Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

The Valley of Heart's Delight
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The Valley of Heart's Delight
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 120mm Schneider Super-Symmar HM f/5.6 lens, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 55 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

The Valley of Heart's Delight

High Meadow, Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, Santa Clara County, CA, 4/29/2008

On this April afternoon I saw gorgeous cumulus clouds moving by, and I went off in search of a natural location to photograph under them. But when I arrived at the High Meadow in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, the sky had cleared except for a distant line of clouds to the east. Here they are above the Santa Clara Valley, seen as a vignette under a beautiful oak tree's arch of branches. Beginning in the 1970s, the valley south of San Francisco has been commonly referred to as Silicon Valley, famous for its high tech, biotech, and other industries. Its earlier character was quite different. Upon viewing the valley for the first time in 1868, naturalist John Muir captured that moment in these words: "It was bloom time of the year.... The landscapes of the Santa Clara Valley were fairly drenched with sunshine, all the air was quivering with the songs of the meadowlarks, and the hills were so covered with flowers that they seemed to be painted." Well into the 20th century, fertile orchards dominated the landscape and snow-white blossoms of cherry and plum trees covered the valley, a place that was then revered as the Valley of Heart's Delight. From this high meadow vantage point, I can easily picture how lovely that all must have been!

The Valley of Heart's Delight

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