This BLOG is Dedicated to Family Including a New Grand Daughter, California, this Native Son's Return and his Experiences along the Way. "California Here I Come" Gives Me Goose Bumps. (How maudlin is that?)
Photographs will be my primary tool to tell the story. I'll also post some random musings from time to time.
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Now that is Just a Great Way to Spend Lunch Hour
A restored WWII B-17G was here for the last few days. I had an chance to go out to the airport and crawl around and through it. My inner kid, aka "Bart" (as in the Simpsons), is crazy about old war birds like this one.
I walked away from the experience with a better idea of the courage it took for our fathers to take to the air in these things.A few millimeters of aluminum or plexiglass was all that stood between them and the swarming fighters of the Luftwaffe. Talk about guts.
I like this picture mainly because the exposure was good. The sky did not wash out while picking up the details on the ground. This place brings to mind East of Eden. When you travel up valley, it is easy to understand Steinbeck's passion for this place. It is stunningly beautiful.
The power of the sea fascinates me. I enjoy early morning at the shore in particular. The angle of the sun provides the best color and contrast. It is a challenge to time things right. The shore is also a spititual place to be at daybreak. I often feel closer to God at that place at that time. Whatever the reason, the soul is refreshed.
Took lunch hour today and went to the other side of the Salinas Valley to the foothills of the Gabilan Mountains on San Juan Grade. Packing my trusty Fuji digital, hit a full zoom at 300mm and watched these cows with their faces down in the grass chewing away. So, I hollered "Moo!" at them. Sure enough they looked over at the weird looking two legged cow and I shot the pic.
I am cheating a bit here, this is from last year. It has been so soggy, the roses have not even thought about opening up. But the buds are there, ready to go given a few days of sun and warmth. I think we will finally get that next week.
Small Wonders of Springtime - The Lupines Are Coming Up
This is one of the highlights of the season, the blooming of the wildflowers. Perhaps the prettiest of them all is the Lupine. They are dazzingly purple-blue flowers. They grow with several blooms to each tall stem. When they are in full bloom, fields and pastures become a sea of blue.
I was sorting through some shots tonight and saw this one and wanted to share it. The Salinas Valley is the setting for several Steinbeck novels, including East of Eden. This ruined house hails from that era. It sits by itself out on the broad expanse of the valley. It's a bit spooky. Or maybe this caught my eye as I needed to be convinced that it is not always raining here.
This is the highway up to Yosemite from Stockton. It is a wonderfully fun drive, unless you are making it at night which I did last fall. The climb is pretty quick, and before you know it you are at 5,000 feet heading for 7,000 feet above the Yosemite Valley.
Took this shot of my brother Mike, The Old Fool, on the cliffs above the beach at Malpaso. Sometimes it really anoys me when my snaps with the digital are that good. I go to all the trouble of setting up the TRex, on that day the Minolta, and the little digital I haul along for "just in case" comes up with something like this.