Leaving Berkeley

My time on sabbatical in Berkeley, California ends tomorrow. This has been an incredible experience (scientifically, photographically, and personally); looking out from Grizzly Peak’s incredible view, I feel like everything has aligned properly. Just as was the case last time I left, this grand view of the Bay Area is one I want to remember.
Until next time, California!

Rocks and Then the Bay

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Angel Island Silhouette

Angel Island played a critical role in the history of immigration to the West Coast, but now it’s a nature preserve (free of invasive eucalyptus trees) with only a couple of light-emitting structures at night. This makes the island dark and mysterious at night, as it floats in front of the lights and civilization of Marin.

Angel Island Silhouette

Civ Gradient

I often talk about the “civilization gradient:” the distance required to go from high-density urban land all the way to empty, rural space. Depending on when a given area modernized and switched from, say, horses to cars, this distance can vary drastically. In “older” parts of the US, like the east coast, the gradient was largely established by feasible distances for travel by horse. On the west coast, an area largely developed after the advent of the car, this distance is usually much longer. The best exception to this is the Bay Area, where various parks around the “lip” of the Bay’s “bowl” effectively compress the distance.

In today’s photo, the whole array of Bay Area landscape is visible: the forests and trails along the peak, the industrial buildings of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the quasi-sprawl of Berkeley and Emeryville, and the full urban metropolis of San Francisco at the edge of the clouds.

Civ Gradient