Lake Tahoe

We had a chance to try kayaking on Lake Tahoe. We didn’t get too far before the wind that was forecasted came up. Boy, the waves were pretty big, at least from the perspective of a kayak, but our guide told us how to deal with them, and I had a lot of fun paddling into them.

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed back out on the water after lunch because the Coast Guard was sending kayakers to shore. But this is something I want to take up. I really like it. It’s kind of low tech. You put on a life vest, climb in a boat, and paddle. There’s a technique for paddling that I didn’t know the last two times I did it, and that really helped me keep from getting tired really fast. I had to concentrate to do it, but that’s a  good thing.

I didn’t take the camera with me, a very fortunate thing since a wave sloshed over my boat. I took some shots at the beach after the tour, and here they are.


Tahoe Vista


Sand Canyon




Bananas? No, boats.



New York memories

Happy Friday.

I haven’t been out to shoot, so I thought I’d revisit some old photos. I have been thinking about New York a lot…maybe because it’s been a year since we were last there.  With a feeling of nostalgia as I went through the photos, I found myself skipping over all the shots of buildings and selecting these images to play around with. They evoke good memories of the feelings of New York. I hope you enjoy this bit of New York flavor.


Carousel “Granny’s Folly”


Grand Central Market


Mount Vernon Hotel




Subway Mural

Have a nice weekend!


Mt. Shasta from the car

These were opportunistic shots. We didn’t stop once, road warriors on a mission. But some of them turned out. This is coming up Interstate 5. I scraped the bugs off the windshield in post processing.


Not Mount Shasta, but still a pretty cool volcano cone.


This is Mt. Shasta



We don’t have clear skies in California in the summer any more. There were 2000 or so fires burning when I looked last, which was pretty soon after this episode.

Right after driving past Shasta, we saw heavy smoke, then we drove into it. It was horrible, it seemed like a pretty good rendition of Hell.


This smoke came into our car. It wasn’t until the drive back that we figured out that we have to put the fan on high, not level two, level four. Then it kept up with the smoke that crept into the car. On the way up we both had stinging eyes and developed some respiratory trouble.

But that’s nothing compared to the people living in Weed. Two hundred homes burned, a church, a new resource center and a school. Oh, and the main employer, a mill. One story was a couple coming back from somewhere, they see all this smoke, then they see cars driving the opposite direction covered with fire retardant. Terrible, and scary evacuating…the traffic jammed!

The fire had happened a few days before, well it was still ongoing, but the interstate was open again. I kept thinking, they would close this road if it wasn’t safe, right? Because we couldn’t see much. It was a weird feeling driving along at the whim of whatever was happening out there, but nothing like when the fire burned through the town and down to the freeway. Neighbors were pounding on apartment doors to get people out of there.

Miraculously, no one died. Whew.

I hope you have a safe happy week wherever you are.

A corner of Ashland Oregon

Like I said in Monday’s post, I didn’t have much time to take photos during our short stay in Ashland, but I had noticed this historic hotel and used my few minutes to go there and take shots. The clouds were cooperating on Friday.


I liked it, particularly the way the light looked on it and with the hills in the background. The hills are so pretty around Ashland.



Just like in California, the hills on the western side of town are greener. I loved this house nestled in trees with the mountainside and forest in the background, just across from the Thomas Theater, Cabaret, and Green Square (where they do live music).


Then there was this cabaret, and with the clouds overhead, I thought that looked nice.


That’s it from Ashland. On Monday I’ll show you some Shasta shots I managed through the car window on the way.

Have a great weekend.



Fancy cars in Ashland and beyond

First a quick note: I’m on Casi McLean’s blog today talking about the relationship between photography and writing: http://casimclean.com/nicci-carrera-4/

We saw Richard II at the Thomas Theater in Ashland. Seeing Shakespeare at the Oregon theater festival has been a dream since college. Well, I’ve done it and I loved it.

I’ve recently gained a newfound interest in Shakespeare. For one thing, I’m drawing on one of his plays for a book, and for another thing, I read a historical mystery called An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears, (reviewed here) which sparked an interest in history. Because of how much I enjoyed the fictional lens on history provided in this book, of the various plays being offered in this year’s festival, I wanted to see Richard the II, the first of a four-part series about the royal house of Lancaster (according Spark Notes, which I mention and link to below.)

Motivated by the fact that I was seeing the play, I spent a few hours reading the modern-day replacement for Cliff Notes: Spark Notes. Wow, this free resource did a fantastic job of explaining the play. I also read some of the history surrounding Richard the second. You do have to take a bit of what, well, more than a bit of what Shakespeare is writing with a grain of salt. It is after all historical theater, so there’s license for guessing some of the events and doing so in a way that amplifies the drama. That said, I have such a different sense of that period and of Henry IV, which they are going to do next year, presumably they’ll also do Henry IV part two the following year and the final of the series, Henry V in 2019.

Henry IV deposed Richard the Second, which is what the play is about. I’ve seen Henry IV as a movie, but knowing how he came to the crown definitely changes my perspective of him and I’m looking forward to continuing the enjoyment of learning.

The theater is small and we were right next to the stage. I will say as a point of caution, don’t sit in the first row because the stage comes out into the crowd and, I don’t know if this is usual or not, but there was a lot of say it don’t spray coming from the actors, let me just put it that way, LOL! I would opt for the second row or further back. I’m not sure anyone in the audience actually got sprayed, but given I’m a germ-phobe, that’s not something I would want to think about while watching the play, and I figured you wouldn’t want to either.

However I don’t want to leave you with just that point because the show was good. My husband is from New York so I asked him if the show was good, to be sure. He has very high standards. He pronounced it good, so there you go. They used modern clothes and they threw in some modern props, which was a little distracting, but actually once we grew used to it, we both felt that these elements enhanced the experience and accomplished what we assume was the purpose, which was to keep making Shakespeare relevant to current times.

I didn’t have much chance to take photographs. When I had time, it was smoky from the fires that raged in the town just south of Ashland. However on the morning we were leaving, the air was clear enough, and I did manage a few shots. Today I will show you a collection of fancy cars. There must’ve been a fancy car show this weekend because all kinds of cars were arriving in the parking lot of the hotel just as we were leaving. Or it might have been a hot rod club, but the first car that stopped us in our tracks was this:


What was a Rolls-Royce doing in the parking lot of one of the more modest hotels in town?

When we carried on and saw this, we thought, something was up.


We loved how the black surface of this Audi mirrored the trees, and you could actually see green on the black background.


These folks were nice enough to let me take a snap of their car while they were unloading.


Interestingly, after we had driven about 150 miles back into California, we stopped to get gas, and there was yet another fancy car, a vintage Ferrari circa Magnum PI. Since I already had the lens on, I was able to grab a snap. Here you go.


It’s Labor Day here, and I’m laboring on my romantic suspense novella. It’s due on October 4, so I’ll be concentrating now to finish it in time. Once that’s done and submitted, I’m going to start working on some short Sci Fi fiction under my Antonia Moran identity.

Have a great week.

Downtown San Diego-5

Downtown San Diego

Today we are having a foggy morning in the Bay Area, and it reminds me of being by the coast. As I go about my housekeeping, I am pretending we live in San Diego and it’s just another foggy morning. It’s kind of fun. There’s something about fog that gives you a muffled private feeling at home, like the day has not quite started and you’re still in that semi dream state with stolen time to enjoy.

But even now I can see that blue sky peeking through the clouds…it’s time to wake up!

On our last day in San Diego, I explored the downtown area on a sunny afternoon, well after the fog burned off.

There are two interactive sections below, which-do-you-like-better exercises, so read on and comment!

Downtown San Diego-2

Enter a caption

Downtown San Diego-3

Memorial Park Coranado

Downtown San Diego-4

Gaslamp District San Diego

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Downtown San Diego-6

Gaslamp District Downtown San Diego

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Convention Center

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Gaslamp District trolley

Which do you like better, this one:

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or this one:

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Do you prefer color for this:

Downtown San Diego-11

San Diego Convention Center architecture

or black and white:

Convention Center San Diego Monochrome

Have a great week, and see you Friday.