Flower Workshop, March 24 & 27

Field Trips

Twelve of us participated in the first LPA 2010 Wildflower Workshop, led by Noella Ballenger, based out of the home of Helen and Jerry Henry.

We were amazed by the Henry's Hacienda. It felt like a Bed and Breakfast...and the view of the poppy reserve was awesome! I discovered we had a "famous" castle in the AV, “Shea’s Castle” and learned online that Roy Rogers trained his horse Trigger there... and a few horror flicks were filmed there too.

We didn't find massive blankets of flowers but we learned how to work one poppy till we wore it out.

I learned a new technique using mylar to reflect the subject and distort it in an artsy way.

Jerry did a great job of cooking burgers for the gang. It was fun and good practice for when the wildflowers really pop out!


By Sue Liberto



By Terri Garner


Lee and I woke up early to be able to catch some breakfast and stop to pick up our required flower for the workshop. Guess that worked out, we arrived at the Henry’s about 30 minutes early. I had made chili the night before as our contribution to lunch. We were able to take in the beauty of the Henry’s homestead. Just absolutely a wonderful canvas to use and play in. The wind hadn’t yet come up, so we were hopeful that we’d be lucky.


Noella arrived promptly at 9:00 AM and we had thought that the wind may have died down for our workshop, but Mother Nature had other plans. Noella spoke to us about doing things differently, break the rules. She told us to do what we want and to be experimental. Rules are made to be broken. This really gave us the freedom to do what we wanted to do and not follow all those hard and fast rules that we’ve always been told.


We carpooled and caravanned down the road. We stopped to take pictures of Shea’s Castle. While photographing from behind the barbed wire, the caretakers (as they introduced themselves) told us about their plans to open the castle up for tours. Sue Craft obtained contact information and I’m sure that Sue will provide additional information about that soon. The caretakers, opened up the entry gate and allowed us to photograph the blooming Joshua’s that are right at the entrance.


After spending time there, we all piled into our cars and went to an area off Munz Ranch Road to photograph the poppies and other yellow flowers that were blooming on the hillside. By the time we arrived at this location, the wind was high. We had some challenges. I took Noella’s suggestion and placed my camera under the flowers, pointed the camera up the hillside and took the picture. I was able to use my new right angle view finder that Lee had just given me for my birthday. That helped me from having to lie on the ground. After a while, I had to go back to the car to get out of the wind.


We didn’t stay there as long as originally planned due to the wind. We all caravanned back to Jerry & Helen Henry’s. We relaxed and talked with Noella. Jerry, the BBQ chef, arrived shortly and we all had a lovely lunch. At this time, Noella told a few of her ghost stories about Bodie. Very interesting.

After lunch, one by one, we grabbed our cameras and started taking pictures of flowers, fountains, wasps, bees, rusty old things, that when all put together makes up the beauty and wonder of the Henry’s property. Members were on their backs shooting up, others standing on benches and such to shoot straight down.


Unfortunately, this photographer got slippery hands and I dropped my camera doing something I knew better than to do. However, I was extremely lucky, only damage seems to be the lens hood and UV filter that was on the front of the lens. We will be taking the camera over to Kings for a look see, but I used the camera after that without any problems.


Around 2:30 or so, we all started to wind down, and Noella gave us another opportunity to ask questions. She told us about not following the rules, do what we want, experiment, try new things. Roger stated that he had 3 tubes and a teleconverter that he never thought to use all together on his lens, but he gave it a try and was very surprised with what he could do.


We thanked Noella for her time and we all learned a lot. Great big THANK YOU to Jerry and Helen Henry for once again hosting the event, and letting the group wander around their beautiful yard.




Members who submitted pictures taken on one of the two days of this trip can be found below.

Member Photos

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