For a New Years Day hike I headed out to the farmlands of west Marin County and the rolling green hills above Chileno Valley. The hike up Antonio Mountain started in deep bay and oak forest and headed up on animal tracks though the trees – no views, just a steep slog upward, stepping over fallen trees and easing past bushes and undergrowth. Only at the very top did I emerge into open space, a wide and spacious green swath of grassland with scattered rocks, a few grazing cattle, and clear views to Sonoma and the waters of Tomales Bay.
At times the process of photography can seem like a long slog, casting about, looking, pressing on, getting tired, until you suddenly emerge from the shade and a view appears before you.
Not every time, of course, but when it does happen it is very reassuring, a good way to start the year.