A Long Walk on the Beach in Alameda

The holiday season has been hectic for me, and I needed to get out and get behind the camera. Traffic is crazy lately, and I’m not the only one who notices. Driving is unpleasant, and taking the bus is not much better, because you still have to sit in traffic. BART is a better option, unless you get stuck on a crowded train returning from San Francisco. I was starting to think that traveling in the Bay Area just wasn’t worth it anymore. But I needed to get out, so I took the bus to Alameda and walked the length of Crown Memorial State Beach. And boy, was it worth it. I felt more relaxed than I have in more than a month.

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Lake Merritt and the Rotary Nature Center

Right smack in the middle of Oakland, Lake Merritt is the oldest wildlife refuge in North America, but to most of the people walking by, it is just another city park. In fact, Lake Merritt was designated as a wildlife refuge in 1870, and is home to a vast array of wildlife, including dozens of species of birds, fish, shrimp, clams, mussels, and crabs. The lake is actually a tidal lagoon, fed by the San Francisco Bay to the west, and several creeks coming down from the Oakland hills to the east.

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The Solar Eclipse was Clouded Out in the Bay Area 

Eclipse watchers in the Bay Area, myself included, were disappointed this morning to wake up to cloudy skies. We knew this was a likely possibility, but we hoped that the usual morning fog would clear away in time to see the eclipse. As late as Sunday night, people were still looking for eclipse glasses, and stores were sold out. But those glasses were not needed after all. For most of the Bay Area, the clouds stayed stubbornly in place for the entire eclipse event.

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SF Bay Trail at Eden Landing

In the latest issue of Bay Nature magazine, there was a great article about Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. Eden Landing is on the San Francisco Bay Trail, and it is a section that I have been meaning to visit for a long time, but I just couldn’t get around to it. On a map, Eden Landing looks strange. I knew that it was a vast wetland area, but I really had no idea what to expect. But I am so glad that I went.

Eden Landing was formerly a settlement, founded in 1854. The location was bought a year later by Richard Barron, who changed the name to Barron’s Landing, and it seems that the name was later changed to Edendale later, but I can’t seem to find an exact date. In any case, I like the name Eden Landing.

The big industry here was salt. In the pictures below, you can see some of the ruins of the salt works that still remain.

California Poppies

I recently went on a photo walk down at Point Isabel in Richmond. Spring was in the air, and I decided that I wanted to take pictures of California Poppies. This time of year, these iconic flowers are blooming everywhere. To be honest, flowers are not my favorite subject to shoot, but sometimes I just need to try something new. This is how we learn new things.

Even though I don’t feel that these are great flower photos, it was still fun. I took these photos along Hoffman Marsh at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, CA.

Strangely, I felt that the standout image from this shoot was the one of a white morning glory: