John & Anne Wiley

2016/04/28

Anacapa Light

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 23:28

The light out at Anacapa Island is often too harsh for our cameras to handle in flight, because we can’t use modern tricks like “HDR” at the high speeds required. So I was pleased to capture at least an impression of the range between shaded dark rock cliffs and the brilliant white on the bird rock arch offshore.

4421 White, Dark & Light

4421 White, Dark & Light

Notice how different the water surface looks between the right and left, due to the ubiquitous wind out there. Wind and waves would make it challenging but I’d love to kayak around the small rock spire, “blade” and arch.

4424 Small Spire, Blade & Arch

4424 Small Spire, Blade & Arch

The larger rock arch is even more fascinating to me, including the small sea cave you can see in the above pic. In this next one you get a sense of how the waves and currents would be affected not just by winds, waves and currents, but the varying depth.

4426 Anacapa Arch

4426 Anacapa Arch

The trusty old Anacapa Lighthouse adds an illusion of safety in these waters that can transform in minutes, from an expansive bucolic calm to a foggy maelstrom or hailing hurricane. update: I found the “MANIC1” weather station online and verified the coordinates as near the light (probably atop that adjacent square tower), so I’ve posted the link for future reference.

4430 Anacapa Lighthouse

4430 Anacapa Lighthouse

That first pic showing all of the arches and rocks plus some smaller rocks off the point, amply demonstrates the good reasons a lighthouse was built there.

 

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2016/04/19

Whale Mystery

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 02:51

It’s unusual to see whales close to shore, but we saw a group perhaps half a mile off Montecito. Much more unusual were these brown blobs behind them.

3569 Whale Blobs

3569 Whale Blobs

I thought at first they were the misty “blows” created when a whale surfaces and exhales strongly. But those are clear mist that looks white in the sun. Could it be blood or darkened breath from some lung ailment? We got closer for a better look.

3562 Brown Water

3562 Brown Water

We still couldn’t tell from the air but closer and at maximum zoom this cropped pic reveals that it was brown water. I’m basing that on the “collar” of brown in the water at the front of where the juvenile whale’s back is out of water. There’s also brownish water behind that whale. We’ve seen several dozen whales, mostly Gray Whales, over the years but never anything like this. Then we saw that it was probably two mothers with juvenile calves, and both calves were doing the brown water thing so probably healthy. Soon we saw all four doing normal clean blows when they surfaced.

3585 Brown Gray Whales

3585 Brown Gray Whales

Since preparing the pix for this post I’ve learned more, and will send a post about it to Edhat tomorrow (use the link in the right column here to see that after they publish it some time 4/19/2016). Meanwhile, here’s a happy ending showing a mother and calf coming up clean with her rainbow blow in the sun that I’ve accentuated by pumping up the color.

3703 Rainbow Whale Blow

3703 Rainbow Whale Blow

2016/04/05

Hope Springs

They say hope springs eternal, and yesterday we saw this beautiful manifestation of that on the hills above Hwy.101 near Ventura. Alongside the burned sticks, wildflowers nourished by recent rains are leaping toward the sun.

2931 Life & Death

2931 Life & Death

Amid our exceptional drought just over three months ago the Solimar Fire devastated these same hills that were already so dry it was difficult to distinguish what had burned from what hadn’t. Now there’s abundant green accented with these multiple other colors of life.

2940 Colors of Hope

2940 Colors of Hope

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