Yuba River Instameet
On a day when the spring sunshine became increasingly crowded skies, we arrived at the Yuba River for an Instameet with local photographers. I forgot that we needed to organize our parking fee for the State Park, so by the time I had that sorted out, the rest of the group had moved down the trail. We wandered the Buttermilk Bend alongside the river. We took Chewbacca, which is totally fine as long as dogs are on leash.
Ian and I thought we followed the group, but we actually took a different fork in the path that led us down to the water's edge. Which was great for photographs.
It had steep slopes, though, which was a big challenge with an eager puppy. Ian was a huge help for me. We figured out our mistake and turned ourselves around to (hopefully) catch up with everyone else. Chances were slim with my slower pace anyway.
Ian quickly noticed little signs for different plants and wildflowers along the path. The incoming storm meant that everything green seemed to just be singing-green. Eager and bright and happy green. Which was striking after our years of drought. We wandered and found little succulents, tiny blooms, and each curve showed another gorgeous view of the canyon.
I pushed my creative limits since I held Chewie with one hand and balanced the camera with the other. If I got super-invested in an idea, Ian held Chewie's leash. He was so sweet about our wrong turn and helping me through the rough patches of the trail. "I'll always wait for you, Mama."
After we returned to the main trail, walking was easy-going. Benches invited us to sit and enjoy the view every little while. We never did "catch up" but we met up with a friend who had taken a detour to photograph her favorite view. And another friend saw us on the return trip. We were the "caboose" heading out, and the "locomotive" heading back.
Rain pattered down as we arrived at the parking lot. Where it was very good that I fussed with the parking fees, because rangers checked the parking lot.
As the rest of the group arrived, we chatted and exchanged information about where to find everyone's photographs.
Oh, Ian was really into searching for wildflowers, even though they weren't blooming everywhere (perhaps that made the search more rewarding). I heard afterwards that they might be in full bloom in a week or two. Or that the tall grass from all the rain is preventing many flowers from growing tall enough to bloom. It's a good opportunity to go explore again soon. We loved discovering little succulents growing amid the boulders. Ian cataloged every orange flower he could find. We read a sign at the beginning of the trail about leaving the flowers to grow. Do not pick the flowers.
Near the end of the trail, Ian brought the drama when he discovered poppies of the most delightful shade of orange. He made this face about not being able to bring them home.
He was totally having fun with the moment. He asked me, "take a photo of my face like this and say that I couldn't pick the flower." He loves being silly!
Well, Ian, we'll just have to go back soon.
I tested my photography skills by taking (almost) all images with an eager pup on a leash, and keeping up with the constant conversations that an eight-year-old adores. "What if we found a little imp that wanted to come home with us? What if Chewie fell off the trail? Why are there so many different plants? What if I wanted to swim? Can I climb these rocks? Why not?"
Don't get me wrong, I love it. Just challenges the ability to keep attention on depth of field and exposure compensation and whatnot. Luckily, I was out for the joy of being out in nature. And capturing the experience. Done and done :)
Wonderful to see other photographers in the area. If you have a chance, join us for the next one! Kial of Nevada City Scenics and Erin of Outside Inn host and will send out the news. Meanwhile, have fun exploring!
Accessibility: the parking lot has quite a few spaces, though it fills up quickly during busy summer days. Be sure to use the "honor system" envelopes and display the tag on your car's dashboards. Steer towards the trail farther away from the river if you want to avoid stairs or potential steep slopes. The trail is well-maintained and flat if you use the fork of the trail. On the opposite side of the bridge, you can go to the Visitor's Center for more information.
Gear: Sigma Art Lens 35mm, *these are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase, a small amount returns to me for referring you. Your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting our adventures.
Your can discover other photographer's imagery on Instagram with the hashtag #wwim15nevadacity.