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Fog at Land’s End

It’s starting to warm up around here and the idea of slugging up mountains in the heat is less than appealing, so I went to nice, cool, foggy San Francisco this morning for photos. I am always surprised how quiet and empty it is at Land’s End if you go early enough, even on weekends and holidays. Perks of being an earlybird.

I love foggy mornings, and they make for interesting photography light. Tomorrow I will share some of the flower macros I took, today, scenery and the Golden Gate bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge beach

Golden Gate Bridge Hidden in Fog

Golden Gate Bridge light beyond

San Francisco in Fog

Seals Pacific Ocean

Twisted Tree Lands End

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Monte Bello Flowers and Insects

Yesterday I posted the wide angle vistas from my hike at Monte Bello Open Space preserve, and today I’m sharing the macro flowers, insects, and a bonus underwater friend. A lot of late spring/early summer wildflowers are blooming to the point where I started to get overwhelmed feeling the need to photograph every single new flower! Thus my hike took a lot longer than I imagined it would and I wished I had brought two sandwiches instead of one.

Here are the best flower photos of the day. Quite pleased with these (and still in love with my fancy macro lens and its magical properties)

There were many butterflies and moths. Most of them were flitting about quickly, and I had no hope of capturing them in a photograph. But one kind butterfly (or moth? I’m not sure I know the difference) sat still and even let me approach without flying away.

Monte Bello Mothra

Later, I saw this caterpillar and I wondered if it could possibly be the same species pre-transformation, due to the similar colors. Let’s pretend it is just for fun.

Monte Bello Black Caterpillar

Leaning over a bridge watching the water, I noticed something slowly crawling on the bottom of the stream. It’s funny to me how slow salamanders are compared to lizards, which are quick as lightning.

Monte Bello Salamander

Finally, a couple more flowers, with a bit of editing for fun.

Monte Bello Spiny White FlowersMonte Bello Tiny Orange

 

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Monte Bello Open Space Preserve

I hiked in a new park today, Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. I keep a Google Earth map of the parks I have hiked in the Bay Area. My goal is to hike ALL of the parks. It’s a long term project. Here’s a screenshot of my hiking map:

Hiking places

Monte Bello is the southern-most park I’ve visited, aside from Big Basin. Slowly working my way down the Santa Cruz mountains.

This seems like a good time to mention my love of Bay Area Hiker. I’ve done many of her hikes, including the one I did today, which you can find here. I highly recommend her site, it is a great place to get hiking ideas and help identifying wildflowers.

I took my wide angle and my macro lens with me today. I’m going to share my vistas first, and then I’ll add a second post with flowers tomorrow (lots of those!)

I really liked this park. Rolling hills, lovely long mountain views, a stream with rushing water, and just a nice overall experience. It was quiet and relatively empty for a bay area park on a pleasant Sunday. My personal favorite thing here was the view of the fog cloud icing hanging over the mountains to to west.

Monte Bello1Monte Bello2Monte Bello3Monte Bello4Monte Bello5Monte Bello6Monte Bello7

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Filoli Flowers

I finally visited Filoli just in time for rose season. I missed the tulips, but I prefer roses anyway, so it’s all good. Oh, if I did not have to work. I would sign up for all of their botanical art classes and spend my days looking at, photographing, drawing, painting, and smelling flowers. But I digress.

I toured the inside and took some wide angle shots first, before getting down to the important matter of the flowers.

What I liked best about the inside was the flower arrangements, clearly provided by the garden.

Ok, but enough of that. Flowers! They have rows and rows of rose bushes. Every possible color of rose.

Look at this thing! It’s some kind of flower pom pom.

Filoli Purple Pom Pom

There are some really interesting and fancy flowers in the garden. Apparently they are constantly changing things out so it would be worth visiting multiple times to see more. I love this twillight blue/purple color that kept popping up.

Water lilies were blooming in the reflecting pond.

Filoli Water Lilies

Birds, dragonflies, lizards, deer and bunnies seemed to love this place. I managed to capture a pretty cool shot of one of the red dragonflies. The tiny blue ones were too quick for me.

Filoli red dragonfly