Muir Woods is one of the Bay Area’s most famous and visited spots. It’s lovely. The visitor is experience is much improved now that the Park Service has instituted required reservations for parking.
Due to the recent heavy rains, San Gregorio Creek is wider and deeper than usual. A few brave or perhaps foolhardy souls crossed it to get the main beach but the waters were almost waist deep. I elected to stay on the thin strip of beach on the parking lot side of the creek.
The evenings have started to get that cool crispness that means fall is starting. Summer skies over Northern California tend to be bland and cloudless. With the start of fall, the skies have gotten more interesting, at least some of the time. On Friday, the skies turned brilliant at sunset.
The Chrysler Building is my favorite building in New York City. It’s a shining Art Deco masterpiece. The Empire State Building is more famous but The Chrysler Building outshines it, at least in my book.
In late winter, from somewhere in January through March, the vineyards of Napa Valley turn yellow with mustard flowers. The exact timing varies from year to year. This year, I journeyed up to Napa Valley in the first week of February and the mustards looked great.
I’d seen Shark Fin Cove from above many times. The cove is visible from Highway 1, just south of the town of Davenport. Descending into the cove gives a completely different experience than peering down on it from above. The sheer rock walls ascend dramatically and envelope the cove on three sides. The shark’s fin in the middle of cove creates the feeling of the cove being a magical place.
While is the image is from this year, I wrote the following back in 2013 and it still does a good job of capturing of how I feel about the solstice:
The solstice always makes me think about the humans that came 1000s of years before us. They couldn’t really be sure that days would start getting longer again.
All of our forbearers must have had the fear that maybe the days would keep get shorter and shorter and they would be plunged into darkness. The solstice was clearly an important day to many cultures. In Ireland, the massive ancient monument of New Grange is built on a solstice alignment and the rising sun on the solstice illuminates a chamber deep inside. The Mayans ended their year on the solstice which why their calendar ran out on the solstice causing people to predict the end of the world (in 2012).
In in modern times, our calendar year reset and our biggest holiday celebrations are both quite near the solstice which is no coincidence. Humans have always celebrated or marked the shortest day of the year. As the light fades from the sky on this Winter Solstice, I feel a connection to thousands years of my ancestors who also marked this shortest day of the year.
The clouds looked just right for an amazingly colorful sunset. But by the time sun went down, the clouds had mostly dissipated. There was still some color along the horizon and any sunset along the Santa Cruz Coast where the sun isn’t obscured by fog is always worth seeing.
Trinidad State Beach, Humboldt County, California