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Warm for December

It was drier and warmer at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve today than it was last time I went, in September. We haven’t had much rain. A few showers last month, nothing recently. Last year at this time everything was soaking wet and muddy. I hope the rain is just later this year, not absent. Things looked a little dry and dusty, which is something I associate with August, not December. Also, it was warm! In the sunny places I was hot.

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Windy Sunset at Coyote Point

Today was a very windy afternoon by the bay today. Birds were out in droves and they looked like they were having so much fun with the wind. There were some humans having fun with the wind and rough water too. December afternoon light is very enjoyable. I can’t go hiking after work anymore because it’s too dark, but I can still do these walks by the bay.

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Black and White by the Bay

I have discovered that if I want to be not early for something, or even, gasp!, late, I need to plan it. Planned lateness probably sounds weird to most people, but honestly left to my own devices I will arrive early to everything all the time, unless there is some real crazy emergency or twice as much traffic as I could have imagined. I thought for sure the traffic around here would cure me of my earliness, but it didn’t. Apparently I just rolled it right into my mental calculation of when I need to leave to be wherever I am going on time (which is what makes me early in the first place, because if you really want to be on time, you have to leave extra time for things that often don’t happen.)

Being early for things is usually good or neutral, but in some cases it’s not. When it would be better to be late than early, I decide to purposefully do something I know I don’t have time for- like stopping to take pictures on the way to a party last night.

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Fall in San Mateo Central Park

I hadn’t been to the park for a couple of months- ever since the weather started to turn hiking-friendly I got distracted from it by hiking and going to the gym in order to be in shape for hiking. In the meantime the season has changed, we fell back an hour, and it rained a few times. It was quite pleasant and interesting. I do love that low light. And who can resist a wilting rose with water droplets?

 

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Kings Canyon & Sequoia

I finally made the trip I’ve long meant to make to see the giant Sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and it was incredible. I knew they were enormous, but it’s something else entirely to see them in person and imagine the longevity of such creatures that can live thousands of years. Seeing just one of them would be awe-inspiring, but we were able to hike in a large grove where there were hundreds of giants (Redwood Canyon in Sequoia National Park).

I’m almost at a loss for words to describe how moving it was to see them in person. Maybe I just won’t try. Photos:

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Portola Redwoods State Park

This is a hike I’ve been meaning to do for some time, it just never panned out. Well, finally made it there on Sunday and did the 14 mile hike to Peters Creek, a remote grove of old growth redwoods. Most of the redwoods around here are new growth as the old ones were cut down for timber. But in some hidden and hard to get to places, you can still find groves of the old growth coastal redwood trees.

The park itself is a long and winding drive on narrow roads uphill and downhill. Hidden down in a deep valley, there is a different kind of atmosphere and landscape here than other parks in the area. Truly magical.

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Edgewood Park

Another old haunt I haven’t been to in years, dating back to before I started dslr photography. Edgewood Park is across the street from my usual Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve. My main complaint about this park is the traffic noise from 280. It’s audible from parts of Pulgas too, but it’s just really loud on the whole northern side of Edgewood. However, I seem to be in a mood for variety in hiking, so I decided to give it another chance. It does have its charms. The twisty creepy branches of Pulgas seem to have multiplied here, on the other side of Edgewood Road. I saw a lot of deer and several bunnies. I also noticed that they have really added a lot to the educational center and they now have a labeled wildflower garden. I need to check this out when wildflower season comes.

I took these pictures yesterday, on Halloween, and seem to have captured a bit of a Halloween spirit with the long shadows and twisty tree silhouettes.