sunset in the hills

Just a 20 minute drive from where we are staying near downtown San Jose, CA takes you out in the country with great views of the oak savanna and the “wild” life there. Small ranchettes might harbor a variety of livestock, and on hiking into the hills, you might find a deer or two grazing at sunset.

pasture land near Calero Park

The pasture grass has long since dried up, and probably doesn’t have much nutrition. I’m sure livestock must be supplemented with alfalfa here.

california oak grassland cattle

A cow and calf are part of the larger herd that roams over the huge expanse of this ranch land.

It’s the contrast of the deep, olive green color of the oaks in the golden-colored grasslands that characterize the oak savannas of coastal California.  And the colors become even more intense in the orange glow of the sunset.

sunset in the Calero Park hills

Sunset colors really bring out the golden hues in the grasses.  A layer of fog had rolled in obscuring the hills in the distance, one of which houses the Lick Observatory.

Black-tailed Deer in Calero Park

I spotted three Columbia Black-tailed Deer (Mule Deer) on the next set of hills across a valley from me. This is a 100 mm shot.

Mule deer buck in Calero park hills

The buck watched me closely even though I must have been several hundred yards away. This was shot at 400 mm.  His antlers are still in velvet. Note the enormous ears of these mule deer, much larger than those of the White-tailed deer.

Sunset at Calero Park dam

I went down to the dam at this park and found an egret and a couple of ducks getting a last meal as the sun set.

Great Egret and Mallard ducks at sunset at Calero Dam

The sunset was beautifully reflected in the water behind the birds.

7 thoughts on “sunset in the hills

  1. These are awesome landscape shots, Sue, with a few added birds and wildlife too. The colors and your compositions really grabbed me, particularly the third shot.

    • Thanks, Mike. You know I owe the stimulus for these photos to my new Master at the Arcanum who suggested that I needed to stop shooting in the middle of the day and use the light at the end of the day for some accents. And he was right — this is a new look for me, and for my photos. Not the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen, but it certainly added some interesting colors to the hillsides.

    • Thanks so much, Margaret. I’ve learned a lot just recently from the online photography course I’ve been doing since January. It has really made a difference in the way I approach the shots I take now.

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