Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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The Arbor Day Remembrance

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: David July — Looking up at the giant redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest on the Main Trail near the border of Mount Tamalpais State Park at Muir Woods National Monument, Marin County, California: 29 January 2013

Looking up at the giant redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest on the Main Trail near the border of Mount Tamalpais State Park at Muir Woods National Monument.

Near 1 Muir Woods Road, Marin County, California: 29 January 2013


part of the Muir Woods album

The first stop on my 2013 birthday of nature, trails and photography was the one and only Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County. It was the natural place to begin, considering its proximity to the other destinations scheduled.

Photo Credit: David July — A wonderfully large giant redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) tree along the Main Trail at Muir Woods National Monument, Marin County, California: 29 January 2013

At times like my last visit in the mid-1990s, Muir Woods can be too popular a place to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in its wonderful, peaceful surroundings. Only twenty minutes north of San Francisco, it is a popular tourist destination especially for those who have never seen a great redwood tree. On 29 January 2013 though, Marc and I had the place basically to ourselves.

Photo Credit: David July — Giant redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest next to the Main Trail at Muir Woods National Monument, Marin County, California: 29 January 2013

Over the course of three hours, we meandered down the Main Trail all the way to the signed border of Mount Tamalpais State Park and then back, taking a slightly different route where available. Crisp, cool and especially fresh oxygenated air flowed through the dimly lit forest. Tranquil and pure, chirping songbirds were the only soundtrack heard.

Photo Credit: David July — Giant redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees along the Main Trail at Muir Woods National Monument, Marin County, California: 29 January 2013

Muir Woods is a beautiful place and we were lucky to be there on a quiet, seemingly tourist-free day. However pleased I may be with some of my photographs from this visit, there is an ineffable quality to a place like this impossible to capture truly.

And just as I experienced six days earlier at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, it is an interesting juxtaposition being secluded in a wonderful natural place like Muir Woods yet so close to over seven million people.

Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July

The One That Got Away

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: David July — A fish escapes from an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) after being caught in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida: 24 November 2012

A fish escapes from an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) after being caught in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.

Near Pioneer Drive, Jacksonville, Florida: 24 November 2012


part of the Thanksgiving 2012 album

When I first spotted this Anhinga anhinga just north of the main lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, it had just caught a fish. As the bird prepared to eat its catch, something happened and the fish successfully launched itself from the anhinga's bill with amazing speed and agility.

Photo Credit: David July — A fish escapes from an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) after being caught in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida: 16 February 2014

I pressed the shutter button repeatedly and captured three frames as the anhinga rapidly reacted by diving into the pond in pursuit.

Photo Credit: David July — After the fish it caught escapes, an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) prepares to pursue it in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida: 24 November 2012 Photo Credit: David July — After the fish it caught escapes, an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) dives to pursue it in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida: 24 November 2012 Photo Credit: David July — After the fish it caught escapes, an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) dives to pursue it in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida: 24 November 2012

From escape to pursuit, everything seen above took place inside of two seconds. The anhinga returned seventeen seconds later, apparently without the fish.

Photo Credit: David July — Following the successful escape of the fish it caught, an Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) returns to a rock in a pond north of the lake at Jacksonville's Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Florida: 24 November 2012

I have no idea what ultimately occurred below the water's surface, but I was left with the impression that the fish did not become a meal that afternoon.

Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July