Sandy Cove

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Last post I promised to take you to a place that I remembered as a child, Point Lobos State Park.  I remembered the white sands of the beach, the windiness of the day, and the treacherous hike down to the beautiful beach.

First Glimpse of Sandy Cove

First Glimpse of Sandy Cove

I don’t remember there being all these stairs (left side of photo) descending to the beach, and quite possibly there weren’t many.  I remember traversing down on switchbacks along the cliffs.  It was terrifying as a child.  It seems like the violence of storms has washed them out many times and passage to Sandy Cove is no longer a trip that any person can make.

Old Stairs to the Cove

Old Stairs to the Cove

This white egret has found the perfect spot to look for a good meal.  Nothing should bother it while it patiently waits for lunch.  They are extremely patient birds.

Egret on the Kelp and Water Looking for Lunch

Egret on the Kelp and Water Looking for Lunch

I have tried a few times to reach this destination in the past, but have been unsuccessful in finding it.  I am so glad that a ranger offered us help in finding this teal blue and white memory of mine.  I only had black and white photos and now I can see the beautiful colors of my memories.  It is an amazing place.  If ever in Carmel, it’s just a short drive.

The Colors of Fall

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I’ve been looking at photos

In black and white.  

I know they are beautiful

but I really love the colors in life,

so I took this photo in black and white.

Black and White

Black and White

Then I added a little yellow,

Add a Little Yellow

Add a Little Yellow

and then I added red,

And a Dash of Red

And a Dash of Red

Until I came full circle

and took this shot instead.

The Splendid Colors of Fall

The Splendid Colors of Fall

These colors of the season are from my backyard.  I am so glad that I took the photo when I did because we’ve had wind and RAIN in California and most of my leaves are now covering the ground.  The colors of Fall always remind me that Spring is just around the corner.  Let yourself soak up those colors while they still hang on the trees.

Dragons and Damsels

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In my prior blog, I was lucky enough to find a dragonfly larva.  I had only seen pictures of them in books.  I was so hoping that I would find a big dragonfly that would allow me to see what the larva was going to become.  At Big Springs Gardens there were only little blue damselflies and I knew that the larva was much too large to end up being something so small.  

Each time I return home, after going someplace beautiful and taking lots of pictures, I take a closer look at what I have captured.  Returning back from Big Springs Gardens reminded me of photography class assignments that I might have done in black and white, a million years ago.  It also caused me to remember, going last May to, Hakone Garden in Saratoga, California and the vast array of plants and animals that I had photographed there.  They also had a very small moon bridge, as did Big Springs Gardens, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last April.  We took our grand-daughter to see The Japanese Tea Gardens there and have lunch.  She was all consumed with the large moon bridge, while I was joyously taking photographs of everything else while waiting for the bridge to clear enough so I could get shots of her as well.  It reminded me too of my grandma and her black and white photos and the descriptions she would write on the back of her photographs to help her remember the colors.  

Dragonfly in black and white.

Dragonfly in black and white at Hakone Garden.

This is very possibly what I may have tried to shoot for a photography class.  I would have taken it on film and developed it myself.  I would have been limited, in so many ways, with what my ultimate result would end up being.  It’s lovely, but look at the next photo…..

First Attempt

First attempt

The detail you can see in this one is amazing.  It makes it come to life for me.  What I really like best is what comes next……..

Dragonfly, coming in a little closer.

Coming a little closer

I think this dragonfly was smiling at me, well and maybe at you too.  It seems they know they are amazing creatures.  This dragonfly is just about perfect in every way.  How can something so delicate be so perfect?

Day Dreaming

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Sometimes, when I see a place or an image, it takes me to another place and time.  The image below did that for me.  I’ve had a secret for many years now; my entire life, really.  No one in my family knew, and I surely would have had more eyes on me if I had ever told them what I was up to.  We lived on High Street, when I was a small child, in Santa Cruz California, and there was a creek nearby, between High Street and Meder Street.  I took my bucket, plastic shovel, and sifter down to the creek one day.  I left them there in the brush and I would return every so often to play by and in the creek.  I loved hiding under the bushes and letting my imagination run wild.  I would listen for the fifteen minute chiming of the local church clock so I wouldn’t stay too long and be found out.  It probably wasn’t the safest thing to be doing, but there was something magical about the place.  The overgrowth of bushes in this photograph, reminded me of that childhood place, as soon as I saw it.  I have been following http://www.LeanneColePHOTOGRAPHY.wordpress.com  She takes amazing photographs.  I entered a challenge of hers to put words to this photo.  Here is what came to me in the night…….

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

Day Dreaming

There are places from my childhood

That I can only be

Those places are like photographs

In my mind to see

The stream that flowed beside my home

The lizards out to play

The soft green grass upon my cheek

Can return, on any day

Those places all have changed so much

But in my mind remain

For thoughts and dreaming innocence

I want them not to wane

It’s here, upon this crusty bench

I know that many come

To conjure up their images

While shaded from the sun

My mind’s memories are colorful

Not left in black and white

They give me peace throughout my days

And sometimes in the night

 

Bonnie DiMichele

6/20/2014

 

Do you have a favorite childhood secret?

 

Stony Creek?????

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I don’t know what it is about Stony Creek, Connecticut; it seems to have fully pulled me in with its beauty.  I am so tempted to return, this summer, to take photographs of the quarry where my grandmother enjoyed viewing the water lilies as a child.  In her 1954 travelogue, there was mention of going for a walk to the quarry, but there were no photos of the lilies.  I think her travels may have been too early in the season to view them.  I’ve heard that it needs to be hot and humid for the lilies to be in full bloom.  Certainly in California, that is not the case.    

 

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Returning to the CT shoreline is completely compelling to me.  Being there when the humidity is high, is not nearly as attractive.  Is there anyone who could let me know the true story behind the water lilies and when they bloom on the east coast?

 

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It is times like these that I think, I never would have gone to France to get this shot next to Monet’s Garden if it hadn’t been for my sister-in-law, dumpster diving about twenty-eight years ago.  Her second grade teacher had passed away.  The teacher had never married and left her belongings to nieces and nephews who obviously had no regard for her things.  They had a dumpster delivered in front of her house and emptied her mementoes into it.  We happened to drive by and see that someone was going through those things in the dumpster, and we recognized her!  There was this lovely painting of a dome, that I brought home to reframe.  I did not recognize where it was, until I was at Union Square, in San Francisco, and I saw it again in a photograph.  I asked the artist where the photo was taken and he told me it was Sacre Coeur.  I needed to go to Paris, France.

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Here it is.  It was a rainy day but the views were still spectacular.  I also acquired a lovely lithograph on that dumpster day. I don’t know where that location is either, but when I figure it out; I’ll be going there too.  Below is the lily pond, at Stony Creek, in the fall.  I was hoping to find the lilies in bloom.  Wrong time of the year for me as well.  All I could see were spectacular fall colors and hundreds of lily pads fading away.

 

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Here’s where you can help me.  I know how many views I get on this site.  If you “like” this post this week, that will be a vote for me to return during the humidity to photograph the lilies.  If over half of the viewers like it, I’ll be sharing those photos with you by September.  There is something inside of me that feels like Grandma’s travelogue of photos would then be complete, as I would add the color photo to all her black and whites.  Should I or shouldn’t I go?

I must add one more thought; my sister-in-law has an adventuresome spirit.  I think sometimes it has rubbed off on me as well.  I know that there are many places on this planet that I probably would not have gone to, had it not been for her wanderlust.  So I want to say, “thank you for that, it has opened my eyes to our beautiful world.” 

Dancing Red Tiger Lanterns

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I was walking through the Capitol Park in Sacramento this past weekend, observing the beautiful flowers that were surrounding me.  There were many people out in the World Peace Rose Garden taking pictures of the flowers and each other.  The Camellia Grove was just about done flowering but the Azalea’s were vibrant and brilliant to my eyes.  When we were about done with our walk, and heading back to the car, I spotted this lantern looking flower on an Abutilon, or Flowering Maple.  I snapped the shot and realized that I still had the camera on a special setting called, One Point Color.  I quickly changed the setting and realized how far we have come with photographs in the last one hundred and twenty-five years.  (Since Kodak released a camera with a roll of film.)

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Here it is, in fully color.  I thought about my grandmother and how she would have loved to be able to do that.  She could only take photos in black and white, only with film, and only a few at a time.  In the attempt to save her cherished memories, she took black and white photos and described the colors on the back of each photograph, once processed.  I attempt to revisit her journey to Connecticut in my book, “in Grandma’s Shoes,”  author, Bonnie DiMichele.  Today, I can capture those places that she visited in full color; the way she would have loved to be able to view them, time and time again.  I think my tiny camera is an amazing product.  It is new to me.  My old one gave up after taking thousands of photos.  This new Panasonic DMC-2525 has some amazing new features that I am still playing with.  I tell you this because it is small enough to fit in your pocket and take everywhere.  Now you might think that technology has developed more recently than the 125 years that I mentioned, but without those prior steps, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the things we do today.  The pioneers of photography had no idea where their steps would ultimately lead.  It seems though, that they all wanted to be able to share photos in color.  I am so grateful that they didn’t give up on their dreams and ideas.  What is your favorite photo that you have captured?