Waking Dream

My photo of the month for April 2016 is from a recent little road-trip to California’s Central Coast and some inland areas (and I’ll have plenty of images to process). I made this photo in the canyon of Alisal Creek, on the second day of our trip. We stayed over night at the little Danish town of Solvang, and before breakfast, I went exploring a little bit in the early morning, driving on Alisal Road into the creek’s riparian canyon.

I was actually hoping to find a way out of the canyon and into the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains (part of the historic Rancho Nojoqui), but it’s all fenced private property. Deeper in the canyon though, the canopy of oaks was most lovely, so I just stayed there and walked along the (quiet) road a little bit.

The sun was still very low and hadn’t reached the canyon yet, so I had this very nice and even light in the shade to work with. The oak trees there are covered with lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii; sometimes falsely called Spanish Moss), which was recently designated as California’s state lichen. It was gently swaying in the wind, creating a strangely peaceful-but-eerie impression.

When I saw this arrangement of oaks, lace lichen, poison-oak and all the different greens, I pretty much knew that this was going to be my photo of the month. :-)

Lace-lichen covered oaks in the canyon of Alisal Creek near Solvang, California
Waking Dream — lace-lichen covered oaks in the canyon of Alisal Creek near Solvang, California. April 2016.
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5 Responses

  1. Beautiful soft earth-tones. Alisal is one of my favorite Santa Barbara back-roads. I walk it quite often myself, hoping to see roadside wildlife. It is indeed a very peaceful experience.

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