Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saturday morning on Mt. Baldy

A couple of weeks ago, I was staying near the base of Mt. Baldy, so I took a morning drive up the mountain. I only had a couple of hours, so I didn't make it all the way up to the ski resort. Along the way, I stopped to take a short hike down to San Antonio Creek, which was running pretty good from the snow melting.

I continued up the mountain, looking for scenic spots to take photos. I ended up needing a one day adventure pass for the remaining hour I had. I just made it out of the ranger station with the pass, when a whole troop of Boy Scouts came marching down the road and lined up to go inside. There were hikers and other people up on the mountain looking for snow to play in.

A little further up the road, I came across a really scenic spot with the San Antonio Creek running through a beautiful grove of trees, complete with ivy covering some of the trees. It was about 9:30 in the morning, so the shadows were still long and they were wreaking havoc with the photos I was trying to take. It was one of those spots that was really scenic, but I couldn't figure out how to make a good composition between all the trees and the bright and shady spots.
I'd like to go back to that area again some day and figure out how to capture the beauty. I ended up with the following photo of the creek bed, as the trees made it way to busy:

Further on up the road, there was a parking area next to the trail that leads to the Ice House Canyon. I didn't have much time left, so I parked quickly and walked down to the trail. The San Antonio Creek was running alongside the trail and there was snow/ice in the shady areas. I walked down the dry part of the creek bed to see if I could line up a shot of the snowy peak, the creek and the snow nearby. I never found such a lineup, but I did stumble upon a massive amount of ladybugs. They were bunched up in the bushes and on low hanging branches in the hundreds to maybe thousands. As I turned around, I realized I'd probably walked over/on a few of them. They were mostly in large bunches but there were a few stragglers scattered all over the place. I ended up with them landing on me and the tripod. Trying to photograph large bunches of them didn't turn out too well, so I decided to take some macro shots of just a few that weren't crawling around quickly:

The large mass of lady bugs were at the green arrow on the map, just off the trail near the parking lot:

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