San Mateo Wilderness Loop

At the end of April, I did a 9.5 miles loop hike in the San Mateo Wilderness near Lake Elsinore. It was a cool overcast day. My favorite part of the hike was about a 2 mile section in the oak lined canyon bottom.

Path in the Wood
California Checkerbloom – April 27, 2021
Prints available

We stopped at the gnarly oak to enjoy a snack under its protection. I wandered around it’s limbs exploring various photographic compositions. The tree took on different characters from various angles. What creatures do you see in its twisted limbs?

Defending the Kingdom

As we continued up toward San Mateo Peak, I zoomed in on some interesting boulders in the chaparral.

Bowling Alley
Almost Back … to where we started

If you want to see a few more from this hike, click here.

Hollenbeck Canyon

I visited Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife area for my first time this spring. I liked it so much that I returned a few times since. This write-up is about all those visits. What I liked about it was the varied landscape of rolling grasslands (once farmland), wooded canyon, and chaparral hillsides.

On March 31, I was joined by Alex and Joe. Thank you to Alex for introducing me to this place on this visit. We were going mainly to photograph in a grove of oak trees, but I found the rolling grasslands equally attractive. We met at the trailhead shortly after sunrise.

Fence and Meadow – March 31, 2021
Old Oak along the Road – March 31, 2021
Arch of Oaks – March 31, 2021

Click here to see Alex’s photos from this outing and here to see Joe’s photos.

Wishbone Bush – March 31, 2021

I returned to Hollenbeck a few weeks later, on April 5, with a few hiking friends. This time we did a 7.5-mile loop hike that included the Honey Springs Trail. It was a gorgeous morning as the low clouds burned away.

Fog Lifting – April 5, 2021
Golden Fields – April 5, 2021

I returned one last time a few days ago. While on my previous visit, I captured a scene that I thought might look good at sunset. I came back this time, late in the day. To get to this spot, I approached the area through a less-used trail and hiked along a ridge. The light at the end of the day, with long shadows, is always beautiful.

Silhouetted Hills – April 24, 2021
Old Dirt Road at Sunset – April 24, 2021