Monday, March 7, 2022

On the Rocks


My wife wanted to do some painting along Bolinas Ridge, so I brought my camera along to poke around nearby. I was surprised to find this little manzanita blooming like crazy despite being so prostrate on its rocky foothold. I look forward to checking up on its progress over the coming years. I hadn't been in this area much in a long time and didn't recall there being a manzanita here. Nearby there used to be a reliable patch of goldfields, but the bunchgrass seems to have taken over their spot. 

This being our third consecutive year of drought, there might not have been any goldfields anyway. The hillsides were certainly not as green as we'd hoped. My wife has been waiting for months to return to a particular vantage point to paint it in a different season, but the difference this year isn't all that dramatic. I brought a water-mister to put a little touch of spring on the pink manzanita blossoms.

After photographing the manzanita, which I can only guess to be Mt. Tam Manzanita (Arctostaphylos montana) -- one of about eleven manzanita species in Marin County -- I investigated the rocks for interesting semi-abstract macro landscapes.

Although I found little of special interest, it was supremely enjoyable to be out on the mountain to do some photography and mosey around for some slow-paced exploration. I tried to will a bobcat into a nice meadow scene but got no takers. A coyote had crossed the road in front of our car on the way up, so I at least didn't have to go home virtually empty-handed as far as wildlife sightings.

I packed up my camera and returned to the ridge where my wife was still working on her painting and used my binoculars to watch a couple of red-tailed hawks soaring on the wind. A couple talkative ravens passed overhead several times, and a small flock of band-tailed pigeons flapped by, heading toward the woods behind us. With a chilly breeze blowing in off the ocean, it was a beautiful morning to just sit in the sun and take in the long view up and down the coast. Maybe next time we'll bring a picnic.

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