“Photos don’t just happen. You have to go out and make them, and be ready for the unexpected.” So began my post just last week Ready for the Unexpected when I hauled all of my camera gear with me for my morning walk up Cherry Hill. I got some nice pictures then, very nice actually, so this morning when I took my usual walk with Kona I did not bring my “real” camera.

Or I should say, I did not bring my professional camera. Thank goodness I had my cell phone.

07:53:45 Lat. 38,6.8462N; Long. 122,33.582W 02/29/2016. Morning light - fog breaking in the winter green hills California. Cherry Hill.
07:53:45 a.m. > Lat. 38,6.8462N > Long. 122,33.582W > 02/29/2016.

When I walked out the back door to start up the hill, I sensed the morning fog would create some interesting light. The mist was rising quickly, so we charged up the hill without stopping to admire the ever-changing wildflower palette.

The light was extraordinary. And changing literally by the minute.

I usually wait to take any pictures until I get on the fire road that runs from the back of our property up to the top of the hill, but this morning the light coming through the eucalyptus trees was truly breathtaking, I grabbed the first picture I could, taking only a few extra moments to have Kona pose. She has become quite the model, and truly understands the simple command “Wait!”

Morning light - fog breaking in the winter green hills California. Cherry Hill. 02/29/2016 07:58:28
07:58:28. 02/29/2016 Lat. 38,6.8462N. Long. 122,33.582W

This photo was taken 5 minutes after the first and I had moved about 25 feet, from inside our fence now on the fire road. I was worried about wasting the 45 seconds it took to have Kona lie down in a sunny spot.

I didn’t want to waste a minute re-shooting, re-composing, or analyzing what I was shooting. I wanted to follow the light up the trail. Now four minutes later, 200 yards up, past the neighbors horse corral, giddy in the swirling mist.

“Kona !” “Wait !” She was in the perfect spot.

Morning light - fog breaking in the winter green hills California. Cherry Hill. 02/29/2016 08:02:58
08:02:58

My goodness! how quickly the light was changing. I slowly walked in a trance, 20 more feet. Two more minutes:

Morning light - fog breaking in the winter green hills California. Cherry Hill. 02/29/2016 08:05:07
08:05:07 02/29/2016 08:05:07

The light seemed even more golden.

It’s changing fast! Now another 200 yards, in three minutes and the last of the fog is dissipating. We will soon be above it. Kona hunkered down by the tree, not understanding why I stopped her yet again.

 08:08:37 02/29/2016
08:08:37 02/29/2016

How could I not stop ? as the shadows of the tree branches split the light that the mist revealed.

Another 200 yards up the hill; the fog had settled as we walked above it. One last time please, Kona. Wait there, I want to see the village below.

02/29/2016
08:15:06 02/29/2016

This was the one spot I really missed not having a telephoto lens so that I could get close to the oak trees just leafing out, glowing in the misty light. The digital telephoto on the phone is totally inadequate. But this is no time to complain. I was grateful to have a camera at all. The best camera is the one you have with you at times like these.

Now we continued to the top of Cherry Hill. The ground fog was spectacular off to the east over the marsh in between the small hills.

Morning light - fog breaking in the winter green hills California. Cherry Hill. 02/29/2016 08:41:54
02/29/2016 08:41:54

Now at Latitude: 38,6.7778N; Longitude: 122,32.9873W on top of Cherry Hill, altitude: 138.37meters at 08:41:54 on the last day of February 2016. A very precise moment in a very precise spot.

I asked Kona to pose one more time… and she dashed off chasing who knows what. She is supposed to be there on the lower left by that small dark bush. But she is out there having fun. I did not have the heart to call her back.

 

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