Another year, another Cruise

Redding’s Kool April Nites happened at the end of April this year and once again, the Friday night cruise didn’t disappoint.  I took my usual stance in the middle of a crosswalk behind a tree to try to capture some of the beauties that drove by.  And once again, they had four lanes of classic cars, muscle cars, rat-rods, funny cars, and this year quite a few renovated fire engines and police cars cruising by on a perfectly beautiful Friday evening. Continue reading

Photographing the Palouse

 

Rolling hills of the Palouse

 

An item on my bucket list was to get to the Palouse region of Washington/Idaho and try to capture the beauty of this unusual terrain.  The wheat and canola infused rolling loess hills can create a magical portrait of color and texture, and they almost didn’t disappoint.  Due to the unusual wet winter this year (winter 2016/2017), the wheat fields were late to be planted and the canola fields were still barren.  But never fear, the beautiful hills were still on display making this traveler/photog want to stop every few feet to get yet another shot.   There were more colors of green than I’ve ever seen both in the Palouse and surrounding areas. Continue reading

Getting the Shot

Animals, especially the wild kind, can be difficult at best to photograph unless you have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the steady hands of a tattoo artist, and the luck of the Irish.  I am Irish, but the rest of the attributes needed for animal photography seem to escape me most days.  If it weren’t for the Irish part, I’d probably have no wildlife photographs at all.  I’ve previously posted about Photographing Animals, but this post is a little different.

Light is sharing blogs on their #VantagePoint project where photographers share their favorite shot and tell the story behind it.  The blogs are shared on their Vantage Point Pinterest page – you might want to check out the great photographs and bloggers on their page.  Light is a revolutionary L16 camera, compact in size (size of an iPhone), but with major DSLR capabilities.  It has 16 different lenses that make for a wide range of focal lengths, ISO range up to 3200, and shutter speed from 1/8000 to 15 seconds.  All of this in a camera that weighs less than a pound!   If you care about flexibility, resolution, new technology and the ease of carrying and working with a camera, you may want to check it out.

So, one of my favorite shots is from the Merced Wildlife Reserve in Merced, California.  I have many favorites from the reserve, but for some reason this one tickles my fancy.

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Another day in the wild

Okay, maybe not so wild.

California is home to over fifty National Wildlife Refuges, a large number of which are located in the central and north-central valley; one of the most important wintering areas for waterfowl in North America.  The Bypasses offer thousands of acres as a haven (of sorts) for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, migratory birds, as well as bats, turtles, toads, snakes, and other critters and creatures.  I say a haven ‘of sorts’ because most have some acres blocked off during the October to January hunting season so that waterfowl hunters can ply their hobby.

We are lucky enough to live within one to three hours driving time to many of the larger refuges.  I visit them often as I try to figure out my new telephoto lens and one of these days I’ll conquer it or at least the fear of it!

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Hope Valley, Ca.

There’s a magical place in the California Sierra Nevada mountains that transforms from a very pretty area during most of the year into a wondrous palette of autumn colors, the likes we don’t normally get to see on the West Coast. Granted, the types of trees and colors are not in par with the Northeast, but Californians can enjoy a little piece of fall colors here.

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Redding’s Kool April Nites – 2016

Over the past couple of years, we’ve made the annual trek to the Kool April Nites Cruise and Car Show in Redding, Ca. In its 27th year, Kool April Nites continues to please classic car owners and general auto fans alike. This year it was expected to register over 1,900 classic cars (aged 1979 or older) for the event with all proceeds going to local youth charities. The main draws of the week-long event are the Friday night cruise and the big Show & Shine on Saturday outside the Redding Civic Auditorium. Additionally, there are concerts, dances, and smaller Show & Shines at different locations during the week. The Redding weather in April can be hit and miss, but the show goes on rain or shine. This year, it stormed all day Friday with a huge amount of rain falling in the afternoon – by all accounts over 2 inches. But by Cruise time that evening, the rain had stopped, the Cruise began on time and it was an enormous hit yet again. There weren’t as many spectators as usual due to the weather earlier in the day, but many still came out along the route to enjoy the beauties (and some entries not so beautiful) drive by. Continue reading

Our ‘El Nino’ Year

It’s been so long that we’ve enjoyed a good rain year in California, that I find myself in awe of the lush and vibrant colors this El Nino winter. I just don’t remember when the fields were so green, the sky was filled with such beautiful winter clouds, the river had so many rapids, and the water was so clear. Just a few shots of what the West is experiencing. Continue reading

Winter finally comes to California

It’s been four long years of drought for California, leaving some reservoirs at record lows and some 12 million trees dead and dying due to stress from the extreme drought allowing the bark beetle infestation to run rampant.  And the stressed and dead trees added to the fuel that fed the devastating wildfires of 2015. Continue reading

Oradour France, a silent witness of Nazi atrocities.

Compelling article by Stephan Fouquaert about a little-publicized WWII horror.

Shooting Phase One

Oradour, a silent witness of Nazi atrocities.

February 1944,

The 2nd SS Pantser Division an elite division of the Nazi Waffen SS was stationed in Southern French waiting to be resupplied with new equipment and fresh troops. Their mission was to stop the Allied advance in the north. One of its units was the 4th SS Pantser Grenadier Regiment Commanded by Sylvester Stadler. While SS Storm ban fuhrer Adolf Diekmann commanded the 1st Battalion .   Otto Weidinger was with the regiment for familiarisation.

Oradour, main street. Untouched since the fatal day in 1944 Oradour, main street. Untouched since the fatal day in 1944

Early on the morning of 10 June 1944, Diekmann informed Weidinger that he had been approached by two members of the Militia,a paramilitary force of the Visie Regime.

The Militia claimed “ a Waffen SS officer Helmut Kampfe is held hostage by the Resistance in Oradour a nearby village, captured yesterday by the Resistance group Maquis du…

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