A not-so-Hot August Nights

After experiencing some very hot days at the 2014 Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada, we planned and prepared for another hot time in the old town this year.  Much to our surprise and delight, the temperature in Reno this year averaged about 85 degrees – about 15 to 20 degrees cooler than last year.   People actually donned jackets and sweaters in the evening as compared to last year when folks were removing as much clothing as possible!  Here are some shots from the 2015 event.
reno street

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Capitola Weekend and a Car Show

wharf2The Wharf at Capitola

It was a typical weekend on the coast – lots of misty fog, dull overcast and beautiful sunshine interspersed throughout each day.  The Capitola 10th Annual Rod & Custom Car Show was scheduled for June 6 & 7 and had about 300 reserved spots in the show for car clubs and individual enthusiasts.  It is a popular car show for entrants and the public alike due to the beautiful ocean-front venue, laid-back atmosphere, and the cool weather in what is looking to be a very hot and dry summer in California.  Even the horrific bumper-to-bumper traffic on Highway 17 coming over the hill from San Jose didn’t deter the throngs from driving to the coast. Continue reading

Kool April Nites in Redding, Ca


Thunderbird at the Kool April Nites Friday cruise.

Last year, we signed up for the Kool April Nites Car Show in Redding a few months in advance of the show.  As it got closer to the scheduled day, the weatherman predicted rain throughout the weekend and since our registered ’41 Chevy doesn’t sport windshield wipers, we opted not to drive the 210 miles to the show.  RainX only goes so far!  Of course, it didn’t rain as predicted, so we missed a great weekend seeing friends and ogling the great classics at the show.  Continue reading

California in Black & White

Crane Tree

There was a movement a few months ago that challenged photographers to post Black & White images on Facebook and other social networking media.  It was a bit hit-and-miss, and didn’t really espouse the intricacies and beauty of BW photography.   I am by no means a seasoned BW photographer, but I do love converting some of my images to BW.   The textures, contrast and simplicity somehow have a soothing effect on one’s senses.

California has many areas that lend themselves to BW photography – as Ansel Adams so eloquently proved.  My shots below are some locales that I like in BW, albeit not as powerful or eloquent as Mr. Adams’ images.  There isn’t a lot of verbiage with this post – just California locales in Black & White. Continue reading

Fighting off Winter Chills

We’ve had a few cold days here and the chill is in the bones.  It’s not like our weather is freezing – it’s currently 48 degrees before the sun comes up, but it’s a type of cold that shivers your timbers for some reason.  It’s supposed to warm up over the next few days and then hopefully more storms will be on the way to help break this drought.

I’ve been reworking some old photos lately and just playing with images of warm landscapes makes me feel a little better.  I thought I would share them for those of you battling the snow and ice in the colder regions and for those of us who are pansy-asses about the weather where a 48 degree morning is torture.

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Winter in Yosemite (finally?)

It’s been a long drought period for California and other parts of the West.  But so far this month (December 2014), we’ve had above normal rainfall with a likelihood of even more rain and snow to come.  Hopefully, this winter will finally break the back of this drought.

I’ve been going through some older photos and ran across a series of Yosemite in winter from 2009 that better depict what a winter should look like. We haven’t seen these scenes in a few years; we’re hoping for something like this or better this year. Continue reading

Central Coast Chinook

first bird Well, winter is finally here again and everyone in California is praying for more snow and rain than we have had in the previous 3 or 4 years.  Mother Nature is cooperating by dumping lots of rain in the Central Valley and Foothills, and the much needed white stuff in the higher altitudes.  We have many acres of fire-scarred terrain to worry about with mudslides, erosion, and flooding, but we so welcome the storms that are making their way into the state.  Continue reading

The Albuquerque Balloon Festival

mass release 1

In October of 2010, we decided to drive to Albuquerque to see the Balloon Festival that had been touted by so many.  As we drive down Highway 99 between Fresno and Bakersfield, a long line of thunderheads were positioned along the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.  I’m talking about a long line – probably 50 miles or so of thunderheads. It was exciting to see and we didn’t worry about driving through them as they didn’t extend far enough south to intersect with our planned trip. What we didn’t realize at the time, was that they were an omen of weather to come! Continue reading

Last Show & Shine of the Season – Mariposa

Daisy engine
Well, this past Saturday in Mariposa, Ca  was the last Show & Shine (car show) of the season for us anyway.  The rainy season (hopefully) is upon us and classic buffs don’t take their treasures out in the rain very often, particularly if they don’t have windshield wipers.  RainX goes just so far in a heavy downpour! Continue reading

The Art of Photographing Animals

No, this is not a tutorial on the best practices of photographing our fine feathered friends, the wild and wooly wildebeest, daringly destructive deer, or the bulky brown bear. This article is better described as an expose’ of my sad attempts at capturing the wild kingdom on [digital] film. Try as I might, I have found it virtually impossible to command a photogenic pose of any species of the animal kingdom – and yes, that includes the human species. I find that trees, lakes, mountains, flowers, architecture, vehicles or anything without a personality or the ability to move away on its own accord is more to my liking and ability. My own dogs, for example, seem to forget the command “stay” when I have camera in hand; the only time they don’t move or give me the evil eye is when they are peacefully snoring in their own dream world, and even then, most times are chasing dream rabbits. Oh Pshaw, you say? Don’t get me wrong, there are some shots that have turned out pretty good, but that’s as good as it gets – pretty good. So, in order to justify the Animals gallery on my SmugMug site, I should refer to it as A Humorous Look at Animal Photography, or How to Create Mediocre Animal Art.    Some examples: Continue reading