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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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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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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.

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Purisima Creek First Rain

Finally, after 5 months of dry, it rained this week. Here where I live, in Burlingame, it poured for about an hour on Thursday night. The first rain is an exciting thing for a hiker, it means everything is about to spring into life. At the same time, it is fall and leaves are turning yellow and crunching on the trail. I made it to the trail at 7:15, just before sunrise, so it was lovely and dark. Everything smelled fantastic. I had a strong desire to hug a tree.

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Morning Fall Forest

A few more pictures from yesterday’s hike in Wunderlich park. That fall morning light is just so nice. For these photos I decided not to edit them aside from a tiny bit of cropping. Usually I do edit my photos in Camera Raw, just adjusting the contrast, color correction, etc. Sometimes they look so nice straight out of the camera, I don’t feel it’s needed.

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SF MoMA II

A little more than a year ago I posted photos from a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern art. I took a completely different approach to photographing the museum this time, with an eye toward my current obsession with black and white photo-editing. Last year I took only a 100 mm lens, meaning I took a lot of close shots. Today, I brought only my 10-18 mm ultra wide lens, resulting in expansive shots. I brought a similar philosophy about taking photos at a museum however- rather than taking pictures of artwork, I try to compose shots that are interesting on their own, which may contain artwork but are also about the building itself, or a compelling juxtaposition between multiple elements. Or the crazy color of the completely red bathrooms. Couldn’t resist.

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Wunderlich Park b&w

I have an order of difficulty ranking in my head for the hikes near me. Pulgas Ridge is the easiest. This I can do pretty much any time even if I feel out of shape. But it will be tiring if I am actually out of shape.

Next on the list is Wunderlich, which is a much bigger park with longer hike options, but still nicely graded trails so it’s pretty much the easiest 10 mile hike with 2000 ft of elevation change you’ll find anywhere. Or so it was. Apparently after last winter’s crazy rain, there was a landslide that cut off one of the usual trails. The current work-around is a (thankfully brief) steep slog that cuts off one of the switchbacks. Which wasn’t exactly what I signed up for today, but it was fine. I disliked going back down it more than up.

So, that tells me I am ready for my third level hike- Purisima Creek. I will check the trail conditions before I go. Live and learn.

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Around the Corner

Somehow during all of my many walks at Seal Point Park, I never found this little salt marsh flat viewing platform slightly to the south of where I usually walk. At a certain point the bay trail splits and the left portion has a sign for “bikes” so I always chose the right portion instead, figuring it lessens my chance of getting run into by a biker. However by doing this, I missed that there was another path off the left of that that takes you to a viewing platform (where, coincidentally no bikes are allowed.)

I’m going to have to go out there at sunrise one of these days.

Still on the black and white kick, by the way.