Emigrant Lake Reflection (Photo of the week)

Mountains south of Emigrant Lake are reflected in the early morning light, Emigrant Wilderness, California
Mountains south of Emigrant Lake are reflected in the early morning light, Emigrant Wilderness, California

This week’s photo comes from a backpacking trip I did this summer with a friend. Emigrant Wilderness is a backpacker’s gem, especially once you get out of range of day hikers. Easily accessible from the San Francisco Bay Area, it is often overlooked due to Yosemite’s popularity. Once in the southern part of the wilderness which borders Yosemite’s northern boundary, it is not uncommon to go days without seeing another person.

This morning we had gotten up early and were on the trail by 6:30. We had situated our camp so that we would cross Emigrant Lake’s northern side just as the rising sun was cutting across the water at a low angle, bathing the southern mountains in beautiful light, and giving me a nice reflection in the lake. The lush grass along the shore was a bonus – the long shadows across the grass give a real sense of early morning stillness.

Here are some other shots from the same trip:

Granite stone and green grasses lead to Emigrant Lake, Emigrant Wilderness, California
Granite stone and green grasses lead to Emigrant Lake, Emigrant Wilderness, California
Yellow wildflowers dominate the grasses of Upper Relief Valley, Emigrant Wilderness, California
Yellow wildflowers dominate the grasses of Upper Relief Valley, Emigrant Wilderness, California
Jagged stump overlooks the western end of Emigrant Lake, Emigrant Wilderness, California
Jagged stump overlooks the western end of Emigrant Lake, Emigrant Wilderness, California

Ring-billed Gull Portrait (Photo of the week)

Ring-billed Gull portrait in soft evening light at sunset
Ring-billed Gull portrait in soft evening light at sunset

We see these birds all the time, throughout most of North America. They invade our parking lots and strip malls, and their calls are ubiquitous. However, when I happened upon this ring-billed gull standing alone at the end of a pier overlooking the San Francisco Bay, I saw an opportunity to turn the commonplace into an interesting shot. The sun was setting behind me, illuminating the bird with a soft glow. That, combined with the fact that this particular bird was clean and quite nice looking, gave me the ingredients needed to create a pleasing portrait.

Prairie Dog Pup (Photo of the week)

Prairie dog pup about to get trounced by an older (and bigger) sibling
Prairie dog pup about to get trounced by an older (and bigger) sibling

This week’s photo is of one of San Francisco Zoo’s new prairie dog pups. He was busy pestering just about every other prairie dog in the exhibit. But it looked like he ran into the wrong one, because this adult wasn’t about to take anything from some little pup. This shot was taken just after the pup dove into one of the burrows for cover.