Migration. San Joaquin Valley, California. March 9, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Ross’s geese fly across a cloud-filled late winter sky, San Joaquin Valley
By all of the usual standards, this was a spectacularly beautiful weekend here in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. Yesterday the temperature reached into the low seventy-degree range as I drove up US-5 from one photography location to another. People were wearing shorts. Daylight savings time began today (and I’ll complain about that elsewhere! ;-) and the light feels like it lasts an hour longer. The weeds are coming up in our garden, but that means that we’ll have a vegetable garden again before long.
I imagine that anyone reading this who lives in a place with real winter won’t understand this, but I have mixed feelings about the end of winter. I’m much more interested in the extremes of winter weather, and every spring I realize that it will likely be months until I again see 30+ foot waves along the Pacific coast, new snow in the Sierra, a good rain storm, or the arrival of migratory birds in the Central Valley. The main purpose of this weekend’s drive around the San Joaquin Valley, the lower Sacramento Valley, and areas of the delta was to visit those birds one more time before the marshes dry up and the birds head back to the north. I made this photograph in the morning when, to my surprise, what started out looking like a clear spring-like day turned foggy and more like winter. The birds were still there – and in large numbers in many places – and at one point lines of them flew in front of this cloud for several minutes.
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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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.