14 April 2017

San Francisco's Hawk Hill is an impressive sand dune located in the Forest Hill neighborhood: 14 April 2017


For thousands of years, strong winds from the Pacific Ocean blew sand from the ocean onto what is now known as San Francisco. This natural behavior created many sand dunes to multiply and grow on the San Francisco peninsula. Hawk Hill is a massive dune located approximately two miles east of the ocean's shoreline. The hill has a maximum elevation of about 650 feet. Hawk Hill's naturally eroding sand was always replenished with sand blown across what is now known as the Sunset District

The Outside Lands of San Francisco became populated after the earthquake of 1906. Beginning in the early Twentieth Century the sand dunes of the Outside Lands, now known as the Sunset District and the Richmond District, have been bulldozed, paved over with asphalt, and covered in concrete and wooden structures. This new reality left no naturally available source of windblown sand to restore the sand erosion occurring on Hawk Hill. 

Hawk Hill is an ecologically sensitive area located on the westerly side of the Forest Hill neighborhood. The shifting sands on the hill support a wide variety of dune plants. There are no trail signs nor entry signs at Hawk Hill; public access to Hawk Hill is discouraged by the City and County of San Francisco.

Click on an image to view the full-size photograph.
A view from Hawk Hill, looking west. Buildings in the Sunset District are visible. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

As I was walking through the Forest Hill neighborhood on my way to Hawk Hill, I passed by this house on Magellan Avenue. The house was the childhood home of Jerry Brown, a former governor of the State of California. Jerry Brown’s father Edmund “Pat” Brown was born in San Francisco in 1905. He attended Lowell High School, as did his wife, Bernice Layne. They had four children, three girls, and a boy; the children were all born in San Francisco. Pat Brown was elected District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco in 1943. He was subsequently elected Attorney General of California in 1950. Pat Brown was then elected governor of California in 1959. He served two terms as governor, from 1959 to 1967.

Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown Jr., the only son of Bernice and Pat Brown, was born in 1938. He followed his father’s footsteps and went into politics. He served as Secretary of State of California from 1971-1975. He was elected governor of California in 1974 at age 36. Brown was re-elected governor in 1978. He then ran for the United States Senate in 1982 and lost the election. Brown re-emerged on the political stage after he moved his residence to Oakland, California. Brown served as Mayor of Oakland for two terms, from 1999-2007. He then became Attorney General of California from 2007 to 2011. Jerry Brown decided to run for another term as governor of California in 2010. Brown won the election and was thereafter re-elected as governor in 2014. 

Cynthia Brown Kelly, Jerry Brown’s older sister, considered this house her home for almost her entire life. She was 81 when she died on 29 March 2015. 

Okay, now on to Hawk HillThis is the Hawk Hill trail; the view is looking west. 

  This is another view of the trail, looking west. 

A view from the trail looking at the Sunset District and the Pacific Ocean. The large building straight ahead is Abraham Lincoln High School. 

This view from the trail is looking southwest The green area in the distance, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, was the site of Fort FunstonThe fort became operational in 1900; it was decommissioned in 1963. 

This will be the last picture from Hawk Hill; the view is looking south. The mountain ahead on the left, with the antennas on its summit, is San Bruno Mountain. The mountain in the distance on the right is Montara Mountain. 

This photo was taken from Grand View Park; the scene is looking northeast. Downtown San Francisco is visible in the distance. The hill on the right is Mount Sutro, and the below residential area is Cole Valley, which is located in the Inner Sunset District. 

This picture was taken from 14th Avenue near Ortega Street. Ahead is the western portion of Golden Gate Park. The buildings closest to the camera are located in the Sunset District. The buildings on the far side of Golden Gate Park are located in the Richmond District. The hill on the far side of the Richmond District was the site of both the Fort Miley Military Reservation and Golden Gate Cemetery. The building complex on the high point of the hill is the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Please note that as recently as one hundred and twenty years ago, all of the lands that you see in this picture were wild, unpopulated sand dunes. In the distance is the mouth of San Francisco BayMarin County and Mount Tamalpais are on the far side of the bay. The view is looking northwest. 

The church, reddish in color, with the two steeples, is St. Anne of the Sunset Church. The construction of this building began in 1930 and the church was dedicated in 1933. The church has a complex and beautiful frieze on the exterior of the building. The sculpture was created by Sister Justina Niemierski. The view is looking northeast. 

A part of the frieze created by Sister Justina Niemierski. 

Another portion of the frieze created by Sister Justina Niemierski. 

The distance traveled was approximately 5.1 miles (8.2 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was approximately 603 feet (184 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with an Olympus 17mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

09 April 2017

San Francisco – from West Portal to Edgehill Mountain; and then to the Mission District via Noe Valley: 9 April 2017

Of the many hills in San Francisco, seven are said to have been named at the time of the city’s founding: Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, Rincon Hill, Twin Peaks, Lone Mountain and Mount Davidson

In addition to the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, the hills are San Francisco's most prominent geographical feature. The same colossal forces that caused the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes have shaped the hills; the hills range in elevation from 100 feet to 925 feet. While most of San Francisco is built on sand, many of its hills stand on Franciscan or serpentine bedrock. 

Edgehill Mountain was once part of Adolph Sutro’s San Miguel Ranch. This property was sold by Sutro’s estate after his death in 1898. Edgehill Mountain then became one of the city’s first subdivisions. 

The summit of Edgehill Mountain, 734 feet (224 meters), was leveled, and houses were constructed on and adjacent to the summit. Houses were also built on the mountain's western and southern slopes. Serious problems with building on this land began in 1953 when winter rains caused a home to slide down the western mountain side. Edgehill Mountain Park was established in 1985 when the city purchased 1 acre of the mountain’s undeveloped, western slope and designated the area an Open Space Park.

The unsettled question is how many hills are actually located in San Francisco? The answer to that question varies from seven to fifty-three, depending on what you read or to whom you speak.


Edgehill Mountain, 734 feet (224 meters), is ahead. The picture was taken from Dorchester Way; the view is looking northeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

This is a view of Mount Davidson, 925 feet (282 meters); it is the tallest hill in San Francisco. This picture was taken from the southern side of Edgehill Mountain; the view is looking southeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

This photo was taken from Edgehill Way on the northeast side of Edgehill Mountain. Twin Peaks are ahead, as is Sutro Tower; the view is looking northeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

This is a view from Garcia Avenue. The large rectangular buildings ahead are part of  Laguna Honda Hospital, a sprawling complex constructed in the early 1920s. The hospital’s history dates back to the founding of the city. The view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

This photo was taken from Idora Avenue. Mount Sutro is visible; the view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

This photo was taken from Woodside Avenue. In the distance, across San Francisco Bay in Marin County, is Mount Tamalpais, 2,572 feet (784 meters); the summit is sheathed in clouds. The view is looking north. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

Downtown San Francisco is visible in the distance. Trans-Bay Tower is still under construction and it already is the tallest building in San Francisco. This picture was taken from Portola Drive; the view is looking northeast. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.



The mural 'I Still Have A Dream' is located on Twenty-fourth Street in Noe Valley. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.

The distance traveled was approximately 4.8 miles (9.1 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was approximately 470 feet (143 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.

This chart shows the elevation changes encountered during this ramble. Click on the image to see the full-size graph.

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lang 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with an Olympus 17mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

08 April 2017

The San Francisco Legion of Honor: 6 December 2016

Click on an image to see the full-size photograph. 



  

   


   

  Four image panorama. 







  Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), an artist who made the sculpture of Joan of Arc.

The distance traveled was approximately 5.7 miles (9.1 kilometers). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. 

"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view those photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with an Olympus 17mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com

28 March 2017

A ramble from the Warm Springs BART station to the summit of Mission Peak, and back: 28 March 2017


It has been about 17 years since BART decision-makers publically mentioned the possibility of adding 5.4 miles of train track between the Fremont BART station, the southerly most station in the East Bay, and Warm Springs, which is located in the southern portion of Fremont. I read recently that BART was finally opening the new Warm Springs BART station on Saturday, 25 March 2017. 

I looked at a map to see the exact location of the newly opened Warm Springs BART station, and after a short review of the map, I decided to do a ramble from the Warm Springs BART station to the summit of Mission Peak, 2,520 feet (768 meters), and then back to the Warm Springs BART station. The distance traveled would be approximately 10.5 miles (16.9 kilometers). About six miles of trails and 4.5 miles on public streets. The cumulative elevation gain would be about 2,542 feet (774 meters). 

Donna joined me on this somewhat strenuous hike. We left the Berkeley BART station at 7:45 am and arrived at the Warm Springs BART station at around 8:50 am, at which time we immediately started our ramble to Mission Peak. It took us about 5 hours and 30 minutes to do the hike.

Click on an image to see the full-size photograph.
The Warm Springs BART station. The view is looking west. 

The Inside the Warm Springs BART station. The view is looking southwest. 

A view of Mission Peak as seen from the Warm Springs BART station. This picture is looking east. 

Here is another view of Mission Peak as seen from the Warm Springs BART station. 

A view from the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. The Tesla car factory is located in the light-colored factory buildings seen ahead to the left of the center. That area is also the location of the new Warm Springs BART station. The view is looking west. 

On the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. Fremont is ahead. The view is looking northwest. 

Looking east from the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. The summit of Mission Peak beckons. 

Cows grazing near Peak Meadow Trail. The view is looking southeast. 

A view of Mount Diablo, 3,849 feet (1,173 meters), as seen from near the summit of Mission Peak. This scene is looking northeast.

Donna is enjoying our adventure. We are now on the Peak Trail and are very close to the summit of Mission Peak. The view is looking northwest. 

The summit of Mission Peak. The view is looking west.

We are descending Horse Heaven Trail. Here is a view of the summit of Mission Peak. This scene is looking northeast. 

The beautiful hills of California. 
The Ohlone Wilderness Trail is visible; we will be leaving the park shortly, and then we will walk back to the Warm Springs BART station for the train ride home. It is approximately thirty-five miles from Warm Springs to Berkeley via BART. 

This map shows the locations of the Warm Springs BART station and Mission Peak Regional Preserve. The area shown is in the southeast portion of the Bay Area. 

The distance traveled was approximately 10.5 miles (16.9 kilometers). Six miles were on trails, and 4.5 miles were on public streets. Mile markers are displayed on the GPS-generated track. The cumulative elevation gain was about 2,542 feet (774 meters). 

This graph shows the elevation changes encountered during the hike. 
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"A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange 

"Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important." Henri Carter-Bresson

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The important thing is not the camera but the eye." Alfred Eisenstaedt


The first volume of the San Francisco Bay Area Photo Blog contains galleries of photographs that were posted on the Internet between 2002 and 2011. Click Here to view these photo galleries.

Panasonic GX7 camera body mounted with a Panasonic 14mm-42mm lens was used to take these photographs.

Question or comment? I may be reached at neil@mishalov.com