Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rush of City Life

Sometimes I just want to record my abstract impressions. Today I spent some time going over some of the images from last weekend in San Francisco. One image that really jumped out at me was this one of a bicyclist riding down the street on the edge of China Town. It symbolized the rush of the big city. The city is just abuzz with activity so very different from the small town where I live in Northern California. God’s love and blessings to all, Chris

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gift of the Rain

Yesterday morning when I walked out into the front yard I began noticing patches of fungi around the yard. These are a beautiful gift of the late rains we received earlier this week here in Northern California.For those of you unfamiliar with California weather it is uncommon to get rain in the summertime except up in the Sierra Mountains.We had four days of rain resulting in some fungi sprouting up in the front yard as well as weeds that I
thought we were done with in the backyard. Looks like it's back to weeding! God's light and love to all, chris

Friday, June 28, 2013

Remembrance of Days Gone By

Last weekend in San Francisco Lenore and I were walking back to the Fairmont Hotel and we passed by a brand new Jaguar parked in front of the hotel. It caught my attention immediately as it had a classy feel to it with the hotel in the background. It also flooded my memories with a Jaguar XKE I used to see as a young teen in Colorado. In the morning waiting for the bus several times a month a dark green Jaguar would purr by our bus stop. During that time period in a small town at the foot of the Rockies a car like that or in fact any sports car of any type was a pretty rare sight to see. Now as an adult I could appreciate the silver Jag sitting here before me. A good memory of days gone by. God's light and love to all, chris

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Today did not go as planned. It was our intention to kayak up Big River near Mendocino,CA on the the coast.When we arrived at the river access was blocked with traffic cones and a large orange and black sign that read "Exam in Progress". What in the world is that? I haven't got a clue. Because we couldn't launch the kayaks there we headed down the coast to the Albion River. We paid our five bucks per kayak to launch and headed upstream against the outgoing tide. We were pushed along by and onshore breeze so it wasn't too bad. Just a little past the harbor I came across a great Blue Heron GBH feeding in the Eel Grass on one of the river flats. Much to my great surprise it didn't fly off at my slow approach like they usually do.I felt like I was in Florida where the birds don't fly away from you! I watched and photographed it for about ten minutes or so. The lighting was terrible but I felt excited to just be able to photograph a GBH.I moved on upriver and photographed some seals. I kept paddling upriver and was amazed at how many GB Herons were feeding along the river. But none of them would allow me to get close to them at all. The return trip down he river back to the harbor was pretty unpleasant and I'm going to be sore tomorrow. The onshore breeze combined with an incoming tide were pretty hard to deal with. Somehow I must have pulled up the wrong tide table.Next time I'm going to double check the times and location. Still it was a great trip. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kiss of Rain Drops

This morning we were awoken to the soft patter of rain in the forest outside our bedroom window.It has been raining off and on for four days now. It's really never been a down pour just a steady drizzle. This morning after it had abated somewhat I ventured out into the backyard and photographed the raindrops sometimes looking like crystal orbs hanging onto the plants. As much as I like the rain it has put a damper on my plans for a kayak trip up one of the coastal rivers today. Perhaps tomorrow? God's precious love to all, chris

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

At the Whim of the Elements

Today we are at day three of the rain outside. It’s fairly rare to have this much rain in the summertime in Northern California. Today I photographed one of my favorite childhood pursuits a helicopter seed. That’s what we called them anyway. Did you ever play with them as a child? They float down from the trees like a helicopter. We used to marvel at them and collect as many as we could and throw them up into the air to watch them float down again and again. With a little research today I found out that these seeds are called Samara Fruit. Samara Fuit goes by many common names such as whirlybird, helicopter, whirligig, polynose, or Northern England, a spinning jenny. These seeds are made with a wing to have the wind help disperse them away from the parent tree so they will have a better chance of surviving. They are at the whim of the elements because where they finally end up is where they will have to grow. God's love and blessings to all. May you bloom and prosper where you are planted. chris

Monday, June 24, 2013

Grace Cathedral

This last weekend Lenore and I went to a wedding at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Nob Hill. The wedding was held on the rooftop garden.Just beautiful. Afterwards we walked over to Grace Cathedral. Grace Cathedral was built in 1964 by the Episcopal Diocese.I found out it was French Gothic Revival Architecture in design. I have never been into a cathedral before so it was an interesting to have this experience. Walking into the cathedral put me immediately into a mood of silent, reverent awe. Both Lenore and I both just fell into quiet whispers.Afterwards we talked about it. Even the sound of the camera shutter seemed way too loud.It was hard to put into words. God's precious love to all, chris

Friday, June 21, 2013

Little Birds

Yesterday morning I spent some time in the photoblind out at the Burris Ranch. I installed new feeders and perches in hopes of getting some more quail images. Naturally my plans of photographing some quail never occurred. I didn’t hear or even see any quail the whole time I was there. That didn’t bother me any in the least as there were plenty of other birds that kept me quite occupied. My favorite of course was the Oak Titmouse. I just love those spunky little guys. They are one of my favorite small birds. Though I must say that the variety of House Finches rivaled them with their bright colors. I had a wonderful time photographing them. God’s love and blessings to all, chris Then surely He will provide richly for his children. "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6:26.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stalking Wild Wood Nymphs

Last night I packed my pick up so that I could be out of the house bright and early. I went out to the Burris Ranch to put up a new feeder and perches. On my drive out it was beautiful. The valley was still covered in a layer of fog and the sun was trying to break through. Stepping out of the cab when I arrived at the ranch I immediately wished I had worn something warmer than shorts and sandals. I was happy I had pulled on a light sweater on before heading out the door. The thermostat in my truck said it was 40 degrees F. After setting everything up the sun was just starting to clear the ridge behind the ranch. I settled into the photoblind for some great bird photography. By ten o’clock the lighting was starting to go so I headed up into the one of the pastures behind the ranch to see what I could find. There were Wood Nymph Butterflies popping up here and there. Trying to catch one landing in a spot where I could photograph it was a completely different story. It’s really frustrating when one would flutter up in front of me out of the grass and then fly to the top of a nearby tree! I had to approach them very slowly and try not to caste my shadow on them. Eventually one landed on a small thorny flower on a little rise that was quite approachable. I stayed there for about ten minutes trying several different angles to get a better view of it. It was simply a gorgeous day. God’s love and blessings to all, chris

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beachcomber's Daydream

Both Lenore and I have coin collectors within our families so it stands to reason that we have a few old coins floating round our house. Nothing major of value. Yesterday Jay came in and told me he'd found an unusual coin in his room. It turned out to be a zinc copy of a CAC Brasher Doubloon, America’s First Gold Coin, There were many copies made of this coin that sold in the 1960's in tourist spots in Florida and other locations along the east coast. An original gold Brasher's Doubloon sold for over seven million dollars in 2011. I decided to create an image a beachcomber would have day dreams about.If it were real that is! God bless, chris 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Mathew 6-:19-21

Monday, June 17, 2013

One of the Locals

It has taken me many years to develop a relationship with some of the birds and squirrels where I live. When I first started putting up my bird feeders I could rarely get close to any of the critters in my backyard. Just opening the back door was cause for them to flee. With time I have been able to move much closer to many of them. Many of the smaller birds like Juncos and Chickadees are relatively unafraid when I'm in the yard. The ravens and Bandtail Pigeons are still all but impossible. I thought I had a break through last year when I had a chance with a first year Raven that was in pretty poor shape. He at least I think it's a he lets me at least be on the patio in the yard without flying away.But that's as close as I can get. The most approachable are the Douglas Tree Squirrels. I have reached the point with at least a few of them to where I can walk up to within about six or seven feet or so as long as I don't move too quickly or make any noise. Even with this familiarity I still use a photoblind when I am photographing them. They are more relaxed and not as tense when I am hidden from view.Here are a few images of a local Douglas Tree Squirrel from my photoblind yesterday morning. They are just the cutest little guys. For some reason they remind me of little teddy bears God's love and blessings to all, chris

On Watch

Yesterday was Father's Day and my family treated me really well. I was presented with some dark chocolate, cashew nuts and some beef jerky. All good things to munch on in the photoblind. I also received a new pair of Birkenstocks and some boxers as well. Now I'm perfectly outfitted. I was thoroughly spoiled. Best of all I got to spend the whole day at the pool with my family. Annika was working as lifeguard so we just saw her briefly on breaks. All the rest of the time she was on watch. She worked and we played Bananagrams (never won) and had BBQ hamburgers.Most of the time we just sat talked and read. Towards the end of the evening I waited until the lighting was softer and I photographed Annika in her guard chair. I asked her to look over at me and she responded sternly,"No Dad. I have to watch the pool."Way to go Annika. Those simple words made me proud to be a father. I talked her into a quick glance over at me for a second which she did. I really like the image with an out of focus swimmer in the background. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Today I was chopping up some garlic for a great salad dressing and I realized it would make a great image. As far as the dressing goes you have to like Cilantro or it's not worth it. A food taste study has indicated that you either like Cilantro or you don't something to do with some sort of gene in your taste buds. While I'm at it here is the recipe for the dressing.Soon I'll post an image of the dressing once I get a creative setting in mind.
Cilantro Lime Dressing 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt. (I use honey yogurt), 1 Tbsp Lime Juice, 2 Cloves Garlic finely minced, 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 whole bunch Clantro chopped, 1 tsp Sea Salt. Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You can add more olive oil to thin it out as needed if the cilantro bunch was too big. Put it on a great salad and enjoy. God bless and good eats to all, chris

Friday, June 14, 2013

Allen's Hummingbird

Yesterday afternoon I had a fantastic time with a male Allen's Hummingbird in the backyard. He was really comfortable with the flash and he came back to the flowers I had set up numerous times. He was quite the model and I am extremely happy with the images that I came away with. God's blessings and have a beautiful day, chris

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dusty Slides a Look Back in Time

Last night I was looking back at some old images on some dusty slides from a trip to Sanibel Island in Florida in 2004. I still think Florida bird photgraphers have got it made. You can walk right up to an egret. Lie on the ground next to it and make an image! Birds just don't let you do that here in Northern California. Alright, I guess I'll just have to admit it. I'm jealous. In any case we had a great time and I would love to go back sometime soon.We had an absolutely wonderful time collecting shells,swimming and skim boarding. There was a lot of amazing wildlife from gators to birds. A lot can happen in nine years.Back then I was still photographing using slide film and dabbling in digital with a P+S and my hair was still brown. God's light and love to all, chris

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wabi Sabi

I have always liked the look of flowers that have aged on the stem and are slowly breaking down. They have a special beauty all of their own. Japanese culture has a term for it "Wabi Sabi". It is described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Lenore recently commented on an image of roses she had posted stating, "Even old roses with falling petals are beautiful. May we feel the same for the elderly among us?" Her statement really made me pause and think.
This afternoon I was dead heading the roses and I found beuaty in the discarded petals and heads as I collected them. A great example of Wabi Sabi. God too finds beauty in our imperfections, seeing us as the perfect beings that he has created. I'm sure it is his desire that we see others around us in the same way. Perhaps the Japanese are onto something important here? God's light and precious love to all, chris