John & Anne Wiley

2011/02/10

Courage Under Flyer

Well, last nite after posting I took a look at one of the last photos from yesterday’s flight and just about choked. Just across the border into Canada approaching Lethbridge I noticed something moving a few thousand feet below and perhaps half a mile away. Looking closer it turned out to be a helicopter flying along a power line, and when it stopped to hover over one of the towers I snapped a few pix. Well not only was it hovering within a few feet of the tower in strong gusting winds well below zero – in the photo you can see there’s someone standing with one foot on the tower and the other on the helicopter skid. I’ve posted a larger version of this on the Photo Page (link in the right column here), but here’s a crop at full res of the helo and high-wire performer.

5369 Daredevil

5369 Daredevil

We’re preparing for a bumpy flight to Edmonton, but this pic is so amazing I just had to take a moment to share it. More when time permits…

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Into White

OK, Tripp’s happy in a heated hangar and we’re cozy in a nice new Lethbridge hotel, sated with especially tasty food, and ready to share some pix from our new adventure. This is the first time we’ve flown into hard Winter and it’s a whole new beautiful. But first a few snaps from SBA to RHV (San Jose).

For example, here’s a Barbie version of what we were leaving. Mid-70s, sunny, calm and bucolic. Easy to take.

5271 Villa Barbie

5271 Villa Barbie

The view, though pathetic compared with the panorama we were taking in a quarter mile above, must be rather remarkable for ground level. The little red car looks so like a toy to me, the whole scene takes on the quality of a Barbie dream set.

After a fuel stop in SLO, Morro Rock looked magical as usual but this time with a “volcano” top.

5282 Misty Morro

5282 Misty Morro

After a leisurely landing at RHV, as Anne rummaged for something packed in Tripp I strolled toward the terminal to look at a murder of crows. They were sitting quietly in the tree enjoying the cooling evening breeze. Well, not completely quietly. OK, they were raising a horrific raucous din cackling and trumpeting in their loudest grating harsh voices.

5310 Crow Congretation

5310 Crow Congretation

Now you may know I’m sometimes impish, prankish and annoying. So of course I had to “humiliate” (my niece’s term for it) the poor gentle crows. Suddenly raising my hands from my sides as if to take off, I made a loud “Caw!!”

5312 Fear and Loathing

5312 Fear and Loathing

There was a varied and unmelodious response as they first startled into flight, then realized I was vastly too fat to fly as they so easily do sans airplane, and they began to diverge. Some flew directly away giving alarm calls. Others seemed almost embarrassed to have been tricked and formed a scold choir. A few left the flock to fly a little closer, perhaps to examine this idiotic creature or maybe to memorize me as enemy of their murder. One of these days I must learn to speak crow, and possibly also some avian manners. As it stands though, I quite enjoyed the exercise and pretend it was artistically motivated to get an interesting photo. Am I bad? 🙂

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