Sunday, October 30, 2011

All Hallow's Eve...Preview



                                                                             copyright 2011 Stepka

Petaluma Halloween Count Down....Tara Firma Farms

A local farm, Tara Firma,  hosted a ghostly walk thru a field of lighted Jack-o-lanterns.

Here is the story:

And here are some more photos:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day of the Dead Celebration

Many in Petaluma celebrate the Day of the Dead...even downtown shop windows have memorials to love ones.
My walk around the neighborhood today found a different sort.  What a wonderful tribute and what adorable photos.

The tags have names...
Left to right.
Jones(kitty), Charlie (dog), Pookie(kitty), Cooper (dog), Meow(kitty) and Bandit (dog).


For those who do not know about the celebration, here is what Wikipedia has to say...

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

                                                                                                                       photo copyright 2011

A Petaluma, California Halloween

More photos of the great local Halloween Decor popping up!

...and my absolute favorite is below.  Simple but darn spooky!

What is lurking in your neighborhood?!!??!!

                                                                                                 copyright 2011 Stepka

An October Morning

Borrowing from Jon Katz's photography theme on October Light.
8am seems the magical light time here.

                                                                           copyright Stepka 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween is Springing Up!

Everyone seems to be getting into the Halloween spirit here in town a bit earlier.
One of my favorite "haunts" is on D Street....Cavity Cove.

On Halloween night, they all dress up like pirates and hand out candy.  Fun to see it in the day light to really see the details. 

I was sitting in the car at first taking photos and then saw something I had not seen before in any one's yard.

 Had to do a triple take on these....

Pretty darn imaginative!

They also have characters walking the plank and usually scary movies projected on their walls on Halloween night...go and see!

If you have not dared to walk B and D streets of Petaluma on Halloween must.  Even if you don't have kids.  Amazing site.  3 million kids and their parents out and about in the greatest costume.
Glad I don't live in one of those can go broke handing out candy for 3 hours.
Kudos to those who do take the trouble and financial commitment doing it. 
They are giving out lots of joy to many.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Petaluma Adobe Pumpkin Farm

This glorious Sunday, I stopped in for the first time at the Adobe Pumpkin Farm on the outskirts of Petaluma on E. Washington Street.
They have a wonderland of activities for kids of all ages...

...The usual stuff, including food...

....Pumpkins, of course....

...Fields to pick your own special pumpkin....

...Cows to feed....

...Dogs to admire...

...And chickens ...yes, this is a chicken.
  And yes, it does have a head under those feathers!

...John Deere and wagon rides...
I don't know about you...but hearing that putt putt putt of this tractor gave me the shivers!

...Cool Tepees of Corn!....

...And of course Haunted Houses!...

...And Haunted Barns..

...And for the the adventure inclined...
A Rock Wall and slides!

...Stores with wonderful handmade crafts....

..Including beautiful giclees by artist Carol Peek...

 ...Bird Feeders...

....and crows in the Farmers Wife Barntique...

...and of course Witches Hats...

..Especially enchanting on cute little witches!!

And who needs a therapist...
When you have the Pumpkin Fairy Godmother to guide you!

So get in your vehicle of choice and ride on down to the farm next weekend
and have some fun!

Free admission, parking, animal petting, strolling through fields and shops,
and wheelbarrow rides!!
Check them out!!

And check out my most recent posts of Petaluma Halloween Neighborhood Decor!

                                        copyright 2011 Stepka

Just Another Sunday Morning

Just another beautiful Sunday morning.
Walking in the park, everyone smiles and says hi.
What a way to begin a day.

Happiness is walking the dog.

.....and watching a cow stare at you when she pees.
Excuse me!

Whoops...memories popping up. 
 Cows in the stall.  Milking time.  Getting ready to put the milker on. Tail rising up.  Running for cover.  Torrents of hot steaming liquid shooting out over the gutter.  Slight mist settling all over you. Looking down the line to see who's next, because  just like deer crossing the road...once one starts...the rest follow.

Distance is a good thing.

                                                                                               copyright 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

June Bugs

On hot summer nights, the front porch screen door would be open to the world until the last person headed off to bed.  The most comfortable chair in the house, an upholstered rocker, sat next to it.  Us kids did not usually sit there, since dad had commandeered it from the start and very pungent barn smells had settled quite nicely in the interior of its fabric early on.  But every so often if free, I would sit there and listen to the sounds of the night.
In the corner of the front yard, dad had installed a huge pole with a halogen light that came on when darkness fell.  It loudly buzzed to life each twilight and there was always a slight high pitch hum in the air as it chased the darkness away.
The other sound you would hear in the early evening was another type of buzzing, June Bugs.
Some of the farm cats would be lounging on the porch after milking, stretching themselves out, exposing as much of their body as they could to any cool breeze that might filter thru the humid, hot summer air.  They would hardly move.
But once the yard light came on, they were out on the hunt for a nice after dinner snack. 
I would watch as the buzzing June Bugs would appear out of their ground boroughs and slowly start their way swirling up to gather in an endless circle of dance around the yard light. 
Many would not complete the journey, since the farm cats were doing a ballet dance of their own. Leaping up and standing on their back legs, paws and claws extended, many a June bug succumbed to the ever diligent farm cat before ever reaching a safe distance.
For a time...crunching noises prevailed over the hum.

                                                                                                 copyright 2011 Stepka

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fitz's Kingdom

Every morning, after his breakfast of course, Fitz is biting at the bit to get thru the back screen door to go out and explore the new day.
He is wagging his butt, swishing his tail and staring at me with big dark baleful saucer eyes that are the cutest that he can possibly create.

The rule is:  Fitz cannot go outside till I can see some grey light immerging from the dawn’s darkness.   
Scary monsters in the way of gargantuan raccoons, mean feral cats and who knows what else lurk outside the screen door in the dark night. 
Fitz does not share his mom’s fears.
He meows softly but piteously in a questioning voice and prances by the door till I see the grey dawn, say ok and slide open the screen.

Then he takes a running leap into the unknown.

Now, he has surprised himself a few times once landed, when he feels the pattering of raindrops over his back.  He stops in his kitty tracks, looks up, looks back at me very accusingly and proceeds to leap back into the house.
Having found him on the side of the road under a bridge 6 years ago when he was already almost a year old, you would think a little water would be no bother.  How soon one forgets.

But in most cases, the weather is fine.  Lifting his head, sniffing the air in various directions, he is off.

Some days I follow at a discreet distance.
He has his route.

First the patio, he checks between the pots of plants, under the steps, and then the border of the fence, peering thru the cracks every so often to see what can be seen on the other side.  Next, the lawn.  Center of the lawn first for a wide perspective, then the lavender bush borders, stopping to sniff intently at certain spots where he has laid his scent the day before, making sure he is still the predominate smell and not some interlopers’ in the night.  He re-marks if necessary, which usually it is, his face scrunched up in utter concentration and disgust that some thing dared to enter his territory in the night and tried to claim it as their own.

Peering under the crack beneath the gate, he decides to either forcefully squeeze his rather large frame under or take the easier route over the fence, laying his scent again in the way of stretching out and scratching the top of the fence, always in the same place.

Over the fence and into the real world then, where he expects interlopers, he heads underneath the car for safe viewing, then onto the drive and up to the mailbox at the edge of his world.
Sniffing the bordering bushes, he peers left, then right down the sidewalk, then across the road. 
Looking back towards me, I wag a warning finger in his direction, should he have any idea in his little brain to try to cross that wide expanse…and back down the driveway he comes, stopping at his favorite spot to roll in the dusty hole he has created next to the geraniums, luxuriously stretching and rolling until thoroughly saturated.

Do cats share pig genes?

At this point, as long as I feel all the boogey animals of the night have gone to their burrows, I leave him be to explore at will.  Usually he heads to the back of the house or if I am right there, leaping up onto the doorway rail and up onto the garage roof where he knows mom cannot follow.

I am confident in the knowledge that in another hour or so, he will be coming to join me in my office, once again choosing the safe life of inside…wanting to be brushed and scratched all over, and to rest comfortably on his pillow next to me on my desk, watching through the window, people and dogs walking by on the path below and the meanderings of the sheep on the farm across the valley.

His kingdom is secure.

                                                                                                           copyright Stepka 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Incredible Sunrise!

Incredible Colors and Textures this Morning.

And Fitz was ready for the early morning hunt.

                                                                                              copyright 2011