On Monday I took my first photowalk in a long time. Boots on and bundled up I took my camera and tripod and headed out for the Jewel Lake Loop. This trip was both for photography and simply to be outdoors in the woods. Over the past 10 days a nasty cold came to visit our house and it eventually ensnared us all. I’m almost normal again and it felt good to be out in the fresh air and feeling alive.

Spring is in the air. The winter has not been very wet or cold, but still, spring is welcome. The trees are blooming, the air has a tinge of warmth to it and the birds are noisy. I decided to focus on the experience and thus I took one camera, one lens and my tripod to slow me down and be more intent in taking pictures. I took my time and completed the full loop in under two years before rejoining the family at the park before lunch. The rest of the day was relaxed as it was a holiday and we are all still on the mend.

I read a short blog post this past weekend of another photographer who takes wonderful pictures of woods similar in nature to my own. He had this to say:

Sometimes I worry about repeating myself since all of my photos are basically variations on the same theme, but I still feel like I’m making little discoveries all the time. 

I feel the exact same way about my Jewel Lake Loop pictures from Tilden Park. It feels that, like Groundhog Day, I take the same picture over and over, but each one finds its own unique view somehow. I keep going out and doing it all over again.

The Jewel Lake Loop seems off this year because of the lack of rain. Whereas in years past the flora was thick and it overhung the path, this year the sky felt open like a sunroof had been opened. The sky was overcast but the light came through brightly. It was very beautiful (it always is), but I’m so used to feeling tightly enclosed as I walk the path in winter. Last year it was almost claustrophobic in places. Not this year.

Even still, the flora is thick and reminds me of how I felt when I moved from New Mexico, where it was dry and dusty and brown, to California. In my first few months I had the overwhelming sense of living under a thick, green blanket after feeling parched by the New Mexico wind. I’m currently reading Into the Silence by Wade Davis about WW1, George Mallory and the conquest of Everest in the 1920s. In 1921 they made their first foray into the Everest region and slowly worked their way closer to the mountain as they searched for a way to get onto the North Col. At various points Mallory spends time high up in the ice and rock around the glaciers. After one arduous trip he returns to lower elevations to a rich, green forest where the expedition is currently based, and it’s clear from his writings that even though his mind is focused on the mountain he detests spending to much time surrounded by nothing more than rock and ice.

After a dry winter we may be in for a very dry summer and land parched by drought. Here is to hoping that winter 2012-13 is more normal.

Please be sure to click on each thumbnail to view them without compression. All pictures are shown in the order they were taken.

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