Red Giraffes in Wine Country

Karmere Vineyards and Winery is one of the premier visits in the Plymouth, California area.  Looking for places we could visit with minimal to no public contact we decided to give Plymouth a go.  We were met on the Karmere driveway with unusual red giraffes peaking through the vines.  (They weren’t wearing masks or social distancing but I suppose they get a pass.) It was a must to trek through the dirt in 100+ degree weather, because opportunities like this don’t come along every day.

The Plymouth area, in Amador County, is another Gold Country gem located in the Northern California Gold Country area.  Albeit this particular area has changed a lot over the years.  This once cattle and agriculture area is now primarily vineyards and businesses which support the those vineyards.  It is a much shorter drive from the Sacramento area than to our precious Napa and is less frequented which = less traffic!

Stay tuned for an accidental visit to the Amador Flower Farm which is like Christmas Day for these two day tripping photographers.

Cheers!

Social Distancing in Plymouth, California

A while back I did a series of multiple posts I called Gold Country Drives which took us to various spots in Northern California’s beautiful Gold Country.  (Check it out again if you are so inclined.)  For our birthdays every year my photography friend Diana and I always get together and go somewhere to take photos (and usually eat some yummy food).  Typically we go to Napa or the Bay area or the Coast or somewhere with lots of flowers to enjoy a beautiful day together.  This year, with COVID, everything is frankly just weird.  So, we decided to do a social distancing photo shoot in the Plymouth/Amador County area.  Our first stop was downtown Plymouth where a few interesting doors presented themselves.  It was mandatory I post them for Norm 2.0’s weekly post since I haven’t been out much in months.  I went back and forth on if these photos should be black and white or not.  I landed on color because the red and the blue/green and yellow is just too interesting.

Enjoy friends.  More flowers and wineries to follow from this day of fresh air and space.  Happy Thursday Doors.

Be well everyone.

Folsom Lake Quarantine Lupine Walk

Do we stay in or do we go out?  Quarantine has been lifted but COVID is on the rise.  I realize I never posted Lupine photos from a little walk we took on Folsom Lake from a few months ago.  The Lupines were a sure sign of spring growing out of the cold snow run off.  Butterflies were frolicking like all of us were desperate to do.  We all just wanted to get out of the house and back to work, back to “normal.”  Now, looking back, we are free again but the numbers are on the rise and people are angry and the economy is suffering and people are confused.  We are fearful we will get put on lock down again.  Numbers are worse than they were when we were locked down but yet I am back to work surrounded by an unseen virus worried I will share it with my family.  Just going to the grocery store is aggravating. None of it makes sense.

But, the beautiful Lupines bring some peace and it is easy to realize how important nature and the arts can be.

I hope this post finds all of you healthy and happy and safe.  Peace.

Wide Open Walls 916 – Midtown Sacramento faces and emotions

Sometimes I wonder how long this street art will last. How long until it’s disturbed or defaced? How long until a building is sold and it’s painted over? I suppose what matters is the here and now and enjoying it while it lasts. Watch it age. Watch it change separate from a museum where art of preserved forever. Here is a collection of people and faces and art that evokes some emotion. Happy Monday everyone.

Mission San Juan Bautista

The beautiful state of California is dotted with Missions harkening back to a profoundly different time in our history. Some have been restored and some show their age. I would love to see them all and had the opportunity to check one more off the complete list near the Monterey area. Mission San Juan Bautista is a fine example of a restored mission turned state park adjacent to a lovely little historic town. I’m not exactly sure why I’ve never been hear considering its close proximity to Monterey and Carmel. Perhaps I’ve always been in a hurry to hit the beach? Regardless, this gem was a great place to take a break and stretch our legs on the way to the beach. The church is magnificent and the grounds are pleasing and peaceful. The nearby structures show period houses, hotels, a jail, blacksmith, stables, etc. School kids were running around soaking it all in as little kids should be.

Have you ever visited any of the California Missions?  I’ll try my best to stop by and visit some more in coming days and years, they are a treat.

*In other news, I have also been looking for the opportunity to take a photo and mention the mission bells one can see whiling driving on historic California roads. The mission bells indicate El Camino Real and there are many of them connecting Mission country up and down California. I am usually whizzing by them on the highway without the ability to stop and wanted to capture this one for you since it was right outside the church.

Cypress Tree Tunnel – Point Reyes National Seashore

So who isn’t a fan of a good tree tunnel?  Well, it’s been on my mind for a while to go check this one out.  So, the little guy and I headed out early in the morning and Point Reyes National Seashore did not disappoint.  We travelled through the lovely and picturesque town of Inverness (aptly named because it certainly harkens back to the Scottish Loch Ness with a long thin waterway flanked by hills on either side) through some washed out roads and one lane drives to get to the North District Operations Center.  The communications center, an Art Deco building lovely in its own right, is overshadowed by its gorgeous driveway.  Kudos to whatever random person took the time to tree line this driveway so many years ago.  It was clearly unnecessary but boy am I grateful.  It took me back to Northern Ireland visiting Dark Hedges, only this was two hours from my house on my beloved and spectacular California coast.

We left the Cypress Tree tunnel and made for the lighthouse on an even worse road.  But, we were delighted by a bunch of Tule Elk presumably in the mood for love because they were fighting and there wasn’t a lady Elk anywhere to be seen.  I am told by a lovely and protective Ranger that Point Reyes Lighthouse was recently renovated.  It had only reopened the week prior to my visit.  Apparently locals were uptight over the cost of said renovation.  I’ll bet that old lighthouse could tell some stories about some epic storms and some shipwrecks of which there have been many around this dangerous peninsula.  She probably deserves a good tidy up from time to time if you were to ask me.  So, my sweet little guy got to see his first real tree tunnel, his first lighthouse, his first Tule Elk, and got to see the beach/ocean again.  Hurray for a wonderful day out!

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