Saracina's Sunflowers!

We have been waiting and calling it seems like daily.  Asking, "Are the sunflowers up yet?"  Well today WAS the day.  We headed up early in the morning to Hopland, CA, where beautiful Saracina Winery is located.  What started out as a foggy morning here in town proved to be a glorious sunny with amazing clouds by the time we arrived.  One might think oh, these flowers are gorgeous but I was enthralled by the machinery that goes down the rows of vines and grabs the vines, pulls off the clusters of grapes, spits the leaves out back and on a conveyor belt hauls the grapes up and drops them down a chute into the waiting container that takes the to their next leg of adventure of becoming a beautiful Merlot, Cabernet, or other amazing wine.

The sunflowers are aptly named as the head of the flower moves with the sun.  They reminded me of little soldiers out there in the fields.  I have also learned they provide a necessary nutrient to the soggy soil up there in Hopland.  Next year there a plans to have bee hives and to create a butterfly garden.  I cannot wait!  Take a leisurely drive up to Saracina and enjoy the beautiful view of these mountains and these brilliant golden flowers.

You've Been Selected!

Of course I am emotionally attached to every picture I take.  So when you are submitting images for competition one has to learn not to get their feelings hurt if "their" images is not selected.  However, this time I received word that "Foggy Morning at Laguna De Santa Rosa" was selected to be in the NVAL 2014 International Juried Photography Show.  In April there will be an online gallery to view all the brilliant words from people all around the world.  Judging will be in May.  And the additional blessing of this is that my best forever friend lives in Redding so I will get to visit her when I drop off my print.  Woo Hoo!    Take a look at www.nval.org   

What Time Is It?

When you first walk in it seems so quiet.  Then slowly you realize there is a ticking sound then suddenly

You hear dozens of ticking sounds.  This small place of operation is filled with what appears to be a multitude of clocks.  Every shape and size, each one is unique and beautiful.  Even the ones that are just a shell of their former lives are beautiful.   What is even more interesting to me is the stories that go with each of the clocks he works on.  His name is Cyrus Wind Dancer he is a Horologist.  What he does and even his name is musical.  Cyrus will methodically research as well as restore these beautiful clocks that are from around the world and sometimes hundreds of years old.

For me the stories that go with these clocks make them even more beautiful.  For example some on the front of the glass have reverse painting;  where the detail is done first and then the background last.  If you have an art background you will know exactly what I am talking about.  How many of these clocks run for a week at a time and were only wound on Sunday mornings by either the father or grandfather of the family before they left to attend church.   Cyrus has a network of other craftsmen that are experienced in restoring old glass, and wood finishes that match exactly to the original.  How can this be anything but a labor of love.  Nathan is his legacy in this task.  Cyrus is instructing Nathan in all the  intricacies of this craft.  It was my great pleasure to meet them both and to photograph and to hear some of the amazing stories about some of these beautiful instruments of time keeping.

Oh my, look at the time!  For now I have to run

Rising Out Of Ashes

Has anyone ever asked “What would you take if you were going to be stranded on a deserted island?”

Or “What would be the most important thing you would take if your house was on fire?”  Recently I met a family that had lost all their things when their home burned to the ground.  My first thought was “OH” what about all the family pictures.  They were able to salvage some and I am in the process of scanning and hopefully restoring them.  It was such an emotional task as there are some that are literally just pieces of ash.  As I gently removed them from the sleeves and placed them on my scanner they still smell of smoke and just the lid of the scanner touching them you could hear the crunch of them breaking.  I will do my best to restore the portions of pictures I have.  What an emotional task.  I will try to post some of the completed pictures in the next few months.

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A Dream Realized!

Happy New Year!  I would love to start this year with a very sweet story about my Grandmother.  She loved to garden and Hydrangeas were her favorite flower.  She had a lifelong dream of traveling to Paris.  She also loved to cook and we could find her often cooking in the kitchen wearing her beautiful blue flowered apron that had a pattern of Hydrangeas on it.  She never realized her dream of going to Paris, however, this February my cousin Gail will be traveling there to fulfill my grandmothers dream of walking through the streets of Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower and sipping Cappuccino's in the Cafe's along the cobblestoned streets.

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The Best Of Plans

Pinterest has amazing ideas for photographers.  I know however, that it can sometimes  take dozens of shots to get just the one we are trying to achieve.  That is what our session today was.  Making sure the little ones are rested and  fed, then attempting to have them sit on a slippery floor with engaging colored lights.  All in all not a bad first attempt.

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