Spring has arrived, at least for a couple of days. After one of the rainest and coldest winters recorded in Los Angeles, followed by extremely windy conditions for a few days, we actually got a couple of relatively calm days this weekend where it got up about 80°. I noticed that the yard was responding by coming to life, so I grabbed a camera.
Let’s talk about the view from our back yard.
You’ll recall that about ten months ago we moved into a new place. It’s on the top of a hill where the old place was at the bottom. It’s one of the best things about the property. From the front porch we get to watch brush fires and planetary conjunctions, while out the back we get to watch orange moon rises. (I guess if I was actually up that early I could watch the sunrise out the back, but I am not a morning person and have no intention or desire to become one.)
A lot of folks who live elsewhere still think Los Angeles has a huge smog problem. That’s really not true – it’s several orders of magnitude better than it was in the 60’s and 70’s. However, we do get a fair amount of haze and fog and low clouds on most days just as part of the “late night and early morning marine layer” (there’s that whole huge freakin’ ocean thing just over there), so “clear and a million” days are a treat. Today we had one, helped by all of that rain and wind cleaning out whatever junk was in the air.
I mention the haze because it makes a big difference in what you can see from our back yard. The view never sucks, but there are days we can see four or five miles and then days when it feels like you can see all the way to Las Vegas. Today was one of those latter days.
We have a ton of trees back there. And there are some other slightly lowers hills that we’re peeking over. I don’t mind the trees – that’s where the owls and hawks and crows and mockingbirds and hummingbirds and mourning doves and woodpeckers live. But with the naked eye, I naturally start to want to figure out what I’m looking at.
As we zoom in, ignoring the houses on the next hill, that tall, brownish building sticking up on the right in the middle distance is the Hilton over in Warner Center. (The huge red sign on the top is a dead giveaway at night.) You can also see all of the Fine Arts buildings and the parking structure covered in solar panels over at Pierce College in the center.
Beyond that you can pick out the cluster of skyscrapers over at Ventura and Sepulveda in Encino. And way, way, WAY off in the distance, up on top of that mountain, is a white dot with some dark spots on top…
Cool! That’s Griffith Observatory! It’s 21 miles away according to Google Earth.