Saturday, August 15, 2009

Alpine Pedal-Path Morning---Slightly Smoky

~Wildfire Smoke from Upstate~
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
For the past couple of mornings smoke has been blowing into the valley from the wildfires burning in the more northern parts of the state, near Santa Cruz, and Santa Maria, to name a couple of them.
We started off this morning intending to ride around the lake but breathing the smoke at our end of the lake (east) was already bothering us a bit, and when we saw how thick it was on the west side, over the dam and Fawnskin, we decided to alter our plan and ride the Alpine Pedal-Path along the North shore instead.
So, our near 20 mile planned ride turned out to be somewhere between 10 & 15 miles instead, but still very enjoyable, as you will see.

~Sagebrush Delight~
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
It seems that everything has it's benefits, the smoke from the fires made for a gently-muted light this morning, almost as if I had a light-diffusing color-saturating filter on my camera.

A Meadow Along The Bike Path
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

We stopped for awhile by a little stream to contemplate the soft loveliness of a smoke-tinged light falling on this meadow, all the time acutely aware that the sources of this very smoke are causing great anxiety in other parts of California ( and I hope our friends in those parts are out of harms way).

Ancient Juniper - A Veteran Of Many Wildfires
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom

This Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) along the bike path is probably somewhere between 500 to 1,000 years old, and possibly older, which means it has lived through many, many wildfires during its life, and, as raggedy as it looks at the base, it's still very much alive. One tough old tree!

Enjoy your day...

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Blogger Tabor said...

Very nice photos and I am much impressed by the old tree...still alive! I hope these fires get controlled soon.

3:50 AM  

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