Land's End

The rockiest limb of San Francisco.

If you've ever wanted to visit a heavily populated spot on a weekend and be nearly alone, I recommend Superbowl Sunday. It so happened that me and mine are no fans of the two teams which happened to make it to the big game - so we headed for the San Francisco coast. I had packed my camera to catch some shoreline views of Cliff House and other icons in the ruddy light of a great sunset when I realized I had left my memory card on the desk at home. Of course I didn't realize this until about five minutes after I had been shooting, all the while oblivious to my camera's warnings of "Demo Mode" after each shot. I guess we see what we want to see sometimes, or rather, we fail to see what we don't want to see; needless to say I felt quite foolish.

Despite this setback, I managed to find, tucked into the very bottom of a camera bag in my trunk, an older card that did the trick later in the evening. Now, the moon and Jupiter would have been just as brilliant, the cypress as dramatic a frame and the heavens the same saturated palette of purples, oranges and blues; but these sights would have been mine alone were it not for that small piece of plastic, copper and silicon tucked serendipitously into the nylon of my "hey-I'll-bring-my-camera-for-the-fun-of-it" bag. Instead, that bit of luck means I get to relive a piece of those moments in my photographs and share a piece of that good fortune with you!

While the rest of the world watched football, I took the footpath from the Great Highway, through tall, stately conifers to where the great tempest of the Pacific tears it's fringes to foam on the crags and sand of Land's End. I grew up near a city whose fresh water front was preserved through the foresight of a man named Burnham and moved near a city whose coastline is preserved through force of nature. No industry, no factory, no pier will gain purchase where the wind and surf turn granite to sand. So lucky are the people who have this magical spot where the Monterey Cypress frame Luna and Jove on a field of violet as the last rays of our star are refracted through the upper atmosphere. I had to act quickly and use a high ISO in order to catch the moon and Jupiter peeping through the windows made by the cypress branches.

Luna and Jove through Cypress windows

Through the knotted trunks, the waning daystar left it's stain of amber upon the horizon and called a host of cargo vessels to slide past the rusty orange guardian of the San Francisco strait and steam toward the bosom of the great sea.

Land's End

Cold, merciless and tumultuous - one might wonder why we hold onto that famous Magellanic appellation when we don't have his eponymous straits as comparison. But, no matter how fierce it may seem from the coast, one cannot help but be pacified upon seeing the crescent and her fellow travelers' scattered reflections on the cresting waves.

The heavens above the Pacific
The heavens above the Pacific