Shots of the week . . . so far.

My husband asked me where I wanted to go for my birthday, which was Feb.3. Not one to make a fuss over this day, I just wanted to go to another skatepark and take some pics. We arrived about 11:30 and not a soul in sight. We had just decided to leave when one young man, on a break from work, showed up. I think he was just learning and really didn’t give me much of a show. Sun on concrete and he was dark clothing. Most would have said, forget it. Not me. As he was leaving I thanked him for not minding me taking shots, surprised and, he didn’t even know what I was doing. Now, that’s concentration. I mean. we were the only two people there. Hubby had gone to investigate other stuff, he’s not one for skateboarders.

Another day at the lagoon. Sunshine was plentiful after a dose of early morning fog. They are dredging the lagoon to replenish sand the winter tides have swallowed. I spotted the first and only bloom on one of the many cactus plants along the way. There was another older couple, I think the man was taking pics with his cell as he climbed up the hill to find the perfect yellow flower. Maybe to go with his shirt.

Shot Thru the Fence . . . graffiti and all

About two miles down the hill is a large shopping center, anchored by Alberson’s and Kohl’s. Along one side of Kohl’s is a strip of a parking lot and a fence protecting people from wandering into sensitive habitat. There is a meandering creek which eventually falls into several ponds then cascades over the rocks. The land, until recently was a sand and gravel quarry. Now, the area around this natural beauty has been purchased by a big developer who plans to put about 600 homes in this valley.

Before the fence went up, my hubby and I hiked down far as we could get to the waterfall. Over the last few years, taggers have decided to mark this landscape with their form of expression. The graffiti turns the rocks into canvases, unnatural and of no artistic value. A few years ago I reported the graffiti to the property owners, they caught a couple of college kids and had the graffiti removed.

Last Sunday, we stopped by to see if the most recent graffiti was still there. I had taken shots of it and reported it. While I was there, a father and son were on the other side of the waterfall and the boy hiked down aways. He was not the least bit interested in the graffiti. A skateboarder came rolling by, hopped off his board and I asked him if he was here to check on the graffiti, he said yes. He had a bag and a backpack. He threw his belongings, including the skateboard over the fence and hopped over it. I didn’t get to stay, but he certainly seemed like a person of interest.
skater at falls

I received an email today telling me that the graffiti was in the process of being removed. Always carry your camera, you might perform a public service and helping the environment is a good thing.graffiti 2

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A shot of the falls from a few years ago.
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DOG NAPPER, and other shots through the windshield . . .

It was starting to shower, big drops splattered on the Outback’s windshield. My camera sat in my lap, almost daring me to try and capture something while I waited for my husband to come out of RiteAid. OK, let’s see what you’ve got, I snickered to my old S5. Cars and people were impossible to avoid, but I think I captured a crime in progress. One woman went in with her little pup tucked and protected under her arm. Not long after, a person of interest merged with sort of a look-a-like. But with my poor eyesight, I didn’t want to report something that wasn’t really happening. At least the pups looked well-fed and cared for.

Finally, my hubby appeared through the rain and it’s more like some bizarre painting, but I thought it was a pretty good fake out. I slipped my old friend some new batteries and prepared for another day.

War and back . . .

airsoft videoI was drafted by my grandson to become his war photographer. This was the second time he’s held an Airsoft War at home in Fallbrook, CA. It was out east of here an and I spent most of the time standing in, very tall, very wet grass. I couldn’t risk getting too close for fear of injury by hundreds of pellets. Yet, my grandson was happy with what I gave him and at the end of the day, I only suffered socks soaked enough to ring out.

His mom took pics of the first game and I did manage a short video for Youtube.

Double take

Sitting in the car, while hubby was at the drugstore, I noticed a man waiting for someone or something. He paced about, smoked continuously and peeked in shop windows. He walked to the street, looking up and down before returning to lean on his car. First thought, his vehicle was in need of a tow or a repair. I had my camera in hand and used the vari-angle LCD to capture this man. I am sure he was unaware of me. There were many obstacles shooting out the window, but with a little help it happened. Just as I looked down to see what I had captured, he pulled to of the parking lot. Maybe a lunch date that didn’t show. double take

Monday Memories . . . not exactly Matt and Kitty

If you’re on Facebook, you’re familiar with . . . Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday. Two days that some of us will post photos that are oldies but goodies of our former selves. Reliving the past can either bring a smile, a chuckle or “I can’t believe I did that” and . . . kept the photograph to prove it.

While looking through some old files I came across a shot that I always loved. We had only been married a few years, back in the 90s and took a road trip to the Calico Ghost Town. That would be the 1990s.

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A little bit about this silver mining town:

Calico Ghost Town
36600 Ghost Town Rd
Yermo, CA 92398

Calico is an old West mining town that has been around since  1881 during the largest silver strike in California.  With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span.  When silver lost its value in the mid-1890’s, Calico lost its population.  The miner’s packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town that once gave them a good living.  It became a “ghost town.”  

Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950’s architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880’s.Calico received State Historical Landmark 782 and in 2005 was proclaimed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town.

The day we visited was HOT and something I ate kept reminding me to never do that again. I really wanted to be a good sport and go on this silver mine adventure. There was a short entrance to the mine and a guide doing his best to educate and entertain us. He mentioned that once we entered the mine there was no turning back and you must exit at the other end. calico silverSuddenly the walls began to close in on me, I felt it hard to breathe. I began to perspire. Did I mention I am claustrophobic? Very claustrophobic. I told my husband I was going back, he reminded me of what the guide said. At this point, it was be disobedient or leave my lunch in the tunnel. I turned tail and ran out into the God-given sunlight.

Today I began thinking about giving Monday a special day for Memories. This shot is not exactly Matt and Kitty, but we did our best. For some reason, there were no shoes for the saloon girls in this little studio set-up. Matt &Kitty

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Grant Calico &me color

If you are a fan of Gunsmoke, enjoy a few clips from this famlous couple – Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty.

The Food Bank delivers . . .

On the first Tuesday of each month the San Diego Food Bank makes a huge delivery of produce to those in need. The drop off is at the Bread of Life Rescue Mission in Oceanside, CA. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots, some didn’t seem to mind, one woman yelled at me, “Please,lady don’t take my picture.” It was already too late, so I honored her request by cropping her out. The video is now on Youtube at:

The director of the mission, Steve Bassett informed the crowd I might be taking pictures for him. I tried not to be obvious as I meandered around the crowd. Bread products come from various stores and bakeries and are also handed out that day.

A word about progress . . . NOT!

Robertson's Ranch copy 2Just 2.3 miles from home there is yet another development underway. A collection of six hundred homes, condos, apartments, a school, a fire station and some type of commercial projects, have yet to find out just what. Once graceful farmland, where we could buy fresh produce including heirloom tomatoes, is now being carved up.heirlooms The hills, which were once alive with crops and farm workers is now a barren landscape. On a trail hike a few days ago I captured all the massive equipment needed to destroy this area. It sat on a ridge some distance away, resting from the work of the week. The project will add to the already burdened roadways and to the tax coffers of our city.

When we returned to that trail today, looking for some more shots, the line of earth movers and the rest were gone. Did someone see my shot on Facebook and decide to hide the usual suspects? One lonely piece, far from where the others had been, remained further down the ridge line. It reminded me of a spacecraft sent to a distant galaxy to explore the peaks and valleys of another world’s landscape. It was silent on this Sunday, but something caught my eye. Was it sending a signal . . . or was that just the sun bouncing off the windshield of the cab? I call this shot – “The Digger”
The Digger

Golden Girl . . . and coming and going.

While out on a trail yesterday my husband asked me why I take the shots as people are walking away from me, or in the case of this next image, jogging away. You never know, a rear shot might be more interesting.
golden girl

The only time I take shots as they approach is shooting from the hip, using my camera’s high-resolution vari-angle LCD. Yes, it’s an old camera, but good enough for me.my Canon

Then there’s the opportunity of catching someone coming and going . . .
coming & going

There had been a group of people ‘counting birds’ who made the lagoon their home this time of year.
Some wore huge binoculars around their necks and one man had the big gun . . . photo shoot, not lunch.
Bird counting day resize
birds in lagoon re

A wood pile, free for the taking away, caught my eye. Such brilliant color – for now.IMG_1548
And a little more color on the trail. couple

Then there was a man walking his cell phone – dog was extra.Walking dog

She’s bedraggled . . . but happy

She’s nearly four years old and lives in a condo below us. In the blink of an eye she can transform into a bedraggled Cinderella with sauce on her face.
 fairy godmother

She rarely sits still and likes to make-up stories about snails and such.

The sun was casting long shadows in the parking lot and getting anything decent seemed impossible. I spent just a few moments as she doesn’t seem to like the camera. Some backgrounds and here is she is.