Thursday, October 16, 2014

Barn Fence

Of course the old weathered barn that I showed you last time has a fence as well - actually, quite a collection of fences. Needless to say that the fences looked so much better maintained than the barn. I guess they are meant to keep anybody OUT.

Okay, this fence post is not quite upright anymore, and it looks a bit weathered as well. This certainly fits this old barn more than the fence in the top picture. Here's a detail of the old barbed wire:

Behind the barn runs a creek. Well, "runs" might not be the correct word since there is no water at all - the drought has just left a very dry creek bed. But there still is a little bridge over the creek, and it has a little chain fence by the side.

This is what the drought looks like in California right now - just sad.

Despite the old ruined barn - this is a good fence and therefore deserves a link up to Theresa's blog!

Monday, October 13, 2014

An Old Barn in Ruins

Along one of our beautiful and scenic country roads you can find this barn - old, weathered, and completely in ruins.

A "do not enter" sign warns everybody of the sad state of this barn that probably had been quite the beauty in its good days. Now everything has become dilapidated. From these pictures you can see how the vegetation is growing through the roof. Here's a close up:

In some parts the roof has been covered, but I'm pretty sure it's not of much use either and the rain - if it rains - still leaks through.

layered with "kk_monday" in soft light at 100%

However, pictures like the following ones are just beautiful, showing the old barn in front of the hills that you find so many of here in Sonoma County.

This is the backside of the barn - it looks a bit better and you could almost have the illusion that this is still a working barn.

layered with Kim's "chamomille" in soft light at 50%

I'm linking up with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hanging Pumpkin in a Fairy Garden

While Jo and I did our tour through some local nurseries we stopped in between at Wildflour Bakery in Freestone for some scones. Their scones are legendary good - I had a Gravenstein apple, raspberry and marzipan one whereas Jo enjoyed a Meyer lemon and raspberry one. I think she also had almonds in hers. They are sinfully good!

Kim's texture pumpkingrunge in soft light at 30%

The bakery has a little garden in the back where we retreated to eat our scones at some place in the shade (it was a very hot day). At the end of this natural tunnel we saw this huge pumpkin hanging, further secured with some garden twine. I expected some fairies turning up and dancing on this pumpkin!

Kim's texture dustyrose in soft light at 65% (texture brushed from pumpkin), 
copy and multiply at 65%

I'm linking up with Kim's Friday Finds - a new favorite of mine!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

An Old Fence

When Jo and I went on another nursery trip on Sunday - all the nurseries have their big plant sales right now, and October is the time to plant in Northern California - we visited the tiny town of Tomales on Highway 1 where one of our favorite nurseries that specializes in native plants is located. Right across form the nursery is a property that is enclosed by this beautiful weathered fence. For some reason I have always loved this fence, and whenever I'm here (about twice a year) I take a picture of it (or two or three).

So I did this time as well. You would think that I have way too many photos of this fence, but somehow this never seems to be the case...

I think you can see why...

I'm linking up to Theresa's Good Fences where everybody is just as crazy about fences! Come and take a look!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Early Autumn Blooms

My garden, though still beautiful, is approaching fall and winter mode. There are less blossoms there although some flowers still put on quite a show - the pineapple sage whose bright red flowers always transport me in a good mood. Or the cosmos - like the one in the photo above. These flowers came up from seeds that I scattered randomly without any concern where they fell down or where the wind would carry them. These pink ones settled at the rounded corner where they mingle with the Mexican sage - purple, white, magenta and pink! It's a true feast of bright colors. The cosmos are very tall and one afternoon when the sun was already in the west and slowly descending to the horizon I noticed how wonderful this flower glowed against the background of the trees across the street. I couldn't resist and ran inside to grab my camera to capture this special moment. It was the light that did the trick of course.

I layered the photo with Kim's texture "artjoytexture" in blending mode soft light at 100%; then I imported it to Lightroom and played with it. I'm usually not a huge fan of really bright and bold colors to an extreme, but I made an exception here. I'm still a beginner with the new Lightroom. I used Lightroom 2 quite a bit when I had scanned my slides and organized them there. But now I have Lightroom 5 and there is a lot more going on. I hope I'll get the hang of it!

I'm linking to Kim's Texture Tuesday today.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Two Boxes Full of Flour

Back in Tübingen, Germany, where I had lived for 20 years before moving to California, we had a special kind of bread stick called "Seele". Now, Seele is the soul - but also this super delicious breadstick that is popular all over Southwest Germany. If you have ever been to Stuttgart or the Black Forest you might have seen and even eaten them.

So far I haven't found a single German bakery here that bakes Seelen ("Seelen" is the plural of "Seele"). I decided to bake my own - I found several recipes on German websites, I tried them all, I combined them, made my own recipe... but the result so far has never been like the ones in Germany. I finally became aware that the flour is different (duh - that took me a long time).

After a lot of research, reading blogs by German bakers who live in the States and joining an artisan bakers group on Facebook I learned of the "00" type of Italian flour that is mainly used for making pizza dough. But it's also excellent for making German rolls and - I thought - Seelen.

Amazon had this flour in stock, and a box full of Italian flour arrived at my doorstep. So I went to work, mixing and kneading and baking. Despite the fact that I used a bit too much of fresh yeast - my Seelen looked like they were heavily pregnant - the result was the best I had so far. Still not perfect - next time I will try a mix of 00 flour and regular bread flour. I know that one day I will have the Seele that reminds me the most of the real German version.

The crumb looks good here with quite some air in the dough which I like.

It was still slightly harder than a real Seele. Quite important is the amount of salt crystals and caraway seeds on top of the breadstick.

I also came across the King Arthur Flour website where I bought some specialty flours that I don't necessarily find in our stores here. Pumpernickel flour is one of them, and the European style flour the other - perfect for baking Ciabatta which is next on the list. I might also try it for the Seelen.

These are my Friday Finds for this week!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fences in a Walled City

When we visited York I, of course, was looking for fences again. York, however, is a very old city that still is (though not completely) surrounded by its old city wall. For quite some distances you can walk along these walls which we did - but this will be for a later post. Today, I'm showing you the fences I found in this medieval city.

Some fences were posh, painted with gold. Others were more ornate, running along the boundaries of a churchyard, and glowing in the evening light.

Others clearly stated "keep out" (or else...).

I'm linking to Theresa's Good Fences at the Run Around Ranch. Do you like fences? Just pop over and find many many more.