John & Anne Wiley

2010/11/25

Fremont Flight

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random — John @ 02:59

We took a local historian up for a brief sunset flight, so he could scout out terrain for Fremont’s attack (looking forward to reading the history when it’s published on Edhat next month). The sandstone ridge running diagonally in the foreground is a likely route.

3482 Grooved Ridge

3482 Grooved Ridge

Click to see the large version (or view the larger one on my Photo Page), and imagine soldiers wrestling canon and other battle gear down that grooved ridge (bottom left) in torrential rain. Story is that it had the groove from earlier use as a logging chute, and the rain made it into a water slide that scattered the army until survivors could reassemble under a giant oak at the bottom. Today the dead first growth from the recent fires added to the orange sunset glow, making the flight even more magical and fun. If weather permits, we’ll fly tomorrow and hopefully get some better pix.

2010/11/24

Flock

When I was a kid, on one or two years we had a “flocked” Christmas tree. In case you don’t know, it’s basically a cut tree that’s been sprayed with asbestos or something to give the appearance of being covered with snow. Well looking at cropped versions of my zoom pix from Monday’s flight in the mountains, I found this one where you might be able to see “flocked” trees at the top. Click to see the largest version, or better yet visit my Photo Page by clicking the link in the right column ->

3471 Snowy Trees

3471 Snowy Trees

This year we’ve been contemplating and talking about what this season means to us. Maybe that’s why the flocked trees stood out to me. Fun to remember the good times I’ve enjoyed walking in terrain like this, looking up at the trees, and hearing the song of a small plane humming in the distance. The more places we’ve been, the greater number of perspectives we can embrace where we are.

Anne’s Eye

Filed under: by Anne,Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,SB Region — John @ 09:49

I downloaded some pix from Anne’s camera today, and found this one I like from Monday’s flight. This was just as we were turning at Gaviota Beach heading home to Santa Barbara. Maybe anyone uncomfortable with flying won’t agree, but I like that she matched our tilt rather than trying to level the ocean. Makes for a fun angle on everything.

0823 Tilted Planet

0823 Tilted Planet

Point Conception is at the top, and top-right is the part of Vandenberg where the rockets are still launched sometimes.

2010/11/23

Ten Too Long

Filed under: Aviation,Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 03:09

We realized leaving the airport this afternoon that it has been ten days since we flew. Too long! Winds were uncharacteristically from the North, so we enjoyed a slow climb out past Lake Los Carneros.

3468 Los Carneros

3468 Los Carneros

Beyond the Santa Ynez valley, peaks were dusted with snow and at that height we bundled up against the 35 degree wind when I opened the window to snap this.

3475 Snowy Peaks

3475 Snowy Peaks

Back at the airport a few minutes later, beyond the huddled jumble of planes sunset colors were lighting the clouds over our smaller mountains as if to advertise their warmer heights.

3480 Sunset Mountains

3480 Sunset Mountains

I wonder if the planes grumble quietly amongst themselves about being tied to the ground like that when it’s so beautiful aloft.

2010/11/20

Eyes

Filed under: Aviation,Has Photos,Inner World,Random,SB Region — John @ 03:10

I really enjoy Anne’s photographic eye. Not just because it gives me a window into her soul by letting me see what she notices, but because she opens my eyes to new ways of looking.

0805 Casino Gull

0805 Casino Gull

On the beach where she walked during my dental appointment is the Coral Casino where rich folks hang out, and it has this cool ornamental light on top. On the beach walk rail, she paused to make eye contact with a crow.

0803 Innocent Crow

0803 Innocent Crow

This one apparently wasn’t involved with a “murder” as described in the PBS Nature episode “A Murder of Crows” (not about homicide, in case you didn’t know). Ever since watching that, we have a new fascination with crows because they’re incredibly smart and have a social life similar to humans in many ways.

Another item on the “eyes” theme today is this cool hands free flashlight/reading light we found at Costco, that’s handy for one of us to read without disturbing the other. I also used it tonight to go out and pick up a few fallen avos while keeping my hands free.

Each end has two LED light bulbs, a spotlight and a wide angle, with a push button for off, spot, wide, or both. So with both on and the beams pointed at different areas it did a good job of lighting up a wide swath of the ground so I could find any fallen avos before the skunks and critters do. Then I pointed the beams one above the other to nicely illuminate an entire aviation magazine page I was reading. We’ll probably put at least one of these in Tripp as a handy light for ground operations before/after night flights and on our “fly-camping” trips. Are we the last people to discover this useful $7 item?

 

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