Photography: Monochrome Nature

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.” -L.M. Montgomery

Yesterday I took family photographs of a dear friend and her beautiful family. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to stretch my photography skills and offer this service to people I love. What I learned was…I need to learn a lot more. Although it went well, as far as flow and everyone staying in wonderful moods, I didn’t do great with lighting or poses. While some of the photos were beautiful, others fell short. Ultimately, I failed in a lot of big ways.

When I woke up this morning I felt defeated and upset. I wanted to do so much better. While I could let this setback derail me, after coffee and a long hot shower, I’ve decided to keep going. I think after the new year I’ll enroll in some photography classes, invest in some new software, and keep trying. Everything is a learning experience and the only way to get better is to keep going.

My photos this week were all taken before the family shots and were edited to be black-and-white. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful week.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Effie Yeaw Nature Center

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”―Sylvia Plath

This morning my daughter and I visited the beautiful trails around Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. A lot of uncertainty circles us right now and being in nature provided a much-needed respite. We saw five baby deer leap across the trail. Two large bucks slam their antlers into each other until one relented and ran off. Squirrels scampering up and down the trees. Salmon jumping out of the river. It felt magical to have this time together.

I hope you enjoy this selection of images and may it bring you a moment of peace.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Feijoa Jam

We lived in our house for many years before discovering the fruit of the feijoa tree in the far right corner. I always appreciated its interesting pink and red flowers, but it wasn’t until my young son picked one of the fruits off the ground and took a bite I got really interested.

It’s a South American fruit, also known as a guavasteen or pineapple guava, and it’s got a mild and interesting flavor. The last few years I’ve harvested them and made them into muffins, but this year I decided to make jam to give away as Christmas presents.

If you are interested, the recipe I used is from a wonderful blog called The Fabulous Feijoa. You can also learn more about the history of the fruit in California and the world.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Autumn Walk

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Tomorrow I embark on my third adventure into the lands of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those who don’t know, it’s an annual writing event in which participants write a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November. It’s a huge undertaking. I’m a bit more nervous this year because of all the things going on in my life but also excited to rise to the challenge.

I spent four hours today outlining my project. The working title is “Bubbles in the Dark” and all of the characters are pulled from short stories I’ve written this year. It’s the tale of a mysterious shadow monster attacking a small coastal town slowly devouring the memories of those it touches. A young circus performer stumbles upon a possible answer but doesn’t know how to use it to help others. It’s a story of people bonding together during a time of crisis. A story of kindness found in chaos.

After my planning session, I took a nice hike near my house. It felt good to move my body and capture some of the beauty of autumn. I’ve included my favorite shots below. I hope they bring a smile to your face. Happy Halloween!


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Fall Decor

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” -Anne of Green Gables

I happen to agree with Anne, there’s something magical about Octobers. While our family is experiencing a bit of a rough patch, we still made time this week to put up our fall decorations and notice the changes in our yard. All the trees are dropping their leaves, my pineapple guava plant is almost ready to harvest, there’s a large mushroom bloom growing along one of the garden boxes and everything feels just a bit more relaxed in the golden light.

For my photos this week, I’ve tried to capture a bit of the feel around our house. I hope you enjoy this selection of images and have a wonderful week.


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Plant Nursery

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”—Vincent Van Gogh

This morning I visited my local plant nursery and spent over an hour wandering the aisles photographing everything that caught my eye. I was pleased to find lots of colorful plants and several buzzing bees. The weather was nice and cool with just a hint of the autumn breeze which will soon become my everyday companion.

I’ve edited the ten best images and hope you find them interesting. May your week contain a little adventure and perhaps a surprise or two.


Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW


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Photography: Morning Hike

This morning after dropping the kids off at school, I took a nature hike by my house. It was a beautiful, peaceful morning and I was greeted by lots of little critters. I saw geese, butterflies, lizards, birds, and dragonflies. Although most were either too far away to capture or moved too quickly, it was a nice morning and a great way to start off my week.

I’ve experimented more than usual with photo editing. Let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by and supporting me on my creative adventures.

Have a great week!


This last photo was a surprise. It wasn’t until it was downloaded that I discovered I’d captured a frog. I love its little wet hopping prints. I wish it was a bit more in focus, but I wanted to share it anyway because it was a happy surprise.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

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Photography: Small Town Faire

One of my dear friends sold handmade hair bows at the Rio Linda/Elverta Country Faire on Saturday and I decided it was a good excuse to visit the small town where I went to high school. It felt nostalgic to drive by my old stomping grounds and I ended up running into several people I knew.

While it’s a town of about 15,000, it’s kept a close connection to its rural roots and many parts of the city remain unchanged. Chances are if you’ve heard of Rio Linda it’s probably because of its frequent flooding or because conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh likes to poke fun at the intelligence of the town by saying “for those of you in Rio Linda.”

While I’m not great at taking photos of crowds, I wanted to challenge myself to capture the feeling of the event through my photography. Nearly all the crowd shots, unfortunately, didn’t turn out as I’d have liked. I found myself once again drawn upward to the sky and the trees. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy these selections and have a great week.



Bonus photos: The heatwave finally broke and we got some much-needed rain. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of raindrops in my yard this morning.

  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW

Here’s a photo of me and my husband when we were in high school. I’m wearing my Rio Linda marching band uniform. Aren’t we the cutest?


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Photography: Pyrocumulus Clouds

Wildfires are becoming part of summer here in California. Last week we broke several heat records as numerous forest fires raged in various parts of the state. The one nearest to me, about 45 miles away, is the Mosquito Fire. It currently is about 10 percent contained and has burned more than 46,000 acres.

My daughter and I took a drive up the hill to photograph the rather remarkable pyrocumulus clouds we could see filling the sky. There were lots of campers and trucks driving in the opposite direction and we had to wonder if they were people being evacuated or who might have lost their homes. As we stood at a scenic overlook the mood was somber and quiet. Everyone was awed, scared, and overwhelmed by the enormity of what we were seeing.

My heart goes out to those affected by this fire and others in the state. I’ve included some photos at the end of the blog of the beautiful sky this morning and the new growth in my yard. I think it’s important to remember after a fire the land will rebuild and plants will regrow.



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Photography: Feeling Lost

 “Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.” — Paulo Coelho

Such a lovely quote and sentiment to think those who leave us are simply in another room we can’t quite get to right now. The last few weeks have been busy and emotional. I’m feeling zapped of my creative energy and blurry in all things.

I’ve continued to write and publish, but it feels as if I’m doing so from deep inside a watery abyss. Everything feels muted and my movements heavy. It’s also terribly hot outside with a predicted high temperature of 113 today. It makes it hard to want to do anything.

My photos this week are from a drive around the neighborhood. I pulled over when I saw things of interest; an amusing sign at the self-carwash, an abandoned dance center, power lines, and nature. Let me know if you have a favorite. I’m also curious how you refill your creative bucket when it starts to feel depleted. I’m open to all your ideas. Thank you!


  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW.

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