Monday, April 12, 2010
Those Golden - er - Green - California Hills
I wasn't looking, honest. I was driving, it's true, and between the 280 exit and my place of work in Palo Alto, the light was playing magically on the soon-to-be golden hills of California. I just slipped my pocket camera from my purse - I can manage it handily one handed - and pointed it out the window.
I don't usually drive this route, but during spring I take it several times to enjoy the trees, and I always stop in at a horse ranch and take some pictures of the oaks at least once.
The hills to left and right are dotted with marvelous Valley oaks (Quercus lobata) in their fresh new foliage.
Some old and craggy, dramatic in the light and shade.
And some like young maidens gathered for a dance. I guess they could be lads and lasses, but they always look feminine to me. (This next was also taken from the car and came out a bit dark.)
And some just - just lovely.
When the first Europeans arrived they marveled at the park-like beauty of the wilderness they found. As I wrote here, evidence is pretty strong that it was actually managed, as it had been for thousands of years, by the local people. What did it look like, I wonder, before the grasses introduced to feed the cattle replaced all the native grasses that those cattle had grazed to oblivion?
Still, it is lovely. And so green. Green green green.
Those of us who hail from wet green lands get our fix of green during the short, sweet, California spring.
I hope you enjoyed your green fix today.
Labels: Valley oaks