Archive for March, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

March 30, 2010

Spring Trumpets by Cheryl McDonald

We had the most amazing weather this weekend! I had a chance to get out and wander in the city.
Everything is blooming, gardens are awakening.

People are out enjoying the sun in the parks. Life is blooming! Flowers, Trees, even the alleys are bursting with color!

Garden Alley-North Beach, Cheryl McDonaldI have always loved playing in the garden, walking into a nursery is like walking in and meeting good friends.
Plants are soothing creatures to be around. As you can tell from previous blogs I dig being out in the open,
however I also love being in garden spaces that people have lovingly created.

Garden Path by Cheryl McDonald

Spaces that are livable, functional and reflections of the people who create them. This weekend while I was out I took pictures of flowers and garden walkways, entry ways and parks.

Here are a few of the places I found. I enjoyed capturing the details and the character of these spaces.

The Red Mailbox by Cheryl McDonald

Stairways and pathways leading us in to the garden are intriguing and inviting.

The Royal Guard by Cheryl McDonald

Colorful proclaimers like the pride of Madeira or Calla Lilies trumpeting the arrival of Spring.

Now is the time to be out enjoying a garden, your garden! If you live in the Bay area and have a garden you love and enjoy, either public or private, I would love know about it, even to come and take pictures of it. We take portraits of our family, dogs, homes how about a garden portrait?

I would also like to put in a plug for my friend Barbara Paul- one of the most amazing garden designers in Southern California- she is a specialist in sustainable landscape design! Check her out here


California Wildflowers- Beautiful!

March 22, 2010
Spring Meadow by Cheryl McDonald

a Spring Meadow in the foothills of the Sierras

I missed writing my blog last week- I was traveling on Monday, coming back from a week roadtrip that included Yosemite, the central valley, Los Angeles, and parts of Orange County. It was great to see my Daughters and their families again and we had a wonderful time- that could be a whole separate blog. One of my photography assignments that I had set for myself for this trip was to capture the wildflowers that might be blooming along the way. Although there are always flowers this time of year, it is always a surprise to see which ones and how many are blooming. We have had lot’s of rain in California and the flowers should be spectacular. I was out a little early so I am guessing that this next couple of weeks will be even better. However, I must say that I was certainly not disappointed.

Wildflowers in the Foothills by Cheryl McDonald

Wildflowers in the Foothills of the Sierras

The images I had captured in Yosemite were very wintery and grand. Once leaving the mountains Spring was definitely in bloom.The foothills were filled with yellow and white posies, the fruit trees were covered in pinks and whites and the grass valleys boasted their bright orange carpets of California poppies. The billowy clouds from Monday’s storm added drama to the colorful landscape. California is definitely in bloom!

Poppies by Cheryl McDonald

California Poppy Preserve

On my way home I headed up the 14 to hwy 138 in search of desert wildflowers- poppies and others as well as Joshua trees. This is where I think I was a little early in the season. Things were just starting to bloom.

The 2 pictures here are from a couple of years ago, and from what I saw last week. This year should also be spectacular. If you have not taken a tour of our vast California landscape lately I highly recommend it. There are lot’s of little towns to explore and the scenery is unbeatable!

Joshua Tree Bloom by Cheryl McDonald

Joshua trees in Bloom

Floating through Yosemite

March 9, 2010

Floating through Yosemite, by Cheryl McDonald

Floating through Yosemite

El Capitan in the Mist by Cheryl McDonald

El Capitan in the Mist

I seem to be on a roll lately with the fog theme- I don’t mind as you can tell.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be in Yosemite National Park. I thought about trying to arrive for sunrise but realized I would have had to leave home at about 2am. That just seemed a little absurd, so I left at 5 and was ready to just expect magic! It happened. There was a storm coming in- not a big one, just enough to add some drama to the otherwise beautiful mountains, forests and rivers.

Misty Falls by Cheryl McDonald

Misty Falls

The clouds were rolling low through the valley encircling El Capitan, completely hiding Half Dome, but otherwise floating through the forest creating that mystical, magical feeling I love so much. Some light rain and even a little hail, did not deter me from walking the paths to view Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite Falls and some of the meadows throughout the park.

Tre-line in the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

Tree-line in the Forest

The Ahwahanee Hotel was it’s warm and inviting self- a roaring fire in the grand hall, and a toasty cup of coffee helped to give me a brief respite from the cold outside. As the day grew long, I realized that the storm was really starting to set in, so I decided to leave the park and find my way down the hill to Oakhurst for the night. As I traveled the winding road down the hill the snow began to fall, covering the roads with a new layer of soft white. It had been a long time since I had been in the snow and even though it was a little slow going, I really enjoyed the drive and had to stop once and get out and play just a little. You know- throw a snowball, let flakes land on your tongue- all that playful, fun stuff that fresh snow is about.

As I arrived in Oakhurst, the dark skies were following me and I expected we would have rain during the night. I got my room and found a most delicious Chinese restaurant called the Jasmine Gazebo. Wonderful fresh food and met some very friendly locals for some light conversation. As the night settled in, so did the storm. And much to my surprise there was snow happening! Right outside my motel! What fun!

Snowy Sunrise by Cheryl McDonald

Snowy Sunrise in Oakhurst, CA

When I woke up this morning, I had to get out and take more pictures. The sunrise on the snow and the clouds rolling across the valley were once more creating a magical winter wonderland.

Crystal Blossoms by Cheryl McDonald

Crystal Blossoms

This has been a very special trip for me, and today I will wander on down the road towards the Central Valley and the possibility of more magic is high. In the Valley, Spring is beginning to arrive and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom. I will certainly keep you posted!