Hiking About

I periodically share my shots of sunsets from the back deck.  Grabbed my camera and hiked back into the undisturbed areas of the property.  This is what those trees look like from the ground.

I plan to play more with shutter speed and light.  Would prefer less glare from the setting sun, but like a bit of it. As the hiking expedition was also in impromptu seed scattering event, I hadn’t put enough thought into bug repellent or securing the bottom of my jeans against ticks to truly hike about. I’d just paused from repotting, grabbed the camera, grabbed the seeds and headed down. Once there, the “uh oh” hit me. Could not totally concentrate as I was wishing I’d looked up the dormancy habit of rattlesnakes and wondering if you stepped too close or into one of their dens through the leaves, they’d wake up and bite.  Didn’t have my phone on me – so, yes, was operating a tad distracted.

Without leaves to identify it, poison oak would be just more brush I’d be rubbing against. The pine needles and leaves are deep – you uncomfortably sink.

The wider open areas are where the plough originally fire cleared 5 years ago, then you come up to dense brush you can’t really hike through. Above lower left, the young pine, scrub oak and manzanita are more clearly visible – they’re so densely making a comeback that from a distance it appears to be grasses.

Although they lose all their lower limbs, these Douglas Fir (yes, your Christmas tree all grown up) do sport lovely green growth at the top. Did you know the shedding of lower limbs is an adaptation of some pines (Ponderosa as well) in fire prone areas? Nature never ceases to amaze.

This area was cleared, saving the oaks, and is also rampantly growing back. Another pass for fire safety will be needed soon.

Not sure what downed the Manzanita, but it affords you a glimpse into the denseness of growth beyond.

Do wish I’d done better on this one – watching where I was stepping and finding I couldn’t get as close as I’d like to the base.

My sister spent time as a florist in New England – she’s always telling me to cut Manzanita branches and go sell them to florists in the bay area. Those conservation minded needn’t worry – these things are springing up everywhere. Unfortunately, they’re an “oily tree” – the kind that explodes and makes brush fires much worse. You do need to thin their growth near property (if you’re smart, more than the 100’ required).

May have to call this my fairy tree as I see dancing figures in the branches of this one :-) .

Healthy manzanitas have fantastic red bark.

I know as I learn more, these shots might become stellar, for now you have a bit of a tour of California interior oak woodlands.

This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City. There are many accomplished photographers and writers there sharing a glimpse from their neck of the woods.  And, remember Murphys Irish Days combined with Ironstone’s Daffodil Days is the weekend of the 17th – c’mon up if you can. Sonora’s Celtic Faire is the previous weekend, the 9th.

As I love a few photos in this post, I’ve resurrected it for The Gallery of Favorites hosted by April at The
21st Century Housewife
 and Alea of Premeditated Leftovers.