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A Field of Fuchsia Flowers

All of the ice plant is blooming now. It’s quite impressive in a broad area like this.

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Fireworks!

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This color combination, orange and fuchsia, is one of my favorites. It’s so joyous.

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The lovely color combination from the previous photo is repeated in the next one. Sometimes I wonder if particular colored flowers bloom together at the same time of the year for a reason, of if it’s just a coincidence that I notice it.

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Purisima Creek Redwoods – Part 2, Up

As promised here are the photos from the second half of my hike at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space preserve yesterday morning. I’ve hiked here a few times, and one thing I figured out is that there’s an 11 mile hike that feels easier than a 7 mile hike, because it cuts off a very steep portion of Harkins Ridge Trail, which is murder I tell you! Instead, you get to go up  most of the way on some lovely graded switchbacks and only have to slog it up one small section of the evil Harkins.

So after I walked down to the bottom of Whittenmore Gulch, I crossed over to the other side of Purisima Creek, and went back up. Connecting back to Harkins is Craig Britton Trail, which might be the prettiest part of the park, though a bit treacherous with a narrow path and a steep drop. Then it’s back to the parking lot the same way I came in, on North Ridge Trail, also lovely. The tree rain fell the entire time, just enough of a nice sprinkle to keep me cool and refreshed. I’ve been here when it’s sunny and it can be a bit unpleasant when you’re ending your long hike with the sun beating on you as you try to remember why you decided this was a good idea.

I didn’t have any of those feelings yesterday though. The foggy overcast weather is the best weather. I only took my wide angle lens with me. This is why I bought it, anyway. It’s light and I can take pictures of lots of trees at once, which might capture something of the incredible size of everything in redwood rain forests. Here are the photos from the trek back up:

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Purisima Creek Redwoods – Part 1, Down

I went hiking in the clouds today and found out why they call it a rain forest. It was a foggy morning, but not raining. The trees made rain out of the clouds! Lovely soft tree rain. I was hoping for a foggy morning hike, and it turned out I got an entire foggy day for the whole 11 miles of my hike.

I decided to split this into two posts since I took so many photos I like. This particular hike is down and then back up again – a tad torturous for the last slog up to the end, but I think this format is growing on me. Going downhill is harder on the knees and a bit more treacherous when it’s muddy (and it was very muddy today), so it’s nice to do it while one’s legs are still fresh and enthusiastic.

Purisima Creek is a great Open Space Preserve. It might be the best hiking around here if I factor in ease of travel (only 20 min from my apartment), ease of parking, and relative emptiness. I didn’t see a single person on the 5 mile trek down. I did see a few on the way back up when it wasn’t early morning anymore. It’s mostly second growth redwoods, as the area was logged extensively back around 1900. But you do find an occasional giant that survived. Anyway, it’s really just a lovely place. Here are photos from the first half, the way down Whittenmore Gulch Trail. I’ll post the pictures from the way back up tomorrow.

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Tiny Things By the Trail

I’m realizing I’m going to have to start getting creative with my titles since I keep going to the same places and taking pictures of basically the same things. Here’s what was happening at Pulgas Ridge today in the tiny world. (Do click through and check out the full sized images, or you will miss the lizards humping. No, really.)

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Early Morning Hiking

I love the way things look early in the morning. Today was just a gorgeous day and I extended my usual Pulgas Ridge hike to make it 6.5 miles instead of 4.5. The trail I usually skip is one of the prettiest parts of the park, I now remember. I will probably start defaulting to the 6.5 mile hike now that I’m getting back in shape. I felt great, could have kept going.

I met a park ranger and had a lovely time chatting with her about wildflowers and favorite parks. She said Pulgas is her favorite too. I wish I was a park ranger.

Started out at 7 am and finished at 10. The light is so much nicer in the morning, not to mention the absence of sun beating on me during the non-shady parts. I took 150 pictures, here are a bunch of them.

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The Big Picture – Trails at Pulgas Ridge

I took my new super wide angle lens with me on the trail today for two reasons:

  1. To try to hike faster (hard to do when searching for tiny wildflowers with a heavy lens around my neck)
  2. To take some pictures that really give a sense of what it’s like to hike these trails.

So, without further ado, here are the photos I took today, in sequential order as I hiked it. It really is a lovely park, especially at this time of year.

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Posing Egret & Flowers

This egret might be the same one I’ve photographed before. He likes to hang out on the shore of the pond where I can get pretty close to him.

Coy Egret

He seemed to be enjoying his modeling career today. First he puffed up his hair.

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Then he sang me a song.

Egret Singing

Then he did a funny dance!

Egret dancing

What a ham 🙂

I also saw a lovely peach iceplant flower.

Peach Ice Plant

And a sunbathing nasturtium blossom.

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I’m still in awe of my new 100 mm macro lens (which I used for all of these photos.) Really fun to play with the very shallow depth of field at f/2.8

spikey thingWhite flowers DOF

 

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March Sunrise

I know we’re going to change our clocks this weekend, and unlike most people I’m looking forward to it. I’m an early bird and sometimes lately I’ve been waking up at 4:30 am but convincing myself to go back to sleep because it’s just ridiculous to get up then. However, next week, it won’t be quite as ridiculous when 4:30 becomes 5:30 and I will really be able to catch full sunrises. Anyway, I did pop out of bed ready to go at 5:15 this morning and caught a nice sunrise from Seal Point park.

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Ah, super wide angle! This was taken other lens I bought myself. It’s the Canon EFS 10-18mm IS. I wanted a super wide angle for vistas and for hiking photos with lots of trees.

But I also wanted to try out the macro lens on vistas, and I have to say I really like the result. This lens just makes everything look so nice to my eye. Well worth the cost.

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I love the view of the city at sunrise. Such nice warm, golden light and Turneresque skies.

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In the morning at Seal Point, there are a ton of red-winged blackbirds singing their strange song. It sound a little like a digital ringtone to my ears.

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