Upcoming Reno, Sparks and Carson City Gardening Classes May & June 2008

Going to list a bunch of Gardening and Lawn Classes that are throughout the Truckee Meadows this upcoming week ~ some I’ve been talking about for at least a month! I’m very excited about the Master Gardener’s sale! And if you miss that plant sale, catch the one at the Wilbur D. May Museum & Arboretum on 7 June 2008.

17 May 2008, Saturday
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Plant Faire
5305 Mill Street
7:00 am
$1.50 to $5.00 Vegetables & Herbs
Many annuals, perennials and ornamental grasses will also be available.
Master Gardeners will be on hand for your gardening questions.

17 May 2008, Saturday
Greenhouse Garden Center
2450 S. Curry St., Carson City
Let’s Talk Tomatoes & Peppers
Learn how to grow the best tomatoes and peppers this summer.
9:00 am, FREE, no reservations needed.

24 May 2008, Saturday
Raised Bed Gardening
9:00 am, FREE

Greenhouse Garden Center Event Calendar

17 May 2008, Saturday
Organic Gardening
Garden Shop Nursery
475 Gentry Way, Reno
10:00 am, Free
Featuring: Giselle Schoniger, Category Manager from Kellogg Garden Products.
Learn the basics about natural and organic gardening and how easy and effective it is. Gisele Schoniger will explain the different soils, fertilizers, and amendments and just how they benefit your garden. There will be free Dr. Earth samples so that you can try them for yourself. Plus, there will be a free bag of Gardeners Gold potting soil for each of the first 50 people!

24 May 2008, Saturday
Veggie and Herb Gardening
Join veggie specialist Tom Munro. He will help you get your veggie beds ready and pick the right plants for the right area.

Garden Shop Nursery Newsletter.

17 May 2008, Saturday
Rail City Gardening Center
1720 Brierley Way, Sparks
11:00 am, Free
Learn how to control and prevent insects and other pests from damaging the garden.

24 May 2008, Saturday
Gardening in Small Places
11:00 am, Free

Rail City Garden Event Calendar

20 May 2008, Tuesday
Garden Photography with Mark Vollmer
Wilbur D. May Museum & Arboretum
1596 N. Virginia St., Reno
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Register in advance
Professional photographer, Mark Vollmer, covers techniques such as filters, lighting and composition.
Contact 775-785-4153

7 June 2008,
Annual Plant Sale
8:00am-12:00 pm, Arboretum

Reno Garden Society
Third Wednesday of each month
5:30 pm
Call for location ~ 775-826-9135
Learn aboug gardening and landscaping from society members and certified master gardeners.

Photographs from the Mark Vollmer Fieldtrip to Washoe Valley

Well ~ Saturday we all met up at TMCC’s Meadowood building and carpooled down to the south end of Washoe Valley. Our first stop (besides Wendy’s so Colleen could buy a hamburger) was the wildlife viewing area with the boardwalk.

Very windy (what’s new for Washoe Valley, eh?!) down there. Not much to see but blackbirds ~ both red-winged and yellow-headed. You can’t see far into the lake from the viewing platform unless you have a telephoto lens that goes to as least 200mm…mine only goes to 72mm. So I took lots of fence pictures ~ 😀

Washoe Lake Boardwalk Platform
Downed Fence

We saw a flock of pelicans towards the enterance of Washoe Valley State Park so three of us headed back to see if they were still there. Parked at the trailhead of Deadman’s Creek trail and walked over to state park. No pelicans, but there was a redtail hawk sitting in her nest, who flew off once we were close enough for pictures. The bugger. I walked down to the beach while my sister and mom stayed under a couple of bird nest. Colleen got GREAT photos of a Western Tanager…and continued to get great pictures while teasing me with none.

We then went back to the trailhead to wait for the rest of the group ~ took a few pictures in the bottom part of the trail. Figured out the stupid macro on my camera there. 🙄

Deadman Creek TrailheadDesert PeachMormon TeaBark hanging off tree

Lots of Phlox, Indian Paintbrush and Alpine Lupine on the way up to the top and at the top where the gazebo is. Sunset wasn’t that great, but pretty none-the-less.

Alpine LupineDaisiespaint brushphlox

And here’s a picture of Mark Vollmer setting up his shot of the sunset ~

Mark Vollmer

DESERT IN BLOOM SLIDESHOW ~ I put most of my pictures (I took over 200 so I’ve narrowed it down some) onto my webshot’s album ~ I’m nv_michelle there.

All photos taken with a Canon Powershot S2 IS.

Capture Desert’s Spring Colors Workshop ~ Mark Vollmer

Last night was our class lecture and the highlights were:

* Class overview & introductions
* Opening multi-media slide show

* Slide show lecture: how natural light and compositional elements such as lines, patterns and colors come together to make pleasing spring photographs.
* Depth of field discussion
* Slide show lecture: how to use knowledge of lighting and composistional techniques to bring your emotions onto your image

Improving Your Photos:

1. Seeing Like Your Camera ~ Film nor a memory card can see details in light and dark at the same time with the same clarity of our eyes. Exposing for shadows tend to wash out bright areas just as exposing for sunlight will darken shadows. To compensate for this problem, expose the key part of the frame…since the main subject is normally at least 60% of the frame, expose for that most important highlight.

2. Realizing Your Vision ~ Mark states that the Goal of Photography is translating what moves us about a scene into a photograph. “A successful image resembles the feeling we had at the time. If someone views our photo and reacts with the same emotions that we had when we saw the scene, then the photo works”. Achieving this goal involves two processes:

A. Focusing our senses before focusing the camera. Smell, touch, taste, hearing ~ these four senses combine with sight to heighten our awareness with our surroundings and our creativity as photograhers.

B. With knowledge of lighting, design elements, intuitive use of the Guideline of Thirds, and awareness of how the camera will render the scene, we can successfully transfer our emotions into the image. Practice, Practice, Practice!

The class lecture brought a lot of new ideas along with jarring out what I already knew, but seemed to have filed away as I use digital now. It certainly has me thinking I should go buy an old 35mm camera, I don’t think I would even know where to look for the one I had over 15 years ago!

I have a Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera now. It’s a great little camera that I can shoot limited manual if I wanted to. It has all speeds, but the apetures only go from 2.7 – 8.0 ~ I wish it would go to at least 16.0. I can also buy different camera lenses, the lense now is a Canon Zoom Lense 12X 6.0-72.0mm. Maybe one that shoots to 200mm would be nice.


Washoe Valley, south end of lake looking north. 7/2006.

Tomorrow we are going to Washoe Valley for our field shoot. Looks like we’ll be going to the south end of the lake to the birding area where the boardwalk trail is. Then off to Deadman Creek Trail and hike up to the gazebo. I’m hoping that the Bald Eagles will be out for the photo shoot!

I’ll post pictures over the weekend!

Link to more trails out in Washoe Valley.

Ending with two quotes Mark had on his handouts ~

“To become a better nature photographer, one must first become a better naturalist.” – John Hendrickson

“The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Copper Hammering and Photography Class

It’s Thursday…and I have my photography class tonight through Truckee Meadows Community College. Capture Desert's Spring Colors ~ taught by Mark Vollmer. Can’t wait. The field trip is on Saturday…wonder where we’re going to go take pictures!?

I’ve been having lots of fun hammering and wire wrapping copper during the evening this week. Decided to practice on copper as it’s much cheaper than sterling silver…will wait to work with that wire.

All of my soldering tools are outside in the backyard shed/tool shop, and I haven’t had any desire to go out there at night so I’ve been sticking to wire wrapping the pendents. After hammering, beading and wrapping I put them in a tupperware with LOS (Liver of Sulphur) for oxidizing.

Here is what I’ve done so far ~

Capture Desert’s Spring Colors ~ Photography Class TMCC

My sister just emailed me Truckee Meadows Community College’s (TMCC) spring 08 Photography class schedule ~ we signed up for Mark Vollmer’s Capture Desert’s Spring Colors that will be taught in May. WooHoo!  I love photography.

Class description: 

Help your photos mirror the desert’s spring majesty in this combination lecture and photo field trip class. Using his own award winning work as examples, the instructor will demonstrate ways you can create powerful springtime photographs in your own backyard or abroad. In addition, bring two prints and get personalized advice from the instructor to strengthen your work’s impact. This class is useful for both film and digital users.

Instructor Biography: Mark E Vollmer

Mark Vollmer is an award-winning photographer who has studied under legendary photographers Galen Rowell and Frans Lanting. His coffee table book, The Tahoe Rim Trail, broke sales records in area bookstores. An instructor since 1995, Vollmer received TMCC’s Teaching Excellence Award in April 2007.