Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Very Nice Day!


Today my new camera and I headed up to Berkeley to stay overnight, have dinner with my son, and breakfast tomorrow with my dear, dear friend.  I went for the first time to Annie's Annuals in Richmond, just north of Berkeley.  It's a fabulous huge nursery with incredible plants, and their "demonstration gardens" are wonderful.  I wandered around for quite a while, lusting for this and that, but fortunately for my credit card balance, I couldn't really buy anything because I won't get home until late tomorrow night and I can't leave plants in the car all day in the hot sun tomorrow.  So I got two succulents.  :)  Here's a picture (not taken by me) that shows you only a part of the vastness of the place:

They do a lot of mail-order business and I've gotten a few things from them that way.  But I wanted to see it for myself, so of course my camera came with me.  Here's one I took:

 Everything is soooo beautiful.  They must have a battalion of workers there to do all the deadheading and so on.  Check it out, if you like garden stuff.

I'm staying tonight at the Berkeley City Club -- a beautiful building designed by Julia Morgan in the Thirties.  It's very goth in its style, and there are beautiful vignettes all over the building.  Tomorrow morning before I meet up with my friend, I'm going to go down and snap a few pics.  

I'll have some more pix tomorrow, I hope.

One more day --


This will be a quick post, but guess what?  Tomorrow evening is the last class I'll teach for nine months!  And my retirement date is July 18th, but between now and then, I don't have a lot to do other than sort through 23 years of accumulated debris in my office and figure out what the heck to do with it.

But, in the meantime, I gave myself an early retirement present -- a Canon 7D, which I'm thrilled with.  I haven't had a lot of time to use it yet, but I did take a couple of snaps last evening, and this is the only one I've processed so far:

 Linked to Texture Tuesday

I'm also continuing to take art classes -- the latest community college class is on collage.  I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying it, but there's a kind of freedom that then allows the process feel a little like play, and if you make a goof, well, you can usually figure something out to make it right.  Here's the first one I've been really happy with (we were supposed to make an abstract landscape):

If you can look closely, you'll see that some of the layers are kind of fun -- the top one is a magazine picture of a giant fingerprint, and the next one down is chocolate muffins with sugar crystals on top.  I used Color Efex Pro to process the picture, and it looks dark, but 1) it was supposed to be nighttime, and 2) it was the only way I could get close to the actual colors, which are pretty vivid.  Here's the photo that was my inspiration:

I love this picture, but unfortunately it's not a good one -- it was night and I didn't have my tripod, so it's really fuzzy.  (And of course I should have gotten rid of the telephone pole.)  It really was a beautiful scene, and I guess it will have to live on as one of the "ones that got away."

Anyway, got to run for today -- I'm seeing my son for dinner in Berkeley.  Yay!