Monday, December 16, 2013

Reflections on a Rice Field

Photographically, I love the fall and winter in the Sacramento Valley for a number of reasons; the abundant wildlife, the tule fog that shrouds the valley in mystery, the beautiful clear skies (when the fog burns off). But there's one thing I love to photograph above all others: flooded rice fields.

There is nothing like standing on a levee surrounded on all sides by flooded rice fields. On a calm day the perfect reflections of the sky make you feel like you are floating in space, surrounded by light and color.

Sunset clouds are reflected in a rice field near Willows.

There is really nothing quite so breathtaking as an amazing sunset reflected all around you in every direction. And when you are out there you feel like the only person in the immense and open universe.

From late November to mid-February, hundreds of thousands of acres of rice fields are flooded in the Sacramento Valley. I plan to get out there every chance I get.

Reflections as the sun sets over the Coast Range mountains.
I love the symmetry of the cloud reflections in the rice fields.
The deep colors of sunset reflected in the rice fields.
God beams appear after the sun sets behind the Coast Range.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fall Colors in Discovery Park, Sacramento

My last stop to check out the fall colors in Sacramento was Discovery Park, where the Sacramento and American rivers meet.

An early morning visit provided some wonderful images streams of light from the rising sun.

Early morning sunlight in Discovery Park.
The sun rises behind the trees in Discovery Park.
Picnic tables and trees in Discovery Park.
Trees in Discovery Park.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fall Colors in Sacramento

My second stop in touring the fall colors in Sacramento was Midtown, location of some truly stunning homes and mansions. Capturing nature in urban environments can be challenging, particularly with all the parked cars, powerlines, and other distractions, but I was able to capture at least a bit of the beauty of this part of Sacramento.

Fall colors on a street in Midtown Sacramento.
Fall colors on a street in Midtown Sacramento.
Fall colors on a street in Midtown Sacramento.
Fall colors on a street in Midtown Sacramento.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fall in William Land Park, Sacramento

As the fall colors in northern California have been exceptional this year, I made sure to not miss Sacramento, which can explode with color.

My first stop was William Land Park, with it's trees, ponds, and golf course - all of which were very beautiful this year.


Pond in William Land Park
Path around a pond at William Land Park
People enjoy the fall colors at William Land Park

Ducks and geese populate the ponds in William Land Park
Scenic fence on the golf course at William Land Park
One of the fairways on the golf course at William Land Park

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fall Colors in Bidwell Park, Chico - Part 2

More of the amazing fall colors in Lower Bidwell Park in Chico, CA.

Hikers and runners under a canopy of gold in Bidwell Park.
Reds, pinks and yellows line a trail in Bidwell Park.
Hkers in Bidwell Park enjoy the fall colors.
A cyclist enjoying the variety of colors in the park.
Hikers enjoy the incredible colors in Bidwell Park.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall in Bidwell Park, Chico - Part 1

A cyclist enjoys the incredible fall colors in Lower Bidwell Park, Chico
This warm dry fall has resulted in an incredible color show in northern California, and particularly in Bidwell Park in the town of Chico. I can't say that I ever remember fall colors as bright and varied as this year.

Typically, there's some yellows and golds, but this year there is virtually every color of the spectrum this year, from bright yellow through orange and red, and even shades of purple. The mild weather has helped the colors stay longer because there haven't been any storms to blow off the leaves.

Enjoy! I'll post more next week.

Runners enjoy to fall colors in Bidwell Park.
Fall colors over Big Chico Creek in Bidwell Park.
Runners enjoy the golden colors of the forest in Bidwell Park.
A large valley oak in Lower Bidwell Park

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall Colors in Nevada City - Part 2

More images from the shoot of the fall colors in Nevada City last weekend. We spent a couple of days driving around town and the surrounding hills, trying to capture some of the beauty of the Sierra Foothills in the fall.

Odd little hobbit house-like structure in Bullwinkle Ravine, Nevada City, CA.
Sunrise on St. Canice Catholic Church, Nevada City, CA.
Fall colors surround St. Canice Catholic Church, Nevada City, CA.
Old Firehouse in downtown Nevada City, CA.
Lamppost in downtown Nevada City, CA.  
Old Firehouse #2 in downtown Nevada City, CA.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall Colors in Nevada City - Part 1

It's that time of year again - when colors explode throughout northern California, as fall descends. This year, I decided to visit Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada Foothills to capture some of the fall colors.

Here's a sample:

Colors along Little Deer Creek in Nevada City
Fall colors along Little Deer Creek in Nevada City
Flowers and fall colors on a street in Nevada City.
Fall colors on a street in Nevada City.
A tree turns golden on a street in Nevada City.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rice Harvest in Full Swing

I took a rather long hiatus from publishing anything to this blog, primarily due to family issues, but the rice harvest is here, and the blog is back.

A full rice combine unloads its cargo into a bankout wagon as the sun sets.
(click to view full size)
The rice fields, which are a rich green all summer, turn an intense yellow when the rice is ready for harvest in the fall. Then, when the moisture level in the grain reaches the right point, huge rice combines converge on the fields, strip the rice grain from the stalks and offload it into bankout wagons for transportation to storage, where the rice will dry before it is milled.

Rice ready for harvest.
Rice combine makes its way through a rice field.
The sun nears the horizon as the harvest continues.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Peaches in Bloom

As you can tell by the past few posts, the Sacramento Valley is a wonderful and colorful place to be in the spring.

Perhaps my favorite bloom of all is the peach bloom, which typically takes place about the same time as the prune bloom, a couple of weeks after the end of the almond bloom.

These photos were taken in an orchard near Marysville. Click on each image to enlarge.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring on Table Mountain

It's spring and time for wildflowers. I took a quick trip out to Table Mountain near Oroville (a major wildflower destination) in the end of March to see how the wildflowers were doing. It's been a very dry year,  and I wasn't sure how good the bloom would be, and sure enough, though there was a fair amount of lupine and goldfields, the poppies and owl's clover were sparse. It could be that I was there a bit early in the season, but it just might not have been a great year for wildflowers.

Still, it was a beautiful day, and I managed to capture a nice sunset. Enjoy!

Poppies on Table Mountain
Brodiaea on Table Mountain
Goldfields (Lasthenia californica) on Table Mountain
Sunset on Table Mountain