10th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Honorable Mention, Peninsula Images

"Fall Folliage at St. Michael's Alley"
By Patricia Jones

About Patricia Jones

Sunday morning brunch inside St. Michael's Alley is a festive time. Good California cuisine. Nice folks. "An uplifting experience," Patricia Jones said.

Click on photo for larger image.

"There are so many people in there and they're all in a good mood!" she explained. "It's a warm close-knit atmosphere."

But outside the restaurant, the hustle and bustle of life can go by so fast that people don't have the presence of mind to notice the beauty around them.
Patricia Jones didn't always appreciate all the colors and shapes around her. Art -- specifically oil painting and photography -- opened her eyes to the images she would have otherwise passed right by.

"We can go through life in a dazed state," Jones said.

So, as she was on her way to St. Michael's one Sunday last fall -- years after taking her first painting and photography classes -- her eyes were open, "looking for the spontaneous, the original, the creative."

When she saw the pink and green leaves nestled against the wall of the restaurant, "with the one little leaf that has died away but is still very beautiful," she immediately went back to her car, snatched her camera, and snapped a few frames.

"Hundreds of people have passed by that very same image," Jones said. "You wouldn't necessarily stop and gaze at it."
Now when she looks at "Fall Foliage at St. Michael's Alley," it brings her back to the morning she took it. "I can recreate that morning and the sunshine. I was feeling very alive.

"Art allows you to enjoy the moment," Jones said, "which is the essence of enjoying life."

-- Bill D'Agostino

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