Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Today Is Pretty Nature Pictures Day

More specifically, today is the day for me to post pretty pictures of the American River and its banks. In this entry I'll be posting pictures from two separate spots along the American River, about 15-20 minutes' drive away from each other, one set taken today and the other set taken last Sunday. I'll start with the ones I took after work today in Goethe Park. Goethe Park (pronounced "Getty Park," as everyone around here knows but no one can explain the reasons for) is the largest park in Sacramento County, and it happens to be only a 3-minute drive from where I live. It extends across both banks of the American River, connected by a footbridge. Small portions of it on both banks actually look like you'd expect a typical park to look - mowed lawns, picnic tables, etc. - but the vast majority of it looks like relative wilderness with some paved trails through it for bikes and pedestrians.

The first picture shows the scene in front of me when I first came within sight of the river, approaching from the south bank.

Standing in almost the same spot as above, I turned to my right and photographed the fennel on the hillside I'd just descended. Fennel smells strongly of licorice, and grows in great abundance all along the American River. I can't ever get too much of it.

After walking down to the shoreline, I took this second picture of the footbridge and the river. Everything you can see on the opposite side of the river in this picture is still part of Goethe Park. And I love the fact that the American River is still sufficiently clear and unpolluted that you can see the rock shoreline continuing under the water in my photographs.

Then I turned around and, standing in the very same spot but now facing upstream, took this picture of the river. In this area there are extremely expensive houses on the opposite side of the river, although you can't really see them here because they're in the shadows.

Walking back up the bank, I photographed these lovely purple wildflowers.

The footbridge extends quite some distance past the riverbank, especially on the south side. I walked back up to where the footbridge begins and took this photograph of the south bank while standing on the south end of the footbridge, facing downstream.

Then I crossed the footbridge and took this picture while standing on the north end of it, again facing downstream. (Immediately upstream of the footbridge, the river is a plain straight line. Immediately downstream of the footbridge, it contains several islands that make for more interesting photographs.)

Then I ran out of disk space on my camera, which keeps happening and is invariably quite annoying. Luckily, I have already ordered a new much larger disk for it, which, in fact, UPS already attempted to deliver to me while I was at work today. But they took it away because I wasn't home to sign their delivery confirmation form, so I didn't get the benefit of using it just yet.

Now for Sunday's photographs. Sunday was Mothers' Day, and for Mothers' Day I had to meet my parents and my brother at a restaurant in Folsom, which is a 15-20 minute drive east of here. (My grandparents were supposed to be there too, but they never showed up, which was worrisome, but later my mother emailed me to say that my grandparents had left a message on my parents' answering machine after my parents had already left for the restaurant, saying that my grandparents had tried to come meet us but decided the freeway had too much traffic for their taste so they turned around and went back home.) I intentionally arrived an hour early in order to find the restaurant, make a mental note of its location, and then drive around looking for a park with river access so I could take photographs. I found one easily, just across the river from the restaurant. It was raining at the time, but only very lightly, and you can't see the rain in my photographs.

These bushes were growing right at the entrance of the park, directly at the left side of the paved foot path. Just barely out of view on the left side of this picture, there was someone's wooden backyard fence, and their house not far beyond the fence.

Still standing at the entrance of the park, I turned to my right and photographed the green fields.

Then I walked further down the path, toward the river, and photographed the view back toward where I'd come from. The house you can see through the trees here may well be the same house whose fence I'd just been standing by when I entered the park. If you look closely along the bottom edge of the picture, you can also see some of the same purple wildflowers that I photographed in Goethe Park.

I think this may be the single best photograph I've ever taken. I adore the composition here. And unlike with some of my others, I didn't trim the picture any after I got home in order to improve the composition any.

If the one above isn't my best, then the one below surely must be. Both pictures show the same little inlet of calm water, surrounded on three sides with land, opening into the river only in the one place you can see here. The one above was a view from directly opposite the opening, whereas the one below is a view from further to the right.

The little trough in the ground here is one of the various easy routes down to the river. You can see the rocks buried in the ground to keep the ground solid so people can climb down without starting a mini-avalanche and falling in. It's only about three or four feet down, but steep. At the bottom of it, there was just enough space for one or two people to sit on the ground and dip their fingers or toes in the river.

Down near the river, the footpath was no longer paved. This last picture is of the footpath as I was climbing back up from the river to return home. The slight moisture you can see at the edges of the footpath is the only visible hint of the fact that it was raining slightly as I was taking all of these pictures.

That's enough pictures for now. To come in future days: pictures of the inside of my apartment, pictures of the house and neighborhood where I grew up, pictures of my parents' current house and neighborhood, and more pictures of my current neighborhood. Oh, and probably pictures of me at some point, too, eventually.
Tags: photographs
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