July – Week 2

All last week the San Francisco Bay was covered in its typical summer dress – fog and drizzle.  While much of the Midwest and East Coast sweltered we were chilly.  When the fog is low it often swirls around the trees, Golden Gate Bridge and buildings alike.

A wonderful place to see the layer look of the tress and fog is near the old Sutro Baths and Land’s End.  The Cypress trees have been thinned out here so they are not extremely dense.  Usually a gray sky makes for a very dull image, but when the grey is fog coming all the way to the ground it can give the trees an ethereal look. Also the low fog provides a real sense of depth and layers.

The trick is to make sure there are enough trunks that aren’t merging with others to provide separation which provides the viewer the opportunity to make her/his way from the front of the forest to the farthest tree line.  Each time I see fog like this I think of the following two familiar quotes.

The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”
This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain.

The fog creeps in on little cat feet.
It sits on silent haunches,
Looking over harbor and city,
And then moves on.  – Carl Sanburg

This past week Brown Pelicans were “punch diving” at Moss Landing for the sardines that were passing through.  This bird is distinguished from the American White Pelican by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface.

I enjoyed standing on the bank as they flew by slightly below me availing a view from “above.”  Tracking birds and animals takes some practice, so I am grateful to digital that allows us to capture many images attempting to get one right on.  Obviously a very fast shutter speed (1/800th of a second or fast) is needed here!

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