Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Colours in California are so bright and clear in the sunshine..they seem to sparkle and shimmer. We drove to Santa Barbara on the coast after leaving Palm Desert. We went down the the Stern's Pier and walked along it. We got there just after 2 p.m and there were hundreds of shore birds in the area. I love how this one showed off his feathers for me. The previous time we walked this pier there were a lot of brown Pelicans at the end of it but they are doing construction at the end of the pier so the birds were not as easy to photograph. I found this fellow preening himself and trying to decide if this was his good side to be photographed from.
Just above him were several other birds, this guy pulled some amazing antics of agility and stretching while his friends were grooming themselves. Here he is scratching his chin trying to get that right spot.
Meanwhile my friend below decided to get that spot between the shoulder blades.
I don't ever think I've seen a Pelican stretch back quite this far before!
Now he looks like he is trying to get his TMJ back into alignment.
Back along the beach we spotted this guy quietly swimming along. He has some lovely markings, I don't know what type of bird he is. Can anyone tell me?
These flowering plants are seen along the beaches helping with shore stabilization. I've seen them mainly in yellow or purple and I think pink. These I took with my telephoto lens.
Suddenly the sea gulls that were floating on the water or standing on the beach took to the air. They did this several times, I'm not sure what startled them.
We found the Lemon Tree Motel and decided to check in, I like the motif they used to tell you the room number, notice that they have the number in braille, you might have to click on the image to see the braille.
All around the grounds of the motel were citrus trees, I saw some grapefruit and at least two types of lemon trees.
We entered from the parking lot and looked through the patio doors to find a courtyard with a pool, a table and chairs on a private patio and some lovely bird of paradise flowers.
You usually see the flowers photographed from the side angle, this day I decided to take a different view of the flower. You certainly get a very different perspective looking at it from this angle.
More lemons with their beautiful fragrant blossoms. I think I want try try and grow some from seed and see what I get, could be a fun project to have.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

April 10th I crossed the border heading for Sunny California. Our first night was spent in Tigard, Oregon a suburb of Portland. The next day we drove along Rte 99 enjoying the break from the I-5. We spotted some sheep grazing and lovely green rolling hills. We tried to see if Something to Crow About Quilt Shop was opened but as it was a Sunday they were closed.

We spent our second night in Medford and woke up to weather reports of possible snow in the Sierra Mountains. We quickly got loaded up and headed south over the Siskiyou Pass without any problems. We crossed over into California and in the distance you could see clouds over the snow capped mountains. Just outside of Weeds the snow began to fall. Some of the cloud formations were quite amazing, but very threatening at times. We got into Mount Shasta City and found wet slushy snow on the ground. Sew Unique Quilt Shop had just opened but they are closing the business. They were down to very little fabric. They are hoping to sell the business, but the shop will probably move into the downtown area and have a new name.
Back onto the highway, where the snow started to fall much heavier, at the quilt shop the shop girl commented she had 8" of snow at her place and the guy there said he had about 4". The snowplows were out doing a great job of keeping the roads clear. There had been a closure of I-5 but it was northbound not the direction we were headed.
In Redding, we stopped for lunch at the Lumberjack Restaurant and then headed over to Sew What just across the parking lot. I was on a mission to find some black osnaburg and a quilt book called Wool Crazy and they were kind enough to give me some printed directions to two other quilt shops in the area along with directions to a Joann Fabrics.
We chose to carry on down to Red Bluff and check out their quilt shop, which has closed! We then headed over to Rte 99 and stopped in at Honey Run Quilters, they were featured in the Fall Quilt Sampler magazine. This is always a nice cozy shop to enjoy.
Down the block on Esplanade is The Rabbit's Hole. I don't think I've been in this shop before, they have a large selection of fabrics and samples.
We got back onto the highway and headed into Sacramento where the skies opened up and we had masses of rain. Traffic almost came to a standstill on the highway. A friend of mine who lives in Fair Oaks said there were huge hailstones spotted in some areas.
By the time we got to Elk Grove, the rain had eased off and we started to have a bit of sun. We spent the night in Modesto and watched a pink sunset out of the motel window.
The next morning we woke to fog which burned off quite quickly. In Bakersfield we stopped in at Strawberry Patches quilt shop and got directions to the Moo Creamery on Truxtun Ave. where we had lunch. Back on the road and we headed down to Palm Springs to spend the night.
We found out that there was a tennis tournament in town so we decided to book two nights at the same hotel. We were just down the road from Carol and Joe's condo in Palm Desert.
The next day we did some exploring and drove down El Paseo and looked at some of the art in they have on display. I don't know of often they change it, but this seemed to have a very whimsical feel to it. These dancing ladies look like they are having fun.
Here is a second angle of the ladies dancing.
This crescent moon sculpture caught my eye.
This almost looks like a fountain with water flowing down it. It is amazing how blue the skies look in the desert morning. It does get a bit hazy at later times of the day when it warms up.
Have you not seem two guys in this pose before?
This recycle piece was at one end of the drive just around the corner from Carol's place.
There are a lot of these red bottle brush trees around, some of the tips almost look like they have gold beads on the end of them.
This is a triangle shaped piece at the corner of a shopping mall parking lot. I noticed it driving one direction and had to go back and take some pictures. This view is from the parking lot.
This was the view I saw the first time I drove by it. I love the stars in the dark night sky.
This is the view if you were travelling in the opposite direction.
I love the juxtaposition of the palm trees and the snow capped mountains in this shot.
I found two quilt shops in Palm Desert, one called Monica's and the other was The Quilter's Faire. The second one has only been open for about 6 weeks when I was there, but they have a delightfully friendly staff and very helpful in giving directions to other businesses.
We went to the outlet shops and I spotted some birds in this Dior sign. If you look closely you can see one in the centre of the D and the other to the left of the r at the base. Looks like they may have set up a nest there.
I don't think I've ever seen the hills so green in the Los Angeles area before and I don't every recall seeing snow on the mountains.
As we were driving to the 101 we even spotted the Hollywood sign this time. Unfortunately we couldn't get a picture of it this time.