Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
So I am in the newsroom today when I take a call from the KOVR channel 13 station out of Sacramento. The reporter says they are looking at the Tracy Press website and they would like to use the photo of the car that crashed into and through the brick wall around the Bank of America parking lot.
I check with the editor and she oks the use so I ship it off to the television station. Then it really strikes me odd. What in the hell is a Sacramento television station going to do with a picture of a non-injury crash in Tracy that is a day old? I mean being in the state capitol with stories varying from budget crisis’s, a new president coming into power, the war in Iraq , the worsening recession, Proposition 8 fallout and all the professional sports you can think of I guess there must not be anything local to cover on a Friday. Wow, must be a real slow news day.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tucked away in an ordinary looking field off Interstate-5 near Lodi is a landing field for a very special flight. Wetlands stretch out into the distance and this time of year marks the arrival of a special guest. Sandhill Cranes on their migration routes make a stop in these muddy fields as San Joaquin County plays host to their travels.
From late September through February the cranes stay in the fields as they forage for food by day and roost in the marshlands by night. The cranes numbers can vary from several hundred to the thousands as they fly about the area in search of food before gathering for their nightly roost.
The Sandhill crane is an impressive bird. With a 10-foot-long wingspan and 48-inch long neck they are an imposing sight in the fields. Their time sitting in the field is punctuated with the occasional dance as they leap into the air to either attract their mate or warn off a neighbor invading their space.
Their home for these few months in the county is called the White Slough Wildlife Area Woodbridge Ecological reserve or as it is better known, the Isenberg Crane Reserve. A public viewing area is open to the public at all times while another viewing area is open only to docent lead tours.
Gathered in the twilight with a gorgeous setting sun lighting the sky we could hear the calls of the cranes as hey headed home for the night. Black birds swirled above us as flocks of Canada geese cruised past the wetlands. In the darkness we could see the Sandhill cranes arrive and disappear in the grass. In the darkness all you could hear were the calls of the cranes and the geese as they settled in for the night.
With darkness arriving and no light for more pictures we headed home as the cranes continued to arrive. It was a great opportunity to see and photograph the cranes as they make their yearly visit and a trip well worth making.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I have watching the moon over the last few nights. It has been spectacular as it appears over the horizon at moon rise. for some reason it has an amber cast until it climbs higher into the night sky. it was just to pretty to pass by without snapping a few frames.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
They say flight operations on a United States Navy aircraft carrier can be akin to a ballet. The movements of crewmen with arms flailing, exaggerated hand and arm gestures and the overall frenzy of movement remind some of a carefully choreographed dance.
If an aircraft carrier deck is a ballet then a soccer field must be closer to a break dance. With bodies flying about, arms and legs gyrating the action takes on a rhythm all its own.
Looking over my photo shoot of a soccer playoff game I noticed the dance like moves of some of the players. The speed and intensity of the play moves beyond an action shot to a study of form and movement.
Monday, November 10, 2008
With winter approaching and bad weather on the horizon, hiking partner Alice and I planned for the last big hike of the year. It would be a loop along the slopes of Mount Tamalpais.
The plan was to head out from Stinson Beach to the Pantoll ranger station along the Steep Ravine Trail and then head for home on the Matt Davis Trail. The total hike would be just about 8 miles with a climb of over 1,800 feet.
Hiking Mount Tamalpais has a different feel than the trails at Mount Diablo. Diablo has a rugged beauty to its grasslands and rocky trails. Tamalpais has a forest mystique to its twists and turns. So with the sound of ocean waves crashing to the shoreline we headed up the mountain.
If Mount Tamalpais has one flaw it is the steps. Where Mount Diablo works the elevation gains mostly with switchbacks Tamalapais uses stairs and steps on the climb. Not the most fun thing on your knees and feet. But the beauty that surrounds us on the trail overshadows that minor inconvenience. We started our trek from the Dipsea trail where it soon joined the Steep Ravine path.
Sounds of ocean waves are soon replaced but the gurglers and splashes of streams and waterfalls. A lush forest of ferns and redwoods line our route up. The trail gets steep at points as we climb and at one point we take a ladder to continue our climb. After a few hours we reach Pantoll station where we feast on salami and French bread.
The return trip is a 4.1-mile trip through the olive groves; moss covered tree and grasslands of the Matt Davis trail. The streams and creeks are few and far in between as we head down. An almost jungle look almost jungle look beckons us forward on the descent. At times the light fades in the thick canopy of trees and brush for an almost twilight scene. Other areas have an eerie quiet feel with tangled tree branches and shafts of light breaking through.
All too soon we hear the ocean again as we near the end of the trail. Our time on the trail was five and half-hours as we ventured into mystical trails of the mountain. With a year of hikes nearly finished I can’t wait for the start of the next hiking season and the adventures they will bring.