Monday, November 21, 2011

Ghost Oaks

My work often has me hitting the road in my truck with the stars still overhead, in time to reach the hills around Paso Robles, CA at dawn - which means pea soup coastal fog.

It's my favorite part of my job, and my favorite time of the day, as ancient California white oaks (Quercus lobata) and California live oaks (Q. agrifolia) emerge from the mist.  I like to think of them as ghost oaks from a time when the native people of this area relied on them for sustenance.

Unlike usual, I actually stopped the truck to take these shots.  It's safety first here at Oak Watch!

(Click to enlarge)

There is a steel post next to the trunk of this tree which you can't see from this distance.  In the morning mist I like to think of it as a decorated staff that indigenous California families would lean against their favorite acorn producing trees to claim their bounty for the coming harvest.  I know I would have claimed this tree for my brood.  In fact the post supports an owl box to help control rodents in the mist-shrouded vineyard just out of sight.

(Click to enlarge and frame ;-)

I am particularly happy with the (purely accidental) reflection on the hood of the truck.

Ansel Adams eat your heart out.

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