A Different Light
As a kid in the cold northeast, beach weather often started from late June and ended by the first frost, which could hit by the third week of August, well before school started. In my old Adirondack foothill stomping grounds, we had occasional hailstorms on the beach in July.
Time at the beach represented the iconic peak of short-lived summers.
Here on the west coast, with more temperate weather, beach walks are a year round treat. Chilly, damp and gray, or blindingly sunny and hot, the broad, rough beaches of Northern California offer the solace of nature on endless loop.
One common thread between northeast and west coast seasons is the sense of light. Though we don’t have an abundance of red, orange and yellow leaves, late autumn light shimmers with a specific glow.
There is a very particular sense to winter’s weakened sunlight reflecting on puddles created by melting snow where I grew up in rural New York State. I sense that same peculiar quality of light in parallel seasons here on the west coast, even without melting snow to reflect from.
My family has the good fortune of living near several beautiful beaches, despite being city dwellers. Waves along the shore stir the heart at any time of year, but there’s something special about a winter walk along the beach, when the light shines at a different slant and intensity.
This week’s Hike Notes brings visitors to Ocean Beach – South End, a beach walk where nature meets the city at the western edge of San Francisco.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos! Check the Home page for the broader background story. Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections.
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New this week:
Hike Notes 92: Ocean Beach – South End
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.