• I was mistaken, there was one more image of the big cottonwood fall foliage that I wanted to post. This one shows Wheeler Crest with clouds gathering, ready to pour down the face as soon as the rising warm air wanes.

  • Mt Tom, enshrouded in clouds, with bits of blue sky peeking through.

    A large, snow-covered triangular mountain is only partially, because clouds cover its base, peak, sides, and mostly fill the sky as wel.l Only small patches of blue sky are visible.

  • This is the last of the fall foliage series, another in the “just a hint of color” category. The Tungsten Hills form the mid-ground, with Mt. Tom behind.

    Desert scrub gives way to rocky, brown foothills, with blue, snow-capped peaks behind.  At the base of the foothills is a ranch, the buildings just barely visible, with one golden yellow cottonwood visibile.

  • The deciduous cottonwood makes a strong frame for the desert sagebrush.

    A large, low bough extends from the trunk of a cottonwood, shrouded in golden yellow leaves.  Looking under the bough, desert sage runs for a long way.  Golden leaves litter the ground under the tree.

  • Fall colors of poplars, reflected in the little pond by the big cottonwood tree.

    I discovered today that cottonwoods are in the poplar family. That was a surprise, but we have both around here, so I guess it makes sense.

    Ripples on the surface of a small pond distort the reflection a tree whose leaves have turned golden.

  • A close-up of the leaves of the cottonwood tree. The geometry of the small shadows is surprising, and I expect I will revisit that next year.

    A close-up of golden cottonwood leaf, lit from behind.

  • I finished Murderbot 7. It started a bit slow, but more than made up for it. Thanks to all who recommended the series.

  • The big Cottonwood by the pond in the valley was on yellow alert.

    A large Cottonwood tree, its leaves all yellow-orange, some fallen on the ground, fills the frame. It grows amid high-desert sagebrush. High mountains can be seen in the distance.  The sky is blue with puffy white clouds.

  • After fnishing with Thanksgiving photos, I discovered a set I’d shot before I left town, celebrating the colors of late fall.

    Nathan Lane provides the best caption for this photo, I think.

    One does want a hint of color!

    In a large bowl of high desert scrub, one tree stands, covered in bright yellow leaves.

  • Last of the Thanksgiving photos, I really enjoyed photographing agave again. I live a bit out of their range, but I’m considering planting one anyway, just to be able to photograph one regularly.

    The first one looks unexpectedly like a dragon.

    Closeup of an agave leaf, taken from the very point looking down the length of leaf.

    Agave leaves grow in a central column, so tightly packed together, that each leaf leaves an impression on its neighbors. As they mature, they lean backwards, eventually ending up on the ground.

    Agave plant.

  • Another collection of photos from Thanksgiving in greater Pasadena. These feature the great light towards the end of the day, when clouds came and covered the mountains for a while.

    I love deciduous trees in winter. It’s like getting to see a schematic of life.

    Two trees without leaves silhouetted against an evening sky, the form of the trunks and branches clearly outlined.

    Jacaranda trees are a favorite of L.A. landscapers. There are no purple flowers at this time of year, but I find the openness and geometry of their branches alluring.

    A leafy branch of a Jacaranda tree is lit up, contrasting with dark green trees behind.

    A bank of dark grey clouds covered half the sky in the afternoon.

    Trees lit by late afternoon light constrast strongly with dark grey skies.

    A bit of blue to go with the green and grey.

    A gap in dark clouds over mountains shows a little blue in an otherwise grey sky.  Trees in the foreground are lit by late afternoon sun.

    In full daylight, these high tension power lines are pretty camouflaged, but they show up brightly in these conditions.

    A set of high tension power lines curve down from tall metal towers on a mountainside.

    The abundance of succulents in yards is something I miss from my days in San Diego.

    Succulent plants, agave and something pink and green with tall thin spires, are lit with soft light under a dark grey sky.

    Conical evergeens, Cyprus trees, I think, make for good silhouettes.

    Two pairs of tall conical evergreens, one near and large, one further back and smaller, loom against evening sky.

    And, of course, you can’t swing a camera in greater Los Angeles without hitting palm trees.

    Tall skinny palm trees silhouetted against an evening sky.

    Later, the large bank of clouds moved on and remnants turned pink in the sunset.

    Pink clouds seen bordered by trees.

  • Whenever I visit my friends in the greater Pasadena area, I walk around their garden, yard, and neighborhood, collecting vast quantities of photos of flora. Here are some I took this Thanksgiving.

    In the suburbs, I often get out the macro lens, because I don’t care for parked cars in my backgrounds. Back-lighting is great for studying leaves (Collard, in this case).

    Close upo view of a Collard leaf, dark green, crinkly, with bright veins running through it.

    Any sort of back-lit greenery fascinates me, really. These Spear Lilies tend to have a fan of leaves that are easy to line up.

    A Spear Lily, glowing with backlight.

    Wanted: Ivy. Dead or Alive.

    Ivy on a tree trunk, half is alive, half dead.

    The Collards did well this year, as did the Mexican Sage (I think) in the background.

    Collard leaves in the foreground, the purple flowers of Mexican Sage blurred in the background.

    An odd combination, but the geometries always catches my eye.

    Spear Lily leaves close up, just the tips in silhouette, with a pumpkin as the background.

    The oranges looked so juicy, but were not ripe yet, so all I could do was drool and shoot.

    Oranges growing on a tree.

    My friends have pepper trees, and it is always bemusing to see the peppercorns in their natural state, rather than in a jar.

    Red peppercorns growing on a tree.

    This pepper tree has magnificent bones. I photograph them every time I visit.

    A large tree limb is seen from below, its silhouette dark amidst leaves, some bright,m some dark.

  • Time for #WhatsItWednesday. The photo’s a bit blurry, I’m afraid.

    A green background, a watery bubble covered by a yellow blob.

  • No pumpkin makes it to maturity without a few battle scars. And I can’t resist a shot that makes one look like a pig. All courtesy of winter clouds and light in greater Pasadena.

    A closeup of a pumpkin, stem end, sitting on a railing.  Green trees lit by low winter light behind, with a dark grey sky.

  • It was good to spend Thanksgiving with friends, especially since they are so adept at growing pumpkins. Alas, I think these are a bit undersized compared to previous years.

    A man poses on his deck with three homegrown pumpkins displayed on the rail.

  • Sunday breakfast.

  • The Thanksgiving day loaf.

  • The transition from country to city can be frustrating.

    Me: Oooh, the moon is rising.

    Also me: No, streetlamp.

    Me: Oooh the moon is rising for sure.

    Also me: No. Streetlamp.

    Me: Ooooh…

    Also me: STREET. LAMP.

    Tree silhouettes against a dark blue evening sky, and a street lamp.

  • We ate an alien for dinner yesterday. And we were thankful for it.

  • Morning at the dining table, as yet not fully tidied after the previous night. We had an excellent meal, followed by some cribbage that went decidedly in my favor.

    Morning light streams through onto a dining table with water glasses, place mats, napkins, salt shaker, a glass honey pot, a deck of cards, and a cribbage board.

  • There is room to grow on the volcanic tablelands, but little soil and water to make it happen.

    Desert scrub on volcanic tablelands make a uniform tan field, except for three or four pine trees growing separately from each other.  Weathered mountains in the distance are covered by dark clouds above, but light reaches the lower sections.

  • The Gables looking small, but bright.

    (Some photos look better when reduced in size. This one looks better enlarged, I think.)

    Grey skies above, two dark mountain ranges meet at a deep narrow canyon, giving a peek at a high, craggy, snow-covered mountain at the end of the valley.

  • A dead Pinyon stands guard over the Owens River Gorge. The White Mountains are just visible through a gap in the clouds.

    A dead Pinyon Pine in the foreground stands at the edge of a huge gorge.  The sky is overcast.

  • We got a nice storm this week, so I headed out a road I’ve only explored a little, to get some new views. Nature responded by putting up a huge spotlight to…something. Alas, I couldn’t see the spot, so I don’t know what the message was, other than storms are beautiful, of course.

    A huge mountain range covered by foreboding clouds looms over a broad valley. A gap in the clouds lets a thick ray of sunlight through on to the valley floor,  but a hill full of Pinyon in the foreground blocks the view to the end of the spotlight beam.

  • Tone zones, created by topography, light, and smoke. Last one from last week’s wooding trip. Taken from the south side of Mono Basin, looking west.

    From near to far, desert scrub, pine forest, volcanic hills, smoke from a controlled bug, high Sierra mountains, dusty blue sky.  Each layer is distinct, given its own tone by light and smoke.

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