John & Anne Wiley

2011/09/30

Go Team

Flying past Bishop Garcia Diego High lately I’ve several times noticed football practice, so this time I snapped the fascinating diorama of tiny figures running around chasing a ball that’s invisible from the air. The movement is fun to watch, if you’re lucky enough to see a play. As someone observed, football is endless committee meetings punctuated by brief periods of violence. In other words, chances are they’re most often all standing around or in a huddle when we fly past. When I looked at the snap, it had missed the play but did catch some essence you might enjoy.

6237 Miniature Football

6237 Miniature Football

Now you may have noticed that I rarely put large images here, instead putting those on our Photo Page. But this triggered more words from me than those do, and seemed more suited to this venue. So I’m curious if anyone will be curious enough to click this pic and see the larger version. You can make out several things going on, and one you could look for is the coach just above the team on the right. Like the quarterback juggling the ball, he seems to be watching the cheerleaders at the top right. 🙂

OK, Anne sez you have to click twice so the text goes away, and again if you need to zoom in, but still can’t really make those details out. So here’s a higher resolution crop of that pic, and if you click this you can probably more clearly see what people are doing.

6237 Closer Look

6237 Closer Look

 

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2011/09/29

Castles

One of the many things I enjoy about flying, is seeing what people do with their homes. Sometimes a business will really stand out from the air, but more often it’s homes that display creativity and/or wealth clearly visible from a quarter mile up. This estate for example.

6199 Montecito Money

6199 Montecito Money

It’s such a magnificent place, and I like the pond in particular. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it’s easy to understand how plenty of people could yearn for that. The setting is great too, close to the amenities of  Montecito Village.

6205 Montecito Village to Ventura

6205 Montecito Village to Ventura

Hope Ranch has some really impressive mansions too of course, but I like how this “village” on the opposite side of Santa Barbara still has some relatively modest homes. People whose families have lived there for generations before it sprouted some estates of the uber rich. If I had unlimited funds and wanted to spend extravagantly on a house, what would I create? Each one is so different, and like admiring beauties like that first one it’s endlessly fascinating for me to watch them being built.

6203 Future Fantasy

6203 Future Fantasy

Adding to our fun flying this part of town was spotting Pierre LaFond where we’d just bought a cookie. It’s nice that we can still afford to buy something in this part of town. 🙂

6207 Fav Cookie

6207 Fav Cookie

Pierre’s is at the top of the pic, and though I prefer Anne’s exceptional oatmeal cookies and Molly’s insanely great chocolate chip, the best store-bought cookies are here. It’s a great place to sit and enjoy a cookie and a cup of coffee when we’re not home with much healthier home-baked goodies. As for my castle, it would have a glass turret and countless other quirky additions but it would all easily fit in the garage of most estates. It would have no more than three bedrooms with small attached bathrooms, and a low maintenance xeriscape yard. After setting aside funds for flying and some travel, the rest would go to making the world a better place. What would you do with the funds of the top one percent?

2011/09/27

Scenes

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 18:39

The seasonal sunsets have begun, and we enjoyed this one from a nearby hill where we paused on a walk to admire the light and color. Noticing the gathering colors as we left the house, we’d talked about bringing a camera. Luckily this cellphone pic came out passably well as a memento of a magical moment together.

9/25 Sunset Phone Pic

9/25 Sunset Phone Pic

Had we brought a better camera, you could get a clearer look at the glowing virga that made this scene extra magical.

Our 9/22 flight included a scene that evokes toy sailboats in a pond. These are the small single-person craft that seem to often gather in a frenetic cluster offshore, but this time they were just outside the harbor.

6184 Toy Boats

6184 Toy Boats

From the air, this tumult of turning boats is great fun to watch. Maybe we should try to get video some time.

2011/09/26

Home Town Colors

We’ve had a few short flights around town, and the colors just seem to keep getting brighter for us. Thursday we wandered over toward Summerland, and enjoyed the San Roque Bridge over Stevens Park anew. That’s the one we love to drive across, looking both ways and then voting. Most often the mountain view wins, but sometimes the coast and islands are just stunning. From up here, the bridge itself adds a lot to the mountain view.

6152 San Roque (Stevens Park) Bridge

6152 San Roque (Stevens Park) Bridge

From a quarter mile up, the other view is also quite often stellar and it’s always delightful to take in the two views simultaneously from our magic carpet Tripp.

6169 Beach & Harbor

6169 Beach & Harbor

Santa Barbara’s beach and harbor are a constant source of joy for us, including the chance to mingle with tourists from around the world. In front of the mission, the rose garden is yet another favorite spot.

6154 Rose Garden

6154 Rose Garden

Before pruning sometimes the flowers are so bountiful they pop even from this far away. Strolling among them during pruning the fragrance is strong as wheelbarrows overflow with ripe blossoms. The color variations on the large lawn tell of activities like picnics, parties, weddings, frisbee, and touch football.

I also enjoy checking up on several long-term projects around town like these new bridges on Hwy.101 at the Milpas offramp. It looks like some colorful graffiti has been painted out on the bridge abutments, and I’m eager to see what blossoms at this intersection once the work is complete and people begin walking and biking more here.

6161 Milpas 101 Overpasses

6161 Milpas 101 Overpasses

2011/09/21

Pain & Gain

Today I’m sitting in our living room looking at the magnificent Santa Barbara “front range” mountains, and the towering thunderstorm safely beyond them in the Northeast. It’s painful to look at good flying weather when there’s no chance we’ll take Tripp and go exploring. A lesser level of pain for me right now is the physical discomfort from dental surgery this morning. Though there is considerable pain involved in the expense because that translates to many joyful hours of flying that the dental surgery could have paid for.

A big gain from this surgery, beyond long-term prospects for dental health, is that I now have some time to post the last batch of pix from our Smiley Adventure. First of these last is this one of the dunes as we approached Florence, OR.

5280 Slanted Cordouroy Dunes

5280 Slanted Cordouroy Dunes

I’m intrigued by the pattern of dune grasses that are angled from the shore. Guess it has something to do with prevailing winds and waves. Toward the right it seems to morph into a crosshatch pattern with indications of the angled pattern and one parallel to the beach.

After we turned at Gold Beach to follow the Rogue River to Grants Pass, there were several calm sandy beaches where rafters were bedding down in the evening light.

5502 Rogue River Raft Rest

5502 Rogue River Raft Rest

There’s something romantic about this scene for me imagining fireside stories, that distant stare when the group falls into silent reverie, and later dreaming under the stars like countless generations before. In places the river was uniquely transcendent art from this perspective.

5542 Rogue Artist

5542 Rogue Artist

As we began the landing approach, this little lake had me wondering what kinds of vehicles go there (motorcycles?), and whether visitors just zoom by or perhaps most go on foot to camp or fish.

5577 Airport Neighbor

5577 Airport Neighbor

The next day on our way back out to the Southwest hoping for less coastal low cloud, we got more river views that I’m enjoying again today. Like this one that at first glance looks wild.

5617 Nature of Tame

5617 Nature of Tame

After imagining Tom Sawyer exploring that wild island, perhaps you notice the mowed lawn at the left. Then your mind may begin to wonder what all this looks like after periods of unusually long and heavy rain. Like a tooth you had been taking for granted, such a scene could turn suddenly painful. But as we again glance down at a river such thoughts inevitably return to all we’ve gained from forces of nature and fate over the eons.

5638 Reflecting

5638 Reflecting

In the deep pools I reflect on the surges of water that carved them out, and the flood of photos that represent a tiny slice of the glories we see on a flying adventure. Just as the depths would be obscured by raging water, serene clarity emerges as I sit enjoying these photos. I feel more here, and at the same time am more prone to drift back into sweet memories or forward into dreams of another adventure.

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