My favorite images are those that contrast (apparently) natural and human-populated places. Escaping all of the noise of the holidays to a hike in the desert has a certain appeal at this time of year.
Historical patterns of land conservation in the Bay Area mean that the gradient between densely populated and relatively “empty” spaces is particularly steep. That nearby density means that maintaining “wild” spaces requires a theme-park like approach of fenced, paved trails. Given the erosion challenges faced by the peaks of the Adirondacks, perhaps this isn’t the worst solution.
Red sunset light hit the hilltops of Marin and the span of the Golden Gate Bridge and just a bit of San Francisco, but the little hikers in the foreground are sheltered from it. So too, I assume, are the people on the streets between San Francisco’s skyscrapers. Many of my favorite photographs are those that show the gradient from nature to dense urbanity, and I think this one fits that bill.
The waters of the Racquette River were high and fast when we hiked Stone Valley. There was no clambering around on this day—just standing in the refreshing spray.
Standing at the bottom of this small grove in the Sequoia sempervirens of Muir Woods, I have no trouble understanding the origins of the Deists’ beliefs. Rain and gentle sunlight drop between the branches of the redwoods and grace the tinier plants on the forest floor. The shape and order of it please the eye.
Out for a hike on freshly fallen snow, it was a shame to see the day coming to an end. (And the views on that hike were spectacular.) Still, there’s something very satisfying to heading back home to the comfort of a roaring fire and a glass of hot chocolate. (It’s a cliché for a reason!)
As the last days of 2012 fell away, I went hiking with the family to Lion’s Head in northwestern Connecticut. We tromped through the recent snow, dodging bits of falling ice and hidden stones. On our way back from the the summit, we passed under the bent bow of this enormous birch. Though the forest is dormant, the tree is still very much alive. Its smooth, horizontal curve was in fascinating contrast with the stark verticality of the rest of the forest.