A Quick Escape (1)

As I mentioned in my August summary, we’ve had the worst heatwave of the year (so far… keeping my fingers crossed) over the weekend. The night from Saturday to Sunday was particularly annoying because temperatures actually increased over night (down-slope effect of offshore wind). At San Diego’s airport, which is really close to the ocean but somewhat sheltered in the bay of San Diego, the temperature was 91°F/33°C at 1:30am, in the middle of the night. For San Diego, that’s extraordinary.

We woke up to a temperature of 88°F/31°C at 6am – remnant clouds from tropical storm “Lidia” had moved in from the south, essentially locking in the heat over night. Great! :-P In these temperatures, a morning run in the neighborhood is out of the question obviously – and so I made a quick escape to Laguna Mountains, which was so much cooler (60°F/16°C) and best of all, the entire area was completely in clouds. Strong winds from the east pushed the clouds upwards and everything was dripping from condensation – including myself, after just a few minutes. :-)

I made my mandatory stop at Pinyon Point near Stevenson Peak, and perhaps managed to make the first photo of that one Pinyon Pine (that is so strikingly placed at a steep ledge) that I really like. Well, at least at the moment. :-) I originally intended this to be a black & white photo, but when I’m done with processing in black & white I often switch back to color, just to compare… and then liked the color tones so much that I just couldn’t bring myself to use the black & white instead.

Pinyon Pine in fog on a rocky slope, Pinyon Point, Laguna Mountains, California, September 2017.
Pinyon Pine in fog on a rocky slope, Pinyon Point, Laguna Mountains, California, September 2017.

I continued to the overlook above Storm Canyon and took a walk on the Pacific Crest Trail, heading north – a happy little Toni ran back and forth on the trail, enjoying the cool temperatures very much as well. I saw plenty of Mirabilis multiflora (Colorado four o’clock) along the trail, a plant I had not noticed before, simply because I never hiked this trail at that time of the year. Unfortunately, the flowers were all pretty beat up by the wind and rain.

The views, if any, were limited to brief glimpses when there was a break in the clouds. Seeing the brightly sunlit desert floor briefly appear through the clouds was quite divine – yet, to transport this sensation and the true scale in a photograph wasn’t really possible, the moments were too brief and I didn’t feel like hanging out in a single spot, static, waiting for another break in the clouds that would or wouldn’t come.

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