I have many favorite evergreen oak trees all over San Diego County, no matter if it’s Coast Live Oak, Canyon Oak or Engelmann Oak. It’s especially the taller and older specimens of course, with their gnarly branches, weathered and fissured bark, their deep green, small and hardy leaves, and last not least, the smooth acorns. What’s not to like? They’re beautiful trees.
My latest favorite is the “Beekeeper Oak” that made its first appearance a couple of days ago in my post about the Highland Valley Trail – but I actually photographed it earlier already, back in January (feels like it was yesterday). I call it the Beekeeper Oak because there’s a beehive in it’s trunk, somewhere. It’s an old oak that has a hole burned into its trunk from a fire (probably back in 2007) and while I don’t see the hive, bees are going in and out all the time.
Side note about aesthetics and perception: for a couple of years now, I avoided toning my monochrome photos and kept them purely black and white. I felt that pure black & white looked better, especially when looking at multiple photos, in my portfolio galleries. With this photo, I have to depart from that principle. The photo looks so much better with sepia toning! I don’t know why, but it has more depth when it is toned. I can only guess, but I think that’s because it is not one tone, but two tones that are slightly different in hue and saturation (one for the shadows, the other for the highlights).
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