John & Anne Wiley

2014/01/31

Look Out

One of my fav views from SB is up at the Tooth Rock and La Cumbre Peak area.

0953 La Cumbre Peak

0953 La Cumbre Peak

So one of the things we enjoy doing on short local flights, is climbing past the cool abandoned fire lookout atop La Cumbre Peak. On this particular flight we flew east along the ridge past it for the above view, then later coming back west along the ridge we decided to cross to the north for a look at the river. That gave us this different view of the lookout.

1026 La Cumbre Lookout

1026 La Cumbre Lookout

A few minutes later over the Santa Ynez River, we could see a different kind of fire look out. Because we’ve been in extreme drought, the normal river flow for this time of year has dried to this extent of a few isolated stagnant rock pools like these two on opposite sides of the concrete river crossing road.

1030 Dry SY River

1030 Dry SY River

On normal years if the flow is low enough it’s fun to drive slowly through the river. As it is, we’re all instead on the look out for wildfires. Any time there’s smoke around town, locals on Edhat are checking to see if they need to start packing their valuables. Since this flight we’ve had a few sprinkles, and we all hope real rain may follow.

Advertisements

2014/01/29

Water & Rocks

0781 Duckling Boats

0781 Duckling Boats

To me this looks like a scurrying mother boat followed by three frantic duckling boats as the other boats passively look on. Or they could just be an intricate collection of miniature toy boats. I guess the motor boat is towing the three small sailboats, either back to the marina or around the course so they can practice using the rigging.

Meanwhile, up in our mountains the rocks hold evidence they were once under the water.

0857 Sedimentary Layers

0857 Sedimentary Layers

Water has also apparently carved out holes where the rock is softer, giving it a complex etched look.

0859 Etchings

0859 Etchings

Small streams running down the slope during heavy rains also seem to have carved out a small cave between these rocks.

0969 Carved Cave

0969 Carved Cave

Nearby is another even smaller and shallower opening that still might provide welcome shelter for various animals. Maybe also a hunting ground for snakes. It has a blocky shape, as if carved by humans to place a signal lantern for ships in the Channel.

0969 Blocky Shrine

0969 Blocky Shrine

Our mountains have innumerable interesting rock sculptures carved by water, some like miniature fanciful Monument Valley columns.

0865 Mini Monuments

0865 Mini Monuments

Looking at these sculptures reminds me that time is relative. What seems like solid stone is still fluid as the water that once covered it, if we could view it uplifting and then dissolving over millennia.

2014/01/26

Impressions

I enjoy the impressions images make on me. When I see something that tickles my creative eye, sometimes I pause to wonder why. If I snap a pic of it, usually they don’t fully capture what I saw and sometimes they capture an impression that wasn’t there in the moment.

0729 USS Stearns

0729 USS Stearns

When I saw and snapped this, it was to capture the creative impression from long shadows across the wharf. As a photo the impression that stands out is that Stearn’s Wharf looks like an aircraft carrier full stop in a calm sea of linear ripples. This next one was a much bigger surprise.

0733 Pow!

0733 Pow!

Sure the sail in sunshine above an already sunset sea made an impression, but keep in mind that we’re 1/4 mile away so the scene is vast and there are many other remarkable things to look at. When I cropped the zoom pic, the impression became one of thrilling motion beneath a brilliant balloon suspended in space.

2014/01/25

Over The Hill

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 21:30

How do we know when we’re over the hill? Often it seems when we’re over the hill we just see more mountains to cross.

8092 Over The Hill

8092 Over The Hill

As you can see, the hills here are dry. But still beautiful. Nestled among these hills (they’d be called Mountains back east) are some reservoirs. Just a few miles north of Carp as the Tripp flies, Jameson Lake is showing ever more lake bed as the drought deepens.

0674 Jameson Lake

0674 Jameson Lake

Further west along the Santa Ynez River is Gibraltar Lake, also looking very dry and brown.

0693 Gibraltar Dam

0693 Gibraltar Dam

But just a couple of miles south across the ridge on the Montecito foothills, there are patches of bright green fed by water from three dams on the river.

0714 Redistribution

0714 Redistribution

This sort of contrast is one of many things that make flying here so delightful. In a couple of minutes you can see such different worlds, glimpses of how it looked eons ago, and the dramatic effects of human hand.

2014/01/23

Albatross

The albatross is such an exceptional flyer, that it can effortlessly cover over 620 miles in a day. This is impressive to a pilot of small planes like Tripp, but for this post there’s also another relevance to this bird in the Coleridge poem and associated idiom of an “albatross around the neck.” That is, a psychological burden that feels like a curse. In the first meaning here, sometimes while flying it feels like I’d prefer to Never land.

0347 Never Land Time

0347 Never Land Time

In the second meaning here, I sometimes imagine the psychological burdens borne by the guy who lived in the mansion hidden among the wizened ancient oaks here.

0351 Palace Between Ponds

0351 Palace Between Ponds

A short walk away lie the foundations of the carnival rides Michael Jackson had on this estate. What albatross around his neck led to the investment in creating an enormous playground here?

0354 Echoes of Play

0354 Echoes of Play

A little further along the tracks of his personal railroad was this cluster of buildings made to look like an idealized wild west town to house a petting zoo.

0356 Petting Zoo

0356 Petting Zoo

This fantasy land a few minutes flight from SBA is fascinating to contemplate as we fly past occasionally for another look. From up here it all somehow appears to me symptomatic of a troubled soul. The demons and delights in any person could also manifest in me. In my heart though there dwells a love of experiencing life not just in air but on land and in water. After the bliss of being aloft, other delights are enriched. Though the impulse may pass as the shadow of an albatross, I would not truly wish to never land.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: