Savannah Trail

The trails of Helen Putnam Park are among my favorite places to explore. This beautiful space is on the west side of Petaluma, about 15 minutes across town from our house. There are over 200 acres of hills, trees, meadows and trails.

While Mum was visiting last weekend, we took a walk along Panorama Trail, which then meets up with the Savannah Trail. I love these shots. The trees are beautiful, with grass and wildflowers aplenty.

Helen Putnam Regional Park

Helen Putnam Regional Park

East side beauty

Sunrise on the east side

There are many differences, both cultural and aesthetic, between the east and west sides of Petaluma. This is one of the things I love about the east side. A five-minute walk from my front door and I’m enjoying a beautiful sunrise in the country.

Mum on walk

Glad Mum was here to enjoy this beautiful view with me this weekend. We went for an early morning walk to take pictures of the sunrise. With such an amazing walking path along the edge of the east side of Petaluma, it’s hard not to want to get out and enjoy the views!

Taxidermy on trees?

Meg's Tree

I decided to take this picture after sitting out in the sun on the patio one day recently. I was looking up at the sky, and realized the sky was so clear, and the tree so beautiful, that it almost looked fake to me, as though it had been artificially preserved.  This shot is looking almost straight up, from the exact angle I could see it while laying out and enjoying the California sun. So beautiful.

Well, Hello Spring

Flowers and Lemons combine

I’ve been spending a lot of time outside lately, mostly because the weather is so beautiful. The lemon tree is now trimmed, and the flowering trees are in full bloom. I’ve even planted rainbow chard and chives. Grandmom would be proud.

These are a few shots I took of the white flowering tree (no idea what it’s called, so any input would be great!) and the lemon tree, which are right next to each other. They can also both be seen from our room upstairs, which makes for a beautiful site when I wake up in the morning. Add the Sonoma Mountain backdrop, and we’re California living!

Flowering Tree Lemon Tree

Just a man and his dog

These are a few shots of Jake and Cousteau from our recent visit to Tomales Bay. Anyone who knows us well understands that our dogs are our kids. Here are a few “father/son” moments.

Jake and Cousteau walking along the beach in Tomales Bay.

Jake and Cousteau walking along the beach in Tomales Bay.

Jake wanted to climb the big rock, so naturally, Cousteau did too.

Jake wanted to climb the big rock, so naturally, Cousteau did too.

On the way down from the rock, Cousteau wasn't quite able to make the leap, so Jake saved the day and carried him down.

On the way down from the rock, Cousteau wasn’t quite able to make the leap, so Jake saved the day and carried him down.

Diorama

This is one of the features I’ve just discovered on my E-PL1. It’s a setting under the “Art” icon on my features wheel. I took this picture using the diorama setting, which is supposed to create the illusion of a model world. As best I can tell, it enhances the photograph in the middle, almost giving it a magnified bubble effect, while slightly blurring the outer edges. I have no idea why it took me so long to find it, but I’m totally in love.

Using the diorama setting on my camera, under the "arts" features.

Using the diorama setting on my camera, under the “arts” features.

Another visit to Bodega Bay…my favorite place to watch the sunset

Life is pretty amazing here in California. Sure, there are the same stressors and time-consumers here as there are anywhere else, but the beauty of living in California is in enjoying the outdoors and natural wonders of the region. I love exploring this place, finding all the nooks and crannies that don’t show up on the “Top 10 Things to Do” list, and discovering what it is that gives this area the pulse of life that it exudes. While I’ve discovered many a nook, I have also found that some of the most amazing places are those visited by both local and tourist alike. In this case, I point to Bodega Bay and the Bodega Headlands as a perfect example of both locally and “touristically” admired beauty, where I frequently go to find peace and revel at the unmatched awe of the ocean.

You all know I love to take pictures of the ocean, and especially of sunset. Here, I’m trying a few newly discovered features on my E-PL1, including “pop art” and “diorama.” Enjoy.

Looking north along the coast, from the north side of the trailhead.

Looking north along the coast, from the north side of the trailhead.

Looking south along the coast, toward the Bodega Head parking lot and whale watching area.

Looking south along the coast, toward the Bodega Head parking lot and whale watching area.

The beautiful buildings in our nation’s Capital

While visiting Charlotte in DC last week, I was able to spend some time walking around the city. I have always been amazed at the beautiful architecture we have in our nation’s Capital.  This is the style of architecture you normally see in Europe, but many of the buildings rival those in much older parts of the world. These are a few of my favorites.

Looking up while exiting the Metro station at Judiciary Square

Looking up while exiting the Metro station at Judiciary Square

Executive Office Building