Caswell State Park, California

Last Friday morning, I joined the Olli Bird Safari at Caswell State Park, South Austin Road, Ripon, California. The bird safari was led by David Lee. The state park is on a winding bend of the Stanislaus River in the middle of the Central Valley. It’s a rare example of an oak mature riparian forest in California. I took these seven photos mostly of the oaks here and of the the birders looking at diverse bird species in those valley oaks.

Marine Traffic on the San Joaquin River, California

I took these seven pictures of large marine vessels and motorboats on the San Joaquin River near the Port of Stockton, California. It was a warm beautiful day sitting in my VW Eurovan waiting for boats to pass by.

Derrell Waiting for ships IMG_0216

Fall Equinox on Lodi Lake, California


Here’s a mosaic of three pictures I took of Lodi Lake and Mokelumne River. I was participating in a Bird Safari. There were plenty of birds but unfortunately for me they were too small and too fast to photograph. Nonetheless their habit is beautiful.


Scenes along the Mokelumne River and Sutter Creek

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I took some pictures of the Mokelumne River along Electra Road near Jackson, California.  The river was above its banks where you can see some tree trunks in the water. I saw a few poppies growing along the banks. I took a picture of Sutter Creek from the footbridge  near the historic downtown.

While I was on a guided tour of Heritage Oak Winery, East Woodbridge Road, Acampo, California, given by David Yu during the Bird Safari class offered by Olli, Osher Life Long Learning Program, I took the last two pictures there. The vineyard goes south to the Mokelumne River. The last picture is the flood water from the winter rain storms. The main river channel is about a quarter of a mile farther south. The owner had planted a new vineyard in the bottom land close to the river levee. That vineyard is now underwater. I learned that a lot of farmers and vineyard owners are impacted by the Mokelumne River flooding.


Tule Fog

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During this morning dense tule fog, I took these pictures along the San Joaquin River. I drove from home in Stockton, California, west on March Lane Drive until I reached the levee road. The fog was dense on the river. I could not see the opposite bank. When I heard a fog horn, I waited for the ship to appear. I used a Nikon D600 FX camera with two Nikkor lenses, a 20 mm lens and a 50 mm lens. I applied a sepia tone to the images in Photoshop. The fog creates a different perspective and ambiance of the river and boats.

Big Trees State Park, California

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Here are a few pictures I took while visiting Big Trees State Park, California. To get there, follow Highway 4 toward the Sierra. The park has a new visitor center and a pleasant trail through the giant sequoias. Also I took some pictures of the Stanislaus River that passes through the park. I used a Nikon D600 FX with a Nikkor 20 mm wide angle lens. Fortunately for me, there were still some dogwoods blooming among the giant redwoods.

Cargo Ship Passing by March Lane Levee

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Here are four pictures of a cargo ship passing by me on a Saturday morning while sitting on March Lane Levee Road. Large ships on the San Joaquin river always intrigue me as they pass me by. This ship had just left The Port of Stockton on it’s way out to the Pacific Ocean navigating through the The Delta, San Francisco Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge. I tend to day dream of faraway ports it may travel to. I used a Nikon D600 FX with a Nikkor 20 mm wide angle lens and a Nikkor 70 to 300 mm telephoto lens. For me, the ship is a fascinating sight on the river.