Sunday Stills: City #Sidewalks

sunday stills sidewalks

In a few days, I am trading my city/suburban sidewalks for rural ones, as we make our way north to the Spokane, Washington area.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is sidewalks, walkways, rural paths, etc! Join me for a walk down memory lane as I share some of my favorite walks.

One of my favorite views as I walk my dogs is this one below of a suburban street a few blocks from my current house of 32 years.

fall in the neighborhood
Last look at neighborhood street

My brother-in-law shot this of the first snow in October on his suburban street in Spokane Valley. Image credit to him. I’m asking for snowshoes this Christmas!

snowy suburban sidewalk

Luckily I don’t need them to “walk” in this miniature Christmas street display.

Christmas Village

The theme of City Sidewalks reminds me of Christmas and the beautiful Christmas song, Silver Bells. My favorite rendition of the song is by Anne Murray.

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style
In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas”

Last Sunday, hubby and I had to leave the house so the inspector could do his thing, and parked on the street that leads to the American River Bike Trail. A beautiful Autumn day in Sacramento!

Road to Bike Trail

Taking a more general approach to the theme, I’m sharing galleries of sidewalks, paths, and walkways I’ve collected on my walks.

Campus Memories

Last Wednesday was my last time to walk on the university campus where I have taught for the last 10 years. I met our department chair to turn in my building and office keys. Having not been on campus for months due to Covid, I felt slightly cheated for missing these views this semester.

Memories of Sidewalks and Pathways Gone By

This is one of my favorite photographs taken in 2014 in Lake Tahoe. We walked down this stairway to the beach on the north shore. I turned and looked back and caught this image. I believe this was a defining moment when I became a photographer.

a long walk up from Lake Tahoe shore
Long Walk Up

Here is another gallery of previous photos taken on walks in San Diego, the Sacramento River Delta, Sedona, Spokane, and Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include this image of my hubby in his green bike helmet looking toward Yosemite Falls. Have I mentioned I have been to Yosemite National Park 26 times so far?

walking path to Yosemite Falls
Path to Yosemite Falls

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir

On my walks, I see many types of birds. Frequently seen in my own neighborhood are mockingbirds, mourning doves, and robins. Bluejays are also everywhere as pictured below (on my backyard feeder). Shared for Lisa’s Bird Weekly: Birds beginning with “B.”

Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!
Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!

One day this week, we took a break from packing the POD to visit my dad and step-mom 45 miles away in the Sierra foothills. A long dirt road to my dad’s house up the hill. I’m not sure when I will be back to see this again.

Western States trail
Walking up Turkey Hill Road in Foresthill, CA

As winter sets in, we drive north to Washington in a few days.

Winter Scene Spokane

For this California native, I will enjoy and embrace my new paths in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for walking down memory lane with me this week. Images in this post are submitted for the following photo challenges:

I look forward to your interpretations of City Sidewalks this week!

shoe graphic

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Sunday Stills: The #Textures of Our Lives

textured close-up

A similar theme to weathered from a few weeks ago, textures all around us seem to be abundant in Autumn. As we bundle up for warmth in the northern hemisphere, we wrap ourselves in textures.

Art is the colors and textures of your imagination.

Meghan Trainor

This week’s theme for Sunday Stills is texture if you haven’t figured that out already. Reminder to title your post differently than mine.

Textures in Nature

Close-ups of a fallen autumn leaves reveal a mix of textures.

textured leaves on the sidewalk
Ginkgo Leaf Carpet
textured close-up
Textured maple leaf

Our backyard was home to many species of birds. My favorites were the hummingbirds that darted and cavorted in and through the redwoods I planted years ago.

Fluffed up hummingbirdall fluffed up in BW

This little hummer was puffed up after a rain shower and is submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge (birds in color and mono) using “image compare” with the block editor. I also added the desaturated black and white version to Cee’s Black and White Challenge, Close-ups.

Man-made Textures

I meant to post this image of the fence for the previous auburn color challenge but find it works for texture, too. This is called a pine-pole fence which is what will eventually surround our new property.

Pine Pole Fence

Our backyard also shows a variety of textures with the deck planks, fences, and trees.

I will definitely miss my little yard.

The Textures of Our Lives

My daughters traveled to our house to spend their last Thanksgiving there before we move out in two weeks. Both were very young when we moved into the house in February 1988. My youngest was only a month old and it’s really the only house she ever knew until she moved out of the area in 2016.

We say goodbye to our family home

Hubby took some pics as my daughters reminisced how the house transformed the textures of our lives into indelible loving memories. After a walk through the house, hugging corners and outdoor trees, the girls drove away on Friday with tears in their eyes.

I discovered these partial lyrics written by Melissa Schneider (can’t seem to find a song that goes with these heartfelt words). Get a tissue…

Goodbye house it’s time to leave you
And I’m sure feeling low
I know you’re only pine and stone
But the time has come, so goodbye home

Goodbye house I’m gonna miss you
Your walls have sheltered us over the years
Memories overflow along with our tears
Never thought I’d say, oh goodbye home

Goodbye house goodbye home
You won’t be lonely long
Soon a brand-new family will call you their own
But our time is done, so goodbye home

Leaves are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day and Dawn’s Festival of Leaves photo challenges.

December themes are available on my Sunday Stills page. Please take a quick look and note that Susanne from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales is hosting on December 20, and there is no challenge on December 27.

I hope you all had a great week and enjoyed Thanksgiving for those who celebrated.

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Sunday Stills: We Are #Thankful Through it All

sunday still banner

As folks prepare for Thanksgiving in the US this week, it will be a completely different holiday this year. As we navigate through a pandemic that has sickened millions and taken the lives of loved ones, we stand in fear of continuing the spread of the Covid virus by reducing our time spent with family and friends. Some have found it difficult to be truly thankful.

For Sunday Stills, this week, let us all reflect upon the things for which we can truly be thankful.

Our road trip to San Diego this past week was emotionally and somewhat physically taxing. We needed to bring some boxes of items to our children and grandchildren while picking up a few things to take back with us. Our plans were not just to visit with our families, but for me to say goodbye to our family home that was recently sold and to visit my mom’s commemorative brick placed in a local city park.

While driving, we had phone conversations with family. I have two younger brothers; one still lives in the San Diego area and the other recently moved to Arizona. When I mentioned that a few of us were going to visit my dad next week in his rural town in Northern California, the oldest brother chastised me pretty good by stating, “if Dad gets Covid, he’ll die! Do you want to lose both parents in 2020?”

“Umm, no,” I answered contritely (my mom passed in March of this year). Sadly, many rural areas of California are seeing a rise in Covid cases as new people merge with locals, who haven’t practiced good social distancing.

To protect my 84-year old father who has COPD, I had to be the one to tell the family over the course of days that we were not going to converge at his home for Thanksgiving.

Despite the disappointment, it is better to miss one Thanksgiving in order to enjoy many more in the future.

Thanks for the Memories, San Diego

I was born and raised in the San Diego area in southern California. I moved north to Sacramento when I was 20 and never moved back. I am thankful many family members still live there and I can visit most any time.

My brother and his family want nothing to do with COVID-19 and to see them, we stayed behind their driveway gate while they sat on the other side a few feet away. I brought some books and other goodies for them. No doubt my brother will spray everything with sanitizer, but we enjoyed family time. Better than Zoom for sure!

No covid allowed here!
Thankful for family!

It was time to say goodbye to the family home I had lived in since I was 10 years old. Once my mom entered the nursing home in 2010, my brother moved in and lived there for a while. We eventually rented it to my stepson and his family, and once Mom passed this year, we opted to sell it earlier this Fall. We drove over to the house and the owners had not moved in yet, so I was grateful to get this pic of me hugging the house goodbye.

House hug
Hugging my family home goodbye

The next day, I met my childhood friend in the park to visit my mom’s brick and we shared a few memories of days gone by. This image was set up by my daughter and shared in an earlier post.

Mom's Brick

Thankful for Home

The week prior to us leaving for San Diego, we listed our house in Sacramento and potential buyers visited Saturday through Monday, while we were away. By Tuesday we had several offers and decided to go with one, in particular, that was solid and over the asking price!

After signing several online disclosures, my husband and I are grateful that a young couple is excited about the house and wants to start a family in it, just like I did 32 years ago.

Before the family home in San Diego was sold last summer, my daughter transplanted my mom’s favorite roses into two pots for me to take. My mom would be happy knowing her roses will continue to bloom in another state.

Mom's last rose

I dropped off my beloved plumeria plants to my daughter since they will not grow well in the cold North (Spokane, WA). I had just planted four plumerias from stalks in 2019 and one flowered. I will ever be grateful I got to see these plumeria grow. For some reason, the same plant did not produce in 2020. Here is one shot from 2019.

Unexpected Plumeria blooms

Autumn is finally in full swing in Sacramento. My Japanese maple frames one of the last looks at the front of my house, soon to be occupied by a new family.

Japanese Maple Fall

This is submitted for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves. Flowers and leaves are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

My daughters are visiting over Thanksgiving to eat a small meal and say goodbye to their childhood home. We are keeping it simple and ordered a turkey dinner from a nearby grocery store. Trust me, with few dishes left in the house, I’m thankful someone else is doing the cooking!

And I’m sure this suburban turkey is grateful it escaped this year’s Thanksgiving table and my Boykin Spaniel’s greedy jaws. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge.

suburban turkey
Turkey in my front yard

Thank You to My Fellow Bloggers

I want to thank you all who continue to support Sunday Stills and share images every week, and those who continue to read my ramblings.

I have a long list of loyal bloggers who post every week for Sunday Stills, but I also want to acknowledge bloggers who took a break and are back to share their talents!

And a hearty shout-out to Joe at Easin’ Along and Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views and News who often share their photos of the themes in the comments! Not that easy to do!

Please show us what you are thankful for in 2020. There is more than you might think. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but we will prevail!

Have a wonderful week and if you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, please stay safe and make the best of these unprecedented times in which we live.

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Sunday Stills: Fall Color Challenge—Shades of #Auburn

Auburn leaf carpet
Auburn Color Graphic

Welcome to this month’s Fall color challenge. In October we explored the color ochre and its myriad interpretations. We aim to discover the various shades of auburn this month. In the image above you get an idea of the range of Auburn shades.

November, with its Autumn colors, seems like a great month to enjoy nature’s color schemes. Even if you are in the southern hemisphere, the rich tones of auburn may be evident all around you. While I would love to bore you with autumn leaves from this year and years past, I should set some different examples for the color challenge!

But who doesn’t love a tumble of leaves that have fallen?

Auburn leaf carpet

My sis-in-law always has a beautiful seasonal display in her dining room window. I caught this just in time for the late afternoon sun to peek through the tiny house window that illuminated the glow of the auburn leaves in the background.

Catching the light

Now for some other images of auburn created in nature. Within the past two years I was happy to be able to visit Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada and be surrounded by the auburn rock formation.

A walk through the narrows

I also visited Sedona in 2018 and the Grand Canyon in 2019 where vivid red rocks were the norm.

Winter View of Grand Canyon
A cold day at the South Rim!

Sunsets and sunrises also give us variations of auburn.

Some auburn photos are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day and for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

I want to thank all the bloggers who have joined Sunday Stills for the first time in the past two months and shared their wonderful images. Please stop by and support their efforts!

Of course I must “leave” you with another auburn view of Autumn.

Glowing Auburn leaves

I am looking forward to how you interpret the color auburn!

Autumn SIGNature

You may also like these posts from last year.

sunshine yellow leaf

Sunday Stills: #Yellow Leaves of Autumn

This Veteran’s Day weekend finds me relaxing at home amidst the changing Autumn landscape here in Sacramento. As a city with a large urban forest and a “City of Trees” distinction, Sacramento’s Autumn show does not disappoint once the leaves begin to color. Between Vet’s Day and Thanksgiving (barring any crazy wind or storms) the … Continue reading Sunday Stills: #Yellow Leaves of Autumn

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Sunday Stills: A Celebration of #Leaves

Red Maple

How is it November first already? This morning, here in the US, we set the clocks back to end daylight saving time. Lighter in the morning, darker at night, but I am glad to get that hour back!

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is all about leaves. No matter where you live, you may have some kind of display of leaves, whether they are newly green from spring in the southern hemisphere or a downright festival of leaves here in the northern hemisphere.

Believe it or not, here in Northern California, our leaves have not turned yet due to unseasonably warm weather. Once it gets cold enough overnight, the sap stops running within the trees and leaves start the process of changing colors to eventually drop as the trees become dormant.

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower quote

Join me as we celebrate leaves!

My current leaf images were gathered from central Oregon and Spokane, Washington during last week’s road trip to move another load of household items.

Our trip was delayed due to an Un-Named truck rental company’s decision to cancel our reservation for no reason. Although we were delayed by two days, we eventually got a great deal on the new rental and saved $1,400. To do this we had to drive the 20-foot truck there and back. Apparently, a lot of folks are moving out of California and trucks are not making it back. Oops, that would be us.

October Autumn Central Oregon
Central Oregon

So while hubby drove the first two days, I captured some fab Fall leaves on the road.

“I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling.”

John Muir

Once we got into Spokane, I wandered through my BIL’s backyard and took a lot of pics. I took these on Tuesday and Wednesday before we left early Thursday morning. On Friday, a major winter storm landed in Spokane, Eastern Washington, and Western Idaho and dumped over 7 inches of snow, breaking an October snowfall record from 1959! One more day of lingering and we would have been delayed getting home.

Red Maple
Red Maple

Needless to say, most of the beautiful leaves dropped like stones after the first snow! This image was taken two years ago right after the first snow on Veteran’s Day.

Fallen frosted leaves

Here are some more from my archives.

A California Fall, a mix of autumn leaves juxtaposed with palm trees.

Autumn leaves and palm
Autumn Birch Tree
Autumn birch leaves look like butterflies.
Autumn leaf on wood shows it's splendor

This was taken last December! I have a feeling our Fall colors may be delayed again until this December.

leaf reflections

I’m also joining the Lens-Artist challenge “Focus on the subject”, hosted by Patti Moed. I enjoy focusing on leaves as they have fallen onto the ground.

fall leaves on ground

This week’s images are also shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day (because every leaf is a flower) and for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

I look forward to seeing your images of leaves! Please feel free to share poetry, music or stories of your leaves!

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Sunday Stills: Your #Happy Place

If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that I write about the concepts of recreation and leisure and our ultimate pursuit of happiness.

The year 2020 has shown most of us that, like it or not, we are living in a new normal. Oh, how I resisted that notion! After all, isn’t “normal” being able to hike trails without wearing a mask or worrying if we are 6 feet apart from others?

Hiking in Valley of Fire State Park
More walking in the Valley of Fire

Isn’t “normal” having the ability to travel without fear of taking a flight to visit friends, family or traveling abroad? How about simply being able to use your local gym, campground, swimming pool or neighborhood park without fear of infection or the disappointment of closure?

Play-all-Day

The fundamental spaces and places we love and visit on a regular basis have been compromised due to the new normal of living within a pandemic.

For me, March 18 was the day California shut down, exactly 7 months ago.

Sacramento County has recently re-opened with some restrictions and I am so happy to be able to get back to my gym! I’ve been a member there since 2008 and have made many friends, and I get great workouts, too. One of my happy places. I will miss this gym once we move.

exercise equipment

As motivated as I am for physical activity, our hot smokey summer deterred me from being able to get outside. I tried my share of working out to youtube exercise videos, but I settled for walking the dogs a few days a week.

Walking two dogs

On my walks around my neighborhood, there is only one street in which I am fond. No, not mine, as you will read shortly, but a street a few short blocks away. This photo shows a morning walk in early Fall.

favorite neighborhood

There is something about this street with its well-kept yards, lack of chain-link fences, and fewer cars parked on the street. Really a gem in an otherwise deteriorating neighborhood. Autumn will show its lovely face on this street in November with elms, birch, and liquid amber trees that will look more like this photo taken two years ago.

liquid sunshine in liquid amber tree

As we kinda got used to our own backyards, many of us found them to be our new happy places. We longed for our vacations abroad, road trips in our RVs with abundant campground choices, open restaurants, and the like, but grudgingly stayed home to stay safe.

My backyard has been a happy place for me since June 2019 after my foot surgery, and then more so in late March, 2020. Here I planted sunflowers, plumeria, hydrangea and other garden flowers and enjoyed the hummingbird shows.

Sadly that summer, bound to my backyard by crutches and my knee scooter, I was exposed to one neighbors’ rantings and ravings as she loudly cursed her children and dropped the F-bomb all day. These were new renters behind us that shared our backyard fence, so there was no getting away from her. This behavior led us to begin our search for another place to live and inspired us to move to Washington to be closer to family and enjoy semi-rural living.

You will be happy to know that the renters were evicted after the owner discovered they destroyed the house! The new renters are quiet. The random shouts of happiness from their young children playing in their backyard is music to our ears! Their yard sounds like their happy place.

This Monday, we are on the road north with a moving truck full of boxes and furniture. Hubby is driving the U-Haul while I follow behind in his Ford truck. Our first stop is near Bend, OR, then we are back on the road Tuesday to Spokane. Wednesday we will unload into a storage unit and get that much closer to our new happy place.

We love this walk near where my in-laws live in Spokane Valley.

Spokane's Urban Forest

Even in the smoky air, there is beauty in nearby Washington’s Riverside State Park along the Spokane River. A short 15 minutes from our new home.

We won’t make the final move until mid-December.

Other happy places I’ve visited include Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, the delta and lakes, beaches, and rivers, near and far. But as 2021 approaches I am still open to find more happy places to discover and love!

Forgive me if what you’re reading sounds like my post “Happiest at Home,” published in early June. With our world turning the way it is, I predict we will continue to enjoy our happy places at home or close to it!

I am thrilled to link my happy places with this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge: My Hideaway!

Some images are inspired by Becky B’s Kinda Squares, Dawn’s Festival of Leaves, and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Is your happy place a state of mind or a place you can visit and enjoy? Share your interpretations through images, stories, poetry, and music!

Autumn SIGNature

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Sunday Stills: Fall Color Challenge–Acres of #Ochre

Banner yellow ochre color challenge

I’m introducing some color into the Sunday Stills photo challenge! Once a month, I will feature a seasonal color, which I hope will spark loads of creativity on your part as a photographer or writer.

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

October’s color is ochre, a brownish yellow, as shown above, but can range from yellow to deep orange. Perfect for showcasing your Fall colors!

I dug into my archives to find images of the range of colors seen in ochre.

Seeing the Fall display of leaves is what I miss by not being on the university campus these days. By late October the ginkgo trees have shown their glorious yellow leaves. Once the leaves fall, the groundskeepers arrange them into circles and other shapes.

ginkgo leaf display

This next image isn’t very exciting but it shows yellow ochre in the form of saffron fields grown in the Central Valley of California.

saffron field of ochre
Saffron Fields

I managed to find an image of a yellow Anna’s hummingbird, perfect for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge, starting with letter A. I have to admit, I’m not sure hummers have yellow feathers; it may have been a trick of the light. I did not change the color, but it sure works!

yellow Anna hummingbird

These dried marigolds could have been the star of last week’s “dry” theme. They show a nice range of the ochre color.

dry ochre marigolds

On my last visit to the Big Island of Hawaii, I captured this gorgeous peachy-orange hibiscus on my walk with Graham at Hilo’s Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Both floral images are submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge.

Orange hibiscus
Orange hibiscus

What do I miss now? Having my fall decorations on my fireplace mantel. They are packed away!

hello fall

The rusted yellow sun is still hanging from my backyard shed. Why haven’t I packed it yet?

Metal Aztec sun showing a little rust

Last winter, I held some of the orange sand from Nevada’s Valley of Fire in my hand. I was surrounded by this rich ochre color.

Valley of Fire's Sand
Reddish-orange glow of sand

In November, the show begins in my front yard with the reds and oranges of my Japanese maple juxtaposed onto my mulberry tree’s yellow leaves.

Autumn Peak

These leaves and the ginkgoes’ are submitted for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves challenge!

I hope you enjoyed the color challenge today and that I sparked your imagination! I attempted to show each image from ochre’s lightest hue to its darkest. I’m looking forward to your version of ochre!

Autumn SIGNature

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Sunday Stills: Walking Through the #Calm Before the Storm

Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront
Calming Autumn Scenery
One View of My Weekly Walk

Despite the cliché post title, this week for me is seriously the calm before the storm!

Not only are we making the 15-hour drive in one day up to Spokane Washington this Friday, but I also have 80 final papers to grade to the tune of 135,000 words, over the next 10 days.

My students used to submit hard copies of their papers in which I could read while my hubby drove, but in the classes I teach these days, students submit their assignments online through the university portal. So much for multi-tasking.

Other frenetic moments looming include food shopping, packing for the road trip and waking up at 3:00 am to begin the drive. Not to mention, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with 35 other people occupying multiple generations. And the threat of Black Friday deals, the stress of overeating, then the inevitable long drive back home.

Winter Scene Spokane
Last November’s walk in Spokane, WA

For the Thanksgiving holidays, we are staying in a dog-friendly hotel which should help with the feeling of calm. Usually, we stay with family, but other family members beat us to the available guest rooms. Believe me, I am thankful for our large family and we have loads of fun, but daily walks and hikes (weather permitting) and some downtime are the only ways I can cope with most holiday gatherings.

A Leafy Path

Autumn is my favorite time of year and enjoying the fall leaves and colors brings me peace. Hiking in the woods with my dogs provides a calm respite from the craziness of the holidays and helps me work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie. Unlike many, when walking outdoors, I choose to unplug any tech and just listen to nature and the wind in the trees. Breathing in the cold, crisp air is also calming.

leaves red riot
Calming effect of nature’s beauty

Walking along the water is another way to calm my spirit when stress is nigh. Before we traveled home from San Diego in October, we took a walk on the bayside of Pacific Beach near where my step-daughter lives.

Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront
Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront

I am blessed to live in a decent suburban neighborhood where it is safe to walk my dogs. I’m linking with Restless Jo’s Morning Walk this week and sharing why walking in nature brings me calm!

I am also linking with Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

As I seek some calm this week, I hope you can share your version of “calm” in your creative ways through images, poetry, music, and stories.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: #Yellow Leaves of Autumn

sunshine yellow leaf
sunshine yellow leaf

This Veteran’s Day weekend finds me relaxing at home amidst the changing Autumn landscape here in Sacramento.

As a city with a large urban forest and a “City of Trees” distinction, Sacramento’s Autumn show does not disappoint once the leaves begin to color. Between Vet’s Day and Thanksgiving (barring any crazy wind or storms) the fall colors reach their peak at this time. Fall here in 2019 got a slow start due to almost record-breaking heat, compounded by dry northerly winds that sparked several California wildfires.

As one drives along the various roads and freeways around town, the changing Autumn canopy is a riot of yellows, reds, oranges, browns, and greens.

Autumn splendor on campus
Campus view on my drive home

Not only does the Sacramento area boast a dense tree canopy that exceeds or rivals other cities like Boston, Paris, and Amsterdam, the Sacramento State University campus is a microcosm of native California trees and a lot more.

Every year, the ginkgo trees show their fluttery, fan-shaped leaves in a riot of yellow. You can see the color change below from this week’s post on Instagram. Last year during Thanksgiving week, the yellow was at its peak and I got a kick out of watching folks armed with cameras and cellphones stopping for photo ops!

I captured this 3-D effect of fallen ginkgo leaves last year floating in a rain puddle.

Fallen Leaves float in puddle amid the reflection of the tree from which they fell
Ginkgo leaves float in a recent puddle

Last week we visited Apple Hill where I captured the beautiful yellows of grape leaves in the Fenton-Herriot Winery’s vineyards. Those evergreens in the background are all over Sacramento and make a wonderful backdrop to the spectacular Fall colors.

grape leaves

What does Autumn look like where you live? Or if you are located in the southern hemisphere where spring is in full swing, do you have some favorite yellow flowers or leaves to share this week?

I’m linking this post with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Yellow and for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves! Please share your yellow leaves and other flora to help celebrate nature!

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Sunday Stills: Honoring #Pink

pink autumn leaves
Pink-Ribbon

October has always been a reflective month for me.

For one, many family members share birthdays this month (more about this in next week’s Sunday Stills challenge).

Secondly, I enjoy the visible weather changes in October, with Autumn finally making a more-than-vague appearance, the cooler days and sometimes cold nights, and the overall feeling that another year is winding down.

October also has me hyper-aware that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, although I haven’t seen as many professional sports teams adding pink to their uniforms much this year.

One in eight women will contract breast cancer in their lifetime. That means realistically for every eight women you see walking down the road, one of them could be either a survivor or currently battling breast cancer. Something else a lot of men may not know is, while rare, it is possible for men to contract breast cancer. Roughly around 2600 men will be diagnosed this year.

https://bellyupsports.com/2019/09/pink-impact-in-professional-sports/

In my small way, I dedicate this post to those who have succumbed and those who have survived. And both lists are long.

Enjoy my pink images inspired by the pink ribbon that represents hope for the cure.

The last blooms of my pink plumeria…

pink lines in plumeria blossoms

A bee enjoying the nectar of a pink flower…

Pink flower, bee and lines

Even the Autumn leaves blush pink for October…

pink autumn leaves

And a pink sunset to inspire yet another day for breast cancer survivors.

lines and pink clouds in delta

Images are partly inspired by the following photo challenges: Becky B’s Lines and Squares, Cee’s Flower of the Day, and Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

I look forward to you all filling up the pages of WordPress with your pink images!

I am due for my mammogram this month. Off I go.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: In Your #Town

Cal State Capitol

Something about the month of December invokes images of quaint towns decorated for the holidays, like you might see in Norman Rockwell paintings.

The theme for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge is “In Your Town.” What is special about your hometown or the town in which you currently reside?

Last week, on the way to attending a Lindsey Stirling concert in downtown Sacramento, I finally took a photo of California’s State Capitol. You would think that after living here for 30 years, I would have a photo or two by now.

Cal State Capitol

This night shot was 2 weeks shy of the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony. You can just make out the crane and unadorned, dark tree in the shadows.

Near Old Sacramento, a popular tourist destination home to the Gold Rush Era of 1849 (an outgrowth of Sutter’s Fort), the capitol is within walking distance (about 10 blocks) and is a popular must-see when visiting the Sacramento area.

Sacramento County imageSacramento is centrally located to other world-wide tourist destinations: San Francisco Bay area, 90 miles west, and Lake Tahoe, about 90 miles east of Sacramento. Because of Sacramento’s location, many visitors stop by the Capitol on their way to or from these destinations.

 

In Sacramento, what I think stands out from most other cities, is the sheer number of trees found in the region. At this writing, Autumn hit its peak colors late, but oh what a show!

According to Wikipedia’s City of Trees, Sacramento boasts the largest tree canopy in the US and third-largest in the world! Local California State University, Sacramento (where I teach), is also designated “Tree Campus USA.”

Below is why!

Yellow Ginkgos

I braved rain and blustery conditions the day before Thanksgiving to capture the Ginkgoes before the storms blew the leaves off the trees.

This image is linked to two photo challenges, Sunday Trees and Festival of Leaves. 

Back to the idea of quaint towns, not far from Sacramento resided local Northern California artist, Thomas Kinkade, whose magical paintings invoke fairy-tale towns and images. His home gallery is located in Placerville, California and features his best works. Born in Sacramento in 1958, Kinkade passed away in 2012. Years ago, my mother bought two of his prints for me which happily hang on my living room wall.

Painting Pink Tree
One of my Thomas Kinkade prints

Time for Autumn! I have a Japanese Maple tree in my own front yard, because not only do I love trees, but I also like the idea of contributing to the local tree canopy.

Red Maple Square

This one is linked to Becky B’s #timesquare December photo challenge. This is also linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Other sights to see in and around the Sacramento area are featured in this gallery.

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If you were a tourist visiting your own home town for the first time, what would you want to see? What special feature of your town would tourists ruin if discovered?

Please visit our new Sunday Stills November participant Little Borneo Girl.

I’m in the throes of the final days of school which means lots o’ papers to grade! That’s why I managed to link to four photo challenges this week in one post! Hope you can join in the fun!

I have discontinued the link-up. Thank you to all of those who participated faithfully in the link-up! Please link to this post or my Sunday Stills page so I can find your post and share it!

Autumn SIGNature

 

Friday’s Frosted Festival of #Leaves

Fallen frosted leaves

As Autumn begins to wane in most places, I wanted to share two photos of what was left of Autumn in Spokane, Washington, from our visit last weekend.

Fallen frosted leaves

In the featured image above, the last of the leaves abruptly fell overnight after the snow.

Before the snow fell, it was a brisk 29 degrees when we went for our morning walk.

frosted leaves

Here in Northern California, Fall is alive and well, but the smoke from the Camp Fire continues to fill the Central Valley with extremely unhealthy air. College campuses and schools have been closed all week due to the incredibly unhealthy air.

The extreme conditions make it difficult to get out and take photos of the peak of Autumn here. My prayers go out to the victims of the wildfires and to the brave men and women firefighters continuing to battle the fires.

Festival of Leaves

Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD)

Autumn SIGNature

Sunday Stills: #Orange You Glad?

Great pumpkins

Yes, I know it’s a silly blog title, but aren’t you? Glad, I mean, now that with Halloween almost upon us the holiday season is officially here?

I’m not sure if I’m particularly glad about the hustle and bustle with shopping and more traffic, but I’m very much looking forward to the road trips to visit family.

Whatever your feelings about the holiday season, I love the color orange because it seems like such a happy color!

According to an online source:
“Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

Although I personally don’t wear bright orange because my redhead complexion couldn’t take it, I do wear muted shades of orange like peach, salmon, and rust.

Fellow blogger and over-50 fashion guru Jodie shares her ideas on orange as a fashion statement.

I naturally have surrounded myself with the color orange. My home has two pumpkin-colored accent walls in the kitchen and dining room. My updated white brick fireplace now sports some Autumn decor on the mantle.

hello fall

When we got married 5 years ago, I chose a non-traditional wedding ring that boasts an orange sapphire!

wedding ring

Does the color orange make you happy? Here are a few more of mine to get you started:

An end of summer delta sunset from September. Everything was orange!

delta sunset

Of course, a post with the theme of orange would be incomplete without some Fall colors.

Autumn leaves and palm

I call this “California Autumn” because of the juxtaposition of fall leaves against the back drop of a palm tree.

This last image is also submitted for the following photo challenges:

Festival of Leaves

Sunday Trees

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Show us your versions of orange with your images! Link up below and see what other bloggers are posting this week! Or ping-back to this post so I can share your orange images on Facebook, Twitter and Mix!

November’s Sunday Stills themes are now available on my page.

Autumn SIGNature

Flowers of the Day are Festive Autumn Leaves

Pink Autumn Leaves

Today seems like a great day to add my Autumn leaves to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge!

What intrigues me about the colors are the pink tones, found in nature no less!

Pink Autumn Leaves

This little tree was already decked out for Autumn while the rest of the tree is still green!

Still waiting for Autumn in Northern California to “fall!” Very unseasonable warm weather…temperatures range from low 80s in the day to mid-40s at night.

And because the tiny tree looks so festive, I’m submitting this to Dawn’s Festival of Leaves  photo challenge!

Autumn SIGNature

Sunday Stills: #Texture is All Around Us

Textures of autumn flags

This week’s Sunday Stills Photography challenge is all about texture. Textures occur both in nature and in human-made materials, and it all around us. A random photo of a mundane item can yield extraordinary textures you might not have noticed with just the naked eye.

In texture photography, it’s all about patterns, colors and depth, and every single detail of a texture plays a significant role in the overall perception of the photograph.

This photo of Aero laying on my bed shows the contrast in textures of his cocoa-brown fur against the soft textiles of the bed linens.

Textures of Aero and bed linens

In this image captured at our local elementary school, I love the textures of the flags hung on the fence.

Textures of autumn flags

Texture can appear both in macro photography and in landscape photography.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing two photos by Molly from Shallow Reflections. She mentioned Maine has its peak Autumn colors now and graciously sent me several photos to use!

I love the textures she captured in this garden gnome, not only in the carving’s materials, but in the surrounding garden. Totally serendipitous she sent me this photo full of texture…

Textured woodland gnome

Molly also sent me this stunning Autumn image of trees reflected in a lake. I’m sure the live view showed the textural contrast against the reflected two-dimensional view of the trees.

Autumn textures

I’m submitting Molly’s beautiful tree image for this week’s Sunday Trees.

And for Dawn’s weekly feature Festival of Leaves.

Here is one of my own Autumn textures to add:

Maple begins to turn to seed

Textures can also appear in music, food, writing, the list goes on.

How will you interpret “texture” this week? Please link to this post and add to the link-up!

Autumn SIGNature