One of the unexpected side benefits of my recent roadtrip is that I roused myself to upload my photos to Flickr again. I used to upload photos to the site every day. In fact, I was a member of several “photo a day” posting groups. I’m here to tell you, posting every day and having group members comment on your photos is the fastest way to improve your photography. I’m not sure exactly why I stopped, but it had something to do with my camera malfunctioning, then buying another one that I never did master. Finally, I’m on my third camera body and this one seems to be the best yet. But, of course, Nikon has changed the controls and menus enough that I’m still struggling with the learning curve. And let’s be honest: in the interim, I’ve pretty much forgotten everything I once knew about photography. Or maybe I just got lazy.

Enter my early New Year’s Resolution: master this camera and get back to and exceed whatever technical proficiency I once had. For me, photographing native plants up in Sonoma has always been a good master class. Well, they do hold still and let you fiddle around with you camera controls much better than terriers will. So let’s see if I can fill up this blog, Flickr and Instagram with better photography than I’ve been churning out lately. And I have an upcoming benchmark. November 14 a Super Moon will rise that is larger (closer to the Earth) than it has been since 1948. I’m packing up Buffalo Soldier, my teeny tiny RV, and heading down to Joshua Tree National Park to photograph it. That means I have about two weeks to figure out night photography, star trails and other fancy stuff.

But, in the meantime, here are some Sonoma plants.

Did I mention that the last three weeks have seen a lot of rain? Around here, that means time for erosion control.

Did I mention that the last three weeks have seen a lot of rain? Around here, that means time for erosion control.

After a long, hot summer, the plants are loving it.

After a long, hot summer, the plants are loving it.

I love how succulents just plump right up after some good rains.

I love how succulents just plump right up after some good rains.

Ranch Manager Louis's little mini-gardens are looking especially good.

Ranch Manager Louis’s little mini-gardens are looking especially good.

It all ended with a glorious sunset and sliver of a moon. Both of which would take a lot more study and practice on my part before I can capture them more expertly.

It all ended with a glorious sunset and sliver of a moon. Both of which would take a lot more study and practice on my part before I can capture them expertly.

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