Summer inspiration

1 07 2016

Inspired by summer and the beach (Polaroid transfers created from my favorite 35mm Fuji slides)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Beach Transfers





Stack ‘o gulls

6 04 2014

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Stack'OGulls





Gulls galore!

4 04 2014

Gulls at Virginia Beach, VA © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Gull Collage





Napa, Sonoma, and Bodega Bay

28 08 2007

Sue and I have discovered that you simply cannot tour the entire wine country region in half a day! We foolishly thought we could cover (quickly) both Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley in one day. (They looked much closer on the map!) Even with stopping only at two wineries, two olive oil companies, and a soap shop, we realized we were just scratching the surface of these two regions. And there are more than 200 wineries in each region!

We stopped at a few wineries—Sue’s wish list included CakeBread Winery in Napa Valley and Kendall-Jackson in Sonoma Valley. We also discovered The Olive Press, and St. Helena Olive Oil Co. and, after sampling our way in and out of both places, we came away with several bottles of oils and balsamic vinegars.

We made a quick stop at the heavenly-smelling Napa Soap Company, where I picked up a Hazelnut Pear Soap for Debbi and a Basil Soap for Michael. Some soaps are cleverly named for the region’s bounty: Cabernet Soapignon, Soapignon Blanc, Shea-R-donnay, and Tea-no Grigio! We only made it halfway through Napa Valley before cutting over to Sonoma Valley and the coastline, but we’ve definitely decided it’s worth another trip (maybe a weeklong one?), and we’ve discovered at least one property, Goat Rock House (with a magnificent view) that is now on our wish list to rent, but there are many other properties to check out on the Coastal Vistas website.

We discovered the Goat Rock House on Goat Rock State Beach just after we left Sonoma Valley. Goat Rock is near the mouth of the Russian River, and is known for its scenic shoreline. It is home to a colony of harbor seals (we didn’t see any) who make this area home during pupping season (March through August). We drove down to the beach and discovered this most peculiar gull (below). At first I thought he had a deformity on his beak (a tumor, perhaps), until I zoomed in with my longest telephoto lens and saw the dot pattern on the “legs” hanging out his beak. It was a starfish! And he was trying to swallow it whole. There were two other gulls nearby, just waiting for him to turn it loose. After I photographed him, I walked away and Sue observed him spitting out his lunch…so that confirmed that he didn’t have a facial malformity. He had just bit off more than he could chew, so to speak.

Speaking of starfish, I’ve discovered that a sea star has a mouth, but no head. It can squeeze out its stomach to get a meal. And it can sometimes grow a twin of itself from one of its arms. There are nearly 2000 kinds of sea stars, and they live on ocean bottoms all around the world. Sea stars are found in waters both cold and warm, shallow and deep. Many people call them starfish. But they aren’t really fish at all. Sea stars are echinoderms (eh-KY-nuh-derms). That name means “spiny-skinned.” The spines on sea stars are small and stubby—not long and show-offy like those on their cousins, the sea urchins. For more fascinating information on sea stars: http://oceanlink.island.net/oinfo/biodiversity/seastars.html

We had dinner later (Mexican food, not sea stars) in Bodega Bay, and then headed back over the Golden Gate Bridge.

napa-collage.jpg

© 2007 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.