FortyNine: Fog Time

Continuing the “Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long quest.

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San Francisco peeking above the fog.  Photo courtesy Scott Loftesness*
San Francisco peeking above the fog. Photo courtesy Scott Loftesness*


The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

Although some have attributed this quote to Mark Twain, he probably didn’t say it. Anyone who has lived in San Francisco or visited during the summer agree with that old saying.


Much of the coldness can be attributed to the fog which rolls in almost daily during the summer months along much of the coastline of California. The frequency of fog is due to a particular combination of factors peculiar to the region. San Francisco is bordered on three sides by water. Morning sun heats the ground further inland with temperatures reaching into the 90’s and 100’s. The hot inland air rises and the heavier cold ocean air rushes in to replace it. This flow from the high to the low pressure zone pulls the marine layer through the Golden Gate passage and into the bay. The marine layer is basically a layer of fog which hangs out in the Pacific Ocean.

I painted 49 by the Docktown Marina in Redwood City. Docktown consists of about 60 floating houses which are not quite houseboats and not quite houses, but they do float on the water. Lately the marina’s longevity has come under a cloud and it’s days may be numbered as Redwood City would really like to get rid of it. Redwood City used to have three waterfront communities where people lived aboard their boats or in floating homes, and Docktown is the last that remains.

Docktown sits at the mouth of Redwood Creek, a 9.5-mile-long stream which starts in the Santa Cruz mountains, and flows through the towns of Woodside and Redwood City before discharging into San Francisco Bay.

Signs of Silicon Valley are all around. Lowlands are being converted to houses and condos, with high tech companies popping up all over. Oracle, the worlds second largest software company, is just down the road. Oracle software is used to store much of the information on the Internet.


Click on a thumbnail to open up a larger picture***

Although it was quite overcast when I got to Docktown, the fog and clouds quickly dissipated. I have been wanting to include more wildlife in some of these works, so painted a white heron which was scouting nearby. The sun was just starting to peek through the fog.


Fog Time, 8x10, oil on board
Fog Time, 8×10, oil on board


    Coming up: Ghosts!


Click this link for a map of all painting locations along with each painting.
Click on this link for a Pinterest catalog of all paintings so far.

*Photo courtesy of long time friend and excellent photographer, Scott Loftesness. You can see more of Scott’s photos on his weblog here, or Flickr stream here.

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