Looking back at January, 2022

First, I need to apologize to those I have unfollowed and then followed and unfollowed many times, WordPress reader is going mad. Not sure what’s going on, sometimes I am reading something and it tells me I just unfollowed the person. Go figure.

I have allocated the last Friday of each month to post about important (to me) things that happened during that month in my photography. Like a photo log of sorts. Feel free to jump to the pictures on the last part of the post, if the text seems to long to you.

January has been slow and uneventful and it seems as if the pandemics will never end. On the 15, I was ready to walk out of the house when I read that Sonoma County was asking people to voluntarily stay home. I am glad I was headed to Napa, the nearby county. I don’t think anyone stayed home even in Sonoma: now that Covid-19 is the most contagious, it is when we are too worn out to care.

Now, onto more cheerful subjects.

In the Central Valley of California, December tends to be the coldest month of the winter, and January is a doorway to the spring, with temperatures getting close to a frost at night, then up to the mid-60 F during the day. Some plants begin to flower as early as mid January. This year is no exception. Unlike 2021, however, fog was not prevalent in my neighborhood during January.

CHANGES TO THE WEBSITE

I keep changing my mind about the ArtSpan Website and have changed the layout several times. It has taken me a while to find a theme that works on the computer, my Ipad, and more or less on the phone. I have also linked my GeoGalleries online store to it, under the “other images” tab, so people can find everything if they google my name. I have also uploaded a few more photographs to the GeoGalleries and, to help S.E.O. work for me, I have pinned all my vertical photos on Pinterest.  

WINTER TULIPS series

This project, which I blogged about on the second week of January (click here for the post ), is going slow. Like a few other things, tulips temporarily disappeared from Trader Joe’s “shelves”. That threw me off loop for a while and when I was coming back to the project, I received a rejection regarding another series, Dry Leaf. The rejection letter had a long page of possible reasons why my work was not chosen, and upon reading that, it seemed to me that all, even the mutually exclusive reasons, applied. That sent me on a temporary downward spiral, telling myself that my work is worthless, why do more of the same? Submissions followed by rejections are common in my life, and may be a good subject for a blog post.

I now have a handful of photographs that might go into the final series and have ordered a few test prints to choose the paper on which I shall have the series printed on. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the one below. The background effect is the light going through the blinds of my photography room.

PLACES I have been

Consistent with the high gasoline prices, I pledged to stay near my home this past month.

On 02 January I went to the UC Davis arboretum with my friends Teila and Daniel, for a photo walk. There was not a lot going on there, except that the Aloe and Agave are beginning to flower. I did point the camera to a few succulents, including the featured photo, a nice addition to my “leaf” GeoGalleries portfolio, the bark of trees, and shadows. My friends did get some good shots of hummingbirds. The best part of the walk, however, was a warm lunch at the local Burmese restaurant, inside.

Aloe starting to bloom at the UC Davis Arboretum on Jan 2, 2022

I visited the Lagoon Valley Park the following week (Jan 08), alone, and wrote a blog post about it. It was surprising not to see the cows grazing there this time of year, since the grass is green and free-range cows still need to eat.

A hike in Napa County, Rector Reservoir trail, was the highlight of January 15. I went with my son, who now lives in Napa, and our friends visiting from the Ukraine, Kristina and Severyn. I did get a few shots for my stock photography work. The trail is a steep climb to a ridge, from where we can see the Napa Valley (pictures below) and the Rector reservoir (not shown). Notice some yellow on the fields below? That’s mustard beginning to flower. In a couple of weeks, the fields and vineyards in Napa will be covered in yellow.

View of the Napa Valley from the Rector Reservoir Trail, California, USA. January 2022.
Me getting ready to take the photo. Photo credit: Kristina Kernytska

Kristina is learning English very fast and from the top of the ridge she interviewed my son about the costs of living in Napa. If you’re interested in renting in Napa, listen to his expert advice 😉.

I had not visited the Stebbins Cold Canyon in a while. That place deserves a post of it’s own (to come). My photographic purpose there, on January 23, was scouting. I also wanted to show the place to my friends Kristina and Severyn. I had not been to that trail in a few years, since the last wildfire there. I was surprised to see a few wildflowers already blooming, probably because there is no vegetation to shade any stretch of the trail anymore: Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja affinis, Chaparral Currant, Ribes malvaceum (I posted a photo of the flower last year), the Tufted Poppy (I also posted about this one last year in, black and white) and the Purple Nightshade (Solanum xanthi).

View of Lake Berryessa from the Blue Ridge Trail, Stebbins Cold Canyon, California, USA. January 2022.

I am looking forward to another month of photography and blogging. If you like this blog, subscribe by E-mail to ensure that you don’t miss any updates.

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Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

9 thoughts on “Looking back at January, 2022

  1. I especially like the views from the Rector Reservoir Trail, and the aloe bud. The background of the tulips is pleasing, and the highlight on the bud. That said, I still prefer tulips in color, but you manage to make the black and white quite attractive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a lovely picture in the Winter Tulips section. And agaves readily lend themselves to abstract closeups.

    When it comes to submitting artwork, acceptance and rejection are a part of life, with the second one far outnumbering the first. People’s tastes vary so vastly.

    The mention of your friend Severyn reminded me of the character San Severina in Samuel R. Delany’s 1966 science fiction novella Empire Star. Given current world news, it’s a coincidence that your visiting friends are Ukrainian.

    Like

    1. Thank you. I know that rejections outnumber prizes by much. But lamenting is way more fun than acknowledging that there’s nothing especial about having my work rejected.

      I am not familiar with the novel. It’s sad what’s happening with the Ukraine and I wish my friends don’t have a war zone rather than a home to go back to.

      Like

  3. So nice that you could travel and be out in the wild (or semi-wild)! I am still figuring out how to do that. But now, as I’m writing this, I am in the mountains for the weekend. I especially like the first (bw) and the last photo :).

    Liked by 1 person

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