Posted on 22 Jun ’10

Jeff and I were walking down 6S90 towards the waterfall which runs over the road by Nelder Grove when we came upon a small stand of Dogwoods where a few blossoms remained. Karen and I had been shooting Dogwoods the last time we were up in the SNF. Most of the blossoms had damage from the uncharacteristically cold weather this year. Warm one day, freezing the next, the frigid temperatures had wreaked havoc on the delicate blossoms. For the past couple of years when we were coming up here as a group, Jeff would always stop at one point on Sky Ranch road where there is a very large group of Dogwoods.

Stopping there, in the middle of the road, had become somewhat of a running joke amongst us all. In truth, Jeff does like them when they are in bloom along the road. Knowing this, Karen intimated she wished to stop and make a photograph for Jeff. She wanted to make a print to give Jeff as a present. We pulled off the side of Sky Ranch and walked around the many Dogwood trees but we were not really able to find any blossoms which did not have a significant amount of damage. Karen and I had gone out to Nelder Grove for a hike but had not continued up 6S90. We’d gone the other way during that visit and came out through Sugar Pine; after slogging through some nasty mud, the road was still quite a mess from the melting snow.

Had we headed in the direction of the waterfall, where 6S90 comes out onto Sky Ranch by the bridge, we would have seen this little stand of Dogwoods and may have had better luck finding suitable blossoms to make a photograph which would print well. Jeff and I were fortunate enough to stumble upon them but, in the waning light and wind it was difficult to shoot them well. Not having any of the usual gear for making closeups – my intention was long exposures of the waterfall… The tripod wasn’t going to help in this situation and I didn’t have a clamp of any type to steady the sway of the fragile Dogwood limbs. The remaining option was to pump up the ISO and shoot wide open. I was very grateful to have a Canon IS lens in this case but, still, I was not at all sure I had been successful in making even one good photograph.

Now, starting to go through them, I am running across a couple which I think capture what I was seeing and feeling at that moment; and the sentiment from the previous attempt with Karen. I hope that Karen and I can find one we both like enough to print and give to Jeff. Even if we do not and must endure waiting until next year to try again; I think there are some which will make quite nice backgrounds. If you like this one download the original image to use as a desktop background or wallpaper.

updated: corrected, sky ranch road not beasore road.