John & Anne Wiley

2011/11/06

Manse & Mystery

As you know I especially enjoy looking at rock formations, freeway traffic jams, and designs while flying. No cause for alarm, because I’m not posting rock formations tonight. Nor do I have any automotive bottlenecks to share, because although SoCA provides plenty of those on most flights I seem to be the only person cruel enough to enjoy them. 🙂

No, tonight I’m back to architectural and landscape design curiosities in upper Montecito, plus a mystery object. First up, an old manse that reminds me of the place a rich distant relative used to have in Beverly Hills. I only went there perhaps three times in my life, but the memories are strong. As a small child, I recall playing with their expensive toys like a stamped metal gas station that had a cool ramp with upstairs parking. I also remember the manicured estate grounds with lawn and junipers in perfect balance.

7470 Old Monte Manse

7470 Old Monte Manse

I like this one’s subtle pink with white trim, the manicured grounds, and the swimming pool going native in front of the little colonial poolhouse. Those round wings are way cool too, though given a gazillion bux I’d have topped them with domed turrets with lots of windows that open so I could sit up there and take in the vista while counting $100 bills.

Quite a contrast with this one not far away. Check out that “pool” (actually a small lake) on the left and its attendant poolhouse. The ostentatious promenade between the rows of junipers. The little lawns with symmetrical hedged edges. The vine-encrusted Grecian columns out back. What else do you notice?

7472 Stately Estate

7472 Stately Estate

Take your time. Have another look. Anything unusual? Something stand out to you?

OK, so I got curious about that bright red object above the poolhouse. Check this out.

7472 Mystery

7472 Mystery

At first I thought it was something on the ground, but it’s in front of the water hose and casting no shadow. Now we were about 3,000′ altitude so I thought maybe it’s an especially high-flying kite. But something that shape wouldn’t fly very well. Besides, what shape is that?! Does it look to you like a small garden trowel or maybe a shovel or some sort of paddle? If it was say two feet long, how far away would it have been on this relatively long telephoto shot? How high would it have been? Biggest mystery of all: how the devil did it get there?! Unless someone shot it from a canon, it must have fallen from another plane. I do dimly recall ATC having pointed out a plane higher and going in the other direction, but what is this thing and how on earth did it manage to fall out? Any other ideas on what it is, or how it came to be in this pic?

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