Monday, March 30, 2015

Bird time!

Since we put out bird feeders in the back we've been enjoying a wonderful variety of birds over the seasons. Ever an optimist, I put out the hummingbird feeder after thinking I heard one! No confirmed sightings so far.
The large open feeder has brought red-winged blackbirds and yellow-headed blackbirds by the bunches. Our smaller feeders get the goldfinches (lesser and American), house finches and sparrows. There may be some Pine Siskins in there also but I have a difficult time telling them apart from the lesser goldfinches.
Yesterday brought out the uniquely colored yellow-headed blackbird - the one with a bright orange color. Why the difference? Here's some shots...

Chaos at the feeder ......

Picking up after themselves...


Blackbirds and dove marching along.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sea Ranch

Sitting on our back patio last night watching the stars come out I was remembering the sound of the sea while at Sea Ranch and thinking it sure would be nice to hear that muted roar while being here!  Dreaming!
The Lodge at Sea Ranch had this sculpture out front and it does ask to be photographed but up to you what the light and shadows are doing! Here's one of my versions.

Sheep and goats are used to keep the grass contained, they are moved around all year to different places on the ranch.

Friday, March 27, 2015

So what!?

A meadowlark is singing to me as I type and we have had yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds all day. American Goldfinches and lesser Goldfinches and house finches and sparrows and whatever - all eating at the feeders. A wonderful day. Sunset backlit the grasses and showed us a bit of heaven.

Some photos from our trip..

Part of the modern art exhibit at the de Young Museum.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Catching up

Here's some shots from our trip, no particular order just ones that I liked.

From the de Young Museum

A gallery

Fence on trail :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 5 and Home!

Monday was packing day but with a bit of time to spare we checked out a store in Gualala and then went on to the Sea Ranch Lodge to sit out on the point and have lunch. Saw a few whales while there and were serenaded by the white-crowned sparrows. 
We took a bus from the Santa Rosa airport to SFO, a very uneventful trip. Then the flight home and our kids picked us up late at night! They brought Murphy who had been staying with them and we were able to drive home from the airport. After a short night a check of the backyard feeder revealed that the yellow-headed blackbirds are back - YAY!

Here's a few shots from along the way..

Monday dawned sunny after a nice rain Sunday night.

Episcopal Church on the way to Santa Rosa.

The Chapel at Sea Ranch.

Looking down!

Poppies everywhere.

Loud and gorgeous surf!

Sparrow posing.

RWB and YHB's seem to co-exist at the feeder.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sea Ranch Day 4

After a leisurely morning we drove down to the bluffs and walked a couple of miles along them up to the Sea Ranch Lodge for an Irish coffee. Mostly sunny, lots of whales and seals, good surf all made for a wonderful walk.
At the lodge we spent time in the Adirondacks outside and saw more whales. White-crowned sparrows sang to us and a GBH flew by. Very relaxing and an exquisite way to spend a day.  After arriving home we had a great rainstorm to cap off the day!

New leaves that remind me of a Praying Mantis.

Fences in fog

What is cuter than a seal looking back at you?

Raven keeping an eye out.

Windswept coast


Rugged coast line.

Love the wind shaped growth.

Do be careful....

Old buildings and Calla Lilies in front of the Lodge.

The Lodge at Sea Ranch and our whale watching spot.


Shadows and light.

Framing the view.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sea Ranch Day 3

Saturday we drove over the mountains to Dry Creek Valley to visit some of the smaller wineries there. The valley is a real delight to visit and the smaller wineries reminded us of Napa Valley many years ago. We sampled various wines and enjoyed the warm sunshine and soft breezes of wine country.
Starting off a Stellar's Jay and an orange cat bade us goodbye. Driving a very winding road through the redwoods on the coast side and then through the hills on the valley side, we fortunately had an excellent driver! Bella and Quivera Wineries and then lunch in Healdsburg followed by a stop at the Nalle winery on our way out.
A great day!

A bit of fog in the morning

Barnwood, windows, grasses......

Stare down!

Photographing vineyards is an challenging task. Here's a couple of shots that I found interesting.

Bella's tasting room ready for visitors.

We walked a bit at Quivera winery - it is a biodynamic winery and very much involved in restoration efforts of the creeks that run through their property.

"The Professor" took us outside to educate us on various wine growing techniques - the hot weather has vines budding out already and this is a bit early.

Sometimes you get a view that you cannot pass up taking a photo of!

On the way out to Healdsburg we came across these very whimsical sculptures!

In the square at Healdsburg.

Willie, a three year old border collie, sits patiently waiting on new visitors to arrive at the Henderlong Nalle tasting room.