Point Lobos and Soberanes Point

Point Lobos B&W-2034-2I recently attended a conference on the Monterey Peninsula in California.  This gave me the opportunity to shoot some photos at Point Lobos and Soberanes Point near Carmel-by-the-Sea.  I was excited to have this chance. The great photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958) lived nearby in a cabin on Wildcat Hill, beginning in 1938.  Weston was a spiritual leader of the Straight Photography movement.  Point Lobos was a frequent subject of Weston’s work in the later years of his life.  Of the cypress trees on the point he wrote:

Poor abused cypress, — photographed in all their picturesqueness by tourists, ‘pictorialists,’ etched, painted, and generally vilified by every self-labeled ‘artist.’ But no one has done it — to my knowledge — as I have, and will.

I took that not as a challenge but as an opportunity to draw inspiration from the rocks, trees and water that once inspired Weston.

Today, Point Lobos is a state reserve with numerous trails over its 554 acres.

Point Lobos

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I hiked the Cypress Grove Trail, which passes through one of only two remaining naturally growing stands of Monterey cypress trees anywhere on Earth.

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The trail leads to the Pinnacle and North Point.

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The Pinnacle
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North Point
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North Point

The twisted rings in this cypress root tell the tale of a life battling the elements on Point Lobos.

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Cypress Cove as seen along the Cypress Grove Trail.

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The Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a refuge for Harbor Seals, Southern Sea Otters, and California Sea Lions, among many other species.  These sea lions are resting in China Cove along the Bird Island Trail.

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After his death, Weston’s ashes were spread at Point Lobos on what is known as Weston Beach, where I took these photos.

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Unfortunately, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve closes each day at 5:00 p.m in November, so it is not possible to shoot at sunset.  Farther down Route 1, however is the Rocky Ridge Trail at Soberanes Point.  On my last evening on the peninsula, I headed there to take these shots:

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A rainy (and snowy) day at Sleeping Bear

Rainy with a bit of snow today at Sleeping Bear Dunes. I got caught in quite a downpour when I hiked the Pyramid Point Trail loop (2.7 miles). Fortunately, my camera gear and I were both well under wraps. Lots of leaves and lots of color. A pleasant day of shooting, even if the weather was a bit nasty.

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Shalda Creek where it crosses Bohemian Road (CR 669)
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Shalda Creek where it crosses Bohemian Road (CR 669)
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Shalda Creek at Bohemian Road at little later in the day
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The Martin Basch Farm on Point Oneida

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Layers of Color on Tucker Lake
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Inspiration Point on Big Glen Lake

Some Shots on a Return Trip to New Mexico

I had a conference this past week in Santa Fe and went a day early so I could drive up to Taos.  I traveled up the High Road, stopping in Las Trampas to visit  the San José de Gracia Church in Las Trampas, New Mexico. Built between 1760 and 1776, San José de Gracia is a National Historic Landmark.

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Along the High Road to Taos, south of Chimayo
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San José de Gracia in Las Trampas

 

Gravesite, San José de Gracia Church, Las Trampas, New Mexico

Last May, I shot several photos along the top of the Rio Grande Gorge, northwest of Taos. On this trip, I wanted to get down to the base of the gorgeand found a road leading down to the John Dunn Bridge. The area is quite popular with fishers and paddlers. It is also the site of hot springs that attracts locals. Here are photos taken around the bridge, as well as one photo back at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

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The John Dunn Bridge near Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico

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The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

The Enchanted Circle is an 85 mile trip around Mount Wheeler, northeast of Taos. The road rises up to an elevation of 9,820 feet at Bobcat pass. Here are three photos I shots along the way. The first is of three pine trees reflected in Fawn Lakes near Red River. The second is of aspen trees that had lost their leaves, new Bobcat Pass. The third is a view of snow capped Mount Wheeler, looking through the entrance to a ranch north of Eagles Nest, New Mexico.

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Three Pines on Fawn Lakes

 

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Aspens near Bobcat Pass on the Enchanted Circle
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Mount Wheeler

Where Are the Fall Colors?

Yesterday, I left Grand Rapids at 4:20 a.m. to get to Bass Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore an hour before sunrise.  I had shot some photos at Bass Lake and the adjacent Otter Lake back in July. Back then I thought what a great place to visit in the fall, when the trees had some color.  Driving north yesterday in the dark, I was filled with anticipation. But, when the sun came up, the trees gave only a hint of fall.  That was true throughout the park – it is all still really green.

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Still, the scene was beautiful and worth the drive.

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As I waited for the sun to rise, I watched the setting moon reflected among the reeds in the water.

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After breakfast, I headed over to Point Oneida, an area the always intrigues me.  Driving along Baker Road, a two track road that bisects the point, I spied this view of the Carsten Burfield farm, with Lake Michigan in the background.

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Turning the camera just a bit gave me this view of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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The farm buildings on Point Oneida are striking in their simplicity.

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While there was little color at Sleeping Bear, I witnessed some beautiful color on the drive home.  I stopped by the High Rollaway Overlook near Buckley, which I visited in September. Though not at peak, the colors were still breathtaking.

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Imagine what it will look like next week.

Fall’s Approach

The fall colors have generally yet to come to our area in West Michigan.  We are in the midst of a mini-drought (the third driest September since 1892).  We are seeing a lot of leaves simply dry up and fall off the trees with revealing their spectacular colors.

Still there are signs of fall.  The morning air has turned much cooler with lows dipping into the low forties and high thirties. This causes fog to form in low lying fields and especially around bodies of water, which still retain some of the warmth from our 80 and 90 degree temperatures from just a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday morning, in my wanderings, I drove across the Grand River in Ada and saw the mist rising from the water.  I turned around and found a boat launch where I could park and explore the waters edge.  Here are some photos.

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From the shores of the Grand it was just a short trip to Seidman Park and Honey Creek.  I brought along my waders so I could get down into the creek and get closer to the rocks.

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