On the other side of Mount Hamilton in San Jose lies the little-known San Antonio Valley. The valley is amazingly rural for a place so geographically close to a well-populated urban center. The valley and surrounding mountains are mostly ranch land. Getting to the San Antonio Valley is not easy. One has to drive up the very windy CA Hwy 130 to the top of Mount Hamilton and then proceed down the backside. Access from Livermore is a bit easier it is still 25+ miles of narrow winding road.

I’d never much considered what’s directly east of the Santa Clara Valley. If you go far enough east, there’s of course the massive Central Valley and Interstate 5. To get I5, there’s of course Interstate 580 or CA Hwy 152 to the south. However, there are 50 miles between those two roads. And in that 50-mile gap, there’s the San Antonio Valley.

The other reason the valley is little know is that there’s little for the visitor to do. Everything is private land so no hiking trails that would bring visitors. I saw a few very intrepid cyclists but otherwise, the valley feels very remote and almost entirely unvisited.

California

San Antonio Valley

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Sunrise Over Capitola Beach

Decided to start the New Year by getting up for sunrise. It was beautiful sunrise over Capitola Beach this morning. I take this as a good omen for 2022.

California, Santa Cruz Coast

Happy New Year

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An egret in flight at Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge in San Jose

California, Silicon Valley

Egret

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Alviso Salt Pond At Sunset

When I was growing up in the Bay Area, Alviso had the reputation of being a historical oddity, an out of the way place that time had passed by. In the 1980s, Highway 237 was not yet a freeway and I remember greenhouses along the road. Today, both sides of Highway 237 have modern office buildings, but the core part of Alviso hasn’t changed.

After my visit to the baylands at the Alviso County Park, I wondered why Alviso hasn’t been developed. Some quick research revealed Alviso is below sea level and prone to flooding so new residential development is restricted.

California, Silicon Valley

Alviso Salt Pond

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Sunset Over The Marsh, Don Edwards Refuge

It’s becoming a tradition for me to head out on New Year’s Eve to photograph the sunset. Last year and I went to Capitola. This year I stayed closer to home and went to Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge at the foot of the San Francisco Bay.

While the stroke of midnight is the official end of the year, I find that watching the last rays of the year’s sunlight disappear over the horizon is just as an important marker of the year’s end as the stroke of midnight.

California, Silicon Valley

Goodbye and Good Riddance 2020

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Panther Beach

2020 has been such a tough year for everyone. I’ve spent less time photographing this year than any year in the last 20 years. In this last week of the year, I’m very happy to have been about to make it back to the beautiful and rugged California coast.

California, Santa Cruz Coast

Rugged Coast

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Sunset Fishing

Mostly due to the pandemic but for other reasons as well, 2020 has been a unproductive year for my photography. I cut what would turn to be one my one international trip of the year short due to the pandemic. Once the lock-down started, I went almost no where. Until today, I hadn’t even been to the coast in 2020.

I’m happy to have ended my photographic dry spell. There’s still two months left in the year and I hope to get least enough work done to have a decent 10 best of 2020.

California, Santa Cruz Coast

Sunset Fishing

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Sunset, La Jolla

La Jolla’s coastline is just gorgeous.

California

La Jolla Sunset

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Joshua Tree at Sunrise

Sunrise, just after Thanksgiving 2011

California, National Parks

Joshua Tree National Park

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