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