Thursday, December 31, 2020


“Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.”


Although I don't anticipate adding new posts to the blog for a while, I'll still enjoy leafing through pages from the past, especially pages from the same month in different years.

And speaking of revisiting the past, I recently returned to a part of Mt. Tamalpais where I used to roam around quite a bit back in the early '90s, a place where I could allow the landscape to reveal itself to me over a period of years, a place above Redwood Creek and west of Muir Woods that I called Bobcat Hill. I was drawn into that landscape by the inviting sight of a thin deer trail that meandered like a mountain stream through coyote brush embankments. It's headwaters disappeared over a hilltop horizon where nature's secrets beckoned from beyond.

The deer trail has faded quite a bit in the ensuing years. The coyote brush has grown so thick that whole meadows of bunchgrass where mission bells once bloomed have disappeared, as well as old landmarks like a small grove of Douglas firs under whose branches I took refuge from rain and wind, and where I once startled a sleeping coyote. A small grove of spindly oaks that occasionally sprouted a chanterelle motherlode has disappeared. A stony outcrop where vultures used to warm their wings in the morning was gone, buried in dense chaparral. The sunny patch of meadow where I once did a vision quest was an impenetrable thicket.

Nature shapes the mountain in a continuous trail through time. And all kinds of trails, whether lines on the landscape, flushes of sulfur tufts on a fir tree, or bobcats disappearing into the woods, will always kindle my sense of wonder. Even time itself is a trail: I took this picture of myself nearly twenty years ago, and when another twenty years passes I'll be an old man, hopefully still walking the trails of wonder and awe.

December Scenes

Cataract Falls

Bolinas Ridge Rainbow

Raven's Leap

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Life's A Beach


Harbor Seals in the Fog

Western Snowy Plover

Going Big

Making a Splash

Contemplating the Moon

Pink Promenade

Golden Glow

Seal Rock Sunset

I 💖 SF

Happy Veteran's Day!

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Friday, November 6, 2020

Snow Day

Snowy Fall Morning on the Merced River, Yosemite Valley
November 2012

There's snow in the forecast for the mountains this weekend. Roaming around a freshly snowed-on landscape in Yosemite Valley is among the best experiences I've ever had.

The city noises of San Francisco have been left far behind. Now the soft munching of deer browsing a few feet away competes with the soft patter of snowflakes landing in the surrounding woods.

Although you can't help stopping at Tunnel View to take in the grand vista...'s also great to roam around quietly to hear the landscape's more intimate voices.

The beauty of an early snowstorm is having color in the trees instead of bare branches.

Cloak of Ferns

Gates of the Valley

Riverside Brushstrokes

Sealed in Ice

Dipper Catches a Morsel

Snow Pillows in the Merced

El Capitan Fog Factory

November Morning

Scouring Rush

Yosemite Valley

Not even a memory of summer crowds.

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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Yosemite is Open

Yosemite Valley
November 1, 2013


Now that the park has lifted entry restrictions it feels tempting to head on up for a couple of days. Judging by the park's webcams it doesn't appear that fall color is as advanced yet as these images show from this date several years ago.

Another difference is that the air quality is probably not as good. I was a little disheartened this morning to see that Bay Area air quality has deteriorated a bit even since yesterday's disappointingly high numbers.

This seems more like a year of wistful memories of clean air and beautiful landscapes.

The month is young, though, and things might be looking a lot better before November fades.

Might as well be optimistic.

These two webcam screenshots were taken at about the same time this morning. Not sure why El Capitan looks so funky while Half Dome looks fine.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Walk in the Park


Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Golden Gate Park, October 2009

Reaching for the Prize

Birdy Num-Nums

Yellow-Rumper in the Manzanita

Townsend's Warbler

Heading for the Border

Black-Throated Gray Warbler

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Fox Sparrow

Orange-Crowned Warbler

Fluffy Goldfinch

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

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