John & Anne Wiley

2012/10/13

Down to Earth

This post is a miscellany of pix bringing us up through 9/26 that has a down to earth feel for me, even though it includes flying and even this item from outer space.

0936 3 Jets, 1 Spaceship

0936 3 Jets, 1 Spaceship

This was on 9/21, the last day of the Shuttle’s CA tour that ended in LA. I’d been trying to find out where it was online, and finally got an update when it flew over VAFB near Lompoc. So I grabbed the camera and went outside to watch it pass offshore. When a small plane passed over heading for SBA to land, I glanced up when the engine revved and saw that the plane was doing an unusual maneuver as if the pilot were straining to look above and to his right. I looked in that direction and much to my surprise, there they were. Normally I’d have fixated on the fighter jet escort, but this combination of the ungainly 747 and shuttle on top was completely irresistible.

0938 Big Bird

0938 Big Bird

A few seconds later I snapped this just after it passed almost directly overhead. It was of course much higher than it looks in this cropped zoom shot, but you could actually make out some detail on the underside of the shuttle wing with the naked eye.

0939 Shuttle Detail

0939 Shuttle Detail

In contrast with the gray in these shuttle pix, we enjoyed a colorful visit from a young friend and her young son. Among the delights was when we took them for a swim.

1000 Student Swimmer

1000 Student Swimmer

Then we took them flying, of course. 🙂

1024 Local Icons

1024 Local Icons

I didn’t take aerial pix of anything but these two local icons. At the bottom is the Santa Barbara County Bowl, where there’s been a recent major construction project I wanted to check out by studying this pic later. The big white building at the top used to be the famous Brooks photography school, where we occasionally toured the ever-changing photographic art on the walls. Last up is this odd pic of our beloved Hass avocado tree.

1033 Mitey Conflict

1033 Mitey Conflict

We’re hoping it’s the scene of a “mitey” conflict. See, the envelope rudely stapled to a leaf contains “predator” mites that will hopefully dine on the parasitic mites that have been munching the leaves. An expert from the Bartlett Tree service said our tree’s fine. We’d called him, worried about the mangy look of the leaves but he assured us it’s doing well. He said if we wanted to help it do even better, we could order a spice shaker with a thousand predator mites. The little plastic jar came UPS wrapped in cold packs in a scary looking “live animals” box, and we had lots of fun dispersing them on the tree in the seven provided envelopes. Since they’re nearly invisible, and we only managed to spot two of them on the tree the next day, maybe the whole exercise is more of a Feel Good strategy. Like when a teen boy buys shiny hubcaps for his first car, even though it’s nearly ready for retirement. 🙂

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