Spring, Glorious Spring!

Ahhh… Spring…
Spring officially began on March 20th here, but dates aside, in Southern California, the seasons don’t change on fixed dates – they change on slight, meaningful weather patterns, and when the rains have swept through, the grass is a foot high, and there are big avenues of puffy clouds in the sky, in my book, spring is here. And spring is definitely here.
We’ve been getting more rain than usual this year, and for that, I’m thankful… we can certainly have years that get scant rain and as far as I’m concerned, it could rain here for months on end… The storm clouds bring rain and big surf, green grass, clean skies, muddy boots, and cool days… a whole bunch of things that our family loves…
I was out with my kids this weekend on a hike behind our house and I had planned on bringing my 4×5 camera, but to my great dismay I couldn’t find the adapter-connector for my tripod head, which you absolutely must have as there is no hand-holding the 4×5 camera. None. Nein. Nicht… so, I marched out anyway with my trusty beat-up Canon camera instead and figured I’d snap what I could… Here’s what I managed to get:

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Big rolling grey clouds over the trail…

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That red clay in the trail is actually really fun to play with… the kids will gather up a bucket or two of it and we’ll take it back to the house to shape bowls and little creatures… here’s to cheap fun!

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I love the juxtaposition of spiny cactus and soft green grass… on the left side of the photo are a few new white sage stems poking out… the small leafy green plants on the sides of the trail are young mustard plants and will grow upwards of 8 feet tall over the next couple of months…

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More cactus, sage and grass… the barbed wire is the demarcation line between the Bell View Trail and Starr Ranch.

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This oak tree is my arboreal muse… I’ve shot dozens of photographs of this tree and it never fails to disappoint… I love the shape, the airiness underneath its boughs… there’s a bee hive in the trunk that has been there for years… I always build up to this part of the hike with the kids, letting them know that we’re getting closer to Old Bee Oak and they’d better watch out… we were in for a bit of a surprise this year…

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Those openings in the trunk of the oak are where the bees normally reside. Normally.

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I love the way this photo works out with the oak limbs framing the vista… as I was under here shooting this, I looked over to my left and saw this brown mass hanging from a limb… I didn’t know what it was at first until I focused a bit more on it and it was what I thought it was…

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… a large cluster of bees hanging from the oak, some of them peeling off to go out on excursions, but for the most part buzzing and huddling for some as-of-yet unplanned journey! Wow! We couldn’t believe it…

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I didn’t have my zoom lens with me, so I had to creep in a bit closer to get this photo… I love this…

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As I stood back, I saw that there was another cluster to the right of the first and I headed that way to see what was happening on Bee Planet #02.

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Bee Planet Cluster Number 02. The day was pretty cool and there was a light breeze out, so I wasn’t too worried that they would erupt into a bee-migration frenzy (I’ve seen those before and they aren’t always pretty…)
The kids hung back while I snapped my photos and then we skipped down the hill talking about the stories they’d tell Mom and their friends… in all, a great hike, no monster 4×5 camera needed…
Have fun this Spring and don’t forget to get out there and enjoy all of the great things we’ve got here!

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  1. Walter – thanks! I take my camera with me everywhere… the hardest part of photography now is just editing and sorting through the thousands of photos I take… I just added a couple of photo pages to two of my other sites @ Shady Canyon Listings & Crystal Cove Listings… I’m planning on doing photo pages like that on ocexclusives.com when I get time… thanks again for stopping by.

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