Petaluma Riverfront; Petaluma, California
Here is another photograph of that footbridge which crosses the Petaluma River in downtown Petaluma with some of the City’s historic buildings in the background. The previous photo was shot looking north. This photo was shot looking south. It was taken after sunset with three exposures to prevent the sky from being overexposed.
Petaluma RIverfront with Pedestrian Bridge
Petaluma is one of those few American cities that has a major river running through it that provides access to and from the ocean. It enabled Petaluma to become an important city in the early days of California. The main section of town is comprised of numerous historic buildings. Many of them are visible in this photograph. The bridge you see in the photo is for foot traffic only. The Riverfront Art Gallery, of which I am a member, is the cream-colored two-story building visible just above the right end of the bridge.
Tule Elk, Point Reyes National Seashore
I was out at Point Reyes recently. The male elk are all sporting new antlers covered in velvet. They’re also still shedding their lighter-colored winter coats. This bull was in the Tule Elk Preserve. He was in a group of about 20 bulls.
I didn’t get a clear look at all of them, but three of them, and possibly a fourth, looked like they were suffering from diarrhea. That made me wonder if they had early-stage Johne’s Disease, which leads to death. For an earlier discussion of Johne’s Disease at Point Reyes, click here.
A Portion of Point Reyes Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes Beach begins at the Lighthouse area and runs for 10 miles in a northerly direction. It is also called Ten Mile Beach (no surprise) and The Great Beach. A better name might be Caution Beach because it can be a dangerous place. A number of people have died along this stretch due to sneaker waves. I believe it has also seen a number of shipwrecks. I witnessed the crashed remains of one myself roughly 25 years ago. I spoke to the survivors. They were starting out on a voyage around the world. They started from Oregon or Washington, I don’t recall for sure. They didn’t get far, but the family survived.
I drive by this entry road every time I go to Point Reyes National Seashore. I often think to myself that I should photograph it. I finally did. I don’t know exactly what goes on there, but I see Rangers go in and out so I assume the Park Service Rangers have an office there. There’s no sign saying “Public Welcome,” but then there’s no sign saying “Stay Out” either. Some day I’ll have to go in there and find out more.
More like Rock and Tree
It looks like this oak tree is growing out of the rock. It isn’t of course. But they’ve shared the same spot for many years. They’ve seen many cows come and go.
The scene has been the subject of many photos. I think the first one I saw was by Lance Kuehne. You can see his vision of it here. Recently, I saw one by Marty Knapp. You can see his version, complemented by the moon, here.
You can find the scene a few miles west of Petaluma on the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road. It’s on the left side as you drive west. I drove by it many times on the way to Point Reyes National Seashore before I spotted it. I’d like to try shooting it again. A moon would be a nice addition. I think I’d move a little to the right and use a wider lens or stand farther back. It would be nice if the cows were there and arranged in the most aesthetically pleasing manner. Maybe I’ll do it. Maybe.
Mustard; Sonoma, California
One of the visual treats each winter and spring in the North Bay is the mustard that covers the ground in so many places. It is especially common in the grape-growing areas of Napa ans Sonoma Counties.
Mustard is not native. It was brought here by missionaries when they were scouting for mission sites. They carried mustard seeds in a sack slung over their backs. Each sack had a small hole in it. As they walked seeds would fall out and later grow. Thereafter, it was easy to return to the sites previously chosen for missions.
Wine growers found mustard beneficial. By planting it in their vineyards the plants held soil in place during winter rains that might otherwise erode soil around the roots of the vines. The growers then began celebrating the colorful plant during the slow tourist months of February and March. Visits to the wine country increased.
The mustard plant is also high in phosphorus. When the vines start to leaf out the mustard is plowed under.
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