Sunday, August 16, 2015

The gold in the Golden State

Spending years three through ten in Central and Northern California I have a warm spot for the rolling hills and Oaks that epitomize the area. From our last California dwelling we could hike the foothills above San Leandro which in the late forties were barren of development. There was an outcropping where we would enjoy a picnic lunch and that we named Eagle Rock or so I remember. To the surprise of absolutely nobody that open space is now a sea of modest homes. It was at Lake Chabot, a county park nestled in those hills, that I was stung by about a million bees. There was crying involved if I’m not mistaken.

Earlier, in our end of the war Salinas days, we often ventured to Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. That would have been by public transport since didn’t have wheels until more than a decade later. Our path from Salinas took us through the very landscape that that these photographs depict. Those grassy knolls and hillocks say California like nothing else. 

On the morning that I photographed Harold and Pat Glasco, the subjects of last week's post, I made some early morning photographs of a glowing hillside that had just been shorn of its Wheatgrass. That left the graded soil the color and texture of a Jersey cow and made the iconic Oaks really pop.

Then, for good measure, there are these golden rollers reaching down to the Pacific between Cayucos and Cambria.

Middle California's decor package starts with tan carpet spread across undulating hills from San Diego's North County to the upper reaches of Sonoma. That's the better part of 400 miles south to north and fifty miles across from the coast to the San Joaquin Valley. That's enough acreage to make it the dominant feature of coastal Cal. It makes me wonder what the early Spanish must have thought when they beheld such an Eden.


j. Madison Rink said...

Extraordinary photographs, Steve. I had to stop by and tell you that these photographs took my breath away. The perspective so unique! Absolutely stunning! The California coast so lovely but I especially value the way you see it. Thanks! I trust you are well. madison

Steve Immel said...

Thank you so much, Madison. I'm glad you see a unique perspective in these. One tries to accomplish that but is never quite sure. We are well and hope that you are, too. Best regards.

John Farnsworth said...

Love that last image, especially, Steve.

Steve Immel said...

Thanks John. You around this week?

Blacks Crossing said...

Well, you did it. The images here are quintessential California and the way you portrayed the field - from newly plowed with the oak tree soloing, to the tree in the foreground, to the detail of the tree - say it all. The rolling fog over the hills is the topping on the cake. The people who arrived in California (Fred's family on his father's side) from Iowa and Oklahoma really must have thought they landed in heaven. What a blog! Thanks, Steve!

Steve Immel said...

Thanks Daryl.