In my travels, I’ve found a few places that I consider some of the most special places on earth. It’s funny that few of them are among the worlds most well known places. These places are wild but they’re close to urban areas. They aren’t common. There are only a few areas in the country with forward thinking residents that invest in open space parks in an effort to protect native flora and fauna from the encroaching urban sprawl. Tourists are rarely seen in these places as most folks I run into are locals lucky enough to live nearby.
My favorite such place would have to be the Bolder Open Space in Colorado and Discovery Park in Seattle also comes to mind. But, the Laguna Coast Wilderness runs stiff competition to any of them. Finding myself in beautiful Orange County California yesterday, I grabbed the Canon 7D and screwed on the 50mm-L and headed out for a long walk in the LCW – hoping for a special shot.
It was a classic spring SoCal day on the coast. A bit on the cool side with winds off the water, lots of sun and scarce clouds. The harsh afternoon sun here makes photography a challenge but some intense contrast can be found if one looks hard enough to find it. I parked at the Crystal Cove State park visitors center, laced up my old running shoes and headed up with camera in hand.
March in the park brings some spectacular wildflowers and is about the only time the park is really green. I figured that this would be as good a time as any to try to break out of the bird photography rut and try some landscape shots. I couldn’t resist a few bird shots though.
After about 10 miles and a couple of thousand vertical feet gained and lost, my feet were sore and blistered and I was worn out. On this day, the Laguna Coast Wilderness was as beautiful as I’d ever seen it and will undoubtedly remain high on my list of special places. Check it out at http://crystalcovestatepark.com/