The Santa Monica Mountains bisect the city of Los Angeles from east to west. Starting on the eastern end in what is know as Griffith Park, the Santa Monicas encompass the famous Hollywood sign landmark along with the Griffith Observatory and the Los Angeles Zoo. This rather urbanized end stands in stark contrast to the habitats and landscapes found further to the west.
This week's photo shows the color change that overtakes the landscape surrounding Malibu Creek in the fall. Looking west from the bridge towards the gorge, the creek is aflame with colors not usually associated with Los Angeles in the fall.
As the Santa Monicas extend westward they end at Point Mugu on the coast, but point toward their natural extension, the northern California Channel Islands, consisting of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel.
While consisting of a patchwork of private, developed properties and seemingly untouched wild places, much of the Santa Monicas are preserved by the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Providing access to the enormous nearby human population, the trail and fire roads are heavily used, but in some places very little of the human presence can be felt. Also home to mountain lions, the National Park Service tracks the small resident population to understand how urban encroachment impacts large carnivorous species like these.
This photo was taken with a Canon 10D dSLR and an Canon EF 17-40 mm zoom lens set to 25 mm. Exposure was 0.3 sec at f/16 and ISO 200.