It’s that time of year again…Harvest…Halloween.
For a whimsical photo tour of some of the Petaluma & Sonoma County scenes I have encountered, Click on Halloween Sonoma Style…
As a tease, I offer the following…
For more, Click on Halloween Sonoma Style…
…no, I did not mean to say Petaluma Low Life!
As part of my learning adventures with the camera, I tried creating a few pixs of Petaluma scenes in low light conditions.
Of course, moonlight is the ultimate low light environment…
Next, my attempt–with a little more light available on an early foggy morning–to capture a silhouette of the “sentinels” on the Lucchesi Tower…
As the fog breaks, the lighting can quickly change as it is filtered through the skylight over the entrance to the Old Mill…
My minor mania concerning sunflowers started four years ago when friends in Cape Cod sent a few red sunflower seeds from plants growing on the beach next to their home. The Cape Cod plants were “generated” from seeds that fell out of a bird feeder. My first crop produced pure reds; however, by the second season, other colors started to appear and I collected and sorted the seeds.
This year I started with seventy plants and fifty made it to various levels of maturity. The rest succumbed to the snails and finches. While it has been an extremely cool summer to date, the sunflowers are thriving.
The yellow and yellow-reds are 8 to 10 ft tall with up to 25 blooms or buds at the top of the main stalk and several more buds popping out below.
- The Cape Cod Reds and Courtway Orange sunflowers are still growing–they usually don’t start blooming until late August.
- I am hoping that they will get tall enough for me to attempt another sunflower/flag photo similar to the one used in the header to this blog–this time with the reds in the scene.
From a bee perspective, the sunflower blooms are just in time as the bees have nearly exhausted the verbenas. Now, they are dining on the sunflowers…
Sunflowers tend to need support, which they usually get from each other if planted in groups. Notwithstanding, they may require some additional human intervention to keep them upright and/or out of the right of way.
After the reds and Courtway oranges come into bloom, I may work up some macro photos for my photo blog. For now, I offer this…
NOTE–Depending on your browser, if you click on a photo, a larger version will appear. After it opens, if you click again on the new window, the photo will expand again. Try it on the last photo and you should get a real close up view of the bees.
Almost every day for the last four years, a certain bird has been defending its territory…against itself. Now to be perfectly accurate, I don’t know if it is the same bird. However, the behavior is the same.
By way of background, there is a car parked in the driveway across the street with a chrome strip on the lower body. The bird(s?) in question, sees its reflection and attacks the strip. It can go on for 10 minutes or more. The sound reverberates across the street sounding ever so much like a tap hammer–bang, bang, bang, etc.
In the past, I have been able to walk across the street and observe the behavior. Finally, a few weeks ago I decided to document it with my camera.
It should have been an easy task. The bird, however, is camera-shy. If I approach with the camera, it takes off. Go figure. Being almost as determined as the bird, I finally decided that the only way I was going to get a photo was to try it from my side of the street. I encountered the same problem–If I watched without a camera, no problem. Carry a camera and the bird takes off.
So I had to settle for a very imperfect solution–I hid behind one of the cypress trees. The problem with this position is that it is 120 feet away from the scene and the lighting from this position is terrible. Worse, the scene is well beyond the usable capabilities of the camera. Nonetheless, I was able to get some photos, which are technically awful. With these caveats, I offer the following photo story…
In August 2006, in a post on the first Argus blog site, I reflected on some of the discards & detritus one sees while traversing Petaluma’s streets, sidewalks and paths:
- Why is there only one shoe (usually the right) by the side of the road? Where is the other one?
- Why are hard hats always in the center of the road, usually upside down?
You can also note the “demise” of a consumer product when you start to see it in the street, the gutter, or sidewalk. For example, you used to see cassette tapes with their innards spread all over the road. They were then replaced by discarded CD’s. So far none of them are playable.
Now it is discarded DVD’s and smashed IPODS.
Perhaps the new IPHONES will quickly appear in the gutter.
But I digress!
While riding over to the recent Petaluma Classic Wings & Wheels Show at the Petaluma Airport last week, I happened to notice something in a creek by Prince Park…
I have long since given up ranting, raving, and photographing the trashy aspects of our environment. However, this scene captured my attention.
How did they get there?
- Was someone running away from a vampire and they were literally chased out of their shoes (sandals) so to speak?
- Did someone buy a new pair of sandals and decide to simply discard the “old” pair by tossing them over the bridge?
- Is this what Billie Joe McAllister and his girlfriend tossed off the Tallahatchie Bridge at Choctaw Ridge?
Inquiring minds want to know!
By the bye…I do know what was–or was not–tossed off the Tallahatchie Bridge
Petaluma’s Art & Garden Festival is one of my favorite events–particularly if it is not boiling hot. Fortunately, this year, last Sunday was a perfect day to walk through the show in downtown Petaluma.
Of course there are the usual crowd scenes that one is obliged to document…
However, I am always on the alert for the unusual and was amazed that nobody took note of the super large tie dye shirt hanging from a light pole over the show… *
My, it was big! They must have had to get a permit to hang it up there.
As we were leaving, I heard a mewing sound and looked down to see two alpacas. Of course, I had to get a few photos…
The alpacas were show stoppers as people came up to talk to the handlers. Physically they are about the size of a Great Dane. They tolerated the human curiosity quite well and one was determined to have a snack, which was kept in a pouch by one of the handlers…
All in all, a good time–and yes, we did buy something for the garden.
*NOTE: Of course, the shirt photo is an illusion. It was not created using Adobe Photoshop. As it happened, there was a booth with this shirt on display. I merely aligned the shirt’s pole with the light pole in the background.
This post is a break from my Blog Break to briefly report on a recent experience generated by my photography class at the Petaluma Arts Center.
I was practicing various settings, shooting macros, and all that technical stuff to see what worked for me and what did not. On a recent rainy day, as I was coming inside, I decided to shoot a quick pix of a bucket that was collecting rainwater. I gave it no thought whatsoever. I just wanted to see how the camera captured the light on the water surface–no attention was given to framing, composition, etc.
Later when I downloaded it, it drove me crazy…
©2010 Frank Simpson
So what is the source of the face?
- Do we in fact have spirits lurking in another Petaluma dimension (past, present, or future) trying to communicate with us?
- Is this part of a new campaign for or against the water rate initiative in November?
Can you figure it out?
It was not my reflection as I did not look through the viewfinder. I just held the camera over the bucket and took the pix as I was walking into the house. It was intended to be a throw-away test photo.
There is a simple explanation (and it is not Photo Shop) that I will provide after the class is over. We finally figured it out. Frankly, I am glad we did as it was starting to be just a little too creepy.
To see a larger version, click on the photo above.
For those who follow this blog, you may recall past articles about Murphy & Max at Noah’s Bagels. I can report that they are doing well. However, this Sunday morning I spotted a new potential canine attraction at Peet’s Coffee a few yards away.
Just outside the door at Peet’s, I encountered Ginger & Bronx (aunt & nephew) on station as greeters. They served to brighten up a cloudy morning…
Hi! Welcome to Peet’s…
Check on the pastries…and…if you might…perhaps a dog biscuit for us?
You all come back!
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: It is Saturday Nite (Sunday Morning on the WordPress Server) and the staff and officers of the Famous But Fictional Petaluma’s Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino have taken over this blog.
The Research Department at the Instituto De Vino Wine has developed a simplified written examination for the California DMV!
In these days of the Great Recession and budget deficits, we propose a single question essay test to reduce DMV administrative costs and help balance the state budget…
Q–Which of the following road signs should you ignore and which should you obey…and in what order?
CLUE–As with most things in California, there are no right or wrong answers…unless you give the wrong answer.
Petaluma’s Internationale Instituto De Vino Wino
- Chief Wino & Solo Vine Manager (We have only one vine)–Frank
- First Secretary-Vinnie Parducci
- Second Secretary- Guido Marcucci
- Third Secretary-Gustav Von Da Vee
- Treasurer-Minnie Da Moocher
- Counsel–Horace Rumpole of Chateau Fleet Street Claret
- Vat & Barrel Managers-Jay Gaulo
- Restaurant Manager-Al Fresco
- Food Director–Sushi Tira-Misu
- Director, Financial Planning-Two Fingers (as in “a-one-a,” “a-two-a”) Sabastiani
- Director of Protocol & Arbiter of Taste–Marthe Stuarda
- Tour Director-Expresso Camino Freeway
- Movie & Video Critic-Francois Fjord
- Bouncer–Sumo Cum Laude “Big Fish” Sashimi
- Chats du Vin Extraordinaire—Hannah Sue & Gracie Mae (The Claret Kitties)
- Director of Cheap & Trashy Personal Counseling–Tristan E. Isolde
- Director of Catering–Enchy Latta
- Senior Citizen Wine Consultant–Jerry Attrick
Early Thursday morning, I set out on my usual trek around the ‘Hood.
While it is normally an uneventful journey, there was something new parked on the street….
Like…Who knew there was a question?
…I wonder if there is a blog site…