Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Sony RXIR And The San Joaquin River

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
Sony RX1R
Fresno California area residents are blessed to have the one half million acre-feet capacity Millerton Lake only 15 miles away. It has over 40 miles of shoreline. We are also fortunate to have the San Joaquin River that is the source of Millerton Lake, continue to flow below the dam and through Fresno on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

There are running, walking and mountain biking trails in Woodward Park that run along beside the San Joaquin. With the river comes the wildlife also including coyotes, bobcats, deer and an occasional mountain lion.

I was eager to try out my new (used) Sony RX1R. It was back to a fixed lens 35mm f2.0 camera and some of the shots were cropped to enlarge certain features. The shots, while reduced in size for uploading and occasionally cropped have had little retouching in Photoshop. An ounce counter such as me appreciates the one-pound full frame camera and it will be a great addition to my backpacking gear as a back up camera to my Sony A7R2. The lens also has a macro feature, which I will probably use infrequently in landscape photography.

I wanted to get some photographs near the outlet to the dam. The water is released from the lake in three directions. Some irrigation water heads south in the 152-mile long Friant-Kern Canal. Some irrigation water heads north in the 36-mile Madera Canal and the remainder of the released water goes back into the San Joaquin River. It is hoped that enough water will reenter the San Joaquin to restore Salmon habitation.

Today as I was photographing the area below Friant Dam, I saw four Kayakers putting in below a parking area in Friant. I later learned they were coming out at the “Sportsman’s Club” where they must have placed return transportation. My wife and I have ‘floated’ the section from Lost Lake to the Sportsman’s Club, which is just north of Fresno.

Not long after the San Joaquin begins its flow again below Friant Dam, it widens out and forms what is referred to as “Lost Lake”. The County of Fresno has a park there with an entry fee of $5.00. It is well maintained and heavily used on the weekends and evenings. There are plenty of fishermen, picnickers, and folks wading in the cold river water. Because the water is released from the bottom of the dam, Millerton Lake is actually warmer than Lost Lake.

At the end of the parking area at Lost Lake, there is a nature trail that runs alongside the river as it heads west. The trail is roughly .75 miles outbound and there are opportunities to walk to the river away from the trail. As I walked it today I was impressed with the vast amount of wildlife supported by the river ecosystem. There was some evidence of urban graffiti that I chose to ignore. This being a Monday morning, I had the trail to myself and enjoyed another section of the San Joaquin River, which is an artery that brings life to an arid area and agriculture to the Central Valley.   

 Kayakers Putting In The River In Friant
 Friant Dam

 Hawk In Center Of Picture
 Orchards Above On The Madera County Side Of The River
 Picnic Area
 Duck Trail In Water

 Seasonal Lupine On Hill Above
 We Usually Put Our Kayaks In Below This Rapids

Hike Route

 Here They Are Again

 Look Alert! He's Waiting To Cull The Weak And Injured

On Its Way To The Ocean

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