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Wildflowers of South Skyline

Wildflower season continues and the hills are still green, but they are showing signs of imminent browning. Soon we will return to the Bay Area of Golden hills, after this brief interlude of green. I wandered through four adjacent parks today, Monte Bello, Coal Creek, Russian Ridge, and Skyline Ridge.  Around every bend I was greeted by magnificent views and an abundance of many kinds of wildflowers. I’m focusing this post on the flowers, and may return with some vistas tomorrow or later in the week.

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Polly Geraci Trail

When I go to Pulgas Ridge, I almost always do the longer loop, which means I almost never go on the Polly Geraci trail. This trail cuts through the middle of the park, essentially halving the distance of the loop. Yesterday afternoon, I decided to take it for a change and to slow down and look for small things to photograph instead of having to keep a good pace, as the sun still sets pretty early.

There’s a particular type of wildflower I’ve wanted to see again ever since I saw it years ago. I’ve been looking for this flower in the place I remember seeing it before, and it has never reappeared there. When I went on the Polly Geraci trail yesterday, I saw hundreds of them! Quite exciting. I’m hoping I can get back out there with my macro lens tomorrow. The flower is small and hard to notice as its coloring is green and black, it blends in with the surrounding foliage rather than standing out like more colorful wildflowers. So it is fortuitous that I happened to be looking for small things on a day when it is blooming. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about slinkpod (the name I have decided is best.)

Scoliopus bigelovii is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by several common names, including California fetid adderstongueBigelow’s adderstongueslinkpod, and brownies. It is native to California, where it is known from San Luis Obispo County, parts of the San Francisco Bay Area and North Coast Ranges. It has also been collected just over the border in Oregon.[1][2] It occurs in old-growth forest in the understory of redwoods. It grows in mossy, moist places, often in shade.”

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February Hiking Things

I had another computer meltdown that prevented me from posting for a bit, but after a clean windows installation (an interesting experience on a computer that decided I needed no text anywhere to be seen), it seems to be working. I am dubious about how long this will last, but for now it is all good. Unfortunately WordPress’s app doesn’t arrange my photos the way I like them for these posts, so I haven’t figured out a way to post here without my laptop. I do post regularly on Instagram though.

I have been taking pictures though, uploading them and editing them all in LightroomCC on my iPad Pro. Even now that this computer is fixed, I will continue working that way. Editing on the iPad is much more fun and intuitive than on a laptop screen. Some of my favorite photos from the last couple of weeks:

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SF Botanical Garden January 2018

It’s my birthday week and I have to cram 2 weeks of vacation into one week since I lost last week to the fly, therefore I will do my favorite things. Today I did one of the best things to do in San Francisco: went to the botanical garden and had lunch at Nopalito. By the way, if you go there order the Caldo Tlalpeño con Pollo, it is divine.

Flowers!

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The Shortest Days

I took these photos around 2:30 pm today, but they have an evening, late light feeling nonetheless. We had one rain this week, a little one. So far, a very dry winter. I’m still holding out hope for a rainy January and/or February. Last year the winter magnolia trees had already bloomed and the petals had fallen to the ground. This year, they are still but small fuzzy buds.

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October Leaf and Web

I may have gone a bit overboard this morning taking closeup photos of fall ephemera in the woods. And then, I went a bit overboard in editing. I try to narrow down what I am going to post, really I do. But since I love the feeling of these as a group as much as apart, I’m posting them all. I am still being drawn to black and white in my editing, but a few colors made it through this time.

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Morning Light

I have been meaning to go to the park in the morning, just to see what kind of photos I might get of my flowers in different light than what I typically see in the afternoon. I want to work on a larger colored pencil drawing soon, but so far the right photo hasn’t presented itself. It has to definitely be the right one, because a larger colored pencil piece is going to be a big time commitment. Did I get the photo today? Maybe. I will have to see how I feel about it going forward.

I did get some very nice light photos though. You can feel the atmosphere- early, sun low in the sky, summer, it’s going to be a hot day.