Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ere of Christmas

We enjoyed blue skies in Southern California for Christmas weekend. We are now back to wet and gray.  Good weather or bad, I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season.
See more skies from around the world at SkyWatch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Water World

There was plenty of water in the Water World show at Universal Studios in Hollywood.
 Spectators that didn't want to get wet had to be careful to avoid seats in the splash zone.
 Plenty of action.
 Lots of melodrama
and a pyrotechnic ending.
We enjoyed a Christmas Eve outing at Universal with our son Mark while Eric and his family prepared to spend Christmas Eve with his Mimi's family.

You can find more water views at Water Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Gold was mined at this site in Grass Valley California from 1850 until 1956.  The surface was purchased by the state of California in 1975 but the gold, still in the ground, is owned by Newmont Mining.
 Many of the old mine buildings are still in good shape, their offices still containing much of the original furnishings and materials.
 Miners would start their day entering through this tunnel.  There are over 360 miles of tunnels, some of them nearly a mile below the surface.
 This is how the men descended into the mine.  I took this historic photo from the site of the volunteer group who runs tours and operates the bookstore.
 When the ore was brought to the surface it had to be crushed to release gold.  Forty of these stamps pounded the ore rock day and night.  The noise must have been deafening.
 Then it was smelted and refined.
 What does the sign say?  "Positively do not remove anything from this refinery".  Theft was a real concern.
Every office had a safe but this one was unique.  Perhaps this is where they stored the gold.

For more scenes from around the world, click on the link.  That's My World, Tuesday is hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Evening Star

The setting sun looks here like a star which, of course, it is.

Find more views of the sky at SkyWatch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heron at the Hunt II

Same heron as last week (sorry, too busy to go out and shoot something new).  This time I corrected the white balance cropped him tightly.  It is a very different photo.

There are a lot more watery views to be found at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy
And find more bird shots at Wrld Bird Wednesday by clicking on the badge.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Victorian Christmas in Nevada City

Each year Nevada City, California has an event they call a "Victorian Christmas".
  We thought we'd check it out.
Oh my!  So many people!
 There were lots of people and a lot going on.  Did we really eat that funnel cake? 
 What do you think of Rudolph?
 The best were these little "Tommyknockers".
 Many folks were dressed in Victorian era clothing, including Father Christmas.
Nevada City is a lovely Gold Rush town with many old buildings.  I had hoped to get some great shots of these buildings but with so many people, even here off the main street, it wasn't possible.  We'll have to go back.

Find more views of the world at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Empire Mine Cottage Door

I liked the shadows made by the stepped pattern of the brickwork around the cottage door.  Of Course, the garland had a nice shadow as well.
There are more shadows to be found at Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted for us by Tracy at Hey Harriet.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Drama in the Sky

It was a gray day but otherwise pleasant so we decided to go for a walk. 
 We saw this kite perched in a tree. Nearby there was a red-tailed hawk in another tree. They were engaged in a call and response.  The kite has a rather pleasant, chirping call and the hawk a rather unpleasant screech.
Suddenly the kite took off and attacked the hawk, chasing it from its perch.
 It continued to harass the hawk until the hawk left the area.
We never know what we will see so its best to keep the cameras close at hand.

More views of the sky are to be found at SkyWatch Friday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heron at the Hunt

Low light at the end of the day required a slow shutter, this gave the cascading water a smooth blur while the heron's still, patient stance meant there was virtually no blur of the bird.  The late afternoon shadows give the shot a blue cast which could have been corrected but I rather like it as it is.
More watery scenes can be found at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Empire Mine SHP--Dressed for Christmas

Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley, California tells the story of the Empire mine and hard rock mining.  In addition to many mine buildings and equipment there still exist the cottage that the owners, the Bourn family, used as a country home and a club house used for entertaining.  We toured these while they were dressed for Christmas.

The first stop on the tour was the club house.
 Through the door is the billiard room.  There was also a bar, a bowling alley and guest rooms for overnight guests.
 The family's primary home was in Woodside and is now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  I hope to tour the estate, called Filoli,  some time in the future.
 This beautiful home was only used a few weeks a year.
Of course, the sound of the stamps, used to crush the ore rocks, might have made it less appealing than it seems today.

See more views of our wonderful world at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Window Shadow

Mission San Francisco Solano
You can find more shadows by clicking on Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted for us by Tracy at Hey Harriet.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Autumn's Last Stand

December 1, 2010 
Scarlet against blue
Chased by Winter's frigid blast
Scarlet soon to ground

See more sky views at SkyWatch Friday,  hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and sylvia

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well at Mission San Francisco Solano


My Watery Wednesday offering this week is the well in the courtyard at
Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma, California.

Watery Wednesday is hosted for us each week by 2Sweetnsaxy.  Click the link to find more watery sights.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mission San Francisco Solano

Not in the city of San Francisco (that is Mission San Francisco de Asís) this mission  is in Sonoma, California.
 Mission San Francisco Solano is the farthest north and the last of California's 21 Missions to be built.
The mission, along with the Presidio of Sonoma and the homes of General Vallejo, is now part of Sonoma State Historic Park
 Displayed in the dining room are water colors painted in 1903-1904 by Chris  Jorgensen.  These depict many of the California missions as they looked at that time.  Some were in pretty good shape, others had almost crumbled into oblivion.
 Once in a terrible state of disrepair, the mission has been lovingly restored.
See more of this wonderful planet we call home at That's My World Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blue Sky and Shadows at Mission San Francisco de Solano

I couldn't decide if this was a sky shot or a shadow shot so this week it will be my entry for both.

You can find more views of the sky at SkyWatch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.
More shadows are yours at Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted by Tracy at Hey Harriet.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wildlife Viewing at the Ponds--Part II

 On a recent visit to the ponds I spotted this red shouldered hawk.  I looked away briefly and when I looked back he was gone from his perch.
 I got him in my viewfinder again just as he took off from the puddle below his perch.
 He had something in his talons.
 Something he found tasty.
After he had finished I checked out the remains, a crayfish.

video

See more views of our world, natural or man created at That's My World Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reflection at the Panda Exhibit

Michael reflected at the panda exhibit
Find more reflections at Weekend Reflections, hosted by James at Newtown AreaPhoto

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Sky


 An annual Thanksgiving Day event in Sacramento is the Run to Feed the Hungry.
 It has become a tradition for our family to participate even though it means dinner will be a little late.
Twenty-eight thousand people showed up at this fund raiser for the food pantry and family services.

See more views of the sky at SkyWatch Friday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

To all of those celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!