Effie Yeaw Nature Center

The Effie Yeaw Nature Center, located in Ancil Hoffman Park in Sacramento, has been around as long as I have…longer actually. It’s a small but mighty little center which helps preserve natural area, promote Indian heritage, and protect and aid local sick or injured animals. The center’s highlights were certainly the two beautiful owls lovingly cared for by staff.

The park sits on a glorious part of the American River Parkway which my young son greatly enjoyed. Once he threw what seemed like every river rock back in to the river he insisted we make a second visit to the owls again before we left! That’s a success if you ask me!! img_1175

Indian Grinding Stone

Meet Echo

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Quarry Park – Rocklin, California

Quarry Park in Rocklin, California has changed immensely over the last few years.  What used to be an abandoned quarry filled with water and whatever else fell in there and a barren field full of rattlesnakes and poison oak is now a delightful local park and adjacent adventure park.  Locals can enjoy summer concerts, a lovely short walk around the quarry, a climb on the children’s playset and train or for the more adventurous they can climb or zipline next door.  I love this park and think what they have done with it is genius other than it still seems weird to be placed right in the middle of the city government.

 

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has been on my local list of attractions for a while.  I can’t say why I haven’t gone before but I haven’t.  And after visiting today looking for some fall colors I certainly regret not having gone sooner.  I can say the Arboretum and gardens were not at all what I expected…in a good way.  I expected just a large park with some glorious old trees and a place for my son to run around reasonably free.  Instead, I found a lovely meandering creek called the Putah Creek lovingly surrounded by well maintained gardens and walking bridges.  Visitors can walk the entire thing or sections and can follow both sides of the creek.  They will be joined by runners, students, local residents, gossiping women, and visitors like me.

It is hard to be unhappy in a place like this even with heavy smoke in the air from the Butte Fire raging a small distance away.  Several distinct gardens keep one’s interest while they get their steps in.  Acacia gardens, redwood gardens, desert gardens, and plants and trees from China were the highlights.  Ducks followed us everywhere we went.  This perfect little park is a quiet oasis placed smack in the middle of one of California’s premier Universities.

Wide Open Walls 916 Sacramento-Del Paso

Over the summer a really exciting street art event (Wide Open Walls 916) came to Sacramento which painted the walls…literally. It took a seemingly benign wall or building and turned it in to something amazing. I posted previously on some great selections from the event located in downtown Sacramento. I was so impressed I decided to head to another area of town which was of focus for the event which I had not had time to visit previously – Del Paso. I was most looking forward to seeing the the rainbow colored installation directly below because I was drawn to the bright and cheerful colors. I was underwhelmed to say the least not by the art but by the building and it’s surroundings. This is a classic example of the reality of what surrounds a photo. I’m sure the artist is less than thrilled with what became of his piece. The overall environment left a little to be desired and so did the art but I thought I would share for the fun of it. I still can’t wait for the event to come back again next year…

Anyone else ever visited a location that turned out to be something other than they expected or became run down after the initial blush?

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

Golden Gate Park is full of surprises and pleasant escapes from the rest of the City. It is certainly up for “Best Park in America” if you ask me which no one ever does…

I digress. One of the many treats in Golden Gate Park is the Conservatory of Flowers.  It was like a trip back to Victorian times only more humid.

And where better to try out my new iPhone XS?  The portrait feature is a lot of fun providing some fake depth of field by blurring out the background of your subject. The phone is particularly better taking photos in high and low light compared to previous versions. (Thank you Apple for finally improving that.) Some of the filters are comically bad from a real photography perspective but they are fun from a, well, fun perspective.  Bottom line, the phone takes a much much clearer photo than before which I appreciate considering the obscene price.

It’s the City by the Bay.  The City that Rocks.  The City that Never Sleeps. We Built this City on Rock and Roll!  ~Jefferson Starship, We Built This City

Click here for other Golden Gate Park posts which will make you want to visit immediatly!

Check out my other posts on San Francisco here!

Aerospace Museum of California-Sacramento

“I feel the need…the need for speed!” ~Top Gun

The little one and I recently survived our first airplane flight to visit family in Arizona. (Delays going and delays coming and a bomb threat but we made it).  I digress, but now he knows what an airplane is and even knows the sign for one.  I figured it was a good time to take him to the Aerospace Museum of California located at McClellan Park in Sacramento, formerly McClellan Air Force Base.  The museum has an interesting collection of all sorts of airplanes, helicopters and engines of all vintages.  They are focued on educating young folks and getting them interested in flight.  My favorite highlight was seeing the flight simulator room created for the purposes of teaching kids STEM.  Well, that and watching my baby pretend to fly the planes.  (See photo below of him in the small white airplane cockpit.)  He very much enjoyed climbing on the airplanes and helicopters which were opened graciously to the public.  The idea of him flying one of these things in the future is something I can’t even fathom…

California State Indian Museum

In the shadow of Sutter’s Fort sits the small but lovely California State Indian Museum.  The museum was created in 1940 and tells the story of many of the Indian tribes of California.  It highlights more than 60 indigenous groups who lived in our great state long before Mr. Sutter brought his Fort to the area and long before the Gold Rush encouraged waves of people to come out West.

Highlights of the museum are an impressive grouping of baskets, an 18 foot Yurok Redwood Canoe, a large number of beautiful photographs of Indigenous peoples in native outfits during dances or traditional activities, and detailed handmade clothing.

The relationship between California and the local Indian tribes has been a complicated one over time.  Disease brought by Europeans, forced movement, slaughter, and destruction of the local environment have changed the face of indigenous people forever.  This museum tells the story of California Indian heritage through physical items, clothing, photographs, landscaping, local events, and music and dance. It is a lovely reminder of the pride and history of the first Californians.  I only wish the museum were bigger and housed even more beautiful artifacts because I know there is much more to see.

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Rattlesnake!

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Take note of the feathers weaved in to the spectacular smaller baskets.

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This thing is HUGE and must weigh an enormous amount.

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Not sure what these berries are. I can’t say I ever remember seeing them in the area but they were beautiful.

Sutter’s Fort – Sacramento, California

The little one and I got out of the house recently and visited the Sacramento landmark of Sutter’s Fort.  This adobe fort was built in 1840, early in Sacramento’s history, for the purposes of trade by John Sutter with the coerced permission of the local Nisenan Indians and randomly with the help of Hawaiian laborers.  Sutter was granted Mexican citizenship in 1840 and the Land Grant for the area in exchange for keeping local Indian tribes “in order.” It was closed shortly after gold was discovered in Coloma sparking the 49r Gold Rush.

The fort has been lovingly restored and the California State Parks service does a great job displaying the period with detailed rooms depicting each of the trades and functions of the fort; Carpenter shop, Millstone, Gunsmith, Blacksmith, Guard Room, Kitchen, Bakery, and Weaving Rooms. The Fort sits on a beautifully maintained garden neighboring the California State Indian Museum.

It has always amazed me that my fellow Sacramentans restored, saved, and preserved this special spot because it is surrounded by period houses, hospital high rises, vibrant bars, all in the heart of downtown Sacramento. It is prime real estate as they say.

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Local Girl Scout Groups dress up in period costume for their visit. (I remember doing that not so many years ago!)

Wide Open Walls 916 – Sacramento Street Art Festival

Wide Open Walls hosted multiple events spanning multiple weeks this August in downtown Sacramento painting the city walls with street art! Several areas of downtown have been transformed by local and international artists. Locals watched the art being made, attended a number of hosted street parties, and even download an app for a guided walking tour of the various locations of public art pieces.

I  took note of a few of the locations to visit while downtown last weekend and it did not disappoint! I’m proud of my city for allowing something as exciting and forward as this public art exhibit. I am proud Sacramento is finally becoming a world class city by promoting the arts in a modern way. I look forward to next year where they will hopefully do it again in other parts of the city.

Is their interesting street art in your city? What’s your favorite public art piece captured below?

Do you have a post or a blog on street art you want to share? Please feel free to share your link here so we can all enjoy!  And feel free to share this post so others can enjoy.  Comments are always encouraged and welcomed!

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Seeing a photo of the Princess on Instagram is what led me to Wide Open Walls. I went downtown looking for her and found all of the rest of this interesting and awesome art.

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It’s hard to make garbage cans look good but they managed it!

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How cool is this? 3D!

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This one seemed to get a lot of attention by people walking around.

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This is a representation of the famed Sacramento Tower Bridge.

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Not sure what this is but I like it. And it was HUGE.

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Rainbow version of our beautiful State Flag.

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Take note of the ladies posing for selfies. I saw this in front of almost all of the art. People were posing and talking about posting it on social media like it was very serious business.

Like what you see?  Love street art?  Check out some Parisian Street Art by clicking here!  I would love to know what you think.

Crocker Art Museum – Sacramento

The Crocker Art Museum is a downtown Sacramento staple.  Every school age child comes here at least once.

The Crocker family earned their money from the railroad.  They parlayed that money in to many other things ultimately affording the family to build a legacy Sacramentans will be forever grateful for.  The Crocker’s showed interest in art and began collecting personally specifically Asian art and ceramics.  Eventually the beautiful house and the art collection were gifted to the City of Sacramento for the purposes of creating culture in an early Sacramento.

The original house has been enlarged during the Crocker’s time there and recently underwent the building of a world-class architecturally modern wing added in 2010.  I hadn’t visited since this beautiful wing was added and took the summer heat wave as an opportunity to enjoy their art & air conditioning.

Highlights of the exhibits are the house itself, outside large public art installations on the grounds, early California paintings, ceramics, Oceana exhibits, and a broad grouping of Asian art from the Middle East, India, Japan, China, and beyond.