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I always set my clothes and camera gear out in the living room the night before I anticipate leaving on one of my weekend photo safaris while my wife is still sleeping. I tell myself the night before that I might not go. I might decide to sleep in. After all, who wants to get up at 4:30 in the morning on a weekend after getting up early the whole workweek? But then I do wake up, and if it's 3 o'clock or 4:30 I think, "I'll bet I can get out to Point Reyes in time for sunrise." I just can't go back to sleep after I think that.
My plan this morning was to reach Limantour Beach by sunrise. The weather was clear and calm, and I thought I might find a big bloom of bush lupines like I found around this time last year, only last year the sky had been heavily overcast.
As I drove into view of Black Mountain before sunrise I fell in love with the layers of fog over Nicasio Reservoir and had to decide whether to stick to the plan or accept this gift of serendipity.
I was glad I chose Door Number 2 because Limantour had nothing much going on. As I walked out toward the beach I spotted an elk way off in the distance, walking in shallow water along the shore of the little estero to the northwest. It was kind of silhouetted in front of bright water behind it. I rushed to set up my tripod and get a long lens on the camera, but I only got one frame off before the elk disappeared from view, and even in the frame I got the elk was no longer in just the right spot to make the shot. I would love to get an elk-in-water shot sometime.
I actually thought about heading home but decided to check out a meadow near Muddy Hollow instead. I walked out there in flip-flops and enjoyed the cold dew on my bare feet. There still wasn't any wind, so I was able to make some focus-stacked landscapes that I was pretty happy with.
I wish the blog allowed me to post larger images. I've been posting a few shots on Flickr recently, just to be able to show bigger pix. It'd be even more awesome to have a place where photographers could show large prints in real life. If I ever win the Lottery I promise I'll open up a gallery for people to show their work big and IRL.
So it's May 1st. Supposed to rain again next week, which is cool. Keep it coming.
I got my first tick of the season yesterday.
Which got me thinking abut ticks quite a bit while I was out in the Muddy Hollow meadow.
Especially when I was literally flat out on the soaking ground, my chin and cheek in the grass as I tried to peer through the viewfinder at this neat little jewelflower.
Back at the Muddy Hollow parking lot I noticed what I first thought was a blackberry bramble, then realized that what I was seeing were the berries that Jane Huber had mentioned last year. I had been on the southern end of the trail though and missed out. They're still a bit early, but there were several ripe Pacific salmonberries to be plucked. There I was, eating a banana and a peanut-butter-and-jam sandwich (with delicious rhubarb jam we bought last week in Mendocino), and tossing a fresh vine-picked berry in my mouth every few bites. Sweet.
I found this great little spot full of ferns and stopped to make a few photographs. Check out this black-and-white version I posted on Flickr.
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