Today’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt by Frank is Hills. This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
Readers of my blog by now must be familiar with the featured image of my home page. It is a photo of Dana Peak (13000 ft) in the high Sierras taken by me in September of 2014 hiking down Gaylor Peak (11000 ft). But I am not going to talk about it today.
My current residence is in a valley (Almaden Valley) inside a valley (Santa Clara Valley / Silicon Valley). As such we are surrounded by hills. Mount Umunhum (3300 ft) to our west hovers over us and can be viewed from our front and back yard. But I am not going to talk about it today.The white cube seen on top of Mount Umunhum was a radar station in the air force base that was closed nearly forty years ago. During its heyday it used to keep tab on all flights coming in from the east over the Pacific Ocean. The radar station is still off limits to public due to asbestos hazards, but Mount Um was opened to the public in fall of 2017. It’s a gorgeous hike up there and on clear days one can see past San Francisco to Mt Tamalpais ( about 75 miles north) to the north and Monterey to the south and whole of Silicon Valley to the east.
Mount Umunhum as seen from my back yard.
Now that I have gotten these out of my way, let me come back to the main topic of today. Near our house is a small hillock (or a knoll ) hardly a couple of hundred feet tall. The landscape changes with the season. It is verdant in winter, slowly turning to golden brown with advent of spring. On top of the hill there are three oak trees. Looking from the bottom, only one oak tree is seen at a time. I think that’s where it got its name, One Tree Hill. Generations of kids have grown up swinging on homemade swings attached to its branches. Many graduating high school seniors use the plateau on top with the oak tree as a background for their high school graduating yearbook photos. I use the hike up the hill as my excuse for exercise but mainly to let my dog Skooby run around freely on the few soccer field size flat top. He enjoys the freedom, absolute lack of traffic and gallops, canters or sprints as he feels like. It’s pure joy to see him enjoying the freedom.
Alas, as spring comes the hills will slowly turn golden brown.
This enchanting hill can become dangerous fire hazard if some idiots drop their cigarette butts on those golden brown grass as can be seen from a photo taken couple of years back.
Thank God (and quick responding fire fighters) that no one was harmed and no property was damaged.
Yesterday it rained here, just sparingly. As the news channels said, it was just teaser rain (Flirtatious Rain Clouds) , harbinger of more rains to come in the next few days. God knows we need as much rain as we can get. But there was a forecast of snow at higher elevations. So come morning, I along with my best friend, Skooby, trudged up One Tree Hill. It was a gorgeous morning, cool,crisp and clear. And what a sight it was. Mount Hamilton (4300 feet) to the east of us was covered with snow. It was difficult to get a good photograph as the mountain was to my east and the sun shining bright in the morning.
I know I have gone completely overboard with this post. But as I mentioned at the beginning of my post today, this prompt is very near and dear to my heart. I wish I could have just given you a birds eye view as seen by the falcon flying over my head today.
All photographs by the author.