John & Anne Wiley

2011/03/31

Bluffing

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 23:34

Seems like every time we fly the Santa Barbara area, we discover new things. On our Friday flight we were startled by the sheer sandstone bluffs just West of the Bacara resort. Especially this first one!

6655 Sliced Stone

6655 Sliced Stone

In a less geologically overwhelming part of the world, wouldn’t this be a major tourist attraction? So do “pages” of the stone flake off and crash to the beach all at once? What accounts for that hole punched through many layers in the middle? Does this feature have a name? Just a bit closer to the resort are more cliffs with their own charms.

6657 Sheer Bluffs

6657 Sheer Bluffs

I like how the layers have been shaved off by the surf, yet still retain the sharp definition. Presumably at some point all of these layers were horizontal, and over millions of years and countless earthquakes they tilted up almost vertical. Quite a scuplture. Looking back at these pix makes me want to go flying again! 🙂

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2011/03/30

Surfing

Santa Barbara is home to many surfers. The stretch of coast from Ventura to Point Conception has many favorite spots for them, depending on what their preference is and what the surf conditions are at a given moment. Friday’s flight took us past one of their impromptu gatherings at El Capitan State Beach, and one of my pix captured this great ride.

6439 Surfer

6439 Surfer

There’s a whole lifestyle associated with surfing, and though it’s probably related to ranching this cabin on a bluff just West of town looks like the ideal surfer shack.

6435 Beach Cliff Cabin

6435 Beach Cliff Cabin

Looks like a well-used beach access trail at the left, and I love how the ribbed rock patterns there interact with the surf. Also on this flight I saw a deep pool amid massive boulders near the ridgeline above Goleta.

6529 Mountain Rock Pool

6529 Mountain Rock Pool

Even though there had been recent rain, there was no sign of a creek in or out and the water looks stagnant. It’s fun to imagine the life there. My guess is a great starlight frog choir. In case any Santa Barbarians are curious where it is, here’s a wide shot for context and you can just make out the pool at the bottom-center.

6530 Rock Pool Setting

6530 Rock Pool Setting

A friend recently commented on how flying for us is a spiritual experience, and it really resonates. Attending to our inner landscape while interacting with the spectacular SB environs, can evoke an integration of inner and outer worlds while also facilitating an increased awareness beyond. An Observer of self, other, and divine.

2011/03/29

Falling

I have a line from the old Beatles “I’ve Just Seen A Face” song running in my head: “Falling, yes I am falling…” Even though I’ve only been “falling” (looking at waterfalls) twice in the past week, the magic of them has deeply infused my consciousness. Several recent dreams have featured waterfalls, and I’ve looked at the pix from my two falls flights several times and in some detail. So with this title and intro, you already know not to read this post unless you’d like to hum along.

6476 Granny's Braid Falls

6476 Granny's Braid Falls

The ripples in this elegant waterfall evoke thin white hair that was braided and now falls free. I took a deep breath again just now, looking at it. Oh, to hover silently there in a balloon or on feathered wings. Even passing in Tripp all sound seems to fade away for a moment.

6504 Ancient Watermark

6504 Ancient Watermark

The detailed texture of the stones draws me inexorably back in time. Yet an impish part of me wants to call this Flip Flop Falls because it bounces off the opposing wall of the crevice halfway down. Imagine standing there. Especially if you hadn’t just endured an exhausting climb up through forests of poison oak and loose boulders.

6509 Table Top Falls

6509 Table Top Falls

It’s probably dangerously slippery, but wouldn’t it be fun to sit in the white water on that broad slab at the base of the main falls?

6508 Reunion Falls

6508 Reunion Falls

I don’t know, but presumably the creek splits above the falls and then rejoins on its way down. Even if water can’t be playful, it can bring out playful qualities in us, eh?

All of these diverse waterfalls are in a relatively small part of the North slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains, between Alisal Reservoir and Hwy. 101, and all are probably on private property that once was free as the water and air.

2011/03/28

Private Paradise

There’s an old Woody Guthrie folk song named “This Land…” that included a verse about private property, and I’m reminded of it by a discussion in the Comments to some of my aerial photos of waterfalls published lately on the Edhat.com local community website. I know several hikers who tend to be creative in their interpretation of private land rights, and many who would never cross a fence of any kind even if no signs are posted.

An especially beautiful set of at least four waterfalls just South of Hwy. 154 and East of Old San Marcos Road is a case in point.

6315 Secret Scene

6315 Secret Scene

While someone on Edhat has said these falls are on private property, it does seem a shame that the only people who get to see them other than the owner and authorized guests or trespassers, is a pilot like me who takes time to “smell the roses” rather than just race from one airport to another. I wonder if people routinely visited these falls for countless millennia up until a few decades ago, and whether we may see a change in laws and norms that would allow that again. Meanwhile, this is yet another reason I love to fly!

2011/03/27

Way Back

Looking way back into the Sierra Madre, the different ridges lead up to snow with white puffy clouds above that.

6301 Up To White

6301 Up To White

Way back in our “front country” South slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains are some remarkable rock formations that few people may have seen, like this channel cut deep into the crossing layers of sandstone.

6311 Rock-Water Intersection

6311 Rock-Water Intersection

Way back in time, maybe this elegant seasonal waterfall was a gathering place or a ceremonial landscape.

6324 Thin White Line

6324 Thin White Line

Way back on the 22nd is when I shot these and perhaps a dozen other waterfalls. One of these days maybe I’ll catch up with all the pix I’m excited to share. Maybe instead I’ll get over this falls fetish and find my way back to the present. Could happen…

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