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Del Valle shoot

Del Valle Regional Park, Livermore

It was 95 deg F (35 deg C) in Livermore today. I decided to skip the car show with the hoards of people downtown and shoot Del Valle Regional Park instead!

Del Valle is so close (10 miles [16.1 km] south of Livermore) that I often forget it is there. The ride east on Tesla Road through the vineyards takes you to Mines Road, about which I wrote earlier. From there, instead of following Mines Road to the left, you take Del Valle Road to the right, up the hill (1, 2, 3). Del Valle Regional Park is a member of the East Bay Regional Parks District (1). The centerpiece of the park is Lake Del Valle (photo above), which is 5 miles (8.05 km) long and surrounded by 4316 acres (1746.623 hec) of beautiful oak-covered hills that are ideal for hiking, horseback riding, and nature study.

In addition to those activities, there is swimming (at two [1, 2] beaches with lifeguards), picnicking, fishing, boat rental (motorboats, paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks. There is camping (bookable online), equestrian camping, wheelchair-accessible camping, and group camping. The park features the Rocky Ridge Visitor Center, concessions, and bathhouses. Del Valle also serves as the eastern staging area for the Ohlone Trail. There is a good topographic map at the link for the park, above. Park fees are also listed there.

Today, I confined my photography to the southern portion of the park. Even so, I learned things that will help me plan return visits. In talking with other visitors in the boat launch area, I learned the location of bald eagle nests (later confirmed by a park ranger) and saw spectacular photos of aerial dogfighting (is that a mixed metaphor :-) ) of two male bald eagles in flight over the lake. The photos were still on the Canon camera of the woman visitor, along with other impressive photos of golden eagles in flight. She said that she was just “at the right place at the right time.” I might add, “…with the right equipment.”

I started shooting on the eastern side of the lake so that I would not be shooting into the sun in the late afternoon. There were various kinds of watercraft, including a windsurfer, to photograph, as well as a swimmer who was swimming well beyond the usual swimming area. Much of the lake is open to swimming, year round. There was a large picnic of folks from India, many of whom may have come on a tour bus that was parked there. There was a lot of activity around the boat rental/boat launch area (1, 2), as well. Later in the afternoon, I crossed the bridge to the western side of the lake to shoot the eastern shore, which seemed to be turning golden in the warm sunlight. As I walked to the Nature Center, I was greeted by the sounds of a LIVE mariachi band! (The multicultural nature of California just ROCKS!) I also drove near a camping area and the equestrian camping area.

I have downloaded the photos, and I will begin processing them. I’ll have them up on the site as soon as possible. (Done.)

The breezes at Del Valle, and the relief from the heat provided by the lake, make the park an oasis on a warm day like today. The park was not as crowded as it can be during the summer. I tell folks to visit my part of California during the beautiful days of September and October (especially when visiting the coast). Plan your trip accordingly!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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