John & Anne Wiley

2018/07/12

Fast Fire

Filed under: Aviation,Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 15:28

Speaking of speed, the day after our beloved SB Solstice Parade we took off to visit friends and family in the Northwest. Weather was fair and cool, so after climbing out of the coastal low clouds near Gaviota Pass we looked forward to a scenic flight.

3245 Cloud Caress

3245 Cloud Caress

Endless fascinations unfolded in the clear air below, like the simply complex farm field geometry.

3246 Puzzle Shapes

3246 Puzzle Shapes

Then some big fires started along our route in the California central valley, hiding the lakes of the northeastern Sacramento valley behind a smoky veil. 😦

3253 Smokescreen

3253 Smokescreen

Luckily some areas were clearer so that scenic spots we passed near were beautiful, like this flash of a green rainbow in Feather Falls.

3272 Feather Rainbow

3272 Feather Rainbow

Smoke was pretty thick by the time we reached Mount Lassen, so we were happy to see it thinner on the North side (to the right in this pic). Shasta in the distance still wore a heavy crown of snow at the end of June.

3314 Mt. Lassen

3314 Mt. Lassen

We turned for a closer look. Even where the tortured moonscape of Lassen has yielded to life, but even the hardiest trees give way to glaciers and thick snow.

3363 Stone, Snow, Life

3363 Stone, Snow, Life

By the time we reached Klamath Falls where we’d decided to stop for the night, the smoke had thinned to a light haze.

3408 Klamath's Kingsley Airport

3408 Klamath’s Kingsley Airport

Down at the airport we noticed rows of F-15s.

3400 F-15 Fighter Jets

3400 F-15 Fighter Jets

After settling Tripp in for the night and checking into a hotel, we strolled the quiet streets of Klamath Falls before sleeping with dreams of our day’s enchanted flight.

205258 Klamath Moon

205258 Klamath Moon

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LifeSpeed

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 00:52

It seems to me that life is speeding up.

Not just ours, but for everyone we know. Not just for us elders – even for the young. But that still doesn’t explain why it’s been so long since I’ve found time to post. Still, here comes some stuff out of sequence. Before continuing where I left off, let me take you back to the delightful Santa Barbara Solstice Parade.

3068 Scary Embrace

3068 Scary Embrace

I love all the reactions of delight, contrasting with the growing concern on the toddler being offered for a hug. A moment later he started wailing and dad took him back for a reassuring hug.

3110 Burdened Blader

3110 Burdened Blader

The costumes are always creative and often outrageous, like the roller blader at left carrying a burden on his back to the amusement of the crowd.

3123 Toothy Smile

3123 Toothy Smile

Star Trek phaser fire photobombed a posing T Rex.

3143 Quiet Amid Chaos

3143 Quiet Amid Chaos

With colorful chaos, music and drummers all around, this woman in elegant regalia took an internal moment in serene silence.

3170 Neptune Bubble

3170 Neptune Bubble

Some of the floats (all human-powered) are inflated creations with battery-run fans, like this one with Neptune and one of his mermaids inside.

One of our favs this year was the dancing group of RBGs. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a popular Supreme Court Justice in progressive circles, but it was still a surprise to see her celebrated in this way. Solstice is always surprising, fun, and delightful even though we expect it to be. A rousing expression of playful creativity that brightens our spirits every year.

2018/06/21

As I Was Saying…

Well, it’s quite amazing to me that nothing new has appeared here since 2/28 (about our 3/29/2017 flight!) and here we are with the delightful 2018 SB Solstice Parade just days away! I guess it’s surprising that it’s amazing, since I’m mainly the one who’s been adding posts here. I’m beside myself. 😉

A few days after that island flight we enjoyed flying past some hillside poppies and lupine near Ventura. The slope had been scarred by fire, and little did we know then that it would burn again in the horrific Thomas Fire (more on that after more catch up posts).

8165 Poppies & Lupine

8165 Poppies & Lupine

We walked the lovely beaches in this area, but seldom take pix then. Why then do we sometimes snap beaches from the air and enjoy “seeing ourselves” down there? Maybe because when a plane flies past us on the beach, we look up and drink in the music of flight recalling being there just as we snap the memories of strolling and wading down there?

8405 Up & Down Beach

8405 Up & Down Beach

It’s always a magical delight when we see whales. Scientists say our mirror neurons fire when we empathize with their parental nurturing.

8557 Swimming Lessons

8557 Swimming Lessons

The scalloped shoreline of Lake Cachuma is often interesting from above, especially when there’s green on the slopes.

8887 Cachuma Shores

8887 Cachuma Shores

Flower fields are another favorite.

8961 Color Harvest

8961 Color Harvest

We like to watch birds in flight, though we seldom see them while we’re flying because they see us far before we see them. Even other aircraft can easily escape our scan due to the distance between us. So it was fun to see this pilot stretching his wings near the edge of a beach bluff.

8975 Birdman

8975 Birdman

Speaking of beach bluffs, some of them tear into the sea in sheets. Pages of pre-history tilted up over eons until they tumble down into the waves they formed beneath, rose above, then dissolved back into.

9152 Over, Under, In

9152 Over, Under, In

Sometimes picking up inexpensive fresh local colorful and nutritious organic produce at the State Street Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, we’ll glance up when a plane flies over. On the rare times we’re flying over it ourselves, we may snap a pic and zoom in later to notice that nobody down there looked up. We’re rare birds.

9500 Market Colors

9500 Market Colors

Sometimes on a clear day while things are still green in late Spring, the hills and fields of Santa Paula just sparkle.

9661 Santa Paula Valley

9661 Santa Paula Valley

Other times the geometry of life and human hands stands out, like the geometry of joy on this day they cleaned out the sandbox at Shoreline Park.

9686 Shape of Play

9686 Shape of Play

Sometimes the sea rises into the air and tries to devour the land, only to vanish in the sun.

9751 Land, Sea, Air

9751 Land, Sea, Air

So in this very abbreviated collection, I’ve almost brought us up to a year ago. How long before I can make time to share more of the delights we’re so fortunate to enjoy?

2018/02/28

Santa Rosa Island

Filed under: Flying,Has Photos,Inner World,Nature,Random,SB Region — John @ 18:57

After our quick Santa Barbara Channel Islands tour past San Miguel, we headed East along the South coast of Santa Rosa. There was a soft glow of moisture in the air that day, so I’d put a polarizing filter on the camera to cut the haze. That let me get this long zoom shot of blooms on the North side of Santa Rosa earlier as we descended from the crossing toward San Miguel.

7779 Santa Rosa Blooms

7779 Santa Rosa Blooms

Now we were enjoying a look at Santa Rosa’s SW tip with Point Conception to the NW in the blue hazy distance.

7850 Santa Rosa W. Tip

7850 Santa Rosa W. Tip

Off to our right was a view across Santa Rosa’s rumpled blanket of green to the more mountainous Santa Cruz Island.

7852 NE Across Santa Rosa

7852 NE Across Santa Rosa

But of course closer in we were looking down at pinnipeds hauled out in a small sunny cove and more painterly colors of sand, stone, and island plant life.

7853 Plants & Pinnipeds

7853 Plants & Pinnipeds

The sea caves, shapes and colors of Santa Rosa shores were especially delicious that day, thanks to splashes of wildflowers on some slopes.

7856 Santa Rosa Colors

7856 Santa Rosa Colors

Glancing back toward the West tip, wisps of Pacific color caressed the South coast washed by waves coming to rest after their thousands of miles at sea.

7861 Water Colors

7861 Water Colors

We wondered what plant was making this color we couldn’t name amid faint blotches of red.

7862 Deep Purple Plant

7862 Deep Purple Plant

Already the delights of San Miguel were sliding into the distant memories of these precious minutes that somehow merge into an impression of beauty beyond words. We’re glad to have a few hundred pix to temporarily restore tiny particles of that unfolding panorama we saw, almost proving we actually saw paradise. In the wide and long pix like this one, I can pick out a few of the zoom pix that in reality were much more powerful in living 3D context.

7866 Timeless Memories

7866 Timeless Memories

Even more magical we still had much more of just this second unique island among the four, stretching out ahead!

7868 S.Rosa to S.Cruz

7868 S.Rosa to S.Cruz

But this post is already getting long so I’ll share this one last look of Santa Rosa entire, back toward San Miguel.

7905 Santa Rosa Island

7905 Santa Rosa Island

A green gemstone sprawled in a placid sea beneath wisps of cloud, Santa Rosa Island enchanted us yet again that day.

2018/02/27

Island Colors

Santa Barbara is our favorite region to fly. Among the many reasons is the delicious set of Santa Barbara Channel Islands just a few minutes from SBA. March 29, 2017 we decided to fly out and see if they were still green from the Spring rains, and maybe even spot some wildflower blooms.

Every takeoff from SBA immediately greets the observer with 360 degrees of magnificent views, plus of course the view up into the blue (often with a garnish of a few clouds) and back downward for a new perspective on the familiar scenes below.

7529 Down to UCSB

7529 Down to UCSB

Views like this of the Campus Point part of UCSB are always beautiful, though on this day we were climbing at full power and thus already higher than usual above the foot and bike paths, surfers, SUPs, rolling waves and placid lagoon.

Soon we saw a giant pod of dolphins swimming and leaping toward the West across our path.

7745 1/3 Dolphin Frenzy

7745 1/3 Dolphin Frenzy

This is only about a third of the pod, cropped to give a sense of the size while also showing a tiny bit of detail. In the full-resolution pic you can see that many of them are under the water, while this pic shows mostly the ones breaking the surface. Wonder what the frenzy was about!

Our eyes were still darting to and fro taking in the wonders as we descended along the North shore of San Miguel Island, one of our two favorites among the four clustered off our coast (Anacapa is the other). I’m seduced by the flat striped West end that presented this angle when we turned back eastward along the South shore.

7784 East San Miguel Island

7784 West San Miguel Island

In this particular view I see a coyote leaping left about to gulp a big meal (the high tide islet formed by Point Bennett just offshore). Off in the distance beyond I snapped this zoom of stony Castle Rock across to the North.

7793 Sea Caves

7793 Sea Caves

There are lots of sea caves on the islands, and this little rocky companion boasts quite a collection. I presume they’re used by lots of wildlife. Dustings of white lead me to guess that plenty of birds hang out on the rocks between meals, or maybe longer to raise their families. Here’s a wide shot with Castle Rock at the top center, showing some of San Miguel’s colors that day.

7794 San Miguel Colors

7794 San Miguel Colors

I like how the variations in ocean color complement the shades of sand and life. Many of the grayish hues along the beaches are actually large groups of pinnipeds digesting their lunch in the warm sun. Here’s a closer look at the island colors, with a soft wash of purple, blue and yellow wildflowers.

7797 San Miguel Bloom

7797 San Miguel Bloom

Now a zoom of this little cove with its striated rocks, surging and receding waves, arroyo meanders, and dappled textures in greens, browns and blues.

7809 Tidal Cove

7809 Tidal Cove

A few leisurely minutes later we were looking back toward the Northwest at this glorious long view, already on our way East to the other islands.

7839 San Miguel to NW

7839 San Miguel to NW

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