Here in California, sycamore trees are common, found often alongside creeks and streams. Every autumn their leaves change color, creating a colorful world above and below. The leaves are large, too, often more than 10-12 inches (40-45 cm) in diameter.
Monday, Josh and I drove up the coast into Santa Barbara County, specifically to go to Nojoqui Falls (pronounced NOW-WHA-KEY). To get there, we took the 101, enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean, and then into hills around Solvang. A quick turn onto the Old Coast Road, and a bit more of a drive, and there we were. Nojoqui Falls are one of the few waterfalls in our area – water is not common here, so they are a real delight after the rain. To reach them, you walk up a trail that moves into an ever-narrowing canyon. The bright of day gives way to gloom and shade, with only spots of bright light breaking through. Along the way, beautiful sycamore line the trail, some old and twisted, others magnificently tall.
Black and white does not do justice to the beauty of Mexican sage. The flowers are soft and somewhat plush, with white and dark lavender to purple blooms. The leaves are long and slender, slightly hairy, and release that fragrance typical of sage when crushed. It’s a lovely garden plant, excellent in dry climes, is perennial, and requires little maintenance. Besides all that, it is an excellent plant for a beautiful green natural dye.
I live in a typical American suburb built in the late 20th century. It’s pleasant, and not on a gridded platte. Here, in Monterey, is an older neighborhood, most likely dating from 1910-1930 when neighborhoods were built and the streets ran parallel and perpendicular to each other. If care is taken, or upscaling occurs, these neighborhoods are charming and pleasant for walks. The houses here are smallish and closer together than where I live, but a part of me is always drawn to these areas. They are usually near downtown (older downtown) and very pleasant for walking. Here, the road slopes steeply down to the left, while the one on the right and out of sight is straight. Good place for exercise and sight-seeing.
Nothing like spying on your neighbors . . .
Another sea-going model mammal suspended from the ceiling at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Above it all, again, from a different vantage point over the madding crowd.
That’s the Other Half, the Brew Master, Mister Mister, on the walkway.
I really like looking down from a high perch to make a photo, as long as there are high barriers between me and the floor or street below. I don’t know about you, but I so dislike open space up high that I have been known to get stuck on the roof or turn around on a hike that takes me into wide open space and little between me and the drop a mile below. Glass viewing points won’t even get me to step on them. If something adequately encloses me, I can do handle heights, otherwise, panic! That famous photo of workers on a beam, “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper”, eating lunch as they work on the Empire State Building, makes me quite nervous – despite that, it’s an all-time favorite of mine.
The color version of this is intense – brilliant blue background, orange and white jellies. I like this version over the color one – little details without the distraction of color.
Taking a snap in a restaurant or cafeteria or coffee bar is always interesting just because people are interesting. Catching people in poses, talking to one another, is an endless source of material. A moment caught – a position – an expression – a movement.
Sometimes just pressing that exposure button for no reason produces some interesting results!