Dapper Dappled Pacific – Santa Cruz Mountains

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Broken sunlight projects onto the Pacific Ocean, as seen from California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.

This view has been featured in many of my photographs. It’s from the western sides of the mountains in Russian Ridge Open Space, one of my favorite places to hike. These Santa Cruz Mountains, while not the most dramatic coastal features California has to offer, have a beauty all their own. I don’t think this is my best photograph from this vantage. But I think it might have been the most beautiful evening I spent there. As the sun set, the fog began to break up. This was hidden, because from the height of the trail, you were looking at the clouds almost head-on. But the broken nature of the clouds was projected onto the Pacific Ocean below, creating an ambiance I hadn’t experienced before or since.

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