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Snow Show

December 26, 2010

Sun catcher

Christmas morning began for me at 5:30 a.m. with a long walk. An attempt at damage control, I was hoping to walk off the week’s sweet holiday indulgences. It was still dark as I left the Rancho and arrived at the fringes of Fairmount Park. Rounding the lake I could see the season’s first snow glowing on the distant mountains. It was cold out, and seeing this icy display made me shiver a little, so I picked up my pace. Rounding the lake to the east I could see the sun’s first rays painting the sky a very deep pink. Suddenly I became obsessed with capturing the sunlight as it caught the snow on the mountaintops … but from where? I had to find an elevated perch from which to shoot … and I had to think fast, since the sky was now a paler pink tinged with gold … I remembered the hill that overlooks the park on Banks Dr., and had to get up there fast … as I approached, I saw that Banks was closed for some reason. Thinking it was closed to cars only, I walked between the barricades and headed up … at the top, the reason for the street’s closure was evident: the rains had caused several large boulders to tumble down onto the street … not a problem for a walker, but disaster for drivers …  I kept moving, up to Locust St., then onto the dirt path up the hill … at the top I could see that the sun was now high enough to reach the snow … moving quickly away from the sun and in the direction of the mountains — shooting all the while — I got the shot! The snow was now being warmed fully by the sun’s rays and it was quite a sight in the distance. Providing raucous accompaniment, a seemingly endless flock of crows moved across the sky. Proud of myself, I was suddenly aware of the fact that I was standing on the old rock wall that trails atop the hill … and, stepping off the wall I noticed a name scrawled into the stone I had just been standing on …

… ‘M. L. Geigerr  9-08-1901’ it read, giving a clue to when this wall was created. But, this aged and now-crumbling rock wall that skirts the path is not the only notable feature up here, there’s another hill behind me … and it makes this place an interesting — and scary — place.

Up high

The definition of craggy, the hill behind me curves like a grasping claw. Looking up, it’s easy to see how ancient geologic forces caused the rock to thrust upward, creating caves and deep cracks. Signs of squatters, taggers and other fringe-dwellers have been sprayed-painted onto the rocks … looking at them closely should give you a sense of just how monstrously huge this rocky backdrop is. I feel a cold shiver again, combined with a tinge of vulnerability. I had gotten my shot, and walked almost 12,000 steps — time to move out of the shadows at the top of this hill and back into the sun of this Christmas day.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2010 3:03 pm

    Lovely image. There is just something special about snow shining on a mountaintop.
    Hope your day was wonderful!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      December 26, 2010 3:39 pm

      Thanks, it was a good day: light gardening, napping, lots of walking. Perfect!

  2. December 26, 2010 7:31 pm

    What a bracing Christmas walk, and a little eerie too. Much different that a walk in the park! You really bagged a great shot with the crows and the snowy mountaintops. Sounds like the pups don’t go along on such adventurous walks.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      December 26, 2010 9:40 pm

      Hola … yeah, the crows were an especially nice touch, while adding to the eerie feel once I got the shot and had a look around… the pups are more around-the-block-walkers: they’re too small for such lengthy strolls.

  3. December 30, 2010 11:36 pm

    What a wonderful way to spend Christmas morning. Good post!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      December 30, 2010 11:48 pm

      Seems so long ago, now!

  4. AlgaRythums permalink
    October 7, 2011 2:42 am

    Beautiful, beautiful morning shot!!! But, I think the date on the wall is 9-26-61. What do you think?
    Oh and you were right, I was double clicking. I’ve got it now!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 7, 2011 3:33 am

      You know, I can’t tell on that date, to me it looks like both now! I will go back and check this weekend and report back.

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