Monday, December 21, 2015

Hike 2015.085B -- Oak Glen, Fall Color

Hike 2015.085B. Short walk in Oak Glen, from earlier this fall. Hiked Sunday, November 15. This was too short of a walk to count as a hike by itself, so I'm bundling it with my Stoddard Peak hike of November 14. Appears I haven't blogged that hike yet, either.
It's possible there'll be a swarm of "make-up posts" from earlier this year, coming down the pike. Some may spill over into the new year.
Although a short hike, the fall color was really nice. And, as has often been the case on my trips up here, there was a pretty good amount of cloud cover, which helped produce those saturated leaf colors.
Had a very photogenic goldfinch, pulling sunflowers out of a flower. Quite a feat of balance!
I also had some folks in some rather photogenic backdrops. Love those shots that give a sense of scale to those oaks.

Couldn't quite get the color right. I shot with the camera set to auto balance, shade, and cloudy, but none quite got the color right. The shade version was closest to what I saw, but still a little warmer than I saw. Still, definitely gets the mood, right.

Incidentally, this was a relatively recent trick I learned. It's what happens when I never actually read the manual. Didn't occur to me until around then (several years after I bought the camera) that I thought to experiment with those different white balance settings.

Most visits to Los Rios Rancho, I walk the circuit of trails. This usually does entail a walk through Oak Knoll Park, and the oak tree boughs that span over the park are always photogenic, as well.

Something else different on this trip was that I saw some chestnuts, growing on trees. Didn't know they grew chestnuts here. I don't know what chestnut trees look like, so it wasn't until I saw the nuts on the tree that I realized what kind of tree it was.
And this surprised me, because I know nearly all chestnut trees in the U.S. were killed by a blight in the early 1900s, but I guess these guys were isolated enough to survive the blight.
As noted in previous posts, Los Rios Rancho is located in Oak Glen, which is above Yucaipa, CA. From the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) exit at Yucaipa Blvd and head "north," to Oak Glen Road. Turn left at Oak Glen Road, and it takes you right through the town. About a dozen apple orchards and numerous restaurants are up here. It's a fun place to visit, and gets really crowded around harvest time.

I hiked about two miles this day, about one mile short of my usual minimum. But I did get to go home with lots of apples and apple cider. ;D
Peak leaf color seems to come here after Halloween, but before Thanks-giving. Black oak are, I think, the main colorful native here, along with some willow. Non-native Chinese pistache and maple are also mixed in, along with some persimmon around the farm.
While the oak don't normally change to such brilliant colors as maple, soft backlight-ing (as on overcast days) gives some nice color and can help produce some really pretty pictures.

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