A gardener using a lawn mower reportedly sparked a two acre fire behind a home on Siefker Ct. off of Grant Line Rd. in the Elk Grove community of Sheldon. The fire broke out about 5:00PM on Friday, during the hottest part of the day in dry weeds. Ironically, it appeared the weeds were being cut to provide a fire safety perimeter.
Five engines from Consumnes Fire and Sacramento Metropolitan Fire responded. Also on scene was a Sac Metro helicopter which made at least one water drop.
This is the second fire I have seen on my drive home this week. There was another on Monday on the east side of Highway 99 near Jahant Road. With the lack of rain this season and very dry conditions fire danger is extremely high. Please be careful and smart.
Firefighters managed to knock the fire down quickly. By the time I arrived the fire was mostly out and they were concentrating on mopping up.
Tall grass was being cut to help prevent fires like this.
Units from the Woodbridge Fire District quickly brought a fast-moving, wind-driven brush fire under control Monday afternoon. The fire burned approximately five acres behind a house on the east side of Highway 99 directly across from the Lodi Airport. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A few small out buildings behind the vacant house were destroyed. A foreclosure notice is attached to the front door of the house, and it appears to have been vacant for some time. The house was unharmed.
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As I was driving south on Highway 99, I noticed smoke in front of me about a mile away. I turned off and at first got a couple of shots from downwind of the fire. It was moving quickly over the dry grass toward a vineyard on the other side of a dirt road. The road made an effective fire break and kept the fire from spreading east through the grapes and toward occupied homes.
Then I moved over to the other side where the fire department had stationed its engines. From there I could see the damage the fire had caused to the out buildings and firefighters beginning to mop-up as the fire was contained and controlled.
A below normal rain year equals a high brush fire risk this year. Make sure to take precautions to reduce the risk.
If I find out more information about the fire and the cause I will update this post.
If you are interested in using any of the images from this slideshow, contact Randy.
It would have been easy to get a shot of this Bluejay sitting on top of the fence, but what’s the fun in that? It’s expected, usual, not in the least different. Birds sit on top of fences all the time. Not so common, and less often photographed, is one in a fence.
Taking the time to capture the unexpected, the uncommon, something different, will help make your photos more interesting. Yes, it does take time. Often you have to wait. I could have quickly made an image of the Bluejay sitting on the fence, but waiting and watching paid off with a much more interesting shot.
There is more below the image.
Make Your Own Way
This Bluejay seems to be a little uncoördinated. This made for a great shot as it tried to get on top of the fence. The concept of fence-sitting seems to have escaped this one, and I was there to take advantage of the clumsiness.
Finding your own way is good. There is no rule that says you have to do everything the same way everyone else does. This bird certainly didn’t. It did make it to the top of the fence, by the way.
Whether in photography or in living your life, do things a little differently. It adds interest, and it enables you to discover things you might otherwise miss. Besides, it may be fun. Especially if you slow down and take time to see that life is beautiful.
The next time you’re out shooting take a little time. Look for things that aren’t just there, but are waiting to be. Anticipate, and wait for good things to happen. Of course, if you’re doing still life the wait may be quite long and is not advised.
About a week ago I was out looking to see if I could get shots of a Red-Tail Hawk nest. Standing under this tree I heard a bird going nuts with her call. Up in the tree I could see a Western Kingbird hopping nervously on a branch with a grasshopper in her beak. Poor grasshopper. She was flitting from branch to branch trying desperately to divert my attention away from the nest, which of course made me aware of the nest.
Mom bird made a couple attempts to sneak in with the food, but each time she quickly took off when she caught me looking. I was hoping to a shot of her feeding the recently hatched chicks.
A couple of days later I went back, but didn’t stay long or get many shots. I was afraid of disturbing the birds too much and causing them to abandon the nest. There are a few shots, but I have yet to go through them.
This shot is from today (6/6/13). At lunch I decided to stroll over to the next. At first I didn’t see any activity, but as I approached the tree from the back side I noticed four small heads pop up. It seemed the chicks had grown quite a bit over the week. I also noticed a lack of grasshoppers in the dry grass which had been recently cut. I’m thinking these little guys can eat.
Mom was not terribly happy, but the babies seemed fine with having their picture taken.
In my walks around Mather, I have seen three nests, and know of two others. Two belong to blue jays, one is a mockingbird nest, a Red-Tail Hawk family occupies the upper reaches of a tall spruce and the one above.
For the best view of this image, click on it.
The chicks are able to leave the nest today. Three of them perched themselves on branches supporting the nest when I went by this afternoon. I was able to watch those same three take what may have been their first short flights to neighboring branches. They appeared a little nervous about being away from the security of the cozy nest, but with temperatures going up over a hundred today and tomorrow, I’m sure that small nest was getting uncomfortably warm. One remained in the nest the entire time. I don’t know why. More pictures to come.
This Acorn Woodpecker was staying behind to protect a nest while its mate was chasing other birds away as I approached this Sycamore tree on a morning walk. I was walking to the barber shop and almost left my camera at home thinking I didn’t want to bother with it while the barber was shearing my noggin. Glad I didn’t listen to my first thoughts.
If you are going to be serious about photography, or be a serious photographer, it is critical that you practice. Anyone who wants to excel at anything does so by practicing. So take your camera when you go places, even for a walk down the street. One thing it does is help you to not be in such a hurry. You move slower and observe more, at least I do. I want to take in what is around me, see what there is that might make an interesting image, and just enjoying what God has put on display for me to see.
Most of the time I shoot on manual. This helps me to think about the shot more. I can’t remember the last time I shot on full auto. When I know I want to use a particular setting throughout my shoot, I use aperture priority or shutter priority. Always, I think about the settings and learn from them. Mistakes are okay too. Learn from them.
Sometimes I come up empty. But I always have a nice walk.
When I think about it I take part in the Dailyshoot assignments on Google+. On this particular day the assignment was simply “B.” That’s it. Just “B.” Today – 5/22 – the assignment is “R.” I suppose I could post a selfie.
Some kind of daily shoot assignment is a good way to focus on shooting every day. Rather than carrying your camera and taking random shots a simple assignment encourages you to look for something around a particular theme or word. In this case it was the letter “B.” I could have been quite literal and shot the actual letter, but I chose to shoot a bee. I was out walking, camera in hand, and while shoot something else saw this bee on the thistle. Dailyshoot done! Assignment complete!
I look for daily shoot assignments that don’t give a lot of detail. Leave the creativity to me. This was a good one. Had the Memphis Belle been here on the day of the assignment, maybe I would have made an image of a “bomber.” Single words make great assignments. People always come up with interesting photographic interpretations of single words.
So find yourself a daily shoot assignment. If you are on Google+ they have a Dailyshoot community. You don’t have to shoot every assignment and it isn’t a contest. It is just a way to give you an idea of something to look for that day. Yes, that day. There is no requirement to post something you shoot the day of the assignment, but really, anyone can go back in their archives and find a shot. Shoot something new.
Recovering Fundamentalist is the title of an entertaining video with a powerful message on grace. Every one of us is willing to shout out about God’s grace extended to us. That is as it should be. His grace is… well, amazing. It is incredible and unfathomable, more than we could ever deserve. That’s why it’s called grace.
But those of us who have been touched by His great grace have a problem. We are not very willing to pass grace on to those around us. Our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, more often than not are the objects of our judgement. People struggling through the same swamp of sin that we are told how depraved they are for allowing themselves to fall into the swamp in the first place. Hello, you and I are right there next to them.
But Randy, aren’t we supposed to hate sin? Yep. So try this, “You hate your sin, I’ll hate my sin, and let’s love each other.” That’s what Christian comedian Mark Lowery suggest in this video. Go beyond “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”
“God spreads grace like a four-year-old spreads peanut butter. He gets it all over everything,” says Lowery.
Think about it. His grace is not only sufficient, His grace abounds, and it is messy. He gets it all over everything, every problem, every heartache, every victory, every day. And you know what else? Every sin.
You know what would be an act of grace? Telling people how Jesus conquered their sin and can pull them out of the swamp. When we beat them over the head with their sin it does nothing to help them out of the swamp. It pushes them deeper into the muck. The deeper in muck they get, the more grace it takes to get them out. So just start with grace in the first place.
What makes you think the dirty, stinking, ugly, wretched sinners need to clean themselves up first before they come to Jesus? You were a dirty, stinking, ugly, wretched sinner when you came to Jesus, and I’ll bet you still struggle with sin. I do, and have enough to handle with my struggle. Besides, I’m not qualified to handle your sin.
“You hate your sin, I’ll hate my sin, and let’s love each other.”
Thanks to Ron Edmondson (@RonEdmondson)) for posting this video on Twitter so I could find it.
Candles. I like them. Not the scented ones that give off an unnatural fragrance; just a candle slowly burning and giving off a gentle light. Comforting.
These candles were found in a church in Sedona, Arizona. It was quiet, even though there were a lot of people inside. I think it was the candles. They have a calming effect. Everyone seemed very contemplative. Well, everyone except for that photographer with the Canon who kept setting off those big booms. Have you ever noticed how loud a shutter and mirror are when it is really quiet?
Acts 2:3 (ESV) – “And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.” Okay, so this is probably a bit more dramatic than flames on candles. Still, candles remind me of the Holy Spirit. The flame does anyway. Comforting. The gentle glow is warm, inviting and comforting. Powerful. If allowed to, the flame can quickly become a roaring fire.
Both these images were shot with a Canon 30D with a 50mm lens. Though it was dark I was able to make handheld exposures at 1/50 and 1/40 second respectfully. The aperture on the first shot is f/2.2, on the second f/3.5. Both are at ISO 100. I recommend using a tripod in such situations, but I didn’t have one and am not sure I would have been permitted to use one in this location.
I hope you enjoyed these images. They are the latest additions to my gallery at Lightstock.com. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Thanks.
This short one and a half-minute video describes Fine Art America, the site from which I sell my art photographs. I have been using Fine Art America (FAA) for a few years now, but I haven’t really taken the time to work on the site as much as I should. That is going to change. I plan on spending more time with it and less time with other stuff as I clean up some of my sites and even close at least one.
Going forward, I will have three main sites that I will be maintaining. My blog, where you are now, will stay mostly the same, except I will be making an effort to post more regularly and more often. I also will be submitting more stock images to Lightstock.com. Lightstock.com is a site where you can buy Christ-centered, royalty-free, stock images that are great for your church or organization. You can use them in bulletins, newsletters, blogs, and just about wherever you need an image. They have some great images available, so I encourage you to check out not only my images, but what other talented photographers have to offer as well.
The third site is Fine Art America. You can learn more here and in the video above. All my images to date are available as framed or unframed fine art prints, canvas prints, acrylic prints, metal prints and greeting cards. Orders ship quickly and arrive in about a week to ten days. If for any reason the artwork isn’t all that you hoped it would be you can take advantage of FAA’s 100% money-back guarantee.
In the coming days and weeks I will be posting new work to FAA. Many of you have seen some of my work that is not on FAA or perhaps you have a particular image in mind. If so, you can contact me and I will be happy to discuss your needs.