us colors to brighten the world. If I'm going to shoot the sky, I prefer this. 

Black and White in Color: On the Ground and in the Sky
Weathervane in Sunset


Do you prefer color or black and white photos?



***

Monday, February 27, 2017

Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown

Peace at the River as the Sun Sets

After walking through Union Road Wine Country yesterday, I stopped at the river on my way home just as the sun was almost down. I parked on Navajo off South River Road and all these pictures were taken in the same block within a 20-minute period. It was quiet except for the singing birds. I experienced great peace here after a hectic day. 

Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
The Salinas River at Sundown

At one point I looked down toward the river and saw footprints of someone who obviously made a path to it. I used a zoom for this shot because I didn't dare get close by taking that same slippery and wet path. 

Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
Footprints in the Sand Lead to the River's Edge


The same footprints are on the left of this photo. I aimed the camera so that the true colors of the plants and the hill would show, but it muted the colors of the sky. 



Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
Green Hill above the River


My Cameras



I took these photos with a point and shoot Nikon Coolpix S9300. I love this camera because it fits in my purse or my camera bag and it gives me 16 megapixels and an 18x zoom so that I can capture wildlife without scaring it. I also had my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS along. Both the cameras fit in my shoulder camera bag together, and I can also fit in extra batteries and flash drives, along with my driver's license. 

When I go for a photo walk I pack both cameras into the bag and go. The PowerShot gives me 20 megapixels and a 40x optical zoom, but the Coolpix is often all I need and sometimes handles colors better. Both shoot HD video. The products below are the ones I use myself. 


If you need an online photo editor, I have reviewed FotoJet, my most used online editor, and linked to that review.  I used it for these shots to crop and add text. FotoJet has a free version that handles the basics and helps you design collages and other projects with your photos. There is also a paid version if you want more fonts and effects.

This next photo is almost the same scene as the last photo, but I focused on the sky instead of the ground colors because I wanted to capture the sunset. The way I aim the camera determines which colors will show best. I haven't mastered the manual settings yet, so I use the AUTO setting most of the time. I also occasionally use Macro or Zoom when needed. For some sunsets, I also might use the dawn/dusk scene setting. 


Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
Pastel Sunset over the Salinas River


Back to the River


This next photo is similar to one above, but it focuses more on the bank of the river and the hill.  

Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
Sunset over the Hills above the Salinas River


Below I've  focused on just the sunset.

Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
Lone Tree Beside River as the Sun Goes Down


My focus in this next photo is the reflection in the inlet of the overhanging branches of what I believe is a willow tree. 

Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown
Tree Reflection in River Inlet

In case you missed my other recent posts with photos of the Salinas River, please follow these links to find them. 

Salinas River Walk Photos and Sky Journal
Salinas River Photos from Vineyard Bridge in Templeton
Rain, Rain, and More Rain in Paso Robles
The Salinas River: Now You See It


Photos of the Salinas River at Sundown

Personal Note

I will not be posting tomorrow because I'm having a root canal procedure under sedation. I will be sleeping most of the day afterward, and I have instructions not to work -- not even on the phone. I did this last week, too, so I know now how the sedation affects me. 

I posted about my experience with the sedative on myLot, a discussion forum. You can read it here if you want to: Root Canal Report and my Experience with Halcion. You do not have to join the site to read this, but only members can comment. This site is my preferred social network because it's really social and the discussions often go deep. I've made many online friends there over the years whom I now know better than my non-virtual friends. 

****