Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape – Candlestick Point, San Francisco, CA 21 May 2013

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Good Morning:

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, these pictures looks like rural Northern California, but that sneaky Vonn, he probably took some more of his trick photographs again, this must be San Francisco. And since I have an outstanding and intelligent readership, yes, you are correct.

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Candlestick Point (not to be confused with Candlestick Park, the current home of my beloved San Francisco 49ers, and it’s a shame I can’t color my fonts red and gold) is a California State Park on the southeast corner of the city. We city folk don’t often visit, especially during the weekdays, because public transit serves the park poorly. Actually, not at all. The 29-Sunset has a stop about a quarter-mile away, while I had to walk nearly a mile from the T line stop at Gilman. The weekends are busy, thanks to the comparatively large acreage for exploration, picnic tables with wind breaks (the park is very windy), fire pits, and other facilities. However, walking had its advantages; aside from the superb exercise, I got to indulge in my fondness for urban industrial landscape wasteland photography:

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Only a few hundred yards from where I snapped the first two shots. Incredible, huh?

I must have found a sort of back entrance to the park:

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Leading to this vantage point:

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Along the way to this spot, a large brown critter with extremely long ears leapt up and bounded away from me. I thought, that can’t possibly be a jackrabbit. I was wrong. Candlestick Point is the home of a small population of jackrabbits. Like Grand View and Corona Heights, the park does maintain a population of wild animals that you would not expect to see in densely populated city like mine. I even heard high-pitched shaking sounds which reminded me of rattlesnakes. If they actually live in the park, which seems unlikely, must have been insects, they would have plenty of prey.

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Ground squirrels have severely truncated tails. The long tails that help tree squirrels maintain their balance while roaming treetops would just get in the way of a ground squirrel’s escape into one of its burrows. The ground squirrels at Candlestick do not behave the same as ground squirrels near the Grand Tetons. At the Tetons, they flee into their holes at the merest hint of humans. At the Point, they first freeze on top of the rocks where they sit, where they do blend in rather well. By the way, San Francisco ground squirrels will eat anything. I will spare you the picture of two of them feasting on the carcass of a large fish.

Cormorants are not the easiest birds to photograph; they do not like humans and will dive as soon as they see you. Your best bet consists of using the widest angle possible and then cropping.

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The next shot illustrates an summer phenomenon of San Francisco. As the day heats up, the water in the Bay evaporates into a fine mist. At a certain point, the mist becomes opaque enough that the East Bay almost seems to disappear.

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I conclude with some random shots of the Point, including the spit of land where people fish. The Bay’s overall health has improved in recent decades to the point that adult males and women over 45 can eat 1-2 servings of some species of fish caught in the San Francisco Bay per week. Seriously, that does constitute very good news.

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San Francisco contains dozens if not hundreds of escapes concealed within its diminutive 49 square miles among its not-so-diminutive 800,000+ human residents. I have used my vacation to explore some of the lesser-known getaways (incidentally, vacationing in San Francisco is much cheaper if you already live here). One more escape and I’m done for this week’s photo Challenge.

Vonn Scott Bair

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3 responses »

    • Beauty Along the Road: Actually, I want to return to that “wasteland” during The Magic Hour someday. I belong to a group of photographers many of whom love these sorts of urban landscapes, and they’ll probably enjoy having a look at the results. Curious thing about photography; it can transform anything into beauty so quickly. Vonn Scott Bair

  1. Pingback: My 10 Years of Living Debt-Free | The San Francisco Scene--Seen!

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