In the depths of the humid dog days of summer, I already feel myself cooling off from a reminder of the crisp afternoons of fall.
The Californian subject matter mixed with the tiny details in this image, particularly in the cars and buildings around the rim of the reservoir, give it a Group f/64 style. In contrast to those images from the early twentieth century, the expanse of urbanized California in the distance shows a few changes in the state.
The end of St. Lawrence’s school year means that the hikes through areas like nearby Colton’s Stone Valley will be coming to an end for many graduating seniors.
Living in this Adirondack-ish reality of the region presents opportunities to stand face-to-face with nature.
Quiet contemplation of the future is at the end of the trail.
Fire trails seem like a friendly, common, down-to-earth feature of many California hillsides. There’s a strange context alongside the blazing sky and the busy city in the distance. When I look farther off and see the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island, the juxtaposition feels only more emphasized.
But perhaps I like that vision. We build things both grand and humble.
Safari is South Africa is already a lovely experience, but the sense of interacting with Nature one feels on an afternoon, just after a rainstorm with the air filled with petrichor, is superlative.
I felt like a single image couldn’t capture the feeling; the damp darkness of a rainy day is better conveyed in this acacia.
I present to you a pair of photographs:
The first is from Muir Woods on the Marin Peninsula of California. That morning was rainy and the colors are rich and dark and the setting is some natural/romantic variety of Baroque. Practically overwhelming.
The second is from Stone Valley this weekend, dry and crunchy with snow, the river mostly frozen at the surface, with currents of dark water beneath. More minimal, more quiet, more subdued. But is this trail any less beautiful than the first?
African savannah isn’t the homogenous, steady monotony that it appears on the Discovery Channel. (Well, back when the discovery channel showed nature documentaries, anyway.) Dirt roads and hills criss-cross it, and fever trees like this one grow where more water is available. The yellow-green bark comes from photosynthetically active cells. The name comes from an interesting illustration of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy: when early European settlers went near water, they tended to contract malaria (thus the fever). They incorrectly attributed this to the trees, rather than the mosquitos breeding in the water.