Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Making Music at Studios on the Park

The City Daily Photo Blogger Theme for August is Music. Paso Robles is full of free music all over town. My favorite place to get my music fix is at Studios on the Park. Every month at Art After Dark a different musician is featured. I  took this photo at Art After Dark in October, 2016. I loved listening to  Julie Beaver and Wally Barnick as they entertained us. I couldn't keep my toes from tapping. 

Making Music at Studios on the Park
Julie Beaver and Wally Barnick Entertained Us

See what other City Daily Photo Bloggers have posted to this theme. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fair Weather Has a Unique Meaning in Paso Robles

Fair Weather In July

The most common usage of the term "fair weather" is as the opposite of "foul weather." According to the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus, fair weather is 'FINE, dry, bright, clear, sunny, cloudless, warm, balmy, clement, benign, pleasant.'  Here in Paso Robles, though, locals have their own interpretation of "fair weather."

Fair Weather Has a Unique Meaning in Paso Robles

It seems that very year in July when the California Mid-State Fair comes to Paso Robles it is very, very hot. This week, for example, with the fair in town, we've had triple digit temperatures that are expected to last most of the week before dropping to the nineties. That's what I call fair weather.

I took the photo tonight at 8:30. The temperature was still 85 degrees when I went to get the mail. As I walked back home and looked south, those clouds looked like layers of heat to me.

I can't handle hot weather, so I rarely get to the fair. I understand that the air conditioning went out in at least one of the buildings yesterday -- the one a friend of mine was working in. She said they had to depend on fans to fight the oppressive heat.

Murder at the Mid-State Fair

Did you know that Earlene Fowler wrote a murder mystery set at the Mid-State Fair? She is one of my favorite authors because most of her Benni Harper mysteries are set here in San Luis Obispo County. I love her characters and I enjoy being able to visualize the places mentioned in the books -- even though the author disguises the place names a bit. For example, San Luis Obispo is referred to as San Celina. Any local will find it easy to figure out the settings, and some, like Paso Robles and Morro Bay aren't disguised. Read my review of State Fair here.   Why not pick up a copy at the library while the fair is happening? Or pick it up at Amazon.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Spirit , Wind, and Kite

The Spirit of Theme Day

The first day of every month is theme day for City Daily Photo Bloggers, so I try to get into the spirit of it by posting something related to the theme. This month that theme is "spirit." I will try to relate that theme to a simple kite.

Spirit , Wind, and Kite
Man Trying to Get Kite into the Air, © B. Radisavljevic

The Wind Lifts a Kite

Without wind, it would be difficult to get a kite into the air. In the Bible's John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus asked how that was possible. Would a man have to return to his mother's womb and be born all over again?

Jesus answered: ...unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit....The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. 

Just as a kite in the air lets us know where the wind is blowing and in which direction, so the actions of a man let us know whether the Spirit of God is working in his life. What people do shows us what kind of spirit motivates them.

No one has seen the Spirit of God except when it moves in the lives of people. No one sees any spirit, holy or not, unless it acts on or in something physical, just as the wind acts on the kite to move it around.

Spirit , Wind, and Kite
Man Flying Kite in Paso Robles  City Park, © B. Radisavljevic

See how other City Daily Photo Bloggers worldwide have interpreted this theme.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places

Magnolia Flowers are Blooming at City Park

As I was driving past Paso Robles City Park a few days ago, I noticed the flowers on the magnolia trees, but had to hurry home and couldn't stop. I went back yesterday in the late afternoon to photograph them. I couldn't help but notice that most of the flowers were near the top of the tree.

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places
© B. Radisavljevic

Most of the magnolia trees were next to the parking area on 12th Street. Here are a couple that were next to each other. You can see that most of the flowers are at the top or on the outer edge of the tree, close to the light. As far as I can tell, these are Southern Magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora.)

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places

These evergreen magnolia trees are one of California's most widely cultivated street trees. The trees around the park aren't as tall as those I found on Oak Street two years ago. (See them here.) On those larger trees the flowers were more evenly distributed. The park trees also have some flowers on the lower branches but they seem to prefer to grow at the edges.

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places
© B. Radisavljevic

The flowers seem to want to get as close to the sun as they can. One on the tree below actually got above the roof of Pappy McGregor's Irish Pub, or so it appears from this camera angle.

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places
© B. Radisavljevic

A Bird Fell

It was as I stood on the park side of Pine Street between two parked cars shooting the picture above that I felt something fall lightly against my leg. When I looked down, this is what I saw.

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places. This bird fell on me while I was photographing the trees.
© B. Radisavljevic

I have no idea where the bird came from. I was not standing under a tree. I never saw the bird in the air. I just felt it hit me. I didn't see it until I looked down where it lay on the street. It was alive and could move its tail to fan it out, and it also spread its wings a couple of times. Its actual size was smaller than this photo. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I left it there, hoping it would recover and move before something hit it.

A Closer Look at the Magnolia Flowers

It was hard to get a clear close-up shot of the flowers because they were not only high in the trees, but they were also facing the sky. I had no way to get a shot of them from the top where one could see their faces best. Below you can see the white edge of a flower near the bottom right edge of the photo. When only partially open like this it somewhat resembles a very large tulip.

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places
© B. Radisavljevic

In the photo below, taken in front of Pappy McGregor's Irish Pub, there are two visible open flowers . The open flower at the top right gives you an idea of the flower's size, even though you can't see its face. You can see the face of the open flower near the center of the photo close to the bottom. The flowers are eight to ten inches in diameter and are very fragrant.

Magnolia Flowers Like High Places. See where I found them on the trees.
© B. Radisavljevic

Do magnolia trees grow near you? Have you enjoyed their fragrance during the summer?


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bees Love Lamb's Ears

Lamb's Ears Are A'buzzin'

It seems just yesterday my Lamb's Ears were only inches high. Then the flower spikes began to grow. Now the small flowers are in full bloom and the bees love them. You can see one foraging bee in the bottom left in the photo below. You may also spot a couple of blurry ones. Bees don't stay still very long. And if one is still, several others are in the air or about to be.

Bees Love Lamb's Ears and Other Herbs
Bee on Lamb's Ears, © B. Radisavljevic

If you've ever tried to photograph bees, you know they like to move to a different flower as soon as you get them in focus. When my herbs are in bloom, each seems like an airport. I decided to make a brief video to capture a few seconds of the bees moving around on this clump of Lamb's Ears . You can see how fast they are and how quickly they move from flower to flower. Unfortunately they also insisted on flying into the shadow and out.

Playing with a Bee Photo

I did manage to get one bee to stay still and visible for long enough to get a decent shot. I played around with a focus effect to blur the background and make the bee easy to see. Bees not only move all the time, but they also hide. Sometimes all you will see is the head or the stinger end.

Another reason I used the focus effect was to blur the rhubarb chard plant that was bolting. I liked its colors, but it was looking the worse for wear and it would have been a distraction. Leaving all the details in the chard would also have made the text on this photo harder to see.

Have You Ever Hunted Bees with a Camera?

ipad mini: Praying Mantis Pair Mating Cover For The iPad MiniPraying Mantis Pair Mating Cover For The iPad Mini

Some insects are fairly easy to photograph, but not the bee. Ladybugs are pretty cooperative. So is the praying mantis. They don't exactly pose, but neither do they keep moving most of the time. Here are some of the photos I got of them and put on Zazzle products.

You will notice that they are all on herbs. The Praying Mantis is on mullein. The ladybug is on borage. And I did capture that one bee on the Spanish lavender for my jigsaw puzzle.

Which insect do you think is easiest to photograph?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Just Me, Happy in the Garden

I Like to Be Outside 

It's theme day for City Daily Photo bloggers again. The theme this month is "Me." So how does one define oneself in a photo? I don't really do selfies except as shadow photos. The photo I like best of myself is this one my husband took of me at my request. I was about to write an article for Squidoo (now gone) to review my garden kneeler, on which I'm sitting.

This photo is about as "me" as it can be. It shows me resting in my garden after doing some weeding. (You can see the review of Why I Love my Garden Kneeler, here.)

Why This Photo Is So "Me"

I love being in a garden. I love working in the garden as the birds sing and keep an eye on me from a fence or from a nearby tree.

I love getting my hands in the soil and helping things grow. And I like doing these things in the solitude of the wine country around me. I love looking across my fence on three sides to see my neighbors' vineyards. I like the fresh air and the quiet broken mostly by birdsong. These are the things that make me feel most alive.

Yet the shirt is also me. It represents the hours of my life I've spent in front of my computer writing. After Squidoo was sold to HubPages, I left some of my best work there, especially the articles inspired by my time in the garden. You can see those articles and those on other topics about the things I love on my HubPages profile. 

 I now do most writing on my own blogs. This one is my fun blog. It's where I relax and share my photos of the places and nature I love so much. I share more of my gardening moments at Barb's Garden Observations.

This Is Also Me

The photo below is one of the shadow selfies. It shows me photographing my world. If I'm not in the garden or at the computer or doing chores, you will probably find me outside taking pictures. In this photo I was documenting a major event in Paso Robles. It was raining!

I'm looking forward to see what the other City Daily Photo bloggers have posted to present themselves to the world. You can see their photos here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Theme Day: Flowering Trees Laugh


Laughter is the theme this month for City Daily Photo Bloggers. As I walk the streets of my neighborhood and look in my own backyard, I see everything in bloom. I cannot help but think of a previous post, Earth Laughs in Flowers, based on a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Some of the photos in that post were taken  near where I took this photo last week. As I saw this tree I could not help but think it was laughing in flowers.

The tree appears to be partying with its neighbors,  the yellow flowers which have decided to climb it and the wisteria growing on the fence behind. I love the way the wisteria looks hanging from the fence. I may just get some for myself to hang among my climbing roses.

How do you think it would look next to my Cecile Brunners on my back fence?

Crape Myrtle trees also seem to be laughing when in bloom. You can't help but notice their mirth. I found this one on Main Street in Templeton.

When I see the blooming trees laughing, I can't help but laugh along with them as I enjoy their beauty. How about you?

"Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil." — Reginald Heber

See how other City Daily Photo Bloggers treated this theme.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory

Ivory Dominates in This Theme Day Cat Photo

The challenge for this theme is to post a photo where just one color dominates. I could have easily gone with green, but then I discovered this photo I took Friday afternoon which is mostly ivory.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat by Ivory Color Garage Door, © B. Radisavljevic

The Siamese cat caught my attention as she wandered around this xeriscaped yard. She finally wandered over to pose in front of the ivory garage door beside this tall shrub. So I decided to use this as the theme photo. The next one is a variation.  I allowed a few more of the colors into this one.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat by Ivory Color Garage Door Sniffing Shrub, © B. Radisavljevic

Kitty sat for a while near the middle of the yard.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat on Rock Mulch, © B. Radisavljevic

Kitty Leads us away from the Theme to More Colorful Surroundings

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat beside Bed of Jupiter's Beard, © B. Radisavljevic

This clump of Jupiter's Beard adds some needed color to this yard. Like the other plants, it doesn't need much water to look lovely. It's a very popular plant in my neighborhood, and I finally got some it it planted in my yard. I'm waiting for it to bloom.

The most colorful thing in this garden is this colorful sculpted snail -- definitely a bright piece of yard art. It appears to be a planter, but I couldn't get close enough to see if anything was planted there yet. Time will tell.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory: Siamese Cat and Colored Snail
Siamese Cat beside Colorful Snail Planter, © B. Radisavljevic

Kitty seems to prefer to look back at me than face the snail, even though I was much less colorful. Do you think that the snail fits well within this garden? Contrast it with the rest of the garden art and meet the other cat that lives here, in this post: Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard

See how other City Daily Photo Bloggers treated the One Color theme here.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard

The Cat on The Rocks

As I was walking around my neighborhood this afternoon, I almost missed this very still cat crouching in the rocks in this xeriscaped yard. She appeared to be hunting and waiting patiently for some prey to come out. I'm guessing she may have been waiting for a lizard, since I've seen a lot of cats hunt them, but she also may have heard a rodent.

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Cat waiting for prey in xeriscaped yard, © B. Radisavljevic

The cat was alert, not asleep. She was very patient. She didn't move during the ten-fifteen minutes I was taking photos of the yard.

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Cat waiting for prey in xeriscaped yard, © B. Radisavljevic

The Xeriscaping and Yard Art

Xeriscaping is landscaping that is designed to use very little water. It depends upon drought-resistant plants, drip irrigation, mulch, and decorative art to make it beautiful. You can see all these things in this yard. The cat I introduced above lives here, and if you look very carefully, you might see her lurking behind the rocks. But you need very sharp eyes.

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic

Notice the rock mulch, drip irrigation, and drought-resistant plants used in the design. The benches are there so the owners can enjoy the garden. The cats also seem to enjoy roaming here. Below is a closer look at the plants around the tabby cat. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Cat  in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic

The  homeowner next door also made good use of yard art. I thought his cactus sculpture was clever. The tortoises, ant and bunny also caught my attention. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Yard Art in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic

Here's a closer look at the ant and the tortoises. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Close look at Ant and Tortoise Sculptures in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic

The sculptures above matched the coloring of the rocks pretty well and blended nicely with the plants. They didn't try to steal the show. The art below grabs a bit more attention. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Colorful Snail Yard Art in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic

The snail is brightly colored. It appears to be a planter. I will show you a closer look at it tomorrow. That Siamese cat you see on the walkway in the background will star in tomorrow's post.  Stay tuned. 

This last photo shows the edge of the property near the sidewalk. You can see how the branches of a tree which I'm assuming the homeowner removed or trimmed features prominently as a border. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard

Did you get any xeriscaping ideas from these photos?

Get more ideas from my gardening blog, Barb's Garden Observations.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Photo Journal of an Atypical Day of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

An Accident at Kennedy Fitness Paso Adventure

I'd been feeling guilty about not using my gym membership much this month, so I decided to go today. I had two other reasons for going, too. First, I wanted an excuse to finish a book I was reading, and I could do that riding the stationary bike. Second, I knew two of my favorite photographers had their work on display and I wanted photos to share with you.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

As I drove into the parking lot, I saw the scene above. I found a place to park, and then went in, hoping no one had had a stroke or heart attack. Lots of us senior citizens exercise here.

When I got inside I learned that a woman had fallen from the rock climbing wall. I saw her on a gurney just under the wall and the paramedics were moving her leg. I hope she is not too badly hurt, and will heal without too much pain or permanent damage. I have never dared to take up rock climbing. I'll stick to riding that bike and walking. 

The Photo Exhibit

The photographers with work currently on display on the walls at Kennedy Club are Dean Crawford Jr. and Deb Hofstetter, both of whom I saw in their studio Saturday night at Art after Dark. These photos and paintings are all part of the display.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Picture on lower left is by Deb Hofstetter. The others are by Dean Crawford, Jr. 

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
The picture on the left left is by Deb Hofstetter. I believe the one on the right is by Dean Crawford, Jr. 

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
I'll let you guess who did each of these. If you belong to the Kennedy Club, come in to see if you guessed correctly. 

A Walk at Larry Moore Park

The Dogs

I wanted to get some sunset photos again tonight, so I set off for the park as the time drew near. I was not too thrilled when these two dogs who should have been on leashes almost knocked me down multiple times. Their owners had no reason to give why they were loose, but it didn't seem to bother them to be violating the law as long as no one was there to enforce it.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
These dogs should have been on leashes. 

The Trees

On the way to the park I passed the lemon tree I had seen packed with fruit in December. I wish now I'd been brave enough to knock on the door of its owner and ask if he wanted to sell any of the beautiful lemons. It looks as though the frost got them instead.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Lemons Bitten by Jack Frost

As I walked by this Bradford pear tree, I could see it was budding already. I expect to see it bloom within a week or two in this warm weather.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Bradford Pear Tree Budding

As I passed this pepper tree with its dried fruits, I could not help but notice the contrast with the bright colors the peppers trees had displayed in autumn.  Winter in the park is drab in comparison.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Pepper Tree Fruits Dry on Bare Trees in February

The Sky

When I started my walk the sun had just disappeared below the hills, but it was still golden.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

After a few minutes it became more pink.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

Pink turned toward orange a few minutes later.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

In no time the contrails had combined and turned bright orange.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

Although life seems pretty routine most days, this one stands out as unique this week. Maybe I should get out of the house more often.

If you enjoyed this post, why not pin this photo to a Pinterest board?

Has anything unusual happened to you lately?
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