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I was surprised to arrive at the gate so early -- a good fifteen minutes before 7 a.m. -- to find a bunch of cars parked and waiting for the gate to be opened. There were eight cars parked in front of the gate before the ranger arrived and made it nine, plus me and two cars behind me across the street. Turns out we weren't all eager hikers or crazed photographers, but mostly folks there to get things ready for opening day of the Mountain Play.
I joined the convoy up the mountain and pulled out at Sunset Point. The light was gorgeous. I wish I had space on my walls to print and mount this 30x60-inch panorama. It's been a few weeks since I was up there, and it was interesting to see so much golden grass with just a hint of green left in it. Also, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge I'd noticed quite a few small fishing boats motoring out the bay toward the gate, and from this vantage point I could see many more at sea off Stinson Beach. Zooming into the details in this picture I counted 56 vessels, some at anchor and others leaving a wake.
There was lots of activity at Rock Spring as crews got ready to direct the crowds that would be arriving later for the play, but the trail was quiet as I hiked down toward Laurel Dell -- quiet enough to find a still-sleeping flower longhorn beetle on these mule ears. Quiet enough to enjoy the trilling of Pacific wrens and the skittering of Wilson's warblers foraging among the sword ferns.
Quiet enough to do some thinking about my next photography project, too, something I've been thinking about almost since I moved to California to go to photography school back in the early '80s. Unfortunately, I'm still seven or eight years away from being able to carry out my project because it will require much more time than I can devote to it right now.
Until then, I'll need to stay in shape both physically and photographically, and trust that I'll still want to do it when the time comes!
Which came first: the spring robin or the sprung robin?
Jewels in the serpentine.
Rock Spring at about 9 a.m.