Nature’s Colour

IN ORGANISING FOR THE UPCOMING book signing in San Juan Bautista—it’s coming up fast … 14 July, I found myself out and about, enjoying the early summer colours. Though our book signing location—Jardines (a delightful Mexican restaurant)—has many Beautiful Garden at Jardinescacti in their gardens, there’s also an abundance of other plants that flourish. Some blooms have already come and gone, but there are many still going strong. (please click on the individual photos to get better, larger images)

Seeing all of the abundant beauty there put my “radar” on high alert (subconsciously) and I started to see flowers

Carmel View

Looking south from Mission Ranch Restaurant

Pink Everywhere You Look

Flush with Pink!

Loads of pink!

and beautiful leaf formations everywhere. A dinner in Carmel (near the Mission) with an out-of-town friend

yielded some lovely blossoms. And some I haven’t seen since I was a much, much younger person.

Yellow Straw Flower

A straw flower—I haven’t seen these in years!

Spider Alert ...

I knew I saw something … had to wait till I got it on the screen—tiny guy!

Definitely a weed …

Not sure if it’s a weed …





All around my yard, as ragged and unloved as it is at present, yielded some faithful bloomers. Even some of the weeds were fascinating.
(Oh, my … these went all wonky—well, at least you can still see them …)







Whilst shopping for sundries in Target, I wandered down their dollar aisles and found some cute little blue flower pots—little flower kits—for a flower I’ve Forget-Me-Not Kitalways meant to put into my garden: forget-me-not. Teehee … a little ironic what with my memory and all (insert eye roll and a quiet giggle here). They’ve taken off—they’re still at the two-leaf stage, Forget-Me-Not Seedlingsbut that will change quickly … and I don’t have a place to put them yet that will be safe from the deer. But I look forward to their blooms.

So, as I gear up for my next two book signings, I am keeping nature’s gems on my radar. It’s calming—all things natural are calming, but flowers and forests are top on the list. I certainly hope that you will find some serendipitous blooms in your life, whether they be of the flowering kind or life-events. Have a wonderful weekend and week to come.

Two Book Signing with Two Local Authors
Friday, 14 July, 2017 4-8pm
in San Juan Bautista, California
Jardines de San Juan Mexican Restaurant
in the Garden
Saturday, 29 July, 2017 10am-4pm
at Books and Brews Summer Festival
314 Estrella Avenue, LaSelva Beach California
LaSelva Beach Clubhouse and Lawn

Join us!
Additional events listed


Walking up a storm

I HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION to the Urban Gardens web blog, and today’s blog was most interesting, since I love to travel, and walking is the best way to find things to capture on the camera. The author is slightly biased (NY is the writers home town & it ranked #1), and sadly, only three from the West Coast made their ranking.

When I went to the Walk Score site mentioned in the article, I found that Monterey was scored 65, Carmel-by-the-Sea was 100 (so, why didn’t it make it??), Santa Cruz at 66 and Salinas at 53.

I must admit, the Score site is more for advertising apartment rentals, etc, and the scores provide good information for people looking to move into an area, but it also provides great information for walking tourists–and photographers like myself.

I find photo ops in the most unusual places…so don’t think that is has to be a picturesque vista to be eye catching or interesting for a photographer.  In addition to ocean views, sweeping mountain vistas and beautiful foliage, I also relish interesting gates, fences, walls, dilapidated structures (cars, buildings, etc) to mention only a few.  Even some graffiti (though, I am not encouraging this illegal means of expressing oneself) has caught my eye over the years.  My Facebook page has a number of photos (user name: creationsbydjamesonsmith), in addition to the ones you’ll find at my website and Flickr page.  I am constantly exploring new areas and new ways to photograph and though I am mostly a purist (what I take is what I present), I am now playing with my Photoshop features and Solar Printing to tweak my images to something very new and interesting.  Most of those are on my Facebook page.

But, back to this Walk Score.  After visiting the Score site, what do you think of their ranking of your town? What walking opportunities does your town offer?

Are there places in your area that are ripe for photo ops? Please feel free to post comments about your town.  I may just make a visit to some of the towns you post.