citysonnet’s Colors and Letters, April: Pastel Yellow

Today, April 22, EARTH DAY, the citysonnet prompt is a color. And the color for today is PASTEL YELLOW.

Some daffodils (in Filoli Gardens in Woodside and self’s side yard), a mural in downtown Redwood City, and the exterior of the Mendocino Hotel:

One Word Sunday: DIAGONAL

For this Sunday’s One Word Challenge — Diagonal — self is sharing a picture taken last January, in Mendocino. The day was waning. She was watching the sea from the headlands. There is something so calming about this view.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #186: Low Light

Guest-hosting this week, Sofia from Photographias. Read her take on taking pictures in low light, her gallery is gorgeous:

  • I’m still quite proud of my first real low-light photo. It was taken inside Lisbon’s Cathedral, a 12th Century building in a Romanesque style, that is dark and refreshingly cool in a summer’s day. This feels like an intimate portrait of a group of friends. I could have reduced the shadows even further and get more detail, but I think I would be losing more than adding to the shot.

Here are self’s low-light shots, taken December/January in Mendocino on the northern California coast: That second picture is of Mary-Ellen Campbell’s kayak, which is strapped to the top of her car. We were going out to dinner. She flew with it to Mexico last week.

The large photo is of one of self’s favorite bookshops in the entire world: Gallery Bookshop, on Main Street. The other is a picture of Out of this World, corner of Main and Kasten, which sells telescopes, binoculars, cameras and science toys.

SquareOdds #8: Main Street, Mendocino After Dark

Self took these pictures a few weeks ago, around 6:30 p.m. The bookstore on the corner had just closed for the day. The only thing open was Dick’s Place, laid-back watering-hole (the low building with the neon sign). Directly across the street, the wide meadows of the headlands were completely dark, but you could hear the ocean — powerful, slamming against the cliffs. It always gives self a shiver to walk by night around the headlands, because the dark is so deep, and the ocean is so loud.

Posting this for Becky’s Squares Challenge. The theme for this month is ODD.

SquareOdds #2

Doing the Squares Challenge this month, hosted by Becky over at her blog, Life of B!

Today’s odds:

On her most recent trip to Mendocino, self stayed in Room #13 of the Mendocino Hotel. The number 13 can sometimes be unlucky, but it can also sometimes be lucky. Guess it would all depend on whether or not you are superstitious.

Self was in Gallery Bookshop a lot. Was tremendously amused by this book!

Stay tuned.

February Squares: The Odd 1

Becky at Life of B has just announced the theme for the February Squares Challenge! YAY!

  • “Oddity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What one person rejects as lunacy, another reveres as truth.” — Philip Gulley

Here’s a picture of the Mendocino Hotel. A few steps away, the red-lit Dick’s Place, with a neon martini sign! This is Main Street, Mendocino. The hotel dates from the mid-19th century, and the bar dates from the 1950s. Late at night, these are the only open establishments.

Come to think of it, a bar right next to a hotel isn’t that odd. But she really likes the picture (despite it’s not being as sharp as it could be), and most of all she really likes the neon-lit martini glass (extreme right). She was told that Dick’s had to apply for a special license for the neon sign.

The human skeletons were painted life-size. She found them in a vintage store in Fort Bragg (Doorward, Redwood Ave.).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Whatsoever Is Lovely Challenge: Bookshelves

XingfuMama hosts the Whatsoever Is Lovely Photo Challenge. Thinking back over the past week, self thought of the last time she was in one of her favorite places: Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino.

Books are a special thing of self’s.

Someone was commenting on the bookshop’s newest book display stand:

Self got the name of the people who did the bookshelf: Wood Joint Studio, Fort Bragg.

She doesn’t know why, but wood of all kinds really appeals to self. One afternoon, she called Taimi Barty and asked if it would be okay for her to drop by (because self is such a nosy, nosy writer). And Taimi was the soul of graciousness. Self sped over and met Taimi and Bob, her other half, and self was completely in awe of the space (which was huge. Canoes were hanging from the ceiling).

“Do you build treehouses?” self asked. Which was probably the weirdest question Taimi was ever asked.

And guess what. After self and Taimi had been talking for at least a half hour, self found out that Taimi was a Harvard grad. And she also remembered reading an article on the front page of the Mendocino Beacon in December: the wood shop program at Mendocino High School had just received a grant. The head of the wood shop program was a Harvard grad. Suddenly, the scales fell from self’s eyes and she blurted out: “I read about you on the front page of the Mendocino Beacon! Oh, wow! You’re a rock star!”

And Taimi looked very amused and said, “STOP.”

No, seriously. She is a rock star! Self wishes she could sit in on a wood shop class in Mendocino High School!

So this is her “whatsoever is lovely” share: meeting an unlikely hero, in person, in Fort Bragg.

Stay tuned.

Water, Water Everywhere (WWE) Challenge: The Mighty Pacific

Still reading Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery, by Andrés Reséndez.

p. 174:

  • On the morning of May 1, the San Jeronimo cleared the capacious bay of Acapulco and entered “the true sea that makes all others appear like rivers and puddles.” — Juan Martinez, soldier, 1 May 1566

For the WWE Challenge, a view of that same ocean, viewed several hundred miles north of Acapulco. Self took this picture last month on the Mendocino Headlands. It was a very cold day. A storm was approaching.

Still cannot get over the fact that leagues and leagues east, on the other side of that ocean, is self’s home country, the Philippines. There is nothing between self and the Philippines except WATER. Imagine crossing that expanse in the 16th century, at the mercy of currents and the vagaries of wind.

Many attempts were made to reach the Philippines after Magellan. Villalobos reached it but left immediately after. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in 1565 and stayed to become the Philippines’ first governor (Legazpi was pretty old, for an explorer: he was in his 50s. His nickname was El Adelantado)

Legazpi had his two grandsons with him, both teenagers. One, Felipe de Salcedo, 18, became captain of Legazpi’s flagship, the San Pedro, on the vuelta.

What an incredible feat. Truly. And such courage for an 18-year-old. They almost didn’t make it.

His younger brother, Juan de Salcedo, 17, stayed and made a home for himself in what is now the province of Vigan. His grandfather died a year after arrival in the Philippines, but Juan de Salcedo spent the rest of his life there, even bringing his widowed mother and his sister to the islands! (These Salcedo women must have been made of very stern stuff: the trans-Pacific crossing, in the sixteenth century, was no walk in the park)

Weekend Sky: 7 a.m., Mendocino Headlands

Thanks to Hammad Rais for hosting the Weekend Sky Challenge!

I believe I read somewhere that it’s also his birthday? Happy Birthday, Hammad!

Took this picture yesterday morning, standing on Main Street.

Cee’s Black and White Challenge (CBWC): Cold or Chilly or Chili

Thanks ever so much to Cee Neuner for hosting a number of inventive photo challenges. This week’s CBWC is COLD or CHILLY or CHILI.

Cee: “Remember your photos needs to be black and white, desaturated, sepia (brown tones) or selective color.”

Self’s been spending a lot of time on the northern California coast, where the weather is often stormy. Here are a couple of pictures self took during the last storm, the ones that were almost monochromatic:

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