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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Summer 2022--Catching Up

This was one tough summer for me. That is why that now that it is November and raining, I feel I can finally take a look back and reevaluate Summer 2022.

My friend and photographic mentor, Jim, died last November. Jim's wife, also my friend, asked me to take photos of their surrounding landscape so that when she moved away she would be able to look back at them. From December 2021 to May 2022 each time a plant/tree leafed out or came into bloom, I took photos for her. Jim's Memorial Service was in May 2022, and I took photos of the event. I, and many other friends, helped her pack up her possessions for the July move to Utah. I flew to Salt Lake City with her to help move their two cats. I flew home the next day. I'm delighted I had the time to help out, and I really enjoyed spending the extra time with my friend. 

All that packing up after a spouse suddenly dies reminded me that we have so many things we should get rid of so we don't leave the stuff for others to manage. And, if we do manage to live long enough to need to move to a place without stairs, then we should start offloading stuff now so it will be easier later. 

This is the summer that I turned 68. Dan will turn 80 in December but as I've always said, he has good genes. The genes I inherited aren't as good. My Dad died when he was 68.

At the beginning of the summer I just felt over scheduled. Except for the overnight trip to Salt Lake City, I did not leave the area nor did I want to to Dan's dismay.

We had several guests visit our yard. 

Even some cross species meet ups. 

In May we went to the Sacramento County Fair and were given a couple packets of zinnia seeds which Dan planted. Amazingly, they came up and bloomed profusely and brightly all summer.

I found a pretty California Striped Racer (snake) in our pomegranate tree. I took a photo but didn't want to be too close to it. It is at least two-feet long. Late October we harvested about a dozen pomegranates-our best crop ever. Our garden was so-so but we tried.

One morning in late July I visited the Lotus Pond at William Land Park to take photos. 

In late August 19 Dan tested positive for Covid. We have no idea where he was exposed. He was sick 2-3 days and then felt fine but kept testing positive for days afterward so we just gave up on testing. What that meant though was that we could not keep our date to meet my niece Chrissy and her husband Bill in Tahoe. At this point we both have had Covid, 4 Covid vaccines/boosters, and our flu shots.

The beginning of September our temperatures were miserably hot for days. It was the second hottest September in California over the past 128 years. In Sacramento previous records were smashed when Tuesday, September 6, the downtown hit 116℉ and that came after seven days of temperatures already greater than 100℉.

Several wildfires started near us this year. In July, there was the Electra Fire in Amador County, then a small fire on Pearl Way just a mile from us. In August, we watched the planes quash the Tombstone Fire just southwest of us in a fuel-rich ravine.

Tombstone Fire 8-13-2022
On the evening of the same day as temperature records were smashed, the Mosquito Fire started near Mosquito Ridge Road (for which it was named), above Oxbow Reservoir in the Middle Fork of the American River. It started in Placer County eventually jumping the river to cross into El Dorado County. We first saw the pyrocumulus cloud the next day from Sacramento. It was a monster and it grew bigger and scarier as time went on. My photos were taken from Coon Hollow Hill.

Jenkinson Lake (some of our water supply) was desperately low when we drove past on October 9. Boat launch ramps are stranded far from the lake level. In places where there are islands when the water level is high, those areas are now peninsulas making the lake look even smaller and more like a small pond.

From the lake, we continued through some of the Caldor Fire (2021) burn scar on our way to Nevada. The landscape was quite devastated. It looked like entire forests had been firebombed which, of course, they were.

The end of September, before our vacation, we went to a Judy Collins concert at The Crest. The theater was completely packed and masks weren't required. We were up in the nosebleed seats and I fully intended to keep my mask on, but my face and body were dripping sweat, so I took off my mask to get some relief. We both survived this super spreader event.

And, of course, there are cat photos. Syd rarely holds still for a photo. I took this one from a distance with a 300mm lens so he was unaware he was a model.

Waiting for Treats - Aren't we all
About once a month, Dan and I are invited to be honorary great-grandparents and help with outings with my nephew Johannes and his three kids. We are joined by his parents (my brother Leonard and wife Kristin) and sometimes also Kristin's mother MaryAnn so it is always a nice reunion. In August we celebrated Nelson's 3rd birthday at a small amusement park in Concord and a picnic in the park. In September they came to Sacramento to the Chalk-it-Up Festival and a swim at our downtown apartment. In October we met up at the Cool Pumpkin Patch in Dixon.

Nelson is 3
Sophie and Kristin

MaryAnn and Dan with Nelson and Owen

Johannes with Owen, Nelson, and Sophie

Nelson and Wesley

Regarding Covid in our county, it is hard to know how many positive cases there are because with home tests, there is really no need to have a pharmacy test. The end of May there were 217 deaths from Covid-19. Since then another 14 have died bringing the total on October 31 to 231 persons gone. 

And, that was my Summer of 2022--not too bad after all.