Thursday, October 22, 2009

Walking Lower Valley Trail

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

Recently, I have been taking my evening walk down Lower Valley Trail. There are two trails that meet at one corner of our property: Lower Valley and Upper Valley. Lower Valley takes me down toward Cub Lake and, so far, I have ended up following that route. One of these days, I will get bored with going that direction and I’ll start turning left to go along Upper Valley.

In the beginning, I always carried the 24-105mm lens on the walk, until one day I had the 100mm macro on the 50D and was curious about how it would work out on the trail. I ended up sticking with that lens for a couple of walks. I never seem to think of the macro for landscapes, but it worked out fine.

My walk is a special time of day. It’s quiet. Occasionally, I bump into someone—a rider, a hiker, or a dog-walker. But, frequently, I have the trail all too myself. Back there I am far enough from Bear Valley Road to effectively muffle the traffic noise, so the only sounds I hear are maybe neighing horses calling for dinner, an occasional barking dog, and usually the whisper, or whine of the wind in my ears.

On this particular Sunday evening, I was glad that I had rushed a few chores to get started on the walk and stayed out long enough to get home a little late for dinner. The clouds were heavy and low producing a magical light. The swaying grasses—playfully tossing light in every direction, the trees standing watch in the distance, the foothills and mountains rimming the valley, and that expanse of sky—they all make great walking companions.


  1. You've inspired me to take a nice stroll late this afternoon, before it turns to evening and the chill of later fall sets back in to our world here.

    I especially like what you captured in the first photo--that is lovely.

  2. Anita, first, I'll mention how much I enjoy your post and I've been selfishly pleased with your prolific posting of late.

    That first photo has so much depth...leading the eye off into the distant misty mountains...wonderful! I can imagine how peaceful these walks must be.

    I find it good to grab a prime lens to shoot with regularly. It seems to ground me makes me take more stock in the composition of my frame. My 105mm Macro VR is one of my favorites for this.

  3. Mary Ann - I hope your walk will be peaceful. I have missed a couple of days and look forward to mine in a couple of hours.

    As much I loved drinking in the sight of that view, I almost passed on that first photo. I was thinking that I would never get that dynamic range and, of course, I didn't have a tripod with me. When I downloaded the file, I was delighted to find that with the help of CS3, I could make it work.

  4. Earl - I wish that I could lay claim to the kind of consistency that some of you exhibit, but I am unreliable. I will post like mad for a time, then the words and images dry up and I rarely come up above ground. I am delighted that you are enjoying my chatty phase. I know I am having a good time.

    I know that those walks are so therapeutic they are going to extend my life. Consequently, I am always annoyed with myself, when I get "too busy" and don't take time for several days.

    I only have a couple of primes, but I definitely am enjoying that 100mm macro. It's a dandy lens. Maybe one evening I'll take the 50mm f1.8 for variety.

  5. Anita, I would take a walk everyday if I could come home with an image like your first one! The clouds and soft light are great.

  6. Steve - I always enjoy my walk, but I certainly wish I came home, every evening, with something I like as much this one. Wouldn't it be fun if we could place special orders for that type of light?

  7. That opening photo so well conveys the mood of the morning. LOVELY!

  8. Anita, that sounds like a wonderful place to be. My kind of place, no traffic sounds, the neighing of horses, the sound of a dog off in the distance. Sigh ... Lovely.

    I'm with Earl in my selfish enjoyment of your frequent postings. I must say that I've been very pleasantly surprised each day when I open up Google Reader and see that you have yet another post! Yippee!

    I'm glad that you and CS3 collaborated enough and got along well enough to tease out that first photo. Very nice!

  9. Please don't slow down on the posting.
    The last image in this post is the one I am most drawn to, simple evening feel to it. Mornings and evenings are always better away from the noise and hurry-up.

  10. Paul - I am so blessed to be able to retire to this. Shame on me, if I ever begin to take it for granted.

    You think you are surpised?! I don't think I have ever posted this frequently for this long a stretch. Here's hoping I don't soon sink into one of those troughs. I am delighted that you haven't tired of my prattling on.

  11. Ray - I am so pleased that that last photo appeals to you. I am quite fond of the grasses. There truly is a special magic to mornings and evenings, isn't there?

    Wow. The pressure is building to keep posting frequently. Thanks for the welcome encouragement.

    I always have good intentions, Ray. However, occasionally, the words just dry up and I can't think of a thing to say. Unfortunately, those periods often coincide with a spell of "I hate all my photographs".

  12. Anil - I don't know how I lost my response to you, but I am embarrassed by its absence.

    Thank you so much for the comment on the photo. I am wild about that morning and evening light. No wonder my hard drives fill up so fast.


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