Sunday, June 19, 2005

Yardblogging: classic chapparal

I took these pictures inside our fenced yard, on the hill directly above our home. To me, this scene is absolutely classic "chapparal in the summertime." The pale orange flowers (which I have not been able to identify) are very common at this altitude. I hope they're natives, and not some alien outcompeting the natives, as they're very successful. This year, with the rains, our hillsides are offering a spectacular display of them. And of course the manzanitais a classic native chapparal flora, and the rocks and dry grasses are very evocative of the environment.

I love living out here!

The leftmost photo is a closeup of the blooms visible near the bottom of the rightmost photo. Both were taken with a 100mm (effectively 160mm with my Canon EOS 10D) in the morning light (around 10 am). You can see in the wider view just how saturated with light the scene is; the extreme contrast between light and shadow makes for very tricky photography.

For the past five years, each summer when I whack weeds in my yard I've been preserving the plants of these blooms. The payoff was this year — huge mounds of these pale golden blooms all over the upper reaches of our yard. Lovely!

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