John & Anne Wiley

2012/03/30

Step Pools

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 20:44

One of my fave local waterfalls is actually a series of unremarkable small ones. What makes them cool is pools. Each little waterfall splashes into a refreshing pool carved from solid rock. The whole thing is called Seven Falls, and I managed to snap nearly the whole set (a short section is obscured by trees) that I like. Here it is, in pieces starting from the top.

0846a Top Pools

0846a Top Pools

I’ve often wondered about the name Seven Falls, because depending on how you count them there might be nine or more.

0846b Upper Pools

0846b Upper Pools

How would you count the falls? Are you like me, and more focused on the pools? If so, what about the one at the lower-left of the above pic? Given that it’s fed by a different source, would you count it?

0846c Lower Pools

0846c Lower Pools

At the bottom of the Lower Pools pic you can see the start of a short section covered by trees.

0846d Bottom Pools

0846d Bottom Pools

We occasionally talk about taking the strenuous hike to the Step Pools (7 Falls), but so far we haven’t actually done it or even found out exactly the route to get there. My guess is it might be easier to scramble up the creek and swim the pools, but then maybe it’s hard to get up the small slippery waterfalls. It’s beautiful from the air, but the ravine is so steep you only get a fleeting glimpse as you fly past. Birds have it easy. 🙂

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2012/03/29

Carp Cloud Crag Color

Flying the hills above Carp, I enjoyed this little cloud that harkens back to lying on my back watching cloud shapes.

0757 Carp Cloud

0757 Carp Cloud

Nearby out the other window was this interesting crag sticking up out of the chaparral.

0763 Carp Crag

0763 Carp Crag

Though it might be less above Carp than above Summerland or Montecito, I had to follow the CC alliteration theme. 🙂

Anyway, this splash of color really stands out against the olive drab hills.

0768 Carp Color

0768 Carp Color

So much variety between and within flights. Every moment there’s a new pleasure or discovery, and without the camera we’d forget most of them. Kodak moments blend with all the ones we don’t snap, and soothe the soul.

2012/03/28

Detours

Sometimes I walk into the next room and forget why I went. Sometimes we start a conversation about something and end up talking about something completely different. Sometimes we plan a trip and find ourselves going in a completely different direction. Sometimes we take a brief flight over this town we’ve known and flown for years, and discover something completely new and unexpected. In fact, it happens on most flights. For example, I had no idea there’s a pair of brilliant blue and white buildings not far from our house.

0867 New Topic

0867 New Topic

From the air they were just unusual, blue and large. Looking at the full-res pic back at home, it’s easy to see this is a church and I correctly guessed from the architecture it’s Greek Orthodox. Looking it up on gMaps quickly confirmed that, and added the fact it’s named for “Saint Barbara” just like Our Town. Then I checked the name out on wiki, and what began by noticing an unusual blue building led to exploration of religious herstory. Lost in cyberia for a time, I learned a little about Valentinus, the torments of some venerated women named Barbara, and the explorer Sebastian Vizcaino, whose survival of a storm near here on Barbara’s feast day ultimately led to the name for our Mission and thus Our Town.

Detours can be fun. My goal is not only to “expect the unexpected,” but to embrace and explore it. Since every flight seems to bring plenty of invitations to detours, maybe flying could be described as an excellent opportunity for personal growth. 🙂

2012/03/27

Fresh Look

We took friends for a short flight as part of their 50th Anniversary, and we all enjoyed the fresh look of everything after the rain. The air so clear, grass so green, and flowers starting to bloom here and there.

1092 Flower Bridge

1092 Flower Bridge

This old wooden bridge across the tracks out past Bacara looks a little like the Yellow Brick Road thru Oz with the flowers starting to come up. Nearby is another meadow with soft shapes of color.

1094 Spring Patches

1094 Spring Patches

Out the other window were views to the mountains like this area around El Capitan Canyon, where colors are starting to paint the hills.

1100 Cap Colors

1100 Cap Colors

Closer to town the hills were even more colorful with the mingling of lawns and orchards.

1108 Hillside Hues

1108 Hillside Hues

Yet again a short flight over paradise has given us a fresh look at Our Town, our lives, our relationships, and our planet.

2012/03/24

Hermit Hut

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,People,SB Region — John @ 23:14

High on the flank of the Santa Ynez Mountains over Montecito is this cool “hermit hut” with spectacular view.

0794 Hill Hut

0794 Hill Hut

It seems to have emerged from the recent fire unscathed. I like the spartan furnishing in the form of a single white plastic chair, inside in the shade, that you can make out in this next pic.

0799 Chairman

0799 Chairman

As I recall, it’s actually related somehow to a water tunnel or power line. Presumably some hiker carried the chair in and left it for everyone to enjoy. But it’s also fun to imagine an emaciated hermit sitting there in silent isolation, contemplating the meaning of life.

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