Saturday, June 29, 2013

In search of sunflowers

On of the things I find (annoying? challenging? tricky???) is being able to find somewhere to stop and take photos when driving around Northern California. Often, there's nowhere to stop--especially when you see something from the freeway, or you're on a narrow Delta road with deep ditches on either side. Even some of the designated "scenic routes" are no-stopping-zones! It takes some patience, time, maps and/or GPS, and then bravado (walking onto someone's field), and even-then there are people who hoot because they have to drive past a parked truck and nearly hit an oncoming cyclist on a quiet back-road running parallel to the freeway... (maybe he hadn't had his morning coffee yet, it was after all before 9 a.m.) (Moron.)

So when Sacramento Bee published a photo last week, with an indication of where it had been taken (Mace Rd, Davis, south), I just had to go and find them, knowing that if the Bee could get a photo then so could I. And I woke up early-enough on this heatwave Saturday to drive over there before it was too hot, and before the sun bleached all the colours.

Though I think monochrome sunflowers are wonderfully intense.

Driving around the "county roads" (they don't have names, just numbers... "County Road 65",  "County Road 105"), listening to Beware of Darkness and Marillion,  finding out that some roads end in the middle-of-nowhere (unless you're a farmer, and then it's the middle-of-somewhere); saw many hawks on telegraph poles, squirrels who live in burrows and not trees (there were no trees within sight, but lots of squirrels who disappeared down a giant burrow, fluffy tails like flags behind them), acres of sunflowers and pepper-plants, acres of solar panels, a traffic jam of farm labourers behind a pickup truck carrying two porta-potties; Davis joggers and runners and cyclists; and lots and lots of wide, open, space.

And sunflowers. Huge sunflowers, huge fields. The photos make them look tiny as daisies; they were taller than me, by far.

And, wonderful to see: rows and rows of beehives, in the margins of the fields. And active, busy bees, feeding on the drooping heavy flowerheads, and buzzing around the entrances to the hives.

More photos from the sunflower drive:

I still have to find the perfect spot to shoot the full moon rising over downtown Sacramento. Well to be precise: the perfect spot to safely shoot the full moon. The perfect spot is in the middle of the Yolo Causeway. Given that it's an interstate freeway, it's a little less than perfect.

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