Vacation.  A time to reconnect and unify as a family.  Recharge those batteries if you will.  Nothing like lying on the beach for six days, watching the kid swim and soaking up the sun (with sunscreen).  Of course I did the tourist thing and photographed a few palm trees too.  Notice the shooting star just to the left of the left tree.  You must know that my wife is an incredibly patient woman who puts up with my obsession of photographing everything I see.

Palm trees and the night sky, complete with a small shooting star. The palm trees are lit by flood-lamps. (Kent Porter weather archives) 2012

BV (before vacation) there was a need to take some time off, it was very busy.  As calendar winter was on it’s last leg and spring was around the corner, our real winter started two weeks ago creating havoc.  Now it’s winter again. Confused?  Welcome to my world.

I need a vacation.

Sonoma County Fire battalion chief Greg Martin and Camp Meeker fire chief Tim Williams survey a house that was cut in half by a 200 foot fir tree that destroyed this and another home in Camp Meeker, Friday March 16, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Dave Garner looks for his belongings in his rental home in Camp Meeker after a huge fir tree crashed through the house, destroying this and another home, Friday March 16, 2012, Garner was not at home with the tree fell. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Camp Meeker fire chief Tim Williams surveys a house that was cut in half by a 200 foot fir tree that destroyed this and another home in Camp Meeker, Friday March 16, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Of course, DBV (day before vacation) St. Patrick’s Day rolled around.  Always a fun shoot in Healdsburg.

Desiree LaCass of Healdsburg was crowned Healdsburg's St. Patricks Day queen, Saturday March 17, 2012. Even so, LaCass needed some last minute curls by Gabrielle Dorsett owner of Hair Artistry in Healdsburg. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

Gil Igleheart of Healdsburg gets in to the spirit, prior to the start of the Healdsburg St. Patrick's Day Parade, Saturday March 17, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

For a series of stories about area schools, I spent an hour at Kenwood School.  Children at the kindergarten level are interested in the camera for about two seconds, then forget all about the camera and photographer that tags along with it.  Kenwood Elementary School principal and superintendent Robert Bales just did his normal thing during the kindergartners lunch break.  Works for me!

Kenwood Elementary School principal and superintendent Robert Bales participates in the limbo with kindergartners Calais Cuellar, Hannah Bovitz, and Jon Parkman, Thursday March 15, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Misty Platt, left, greets her kindergarten daughter Kate, 5, after a day of school at Kenwood Elementary, Thursday March 15, 2012. Tagging along in the backpack is Allie, 2. At right is kindergarten teacher Karla Schloemp. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

Reconfirming that my everyday job is anything but ordinary, I spent about an hour with the Sonoma County Roller Derby.  Roll on.

From left, Nora Mahan of Santa Rosa, Jo Lau, visiting from Australia, Carissa Wiekal of Santa Rosa and Veronica Jaynes of Santa Rosa partake in open tryouts for the Sonoma County Roller Derby in Santa Rosa, Tuesday March 13, 2012 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

The Sonoma County Roller Derby in Santa Rosa, Tuesday March 13, 2012 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Cheese please.  It’s the only time I have ever said “Cheese!” when taking a photograph.

At her small cheese aging room beside her home in Sebastopol, Saturday March 10, 2012, Seana Doughty washes the rind on her Fat Bottom Girl cheese that will encourage a certain type of bacteria that helps with the aroma and flavor after the cheese has been aged for 2-4 months. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

I was feeling quite melancholy when I shot this picture.  I’m not sure I like the picture, but here you go anyway.

Shoe sign and winter sky. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Color, a photographers best friend.

Sebastopol police officer Dennis Colthurst takes (from left) Madison Silzle, 13, Ellese Roberts, 14 and Erin Garlock, 13, to lunch at Mombo's Pizza in Sebastopol as part of a program that reaches out to middle school students in Sebastopol, Thursday March 8, 2012. After a long leave of absence after a fatal Thanksgiving Day shooting, Colthurst has been named Sonoma County Peace Officer of the Year. Joining in is friend Nicola Pederson a former teacher of the girls, left background. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

There are a few others, but I have to go shoot pictures now.  Of what?  Recharging stations.