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Hanging Out in California

Photographs and a few words

I don't usually like salmon.

I have been shooting mostly with a moderate wide-angle  and feeling less than satisfied lately. So today I went back to my 'normal' meaning 35mm on an APS-C sensor. I got real close at f/2 for the softness and out-of-focus areas.  My twenty-something year old pelargonium blooms in yet another May.

Roadside remembrance
This is a little shrine someone put together, probably for a loved one who died in an accident on this bit of the road. With the advent of seat belt requirements, air bags, and a crackdown on drunk drivers, we are seeing many fewer auto related fatalies in this country than when I was young.  The year I first got my full driver's license, there were 26 fatalities per 100,000 popuation. In 2017, the rate was 11.4.  Still, there seem to be quite a lot of these showing up from time to time.  Maybe people around here are a more reckless or hapless segment of the population?

Enough for pity sake!
I know that in a drought afflicted place like California, one shouldn't be saying this, but I'm getting sick to death of the rain. We have had years when there has been more rain, but I can't remember the last time when it was this depressing. Maybe if I get some wellies it will stop?

This is not a double exposure.  These ventilation pipes were standing inside a shop being redone. The trees were behind me, causing the window reflection.  A lot of people who shoot black and white like to use film while using digital for color work.  I like using film for color and digital for black and white. This was shot with a Fuji XE2 and Fuji XF 23 mm f/2. 

Wet and wild
Maybe it's because of the drought years, but I think we've forgotten what it's like to have a normal rain year. It doesn't seem normal. It seems like too much.  You look out the window and think, Oh, it's still raining.  Three hours later, you're doing the same thing. And when it's not raining, it's damned cold. Yeah, we're sick of winter.  And since I'm already having a good whinge, these damned windmills are a blight on the countryside. I wonder if they have even generated enough electricity to recover their construction costs?

Real polar bears don't do this
 Currently the temperature of this water or more accurately the top six inches or so, is 43 degree F.  That's about 6 C.   I immerse my hands and forearms while clearing leaves from the skimmers.  It's cold, it's numb and it's burning, all at the same time.  While looking at pictures of today's Polar Bear Plunge from various locations, I try to imagine that feeling on the whole body.

Leftover stuff
This is the remnant of an old causeway. It sits, almost without context in the middle of farmland and wildlife areas. Back in the day when it was in use, it allowed for traffic above the plain that flooded in winter. The road on the left is the pass through the Sutter Buttes, allegedly the smallest mountain range in the world.

The rain finally returns
It definitely feels like a break in tension. I read on some news report that we haven't had measurable rain since May. The two horrible fires this month have cranked things up a bit tighter. We hope this series of storms are the beginning of a regular winter cycle. You can't always get what you want. You can only hope you get what you need.

The fires this time
This picture is a family member, suited up to bicycle into town. Even though we are a hundred miles from the nearest big fire, the smoke plume is reaching far and wide. The university cancelled classes for the second day in a row. But the air quality has been upgraded from very unhealthy to unhealty for sensitive groups.

Just because you want or need something doesn't mean it will always be there
We have lived in this town for thirty years. That doesn't make us oldtimers. But it does mean we probably have lived here longer than the majority of people who live here now.  Hibbert Lumber has been here for over seventy years but that ends after next year. The children of the founders want to retire and unless they can find someone to take over, the business will close. There is another hardware store in town but it's part of a chain and not as good as this one. There are no other lumber yards.  If you need half a dozen two by fours (will that be pine or redwood?), you will be out of luck and into at least a half hour drive out of town.

Mexican restaurant
This is one of our favorite places to eat in Sacramento. The decor is arty, eclectic, cosy, funky but not pretentious. And the food is great.