Dead on the Creek 2014 // Sunday

jungle gym.jpg

Sunday feels a bit nostalgic, or maybe it only felt that way for me because it was our last day. For everyone else the festival is half way over, but even after two days, we have become a family. Pretty soon we’ll have to pack up camp and say goodbye.

The music on Sunday was fantastic. The Carper Family ladies are pure talent. Their music makes you want to dance, and I was serenaded on my walk down the dusty road to the garden, where I found Christa harvesting a box of veggies to send home with us. There is something that is pure magic about a woman in her garden, it is one of the most beautiful things. 

Most of all, I feel blessed by the relationships and sense of community that comes from spending three days in the company of such quality individuals. The generosity astounds.  

The festival continues through Monday night, and by Tuesday noon, there is hardly a trace. People return to their lives grateful for the chance to get away, for the days under the trees and the nights under the stars. For the music and the food and the people. 


For more photos and to purchase prints from Sunday, click here

In case you missed it, Friday and Saturday.

To learn more about the festival, check out their website

Dead on the Creek 2014 // Saturday

Saturday morning. I wake up early to catch the kitchen crew in the garden, I know they'll be harvesting for that night’s meal. And then I stay because only half the garden in bathed in morning light, mainly the sunflowers, they’re the tallest. The bees are making their rounds and I can hear the campers beginning to stir, hungry for breakfast. Music plays all day. The band that afternoon—Front Country—is terrific. 

I am drawn to the children on Saturday. They are happy and relaxed and so beautiful. Excitement is building for the parade that evening, when the giant Jerry Garcia puppet will emerge and everyone will throw flowers because “that’s what love will make you do.” We rock out to Melvin Seals & JGB and again, everyone is smiling.

The meal that night is unbelievable. Coconut curry with fire roasted veggies served with red lentil dahl, basmati rice, rice noodle, cabbage, and tofu salad, and red onion, peach, and raisin chutney. A killer yogurt-cucumber and heirloom carrot raitta. And Mendocino coast salmon, Potter Valley pork, String Creek Lamb, and Magruder beef. 

As if that’s not enough, when everyone’s done rocking out to Halden Wofford & The Hi-Beams, and we’ve eaten our fill of popcorn and cookies, and the BBQ is cooking wood to warm our bones, pizzas start flying out of the wood oven and the musicians get their instruments and play around the pizza oven until the early hours of Sunday. And everything is beautiful. 

For more photos and to purchase prints from Saturday, click here

(If you missed Friday, click here.)

Dead on the Creek 2014 // Friday

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Friday is about preparations. Greeting friends you haven't seen in too long. Washing dishes, picking apples, making salsa. Pulling up the parachute for the first time, a man or woman posted on each tree. Lucy Goosey (the pup) learning to pace herself. She isn't as young as she was last year, none of us are. The excitement builds, everyone is smiling. Dinner prep started right after breakfast and once the first band starts to play the weekend gets its soundtrack. By evening most people have settled in, and the appreciation we feel for our surroundings makes everything better: the food tastes amazing, the musicians are pure talent, and the locale could not be more serene. And just when the second band has found its groove, and the stars are bright overhead, it's popcorn time. 

For more photos and to purchase prints from Friday, click here.

Learn more about the Dead on the Creek festival here.

4th of July // In the Garden // Willits, CA

Our 4th of July weekend was enjoyed up in Willits with good food, great friends and lovely surroundings. I was lucky enough to photograph a friend's expansive garden in the evening, morning and afternoon light, and that was pretty much the best.

In the morning, I grabbed my camera and headed out to the garden in my pjs when everyone else was still asleep. The bees were making their rounds to the poppies, which had opened overnight. I watched their wrinkly new petals change in the light as the sun made its way through the trees. Poppies may be my favorite flower to photograph. I love them from every direction, in any light, in focus or as a speck in the background. 

That the afternoon I returned with Christa to water. She proved to be a lovely subject. As were the chamomile and the sunflowers.

I'm appreciative of good friends who cook up delicious breakfast feasts, make ice cream sandwiches with cookies warm from the oven, play multiple games of ping pong and Settlers of Catan, and share their bounty.

I'm anxious to have our own garden, where I can watch the bees dance from flower to flower and study the light on petals and greens. 

P.S. Last 4th of July in Santa Cruz and the one before that (also in Santa Cruz).

Dead on the Creek 2013 // Sunday


Sunday is a day for relaxation and long conversation. For taking a dip in the pond and staring up at the sky through the leaves on the trees. For getting a spot in that dinner line early. I feel so lucky to be connected to so many beautiful people from my hometown. And the people who come to this festival year after year have created the best kind of community. Community celebrating music and food and dance and art. And celebrating the life and lyrics of Jerry Garcia. 

More photos of the festival and more about Dead on the Creek.


Dead on the Creek 2013 // Saturday

Saturday morning. The kitchen staff are the first to rise, already harvesting lettuce from the garden for that night’s meal. Each piece needs to be washed and then torn in a way so that no leaf is crushed by the weight of it all. There is an art and a science to feeding three meals to 300 people and it takes an army all day to prepare...After breakfast the parachute goes up, with a body posted at each tree and two on the roof, it rises, only briefly getting caught on the apple tree. Granny Smiths rain down...Drum circle, tie-dye, weaving on the loom. Jeffery’s post is on the road to assist with parking, though most people have already arrived...The day settles into a relaxing trance as the first band begins to play. Bluegrass during the day, Dead songs at night...Teenagers more talented than anyone thought possible given their short existence pick up their instruments and own the crowd...Washing and dicing, singing and dancing, continue into the evening.

I lost about 250 images during the dinner hour/ the golden hour that can only be imagined. They must have been too magical for the world to see.

Too see images from Friday night click here.  And for more information on DOTC and to bookmark for next year check out the website

Dead on the Creek 2013 // Friday Night

We drove up to Willits from the Bay Friday night, and got up String Creek just in time for the late night party to start. Mars Hotel was rocking. The coals in the outdoor oven were nearing perfection, and the popcorn was popping. Pizza turned art, fresh cookies, late night badminton. The music kept playing long after we were full of food and fireside conversation with old friends and all zipped into our tents for the night. And that's how it started. 

For more information on the festival, click here

Where the wind don't blow so strange.

A couple weekends ago we drove up to Willits to celebrate Jeffery's ten-year high school reunion. It consisted of a Friday night bar crawl and a Saturday afternoon potluck in the park, both relaxed and interesting, to say the least. The best part was reconnecting with old friends, there are so many good people from Willits.

The real party was Saturday night at our friend Jesse's property where there were so many of my favorite things:

An outdoor kitchen with all of the amenities in a clearing in the woods surrounded by gardens...Barbecued oysters slathered with lemony garlic butter...The lovely Lucy vying for our attention, affection and any meat droppings falling her way...Late night fireside discussion with great friends, so much history between us...Endless music....Stars in the sky, and so many more as the night wore on...Laughter as we tried to find our tents in the dark...

It is the site where his family hosts Dead on the Creek, an intimate music festival each year on the second weekend in August. Bluegrass music, Grateful Dead cover bands and the best local organic food you've ever eaten. Camping, food and libations are all included in the ticket price and there are still some spots available! You can learn more here.

Jeffery has helped with parking the last few years, and I was trying to get in on the kitchen crew, but I was talking to Jesse's dad about my camera and he asked if I'd photograph the festival. So I have that to look forward to in just over a month. This summer is flying by. Soon I will share photos from my road trip to Colorado, and next week we're off to Santa Cruz for three nights with friends. I have some upcoming family shoots scheduled and I'm trying to meet up and shoot a little with some photographers I admire.

It all feels pretty fast paced, but good. I haven't had a chance to venture into the city for too long, but I am ecstatic about the Supreme Court ruling on the unconstitutionality of DOMA and the legalization of gay marriage in California. Happy pride to all my SF and LGBT friends, I love you and I am so happy. Happy to tears over and over again. This is going to be a summer of celebration, I can feel it.