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.

Lake Clementine

A quarantine hike is/was good for the soul. This time of year the trails down by the American River and the Foresthill bridge aren’t so overrun with crowds. The cool weather is refreshing and walking under the bridge is exhilarating. I’ll admit I had never actually seen the Lake Clementine damn, not sure how that is possible but CHECK it’s done now. I decided to go further and see where the lakeside trail went. I was rewarded with a peaceful and serine lake with a few boaters and paddleboarders who gave me some entertainment. I saw and enjoyed this view for a very long time. The trail was not at all maintained and at times I had to scramble so keep that in mind should you find yourself exploring.

Tomales Bay Shipwreck – Point Reyes

This will be my last installment for Tomales Bay until I have the opportunity to visit again which I suspect will be sooner rather than later. šŸ˜‰ Driving through Inverness on my way to the Tomales Point Trail Hike I HAD TO STOP when I saw this grounded ship. Google tells me that this ship was wrecked and the owner always intended on fixing it but it soon became a roadside attraction. I was there at the right time because the lighting, the sun, and the reflection were ideal. This was the first photo of the day, which as many photographers know, makes the rest of the day icing on the cake. I am often terribly critical of the photos I take and this one is no exception taken only with my iPhone and not my “good camera.” However, I love this photo and can’t stop looking at it. I hope you enjoy it too.

ā€œOnly two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never leftĀ port and the other was an atrocious liar.ā€Ā -Don Bamford

Mormon Island Wetlands State Park

There are many trails and parks which surround Folsom Lake in Northern California. I have driven by this one a million times, and to be honest, had never even noticed it was a park before. Last fall I drove by and noticed some pretty glorious fall foliage and ever since then I had wanted to check it out. It’s winter here and it’s been raining in NorCal finally. So, when we had a break from the rain, the boy and I brought our rain boots and checked it out. The park is pretty basic and has only a small trail where mountain bikers seem to enjoy. No wildlife was out so the puddles were the star of the show for my son. I couldn’t help but think of Ireland seeing what would surely be called a Fairy Tree in that part of the world.

For some other posts from the Folsom area click here.