There is this place in my neighborhood where a walking path follows abandoned railroad tracks that, on one end, run among trees and eventually tuck themselves behind a layer of homes and gardens on each side. On the other end… well, I have not explored that yet, so I am not sure where they go. Over the winter months, as a newbie of the area, I would gingerly cross the tracks in my car unsure whether to expect a train or not. I was hoping none would ever come because there is something fascinating about abandoned tracks that are safe to follow and, most of all, take photographs along the way.
By spring it became obvious the tracks were abandoned because of the lush overgrowth of grasses and wildflowers that were calling me to go and photograph them.
When I finally did a couple of weeks ago, it was just the perfect time, as wildflowers were in full bloom. I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll along the tracks, even if I didn’t make a lot of progress, as I kept stopping to get this picture, and that picture, and oh! look a this grouping, look at the light, and isn’t this flower just perfect!
I sometimes get frustrated with Cody, one of my two dogs, when it takes us forever to walk ten yards because he just has to stop and smell every blade of grass, every flower and every rock along the way. He calls it ‘checking his pee-mail’. I call it dilly-dallying the patience out of me. We agree to disagree. But really, when I have my camera in hand, I am just the same. Minus the pee.
Early morning still brings the best light. The sunset glow is undoubtedly beautiful and, well, glowy, but the early morning light has that perfect combination of softness and crispness that remains unmatched.
Of course, that means getting up long before dawn, but…… but, but, but… It is worth it, don’t you think? Besides, once you are up and going, you feel virtuous, and there are good things to be had like silky cappuccinos and warm brioche at the neighborhood coffee shop.
But first come the photographs, before the light changes, which it does, very quickly. At this time of the year, 8am is already late.
Orange California poppies, purple lupins, yellow brooms, swaying grasses and, I am sure, faeries galore, create this magical oasis just five minutes from my home.
All of these images have been photographed using my Nikon D2x with 50mm 1.4ft lens at manual setting. And yes, there are a lot more images, and it was really, really difficult to choose just these.
I have been eager to photograph the spring here on the (US) mainland because I had not seen it in all the eleven years I lived in glorious and tropical Hawai’i. All my travels to the lands where the seasons change always seemed to happen either in summer, early fall or (one time) winter. I have lots of catching up to do seasons wise.
What are your favorite wildflowers? And which ones grow where you live? Do you enjoy hiking in nature? Any favorite hikes wherever you are? And if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area I would love to know about beautiful (and safe) hiking trails, so feel free to share in the comments.
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