Friday, August 21, 2015

Once in a While

I like black and white.   Inspired by Daryl's skyscrapers posted yesterday, I thought I'd post this from my time at Hearst State Park.   These eucalyptus smell so good and provide a beautiful backdrop near the San Simeon Pier.   I guess you could call them our version of skyscrapers.   

I'm thinking I may need a coastal diversion today if the particulates in our air don't clear out.   I haven't ridden my horses all week and it's not looking good for today either.   I hope you have a good Friday and some fun and/or relaxation over the weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

You Can't Go Wrong

The thing about living near the coast is you can take a drive any time you choose and end up in a place that is beautiful and refreshing and just plain awesome.   Too hot?   Drive to the coast.   Smoke in the air from the fire?   Drive to the coast.   Bored?   Drive to the coast.   I never take it for granted and I never wish I hadn't made the drive.

I get home, download the photos, and then spend lots of time trying to decide how I want to edit them.   Some people just like the natural look and prefer not to edit their photos.   With some photos, that's exactly what I want.   With others, they lend themselves to creating different looks.   With about 100 Lightroom presets, I find so many different ways to look at the same thing.   Hey, I don't knit or crochet or sew or any of those things.   This is my creative fun.   

These photos are at or near the San Simeon Pier.   Yes, that's a whale.   

Kayaks....they're everywhere.   From what I observed, if your instructor wants to give you advice as to when and how to approach landing on the should follow that advice.   Others struggled.   Someday....

I was hoping the air would clear out today so I could spend a little more time outside, open the windows for a while, and breathe deeply.   They've made great progress on the fire (Cuesta Fire) but it's still burning.   Again, a big appreciation for the firefighting crews!

Have a great Thursday.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Hot One

We've had a nice summer with very few days over 100 degrees.   This weekend was awfully hot, hitting about 104 on Saturday and 107 on Sunday.   Not fit for man nor beast, especially chickens.   So we spent a lot of time indoors with the a/c running nonstop.   Snacking, watching TV, napping....things like that.   Not exciting but just beating the heat wave.   

Yesterday wildfires broke out on the Cuesta Ridge which is where Highway 101 heads south into San Luis Obispo.   A main north-south artery in our state.   Apparently someone driving a pickup had a chain dragging and the sparks ignited fires in 3 spots.   Really, people don't think about things like that as much as they should, given our extreme drought conditions.   The firefighters out here in the West are stretched so thin.   I guess they are bringing in the National Guard in Oregon to help fight the fires up there because there are no more reserves available.   Never ever ever underestimate what firefighters do.   They put their lives on the line and work in extreme conditions to save lives and property.   In California, we now pay an annual Cal Fire tax of $115 for our property.   I never feel bad paying that particular tax.

This morning we had a pretty sunrise, although there is a lot of smoke that's settled in which creates problems for someone like me with asthma.   Onshore winds are due to move in later today and will hopefully clear this out.   I expect another day spent mostly indoors.   

Out early this morning to feed the donkeys, release the chickens, and let the dogs out, I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.   

I hope you have a good day!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Stuck in the Middle

There is a stretch of Moonstone Beach at Cambria that isn't always accessible because the tide comes in and you're cut off from any exit.   Yesterday the tide was out and just starting to come back in.   I was happy about that because I love these rocks.

I'm heading out to the barn for another horsey morning.   Have a nice Friday and a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Red Ponytails

Whitney rides Buddy for me a few times a week because he needs training that I'm not good enough to give him.   These two are the redheads in the barn and I like taking photos of them with their ponytails swinging.   Dressage arenas often have mirrors at the end or on the sides so you can check for certain things when you're riding.   I capture those mirrors in some of my photos and it makes me want to take a photo that I say, "Cool!"   There are things in the way that make it a less than perfect backdrop so this one is cropped a bunch and edited with some cloning out of stuff that isn't interesting to see in the shot.   

I'm going to keep trying.   My Sony a6000 can shoot at a burst of 11 frames per second, making it ideal for capturing the motion of horses.   Practice might not make perfect....what's perfect after all?   Practice can make it much better and that's what I'm going to go for.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday Breakfast

We like a restaurant called Dorn's in Morro Bay.   It sits up on a hill and overlooks the main drive and the bay and of course gives a view of The Rock.   Everything in Morro Bay has a view of the famous rock.   Dorn's has a deck for patio seating or a very nice dining room inside.   And the food is good.   Since Erik was gone on his birthday last week, we went yesterday for a nice breakfast and walk.   I always have my camera along, although I don't always take many photos, depending on what we see.  

Yesterday was a calm morning in the harbor with lots of pelicans and other sea birds feeding.   It's always such a treat to watch the pelicans flying and diving.   I only took a few shots and we continued on our short walk before heading back home.

When we got back to town, we took a quick trip out to the barn to see the horses and then back home for the rest of the day.   An afternoon of relaxation and lamenting the recent losses of the SF Giants, an evening barbecue of chicken and corn, and TV time completed the very pleasant day.   Well, except for the Giants loss, of course.   

And now it's Monday morning again.   I hope you all had a nice weekend with some time to recharge your batteries.   

Friday, August 7, 2015

Central Coast

People who live in this area generally love it.   So many people, like ourselves, have relocated here from the Bay Area or the expansive LA region.   The Central Coast provides a quieter life with a more rural atmosphere and less traffic.   When I moved here in 2002, there were still large undeveloped acreages with oak trees and hay fields or wild grasses.   People were still raising cattle and taking them to the livestock auction in Templeton.   Thirteen years later, there is more traffic in the area because so many wide open areas have been developed as vineyards.   It's a different Central Coast today with wine being a bigger industry and tourism draw.   I much preferred the wide open land with cattle grazing to the thousands of acres of vineyards.   But nobody asked me, they just went ahead with all the development.   It's changed the landscape but we still have that small town feel and familiar faces in the same stores for the past ten years or more.   

And the skies.   We have such beautiful skies which I'm not sure I noticed so much until I started taking photos again about 8 years ago.   The foreground in my photos is always the same, but the painting in the sky is different each evening and with the light changing every second.   I take my camera outside with me because it's just too pretty to miss.   The dogs run around while I walk around the property.   It's just a nice relaxing way to spend a half hour or so.   

Birds show up every evening to get a drink of water from the buckets we keep for our chickens.   We have a pair of House Finches, some Gray Vireos, and these Bluebirds who are so very hard to photograph.   I can only get photos through the kitchen window.   It seems they have raised two young ones and are now bringing them to the buckets so they continue learning to fend for themselves.   I suppose when we no longer have chickens, we will have to keep these buckets for the wild creatures.   That is, except for the Starlings who are not really welcome.   I hope they move along when there is no longer chicken feed to lure them here.   

This morning it is very cool outside with complete cloud coverage.   It feels like an Autumn morning...very unusual for August on the Central Coast.   Lots of things change and yet so much stays the same.   I wonder what another 13 years will bring.

Have a great Friday and hopefully a fun and/or relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Copy and Paste

If I could, that's what I would do to yesterday's weather.   It only reached 80 degrees and beautiful bright blue skies.   Toward afternoon, clouds came in that created awesomeness in the evening.   Can you feel the days getting a little shorter?   

I also had a much needed massage yesterday after a month between sessions.   My massage therapist was visiting family in England and I sure did miss her.   Every muscle in my body was tight or in a knot or otherwise giving me discomfort.   I think when you're used to going every two weeks, the body gets accustomed to that release and doesn't know how to act without it.   Riding horses and working horses on a lunge line are not things I can comfortably do without massage treatments.   

Everything is good around our little ranch.   We said goodbye to another chicken this week as she had reached 5 years and was failing.   She was the last of Toby's daughters that hatched here.   We have Toby and 7 hens remaining and will not replace our flock.   It's been great having chickens but it's not a responsibility I want as I go forward.   A little more freedom in the evenings would be nice, not having to be home to close them in for their protection.   It will be a little strange as chickens really add a lot to our place.   B'gawk!

The sun has risen, donkeys are fed, and I want another cup of coffee before the other critters need attention.   Thanks for stopping by!

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs...