Photo: Muddy Rim Trail, Lafayette Reservoir, Lafayette, Contra Costa, California

Photo (Above): Muddy Rim Trail in winter, Lafayette Reservoir, Lafayette, California

Do you ever think back on your New Year’s Resolutions or goals that you had set for yourself? I’m sure it’s something we all do at one point or another. I’m reminded of this as I’ve finally had a chance to edit some of the material I shot at the beginning of the year. Now a full half-calendar season away, this image of the muddy Rim Trail along the Lafayette Reservoir reminds me of time that slipped past and the new seasons which are fast approaching and/or upon us again.

Right now, just days into the fall season, the hills are all brown and the only things which remain green are the leaves on the oak trees. The trail is bone dry, with a fine dust that kicks up behind each step, while hot days and warm evenings parch the earth a tiny bit more with each passing day. In contrast, the wet weather of winter and spring always turns this dry dirt into the slickest of mud, the type that sticks inches-thick to the bottom of your shoes and sometimes feels more slippery than ice. On this particular morning, it was one of my first outings with my then-recently acquired Sony A6300, my very first mirrorless camera body which I wanted specifically for when I go hiking. I found myself literally skating in my hiking boots along parts of the muddy trail. It was here where I stopped to look back and see a nice section of the Rim Trail in all of its wet, seasonal glory.

The path that we plan for ourselves with each New Year sometimes takes twists and turns that we don’t expect. Sometimes we still manage despite a few stumbles to wind up in a place close to where we envisioned ourselves, while others find their path has taken them to totally unexpected places. Looking back on occasion can be a good thing as it reminds us of where we were, where we are now, and reminding ourselves of where we still want to go.

Wherever you are on your path right now, I hope you’re stopping to soak in the views and enjoy the small and simple wonders that life has to offer, like the breeze on your face, the smell of fresh rain (petrichor), or the sound of a child laughing.

As for me, stay tuned… 🙂

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Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

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