John & Anne Wiley

2015/03/24

Dreamscapes

We found ourselves feeling inexplicably sleepy in the evening, then realized this is why.

2162 Far Away Lands

2162 Far Away Lands

Today we journeyed to far away lands a few minutes from our shores, via magic carpet. This view across San Miguel to the other Santa Barbara Channel Islands stretching into the dim East initiated us into a lazy tour of such dreamscapes. Soon we were looking back at San Miguel from the other end, where colors conspire to transport the unwary back to memories of the Bahamas.

2248 Bahamian Miguel

2248 Bahamian Miguel

No wonder we felt drowsy, with so much to dream about! Overwhelmed with such visions, it seemed our excitement alone would have carried us along toward veils of mist in the mysterious East.

2410 Anacapa Island

2410 Anacapa Island

As we neared that end, the green gator shape of Anacapa greeted us. We’d been desperate for a clear day to make this flight before brown summer sets in. We even got to see faint blushes of yellow Coreopsis crouched on the North slopes.

2015/03/11

Red Green Blue

The three primary colors of light are red, green and blue because they can be mixed to create every other color. Maybe this is why we love flying Santa Barbara, because our vistas offer the full spectrum. On one short flight with a friend we saw Red Rock, where some swimmers took a break from the river to enjoy the beach.

1962 Red Rock

1962 Red Rock

The red is probably from iron in the rock, and I like how it plays with the streak of green rock at the right that’s probably from copper content. The water will probably all but dry up in a few months, but normally this is a very popular Summer spot for swimmers and the daredevils who jump from great heights into the refreshing pool. The same recent rains that temporarily revived the river pools also brought a brilliant blush of green to the hills.

1989 Green Wrinkles

1989 Green Wrinkles

The happy cattle grazing here have worn winding topographic furrows into the slopes, offering an impression of wrinkles among the aging oaks with a faintly bluish hue. For magnificent shades of blue of course we need look no further than our shimmering Pacific, but I like the peculiar blue of this deep pond beneath the dam holding back muddy green at Gibraltar Reservoir.

1955 Precipice Blue

1955 Precipice Blue

For me the colors are greatly accentuated by the rush of looking directly down over the dam. I guess it’s deep in our DNA for gazing deeply into the blue over such a precipice to be breathtaking.

2015/03/10

Return To Neverland

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was only a few minutes’ flight from here, so we flew over it a few times coming and going places. We’ve never landed of course, much less driven out to the locked gate. After his surprising death a few years ago, we saw crowds gathered at the gate and not long afterward all the carnival rides he’d installed there were sold off and taken away. Though we saw a period when that once fanciful escape had seemed to fall into disrepair, it now appears well maintained. Many of the signature sights we’ve seen from above including the train station I posted yesterday, look quite nice as does this floral name.

4674 Neverland In Flowers

4674 Neverland In Flowers

Today I thought you might enjoy an aerial tour in photos, so let’s start in the pic below looking East at the North end nestled beneath the mountains we were returning from on our wildflower exploration.

1767 North Neverland

If you click on this link to see the largest version here, you can make out some details. At the left edge is a building that seems to house trains, with another long train building below and right of center off that wide circle in the tracks left of center bottom. Sprinkled around the pastures are what appear to have been horse and pony riding areas. Top right is an array of small “Old West” looking buildings that I understand were a petting zoo. Below the red barn in at area on this side of the trees you might be able to make out a large cage that maybe housed a monkey or birds.

1731 Petting Zoo

1731 Petting Zoo

Here’s a zoom view of that petting zoo, barn and pasture area with the cage I mentioned just beyond the bottom of the pic. This place would make such a great theme park for kids now, but the local residents would be severely impacted by the resulting traffic and of course water would be a major problem. I’m glad it’s being preserved though, and maybe a few people get to visit it as a giant museum of sorts. Our next area moving South is where all the rides had been.

1732 Neverland Rides

1732 Neverland Rides

At the left edge is that floral name again as seen from the West, and maybe you can get a sense of how the ride it had been at the foot of fit into the other rides. Hard to imagine now, with just the concrete pads and a few ticket booths plus at bottom left what was presumably a little track for cars. The two buildings center and right bottom are quite attractively done and nestled among giant ancient oaks.

1733 Neverland Mansions

1733 Neverland Mansions

There seem to be two main mansions on the Neverland estate, nestled in the trees above the tennis court in this pic. Just above the court is a fancy garage, and the main mansion above and left of that. The other is on the lake, above and right of the garage. I understand that Elizabeth Taylor once married and honeymooned there, but maybe someone who really knows will contact me with reference material.

1777 Tennis & Pool

1777 Tennis & Pool

This lovely building sits between the tennis courts and pool, and you can see more detail of the garage in this zoom pic. Here’s a zoom pic of the “Taylor” manse.

1779 Liz Taylor?

1779 Liz Taylor?

I like that little gazebo looking at it across the lake. What I call the main mansion is a collection of roofs mostly hidden among the trees that are just beginning to take on Spring leaves. Here’s that main mansion, brightened a bit to show a little bit of how magnificent it looks through a zoom lens from 1/4 mile above. There are probably helicopter photos taken with those stabilized monster zooms that can count the fleas on a pony, but hopefully this can give you a distant glimpse.

1806 Neverland Mansion

1806 Neverland Mansion

Here’s a look at the whole South end for some context of how everything fits together so nicely.

1740 South Neverland

1740 South Neverland

Above the large green field just right of top center is the petting zoo area, and the train station is to the left of the tennis court. As you can see, there’s another loop in the train tracks at this end. I think there are two different train lines that don’t connect, using different gauge trains. This one uses the long train building I pointed out and the smaller one uses that building barely visible at the left edge of the other pic above. I think the small one took people to the petting zoo area. Last up, this zoom pic of the main mansion’s beautiful post and beam front entrance that may have given some visitors the impression they were entering Neverland Lodge for a train safari back to the Old West.

1823 Neverland Lodge

1823 Neverland Lodge

I guess hundreds or thousands of people recall being at this whimsical place, and I hope they’re all pleasant memories.

2015/03/09

Nice Surprises

We decided to make the short hop over to a popular wildflower road for a look and not seeing any as we approached, the topic of turning for home came up. Just after deciding to continue a little further I spotted this giggle of yellow on a hilltop.

1649 Yellow Encouragement

1649 Yellow Encouragement

Soon we saw many splashes of bright orange poppies celebrating recent showers juicing up the dry slopes.

1661 Juicy Orange

1661 Juicy Orange

Nestled in a magical valley near Figueroa Mountain is this lake adding emerald to the distant blue Sierra Madre, green San Rafael range, and another sprinkle of prancing poppies.

1727 Mountain Lake

1727 Mountain Lake

Then in a hidden valley nearby as we turned back home, Neverland slipped beneath our wings.

1748 Neverland Station

1748 Neverland Station

So many enchantments Tripp transports us to. There’s no fairy dust required, though it so often feels unbelievably magical to see our home turf in ever renewed light.

2015/03/02

Calm or Carnage?

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,Inner World,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 01:36

According to Wikipedia if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. Today’s frisky clouds were mixed with gentle breezes, so for month’s end does this portend calm or carnage?

161515 Moon & Magnificence

161515 Moon & Magnificence

That’s the waxing moon at top-right just above the clouds. I love the contrast of the softly waving grass foreground.

1335 Uphill

1335 Uphill

This view up the hills into the mountains made me pause on our March first walk, to share the view with you. May your March overflow with green and wildflowers.

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