Shadows on the hill

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Today’s hike was all about the light.  Climbing along the ridge lines along Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park was a study of light and shadow dancing along the trail today.

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pleasanton ridge2I headed to Pleasanton Ridge for a quick hike this morning on the Ridgeline Trail.  I would be making the loop back along the Thermolito Trail for an almost seven and half mile hike.  The weather was forcast for clear and breezy  and stepping onto the trail the sun was rising through a thin layer of clouds.  The morning cold quickly disappeared as I climbed to the entrance to the ridge line and made my along gon the trail along side tall stands of trees still barren of foliage from winter.

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pleasanton ridge13Even though it feels like spring the trees are still without the first blossoms.  They look stark and foreboding alongside the trail as the morning sunlight peered through the tangle of branches casting abstract patterns on the ground before me.  If there is an evil or menacing looking tree lurking on the trail I can find it and today they were in abundance.  The deep shadows cast through the branches only added to their eerie appearance.

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pleasanton ridge19Today’s landscape was a far cry from my last hike on the ridge.  The yellow baked hills of summer were replaced with today’s lush green hills beneath the sunlit clouds.  I wound my way to the end of the loop beginning the descent from the ridge. The light slanting through the trees almost had a an early evening feel to it even though it was just nearing 10 in the morning.

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pleasanton ridge27I had decided to take my Canon 40D since the only wide angle lens I have is an EF-S 10-22mm lens.  It was perfect to record today’s sweeping vistas.  It’s only flaw is less than spectacular lens flare when photographing directly into the sun.

pleasanton ridge28In my past hikes at Pleasanton Ridge I don’t remember having seen such dramatic lighting as today’s hike.  Hiking in the shadows was a great view of the landscape and different view of one of my favorite parks to hike.