Two Islands, Fog
Posted on 29 November 2012
Two Islands, Fog. Central Valley, California. November 25, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Two grass-covered islands in thick fog
In late November I made my first trip of the season to California’s Central Valley, in search of migratory birds – geese, herons, egrets, and so forth. I look forward to this now in the fall, for the experience of seeing (and hearing!) the birds but also as an excuse to explore the landscape of this part of California and, especially, to do so in the very interesting and evocative weather conditions. And, yes, fog is among those conditions.
The tule fog is an almost constant feature during portions of the winter months in the Central Valley, sometimes sticking around for days on end. One can drive over the hills into the Valley in sunlight, only to see the blanket of fog on the Valley floor ahead, and once inside the fog there is little trace of that brilliant winter sunshine. (Except that this fog, being not very thick, sometimes creates the very odd juxtaposition of very impaired visibility and diffused light so bright you can barely look into it. On other occasions you can look up through this fog and see the sky or the moon above.) On this trip, when I arrived at my destination the fog was so thick that bird photography was, to put it mildly, challenging. On my first loop around the dirt road I did go slowly and find a few birds that were close enough to the road to make photographs, but on my second pass I instead thought to focus on the fog-blanketed landscape itself.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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