John & Anne Wiley

2018/02/25

Fires & Flowers

As we face yet another long hot summer fire season with exceptionally dry rainy season, it’s sobering to continue my catch up process of posting here. March 20 saw us taking the short flight to Santa Paula again for more aircraft pampering. Along the way we enjoyed more views of flowers on the hillsides near Ventura.

7252 Lupine

7252 Lupine

That particular hillside was especially attractive, where lupine minged with other wildflowers and crags from a recent fire. It also offered safe terrain and winds to fly within a few hundred feet and catch zoom pix like these that highlight the flowers.

7244 Patchwork

7244 Patchwork

Somewhere out beyond Santa Paula there was a wildfire painting a pall of smoke hinting at the largest fire in CA history that would devastate this whole region in a few months.

7232 Smoky Omen

7232 Smoky Omen

Most of the hillsides were still green though, so the next day we decided to stretch our wings with a flight out across Santa Ynez Valley. The rock formations there never cease to fascinate.

2380 Wrinkled Rock

2380 Wrinkled Rock

Sedimentary layers open pages of geology going back countless millennia beyond our brief time in the sun. Other rocks stand guard above eroded meadows dotted with blooms.

7363 Stone Castle

7363 Stone Castle

More sandstone layers lead the eye down into Zaca Lake nestled in a crook of the hidden valley.

7376 Zaca Lake

7376 Zaca Lake

The poppies ran amok on Grass Mountain, where our long zoom caught this relaxing scene.

7395 Grass Mtn Poppies

7395 Grass Mtn Poppies

Though pale in comparison with prior flights in the Figueroa Mountain area, the brief intense rain of early 2017 had painted some scattered hillsides and meadows in the hues of various blossoms. They describe delicate intriguing shapes telling the story of subtle variations in soil chemistry and many other factors over time.

7351 Hue of a Moment

7351 Hue of a Moment

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2018/02/21

Falls, Flowers & Green

After our lovely family visit in San Diego we took off March 15 flying out toward Ramona, and glimpsed this waterfall amid that arid landscape.

7067 Falls Pond

7067 Falls Pond

A little over 13 miles past Ramona was this winding rapids.

7076 White Water

7076 White Water

Then we passed near the little mountain town of Julian for our first aerial perspective of this popular area where we’ve sampled spectacular apple pies and pioneer ambiance.

7078 Julian

7078 Julian

In case you hadn’t already guessed, we were headed for Borrego to see if there was a wildflower bloom from the Spring rains.

7108 Desert Bloom

7108 Desert Bloom

While we did see many hints of color sprinkled around the valley, this was the most densely blooming little area. Places we’d seen more blooming in prior flights were bland that day. But the desert has many other charms year ’round.

7125 Austere Beauty

7125 Austere Beauty

Still, it was refreshing an hour or so later to see the green fields of home.

7222 More Mesa Green

7222 More Mesa Green

2018/02/20

Fun, Flowers, Family

March 10, 2017 we flew to Santa Paula so Tripp could visit her excellent mechanic (A&P/IA) Glenn Fuller for some TLC. Leaving SBA we enjoyed seeing so much water at Goleta Beach, with the creek outlet open wide (on the right side) rather than the typical solid line of sand there.

6678 Open Water

6678 Open Water

I’ve popped in this pic of the hills above Carp just because anyone who’s seen that area since December knows how tragically different it looks now.

6712 Carp B4 Thomas

6712 Carp B4 Thomas

Life was struggling to recover from a prior smaller fire even then, atop the hills near Ventura and that area looks quite different now too.

6726 Charcoal & Poppies

6726 Charcoal & Poppies

Sometimes military aircraft use SBA for practice, or just stop in for a refreshing break at one of our restaurants on a long flight. At the end of this flight we saw some USMC Harrier jets, but I didn’t get any good pix. Luckily when we joined the taxi line for another short flight the next day they were back and I caught this moment.

6775 Jets 4 John

6775 Jets 4 John

I really like how these jets seem to be posing just for me, knowing how much I was enjoying their synchronized show. 🙂

On the 14th we flew again! Rare for us to go so often, but this time it was to San Diego for a visit with family. Some really fun times with our new nephew especially, but also of course many aerial delights on the flight there including this look at beach bluff mansions.

7049 La Jolla Luxury

7049 La Jolla Luxury

A funicular like that down to a beach fort is rare in CA, and I’m curious how they managed to get it past the Coastal Commission. Maybe it’s associated with the university and/or marine research work there?

2018/02/19

Where Were We?

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Inner World,Nature,SB Region — John @ 02:20

It’s surprising to me how long it’s been since the last post here. Halloween ’17! Before that I’d been catching up on fav pix after our return from the HI/NZ/AU trip, and doing that’s what had gotten me so far behind our subsequent 2017 pix. So to pick it up again, here’s something that caught my eye on a 2/28/17 flight.

6001 Scruff

6001 Scruff

Sometimes a texture like this just intrigues me. It’s dry reeds on the southwest shore of little Lake Los Carneros. But before reading that did your mind tumble for a moment pondering what it might be? On a less esoteric note, how about these pix from our 3/9 flight?

6280 Rey Fire Poppies

6280 Rey Fire Poppies

As with our most recent local disaster, the Rey Fire over in Santa Ynez Valley was horrific. These poppies sprang up as if to ease the recovery. Over in the Figueroa Mountain area we saw more scattered wildflowers clinging to striated sandstone cliffs.

6359 Clinging Colors

6359 Clinging Colors

Turning toward SBA the temporary respite from drought had brought color to the silent playground of Neverland Ranch.

6443 Neverland Colors

6443 Neverland Colors

Crossing the Santa Ynez River there was a trickle of water not from rain, but a valley water table nourishing release from Bradbury Dam upstream.

6489 Green Valley

6489 Green Valley

Turning toward the East along the coast to home, a fleeting skirt of brilliant green trimmed the feet of our struggling thirsty mountains.

6580 Fringe Green

6580 Fringe Green

To cap the brief flight, this whale breathed us a rainbow as if offering more moisture.

6604 Lingering Mist

6604 Lingering Mist

2017/11/01

Halloween

Often as Halloween approaches we talk about whether to dress up, go to any of the various parties, or stroll Isla Vista where UCSB goes all out. Instead, in recent years we’ve mostly settled into a modest routine starting on Altered State St.

01306 Contrast

01306 Contrast

Walking and driving this SB “main street” we love looking at the families going from door to door with small kids at sunset. The different age groups have quite a different experience, and that first pic is an example. Sometimes it seems the 5-10 year old kids have the most fun, like this dino dancing down the sidewalk swinging a bucket of candy.

01299 Monster Bucket

01299 Monster Bucket

The street overflows with families at points, with sweet Life in abundance.

01295 Street Life

01295 Street Life

Some scenes capture my imagination, like a giant mouse stalking an innocent mother and children.

01305 Mouse Menace?

01305 Mouse Menace?

Pets get in on the act too. Mostly dogs are subjected to that humiliation it seems. This trio apparently took it in stride more than some we saw trying to escape their garb.

01318 Patient Pooches

01318 Patient Pooches

As sunset turns to night, the crowd begins shifting from families toward teens and adults. These women enjoying dinner and drinks were probably headed to a party next.

01316 Circle of Friends

01316 Circle of Friends

We saw others with cameras taking it in, but these two appeared more interested in botany and intricate shadows on a wall.

01320 Shutter Surround

01320 Shutter Surround

Back at home, a family of friends stopped by to provide our only chance to give away treats. Great way to complete our evening and shift toward a quiet night remembering this and so many other Halloweens of a life time.

01321 Sweet Family

01321 Sweet Family

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