Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Visit Missouri-Augusta

On a beautiful early autumn afternoon I took a stroll through Augusta Missouri with a group of fellow photographers.  Augusta is a small town located on the Bluffs of the Missouri River about 35 miles west of St. Louis.  In this post I will review of little about Augusta and show you my photographs.

History of Augusta

Augusta was founded in 1837 by a settler that followed Daniel Boone to Missouri. (Here is a link to an article on the nearby Daniel Boone home site https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/review-of-daniel-boone-home-site-in.html ) Leonard Harold chose the town site for the excellent river landing on the shores of the Missouri river.  When the town was incorporated in 1855 it had become a booming agricultural community.  It's main produce was grain, livestock and wine grapes.

Augusta Today

Today Augusta is a thriving community of 200 residents.  It has two wineries, Augusta Winery and Mt. Pleasant Winery and several Bed & Breakfasts.  It has become a popular stop for tourists visiting the Missouri wine country.  Augusta has several small shops for tourists to stop at when they are in town.  Here are some photos I took during our stroll through the town.
Augusta Art Gallery

Cranberry House

Downtown Streets




Augusta is host to several different festivals during the year including:

  • Plein Air Art Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Candlelight Christmas Walk
If you are interested in visiting Augusta stop by their website at http://www.augusta-missouri.com/


Augusta Bed and Breakfasts

Red Brick Inn
Augusta features several bed and breakfasts, such as The Red Brick Inn pictured above, which was built in 1865.  Here you can enjoy a wonderful breakfast and great hospitality from the owners Chuck and Esther.  Just click on the link below the photo for more information.  It is a great place to spent your nights while taking in the scenic views and wonderful atmosphere of the Missouri wine country.  http://redbrickinnofaugusta.com/





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California

A Review of Some Notable Oak Trees in Paso Robles


The name Paso Robles literally means Pass of the Oaks when translated from the Spanish. And, of course, Paso Robles was Spanish before it was American. I'm guessing the oak tree population was greater than the human population before the town began. Some oaks are three times higher than the homes and businesses they live beside. Photographing them can be a challenge because of their size alone.

Although you can't walk far in Paso Robles without seeing at least one oak tree, certain areas seem to have some of the oldest or most unique oaks. I'd like to show you where to find them and show you some photos. Some of these oaks are so huge and so surrounded by buildings that it's hard to get far enough away from them to get their entirety in a photo.

Downtown Paso Robles


Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
The Oak in the Road, 5th and Vine, Paso Robles


The Oak in the Road


All of our downtown area is not commercial. There are some residential areas only a block or two from the commercial part of downtown. One of the streets there has so many oaks they named it Oak Street. The reason why is obvious if you take a stroll along it. This residential area often has deer in its crosswalks at dusk a block from the commercial area.

It appears when they built Fifth Street,  the city fathers left the oak you see above intact. This tree was measured by Phil Dirkx in May, 2015. At that time he found the trunk was 23 feet around at five feet above the ground. He estimated it was ten feet in diameter. A photo taken in c. 1886  shows a tree that appears even larger than this one at a Paso Robles picnic. So we know these trees have been around a long time.

Here are some other photos of the Tree in the Road.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak Tree on Corner of 5th and Vine, Paso Robles, Looking South

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak in Fifth Street. Notice Branched Trunk
The photos above  give you an idea of how huge this tree is. Compare it to the cars and the houses. You can also see how the tree has been pruned and trimmed over the years. These photos were taken in the last week of October when both leaves and acorns were dropping onto the street. There is room on both sides of the tree for cars to drive past. Think of the tree as a unique center divider as cars enter this block or leave it.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Looking up at the Sky through the Leafy Branches of the Oak. 

In the photo  above I aimed the camera straight up to look at the sky through the tree's canopy.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Details in the Bark of an Old Oak, Trimmed through the Years
Above you can see every detail in the bark of this old oak. It has been trimmed and pruned as needed through the years. You can see some fresh scars where smaller branches have been removed, as well as older scars where there were once large branches.

When I left to photograph these trees, I expected to also get photos of another tree in the middle of Oak Street between Fourth and Fifth Street that I have often driven around in the past. Sadly, this time there was only a stump. It appears the tree recently was removed.

Show your friends this amazing tree by sending them the postcard below. Just click on the image to get purchase information at Zazzle. Oak in the Road in Paso Robles Postcard


More Oaks Near Downtown Paso Robles


These photos were taken on 12th Street, one of the main east/west streets downtown. My dentist has an office there in one of the old homes. Both businesses and residences locate on 12th Street. I have focused on the oak trees near residences in these photos. This photo was taken in spring. I couldn't help the fact that it was trash pickup day the day I went walking after my dentist appointment.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Tall Oak on 12th Street West of Spring Street

The sheer size of the these oak trees makes them hard to fit into one shot because there's no way you can get far enough away from them unless they are on a corner. The house above isn't.  The house below is, but it's still hard to get all those branches into the shot. Some of these oaks seem to have tentacles rather than branches and they seem to reach everywhere as their branches curve. 

This photo also presents one of the other problems with getting ideal shots of anything tall or high, such as a sunset. There are wires almost everywhere downtown. It's hard not to capture them because they always seem to be in the way.


Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak Trees on 12th and Chestnut in Paso Robles

Oaks Right Downtown

We have oak trees right next to some of our most important city government buildings in close proximity to the shopping center of downtown. Here are some of them. I have captured many of them on my Zazzle products. Some of our most beautiful oaks are in the parking lot of the train station. I have photographed the one on Velta Circle many times. You can see some of the best in this blog post: Photos of North County Transport Center Buses.  Here's another of some different oaks in the parking lot. 

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak Trees in Transport Center Parking Lot in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic

The tree below is also very close to the train station on Pine Street, though not in its parking lot. Below is the larger view of this unique oak tree. 

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California


Below you see more of the tree in a smaller size. 

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Arching Oak Near Train Station in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic


The oak below lives next to the Paso Robles Library entrance. You will often see patrons reading in its shade or homeless people napping on the benches. The library building is two stories tall, so that gives you an idea as to the size of the tree. 

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak in Front of Paso Robles Library, © B. Radisavljevic


The Zazzle postcard below shows the courtyard in back of the Superior Courthouse building downtown. Just click on it for more information. You can see it has its share of old oaks. 




These are in an alley downtown. Sure wish they'd put those wires underground, but they can't afford to.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak in Paso Robles Downtown Alley, © B. Radisavljevic

Oak Lane in East Paso Robles


Oak Lane is a rural street that's right behind the tract where I live. It is full of small farms and amazing oak trees. It is just past the intersection of South River Road and Charolais Road. It runs between South River Road and the property next to the Salinas River. It's a nice walk for those who like to see farm animals of all kinds and some gorgeous oak trees. And oaks aren't the only trees you will see -- just the most impressive. Here's one of them. As you can probably tell, this tree was taken in winter. That's my favorite season for photographing deciduous oaks. I like seeing their "bare bones."

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Oak Tree on Oak Lane as Sundown Approaches, © B. Radisavljevic


Linne Road Oak Trees


Linne Road is accessed from Sherwood Road in Paso Robles and twists a bit before continuing east toward Sculpterra Winery and other farms and vineyards. It is worth the short drive from the city for those who love oak trees. I have featured some of my photos of a damaged oak on Linne, what I call a tree with character, in this post, Looking at Deciduous Oaks in Winter. Here I will just show you one shot I took on this country road. The oak tree itself is so huge I can't get it all into the shot. It was this owl metal sculpture that made me notice it first.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California


You can see the tree has already done a number on the fence. I guess the owl is keeping an eye on it. The tree extends far behind and next to the owl on the other side. Even the eye can hardly see the entire tree at once.

I did notice another oak not far from this one. It was just outside one of the farms. It appeared to be hollow. So I looked inside.

Where to See Photogenic Oak Trees in Paso Robles, California
Hollow Oak Tree on Linne Road in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic

The Tree That Lives Across the Street


I hope you've enjoyed this brief tour of some of Paso Robles' most  interesting old oaks. I never get tired of discovering and photographing new ones. Of course my favorite is the one that lives across the street from me. I like to photograph it best at sunset. This was taken in winter.

Bare Oak in Winter Sunset, © B. Radisavljevic

Below it is not  so bare.

Not So Bare Oak in Summer Sunset, © B. Radisavljevic

Which tree did you like best?

Fellow contributor Mary Beth Granger also loves photography and is very good at it. I especially enjoyed her post Explore St. Louis: The Gateway Arch. 

See all reviews here related to photography. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Photographing Historic Scituate Lighthouse



Scituate Lighthouse


On a trip between Boston and Cape Cod my husband and I made a small detour to see beautiful Scituate Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located on the South Shore of Boston. On this page I will review a bit about the history of this lighthouse along with sharing my photos from our visit.
 

Lighthouse History

Scituate Lighthouse is the 5th oldest lighthouse in New England and the 11th oldest in the United States.  It was activated in 1811 and is built of split granite blocks with a 1 1/2 story house attached.  While searching online for information on the lighthouse I found the interesting story listed below.  The information is from the Scituate Historical Society web page.



Captain Simeon Bates, the first keeper of Scituate Lighthouse, his wife, and nine children lived at the house. During the War of 1812 Abigail and Rebecca, young daughters of the lighthouse keeper, prevented the British from sacking the town. Noting the approach of two redcoat-filled barges from a British ship of war, the girls snatched fife and drum and hiding behind a thick cluster of cedar trees made such a din that the British mistook them for an entire regiment and made a hasty retreat. Abigail and Rebecca Bates have gone down in history as 'The American Army of Two" and their courageous act has been recorded in many textbooks and story books.    http://scituatehistoricalsociety.org/light/

I also find it fascinating that the captain and his family of 11 lived in the small house attached to the lighthouse.  Here is a photo I took of the lighthouse with the house attached.

The Lighthouse Today

Today the lighthouse is located at the  end of Lighthouse Road.  It is now an active private aid to navigation and is managed by  the Scituate Historical Society.  It is only open limited hours but we were able to walk around the grounds and I was able to capture photos from various directions.

As we left the lighthouse we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant and I was able to photograph the lighthouse from across the bay.

Read More of Tales of New England

If you found the story of the two sisters fascinating you may  want to  read more tales from early New England or perhaps this story about a Rhode Island lighthouse keepers daughter.




Zazzle Candle from my Photo




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Old Courthouse

In this post I will give you a pictorial review of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis Missouri. 


History of Old Courthouse

First I'd like to give you a very brief history of the Old Courthouse.  In 1816 land was donated for a courthouse in St.  Louis.  This land is just west of the St. Louis riverfront.  A federal style brick courthouse was first built on the site in 1828.  By the mid 1830's St. Louis had already outgrown this courthouse.  In 1839 construction began on the current courthouse which incorporated the original courthouse as part of the east wing.  Other revisions have been made to the courthouse over the years and the courts remained in the building until 1930.  In 1935 the courthouse became a National Monument and today it hosts many visitors.   The view below is from the southwest.



Important Events at Old Courthouse

There have been many important decisions made and events happening at the Old Courthouse.
Two of the most well known include:

  • 1847 and 1850  Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom.
  • 1872  Virginia Minor sued for the right to vote.
Both of these cases ended up going to the Supreme Court and lost.  But they are both considered to be key  turning points in history.

Prior to the Civil war slaves were sold on the courthouse steps. See the plaque below along with  two photos depicting the Dred Scott case.




Photographing the Old Courthouse

I was able to go down to the Old Courthouse on two different occasions in September and was able to photograph the Old Courthouse from different angles.  The photo below shows the courthouse in a distance as I was walking through the park just west of the courthouse.
In 1965 the opening of the Gateway Arch changed the landscape of downtown St. Louis.  Since that time a popular photo of the Old Courthouse is one where it is framed by the arch as you see in the photo below.
On my second visit during September to photograph down by the arch and courthouse we arrived before sunrise and were able to get some photographs in the early morning light.

Zazzle Items from my Photographs





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Robin Revue: Watching Our Baby Robins Hatch

Oh what a show I enjoyed this Spring! I enjoyed an up close and personal seat to a family of baby robins being born. As a nature and animal lover I was in awe of two industrious robins persevering in a city neighborhood to expand their family on my front porch. I usually write reviews on Review This!, but thought this was a revue all could enjoy.


Day 1 What Is On The Porch Light?


As I drove into the driveway I noticed something hanging on the front porch light. Hmmm. The something looked like straw. Upon further investigation I determined the something was dried lawn clippings and a few pieces of string. Hmmm. The light bulb had not quite shown brightly yet.

The light bulb began to glow a wee bit brighter when hours later I drove down the driveway and noticed quite a bit of activity on the porch light; I saw a bird flying to the porch light with a mouthful of string. When I returned hours later I discovered a nicely built nest on top of the porch light. (It took awhile for the light bulb to burn brightly, some days are like that!)


I wasn't sure this would be the best place for a nest - but what do I know. I love all animals, but admit I know little about birds. At this point I wasn't sure what type of birds had built the nest as I had not gotten a good look at the nest. Although the nest looks lopsided and perhaps flimsy the nest was actually anchored around the point of the top of the porch light.

 Mom And Dad Robin Continue Nest Building


The nest became a very popular hangout for Mom and Dad Robin. I had identified the birds as robins and they must have been doing a little internal nest housekeeping with the amount of activity to and from the nest from the trees nearby. I was still questioning if this was a great place for a nest. I tried to look at the location from the robins' point of view. Yes, the nest was high off the ground and well, that was about all I could come up with ...  I thought about not turning the light on at night or what would happen if the light was accidentally turned on? I thought about the UPS deliveries, the dog walkers, the dog who lives in the home of the nest! The porch light did not seem like a great location, but of course I was vested in keeping this nest safe.

As the robins did housekeeping in the nest I found both robins quite nonchalant about the location and the bustling activity in and out the door. I was warned robins could dive bomb you if you are too close to the nest, but these two robins were pretty laid back. Until.... the eggs were laid.

We've Got Robin Eggs


Disclaimer: The photos are not always are not always the best quality as the porch light is 8 feet high and I had to get on a step ladder and then blindly hold out the camera over the top of the nest while trying not to fall off the ladder! 

One egg and Two Newborn Robins


And then there were 3 baby robins. Okay, not exactly the cutest little fuzzballs!



But growing fast!


Starting to get feathers!


Dad Robin Is An Excellent Guard


As Mom robin tended to her duties on the nest it was clear Dad Robin was not going to allow anyone near the nests. He was either in a tree about 50 feet away chirping or on this bush 10 feet away standing guard. If you opened the front door or he saw you approach the front door from the interior through the storm glass he would start shrieking and start dive bombing the door. (Dive bombing bird = not good photos!) I was so curious to see the robins, but did not want to disturb their newborn family or stress the birds. 



Taking photos of the bird nest became a two person challenge. If both birds were gone I would very very quickly try to take a photo.

The Family Of Three Robins Grows


Since I could not see what image I was taking it was always a surprise when I checked the photos.


I can't believe how quick the baby robins grew. The average baby robin takes two weeks to reach the size of their parents. The nest was quickly becoming a tight fit for the three babies.


The babies would hold their heads up and cheep cheep waiting for mom to return.


By ten days old the feathers had grown and it was difficult to find the babies in the nest with all the feathers.



I don't know if there is a runt of the litter in the bird world, but one little robin always seemed to be buried in the nest while two of the babies were adept at sticking their heads up above the nest.


Day 12 brought a nest full of what appeared to be very mature robins. By this time the family had become very territorial of the robins and anxiously checked all day to make sure they were safe. However due to their size it was clear leaving the nest was in the imminent future.

Time To Say Goodbye!


Right on schedule Day 13 brought the departure of the baby robins. I did not want to disturb the robins as we anxiously awaited lift off so did not take any photos. My family kept their distance to nervously watch the departure. It was more of a kerplunk then lift off. Thankfully the exit was a safe kerplunk into the fluffy tree and then the babies and parents flew to the tree about 50 feet away.

Whew! I was definitely vested in this little ole family and was relieved it was a successful journey from egg to exit.
Collage of the birth of baby robins.


All that was left was the nest as a reminder of our time together! As if on cue after the babies exit the nest fell off the porch light on Day 14. 






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.