John & Anne Wiley

2015/01/18

Wet & Dry

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Inner World,Nature,Random — John @ 08:28

When we flew from SB to SD, it was via Redlands for a quick visit with my cousin who lives on the mountainside below Big Bear. I’d been looking forward to some great snowy vistas from the recent storms that have brought heavy rains amid our long drought. Instead, this is the most snow we saw on the peaks above the LA basin.

9669 Still Dry

9669 Still Dry

Normally that reservoir would be full, the hills green and the mountains solid white where now only patches are showing. Below that view of the San Gabriel Reservoir this secondary dam looked like some ruin from an ancient culture.

9693 Archeological Site

9693 Archeological Site

As you can see, where there had been a lake miles long above it now rests a small pond. This was quite a surprise to us, because the recent storms were so powerful they produced extensive flooding and damage. But here is evidence in support of what the experts have been saying about many more storms needed to end our drought. Still, there’s an austere beauty in the dry mountains towering above the haze of the mega-city.

9706 Stillness

9706 Stillness

A sense of stillness, as if the rocks were watching us unfold a new millennium of dramatic changes wrought by our species. The rocks have a better view after wildfires have cleared away the vegetation and trees.

9720 Clearing

9720 Clearing

Where once the wind whispered through pines, now new growth clings to cleared ground beneath the skeletons along a dry creek. An empty fire lookout tower evokes memories of a different era when there was a forest to protect.

9756 Lonely Lookout

9756 Lonely Lookout

At its feet the massive nearly empty reservoir below Big Bear waits in vain for a snow melt that probably will not come this year.

9718 Dwindling Lake

9718 Dwindling Lake

After all this brown where we’d expected green and white, the moist coastal colors of Batiguitos Lagoon refreshed our eyes and hearts.

9798 Batiguitos Lagoon

9798 Batiguitos Lagoon

Even before the thrill of discovering a new route over San Diego (see prior post below), scenes like this along the coast brightened our mood immeasurably.

2015/01/14

New Views

We got some new views of San Diego last weekend, thanks to help from a local pilot there. We’ve ridden the Giant Dipper roller coaster and wandered the other attractions at Belmont Park on Mission Beach, but this is the first time we’ve seen it all from this perspective!

9969 Giant Dipper, Belmont Park

9969 Giant Dipper, Belmont Park

We also got this new view of the U.S.S. Midway aviation museum on the San Diego waterfront.

0004 USS Midway, San Diego

0004 USS Midway, San Diego

We also passed close enough to Seaport Village to smell the gourmet cooking, and look beyond at Balboa Park and back along the waterfront. We have pix of many more familiar places we’ve explored during visits to this sparkling city, but these are my favs from this flight.

0015 Seaport Village & Waterfront

0015 Seaport Village & Waterfront

We can barely wait to fly this new route again on a clear day! :)

I’m looking into adding this route into the options on the cool free open source Android Avare aviation app, for the benefit of other pilots.

2015/01/01

Orange

As we drove a friend along APS (Riviera ridge), she kindly allowed us to pause so Anne could snap our lovely town spread at our feet.

153602 SB Spread

153602 SB Spread

Then as we arrived back home, the last light of 2014 was glowing a bright orange on our mountains.

9557 Orange Last Light

9557 Orange Last Light

May your year ahead bring welcome surprises, abundant love, and a new depth of Happiness! :)

2014/12/30

Green

We seem to be so caught up in activities of the season that it’s been a long time since we’ve posted. No time right now either, but here’s a hasty share of scenes we’ve been enjoying on recent flights. This one from the region looking across the southern Santa Maria valley toward Lompoc. With the return of near normal rainfall lately it’s all about green!

8874 Green Acres

8874 Green Acres

2014/11/29

Light

We circled the Point Conception Lighthouse again a few days ago, and on the way out West I captured this glorious light in the water.

8058 Water & Light

8058 Water & Light

Clear air, angle of sun, iridescent reflection of sky, reddish sand, bright green seaweed, and a hint of Bahamas turquoise water – all conspired to paint this moment on our magical Light Flight.

8071 Forbidden Light

8071 Forbidden Light

I managed to get permission for this normally forbidden view of the lighthouse from offshore. Few people even see this light, and fewer still from this perspective.

8093 Point Conception Light

8093 Point Conception Light

I was able to snap many views of the point, the light, and the rarely seen sea caves.

8136 Point Conception

8136 Point Conception

From the jagged point to the old light foundation, “new” light, telecom hut, and keepers quarters, to the hidden protected cove, this place has powerful charm.

8169 Calm Day

8169 Calm Day

I circled several times to be in position for this eight foot wave’s arrival at one of the caves. It’s rare to have such a relatively calm sea with almost no wind or turbulence and such clear air. Quite a treat to get permission for this perspective in such idyllic conditions.

8213 Ancient Light

8213 Ancient Light

Then we saw new sights along a route new for us, almost direct from the point to nearby Lompoc. Back when swimming pool filters used diatomaceous earth, this quarry near the outskirts was alive with activity. Now the remains of ancient microscopic diatoms are bathed by today’s light, revealing new shapes and colors in the often silent dig. After a stretch break, Tripp lifted us back into the clear air and we turned toward home.

8295 Evening Light

8295 Evening Light

In the warm glow of approaching sunset we passed this derelict retreat center in the hills six miles or so East of Lompoc. Shadows and light, colors and textures together evoked a meditative quality for me as we passed.

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