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Not even a month had passed and we found ourselves back at Upper Oso Campground in the Santa Ynez Valley. Out again for a soul quenching "appetizer" trip for one night.
The first set of photos in the post are from the Aliso Canyon Loop. A medium jaunt I particularly like through all different types of hiking elements. Taking the connecting trail from our campground we were looking at a little over four miles.
You can see in the photos we encountered ridge lines, forested glens, canyon creek, grassy meadows & Native American knowledge to boot. Mugwart (poison ivy solution) & the new edible spearmint plant are the two coolest new tips.
With winter in full effect for a few months now, the landscape still hinted at green in many places, but the overall tone of the land was an off brown that was laden with chaparral.
Afternoon led to evening, often as it does, we all set into different camp site roles. Some chopping wood, others setting up dinner elements, while another got the fire started.
We have grown accustomed to only leaving the fire warmth for minutes at a time. This is a definite sign that you are amongst the winter months b/c there is no time for careless card games at the table by the lantern.
As the hours pass & conversation of the next meal & the next weekend anyone is free flows into the night, I have been slowly working on developing my long exposure & time lapse photography skills. Fortunately enough, I can step away from the fire for a few minutes to set up a picture then come back it's warmth while the seconds tick by, slowly capturing the night sky.
In the photo above, there was a consensus from the four campers that we had caught something special on film. When you click to enlarge, look in the upper right side, these appear to be two brilliantly blue shooting stars.
This photo above was my personal favorite of the trip, due to it's careful planning & execution. This photo was taken for thirty seven & a half minutes, looking roughly towards the north. You can see the star trails swirling in the night sky. The foreground was painted with small portions of fire light & a while headlamp for a few seconds at a time.
The above photo is a very "noise" capture of the night sky with a heavy saturation added to it to bring out the different stars. The yellow light is a particularly bright shooting star.
The last of the night time photos before bed. Here is a thirty second exposure of the north sky, lightly painted with a headlamp in the foreground.
The night led to morning, as it often does, seeing the temps dipper to 32 degrees. Above we see Collin making first efforts at a fire & a start to the day. Close behind him, below, we see Carlos & our newly criscend mountain woman, Stephanie, rising from their slumber.