Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yellow Lilies

Avoiding mandatory housework today, I ventured into the hills to see what I could see. I stumbled upon a flow I had never seen before, but which appears to be some species of Calochortus (Mariposa Lily) It was difficult to get a "facial" shot of these little lilies by the dusty roadside, but the last shot shows the fleshy hairs that distinguish it from other genera. I took a bunch of shots, but few ended up being in focus, including those where I held their faces up to the light. Oh, well.

Edit: Just figured it out, thanks to the internet: Calochortus amabilis "Fairy Lantern".

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Twilight on the Pacific

On my way home from Mom's last weekend, I pulled over for a shot of the misty-soft light over the ocean. A beacon bobbed on the sea, guiding boats away from the rocky shore. Sorry about the poor focus (no tripod). I wish I could get over there more often. It reminds me of what a magnificent world we have.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Behind Mom's Woodshed

I had a nice visit with my Mom on Memorial Day, and I took a few pictures around her place. This is one of the out-of-territory indulgences I can enjoy posting, now that I'm done with Willits Daily Photo.

This scene behind her woodshed includes a section of metal fence that I've seen in photos of my great grandfather. He was an old Cornish immigrant who retired from blacksmithing, and then kept some farm animals when he lived up at this place. The gray tin ladder used to be attached to the old water tank. Most of the bricks are from the old Victorian house that burned down in 1961. The gardening pots are all my Mom's. The plant shooting up on the right is a blackberry cane, which grow very easily here. If we couldn't eat the berries, I suppose we'd call them weeds.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten

A dedicated memorial tree to a slain city employee now grows at the entrance to the Willits municipal buildings. It is a weeping cherry.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Emmy's Beautiful House

Still clean and pristine, some of you may remember the immaculate house I posted on Willits Daily Photo last year, and mentioned here again not long ago. As you see, the gardener didn't find all of the California poppies Emmy had planted, and here is the proof. I'll be coming back around for more peeks in the future, with flowers still coming along strong.

Friday, May 15, 2009


The produce deliveries from Live Power Farm began again this month. It was good to see Gloria D again, half of the farming couple. She is one of the best huggers ever.

Another sign that spring is nearing its end - the distinctive seed pods of silver maple trees after their spinning drop from above, littering the walkway.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Spring Flowers

I don't mean to be too fixated, but the flowers are the thing right now in Willits. These are California poppies, our state flower. It was a challenge catching them when the breeze wasn't knocking them about.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Barra Vinyards

I was in Redwood Valley, at Barra Vineyards, a few weeks ago for a dinner event, so once again I bring you images outside of the scope of Willits Daily Photo for a change. Commercial vineyards haven't made their way to us up in Little Lake Valley, to the north, yet. That might change with the climate.

I don't know if the buds on the last picture above are unopened flowers, or if those are the beginnings of the grapes themselves, but I liked the glancing evening light upon them. The off and on late spring rains can make a huge impact on various fruit crops, which depend on well timed sunshine and unfettered bees. I hope all is well for the grapes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rock Rose in Rain

I know I'm getting a little too hung up on wet flowers, but we don't always get such nice rain so late in the season, with all the May blooms in full force. I hope it doesn't mess up the fruit pollination cycles.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The showy white bracts of a dogwood tree, drenched with rain, begin to expand, while the tiny cluster of flowers within are still green and barely formed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Breakfast Eaters

Regular readers of Willits Daily Photo know that I often take pictures of my food, and that happens most often at Ardella's Downtown Diner. If I'm in the mood, I'll put my camera out on the counter, ready to spring into action. Depending on how the light is, or where I'm sitting, I might try a few shots of the condiment set-up, or reflections on the polished granite, or the flower garden in the back patio. I sometimes go so far as to photograph the food of other people, but usually after they have seen me photographing my own -- so they know it isn't personal or stalking, etc. But I also try not to ask permission, since that usually results in them thinking they should stop and lean out of the shot, or worse, present their food to me in some way. These guys were just going about the business of getting on with breakfast.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Empty Farmhouse

From the front, this house looks like a charming country abode, but in fact the back is collapsing. It may be just too far gone to restore. I've seen other homes of this type with glass filling in the west end of the porch. That's the direction from which the wind usually blows in Little Lake Valley - storms in winter, and afternoon convection winds in summer. This one also has glass to the east, so maybe the microclimate is different out on this side of the valley. Those windows would have preserved the valuable late day light for shelling peas or darning socks.