John & Anne Wiley

2016/01/09

Snow Day

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 03:35

We thought today would be a “rain” day when we could see waterfalls and other evidence of the recent downpour. Instead it was more a snow day as we relished all the distant white capped peaks on the San Rafael and Sierra Madre mountain ranges back beyond our familiar Santa Ynez “front” range. Like this view northeast past the popular East & Butterfly Beaches. How many strolling the strand know there’s snow up there?

7487 Snow Beyond Beaches

7487 Snow Beyond Beaches

Those mountains aren’t very far, and some day maybe we’ll have good roads up to the peaks where Santa Barbarians can take a short drive to play in snow. For now though, peaks like this are beyond the reach of most terrestrial vehicles.

7237 Far & High

7237 Far & High

Far beyond the white VOR air navigation cone on East Camino Cielo, the first high ridge seems a great distance yet is only a few miles. A quick trip in Tripp, but of course nowhere to land. At least not where we could easily take off again. A few miles more distant though, the peaks around Pine Mountain are half a mile higher, and more often have solid snow caps.

7223 Solid White Cap

7223 Solid White Cap

Looking past West Camino Cielo above Hwy.154 and Painted Cave beyond it, this wider view makes the nearer mountains look higher because we’re below them.

7218 Looking Up

7218 Looking Up

Maybe before there are paved roads up to ski lifts, maybe people will get helicopter rides up to play in the powder. Meanwhile, we can take a few minutes in Tripp to at least take in the snow view.

2016/01/05

Somewhere Over

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,Inner World,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 03:13

One of our favorite songs is “Over The Rainbow” and there are two additional verses, including this stanza:

When all the clouds darken up the skyway
There’s a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun
Just a step beyond the rain

Somehow that song fits into my flying dreams, such that aviation and rainbows mingle with Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” song in my heart. With the El NiƱo rains predicted to begin here tomorrow, I was up on the roof checking and fixing stuff. Yet it was Anne working on the ground who first looked up and saw this apparition hovering over “our” mountains.

7128 First Rainbow

7128 First Rainbow

Our first rainbow of the year, and one of relatively few in recent years, had a bright left edge. Fading in and out across the arc, it ended in a diagonal cloud shadow that seemed to point toward the coming storms. The vibrant colors seem to foretell the return of green to our mountains. Yay! :)

2015/12/29

Solimar Fire & Snow

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 02:39

On our Saturday flight we saw these patches of snow around distant Reyes Peak, and it kindled hope for some easing of our epic drought.

7015 Snow Dusted Reyes

7015 Snow Dusted Reyes

Alas, between Ventura and Carp we also saw a stark reminder that the drought isn’t over yet, in the form of the Solimar Fire.

6946 Solimar Beach Burn

6946 Solimar Beach Burn

The little community there narrowly escaped the flames as you can see in this next pic.

6958 Close Call

6958 Close Call

With the strong winds, the fire jumped Hwy.101 and the railroad tracks but crews managed to stop it at the old Pacific Coast Highway just short of the homes. Up in the hills we saw bright red PhosChek laid down in lines to stop the fire from moving East toward Ventura.

6976 Red Lines

6976 Red Lines

The fire seems to have respected their red lines, but it must have been quite a battle as embers filled the air and landed on bone dry scrub brush. The hills are so dry it’s not always easy to tell from the air where the burned areas are. We also happened to spot this helicopter dropping water on a hot spot as crews watched from a safe distance.

6962 Water Drop

6962 Water Drop

2015/12/15

Always New

Every time we fly this area it’s new. Not just the different angles of light and qualities of air. Any slight dusting of rain like we had the day before these pix shifts the colors in vegetation, especially in surrounding wild country like our mountains.

5707 Hope Eternal

5707 Hope Eternal

Also different on this day was our route, since modest turbulence indicated by those puffy clouds kept many pilots waiting for our typical calm air. So we got this view over Hope Ranch into infinity with a clarity to Point Mugu and beyond that the camera didn’t capture.

5740 Familiar Fave

5740 Familiar Fave

A familiar favorite among our countless views of SB is this one past Shoreline Park and downtown to the sheltering mountains, now tinged with a subtly shifted green from that caress of light rain. Plants here are exquisitely responsive to moisture and tolerant of even exceptional droughts like we’ve been in. Another favorite view is this glance up State Street off Stearn’s Wharf and over the harbor and Mesa back toward distant Point Conception, again all but impossible to share with a camera but endlessly nourishing to our soaring hearts.

5757 Harbor to Conception

5757 Harbor to Conception

2015/12/13

Delight

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,People,Random — John @ 22:24

Delight is best when shared I find. Maybe the delight of this dance recital performer can brighten your day as it has ours.

95142623 Delight

95142623 Delight

We can’t keep from grinning every time we look at her. Pure delight! :)

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