California Fires

It’s fire season in California again. I can only remember a handful of big fires growing up in this state as a kid. Now this is the new norm every year from probably about June-December. The Forest Service has even taken the monumental position of closing the Forests because if another fire kicks off they don’t have the resources to evacuate people and put out the fire. (Everyone is ok!) It’s crazy times. It’s devastating and dangerous for many; my family being impacted this time by the Caldor Fire. This photo was taken at a reservoir called Stumpy Meadows when the smoke from the Dixie fire was wafting over. If you glance quickly it looks like cool fog…

It’s been a while since I posted. I hope all of my friends out there are well. It seems many of us aren’t traveling much for many reasons COVID likely being one of them. Take care everyone. Happy Travels.

Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens at Golden Gate Park is arguably one of the best places to visit in San Francisco and maybe the state. These world class gardens never disappoint as a alternative to the traffic and tourism of the City. One can visit frequently throughout the year and see something different each time. In COVID times its a wonderful way to get outside and keep your distance from other folks while breathing sweet salty fresh air. I have visited here many many times over the years and will be forever grateful for my best friend going to college here and introducing me to this magnificent place. The enormous and aged coastal trees are stunning, the detail of the flowers from all over the world are magnificent, and the trails are fun. There is also nothing wrong with bringing a blanket and popping a top of something and just enjoying the sunshine amongst acres and acres of beautiful picnic location options in the gardens.

Golden Gate Park Conservatory of Flowers

Spring has sprung in San Francisco so we decided to check out the Conservatory of Flowers located in San Francisco’s glorious Golden Gate Park. This is my second visit and well worth it to see what was different to entertain my Macro lens. The front lawn of the Conservatory is reminiscent of European Victorian gardens with locals basking in the warm sunshine. The building was purchased by a wealthy connoisseur of flowers in the late 1800’s and was gifted after his death. The building has survived fire, earthquake, and wind damage over the years. The building itself is unusual and a work of art and the perfect container for an award worthy garden of exotic plants.

The Tulips Are Blooming, Queen Wilhelmina’s Garden

Queen Wilhelmina’s Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco was in full bloom showing off its Tulip Magic. The tulips were planted in the shadow of the impressive and iconic windmill which overlooks the underrated Ocean Beach. As is usual for San Francisco the crowds and parking were frustrating yet it was still a nice visit and a great excuse to exercise my Macro lens. No visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Golden Gate Park. But please, whatever you do, go in the morning on a weekday or it might ruin the fun for you.

North Table Mountain Spring Flowers

Instagram introduced me to a local phenomenon I had never heard of, Table Mountain near Oroville, California. Table Mountain is an interesting geological feature in and of itself. There are even tall waterfalls for goodness sake! Who knew? Well, throw a blanket of wildflowers all over it and I am game for a road trip. The lack of a trail made it a little confusing and the wind got tiresome after a few hours. But, there is no denying Mother Nature was showing off her Spring Powers here today and I was fortunate to have experienced it. I met some lovely people on the trail which made for a nice morning trip with my camera. Sending you spring sunshine from Northern California.

Dahlia Time

I have to imagine the average garden this year is far better off than normal with so many people quarantining and staying closer to home. I can certainly say this is true for me. Cheerful flowers abound and Dahlias are one of my favorites. Sending Sunshine and light from California.

Horton Iris Garden – Loomis, California

Horton Iris Garden, in Loomis California is open for the season with early bloomers on display. This lovely family opens their beautiful property for a few months out of the year to display and sell tons of varieties of Irises. (They also open for pumpkin season which is probably my favorite time of the year!) Enjoy some of the blooms which opened for us during a recent visit.

Tulip Time

It’s tulip time in my backyard! Ever since visiting Monet’s Giverny outside of Paris and also Crystal Hermitage in the Sierra Foothills and having my Tulip mind blown I have wanted to plant some of my own. I kind of went nuts last fall and planted an enormous amount. Here is one of my favorites for spring. Sending you sunshine and light from sunny California.

Yountville Public Art

Spring is springing in Northern California. It was time to get out of the house for some fresh air and street art in Yountville, California. Yountville is a lovely alternative to some of the busy wineries and shopping districts of its neighbor Napa, Saint Helena or Calistoga. It was also the perfect place to get outdoors safely masked in public.

Wherever you are today, whether its still snowy or tropical and warm or somewhere in between, I would like to send you some California sunshine from one of the most famous regions on the planet, for good reason.

Cheers.

Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes

The weather did one of those things it does in the winter that is nothing short of miraculous. It was 74 degrees (23 degrees Celsius or so) in January on the coast of California. So I did what it seems every single other person in the Bay area did and hit the beach. Because I am obsessed with Point Reyes National Seashore right now I visited a beach I had never been to and wasn’t disappointed, Kehoe Beach. It’s a bit of a drive on a rough road to get there. A good parking lot connects to a trail where one walks on a well maintained trail for over a mile to be rewarded with crashing waves and an estuary next to a great set of sand dunes. (All make for safe and fun play for my little one.) I know this might seen ironic to some of my friends who aren’t from around here but many, if not most, of the beaches in this area are not safe to get in the water. The undertows are so strong it will suck you out and you will never be seen again…We played in the sand and water from the estuary for hours. My son asked if we could move our house to the beach so I think it was a successful day.

On the way home we made a quick drive to Drake’s Beach in order to see the lounging Elephant Seals. What a lovely reminder of how massive and amazing these creatures are.

For more posts from the Point Reyes National Seashore area I invite you to click here.