Category Archives: Photography

Wings Over Camarillo Preview

The air show is tomorrow and Sunday. I was out at the hangar tonight getting my financial ducks in a row (I am the Finance Officer for the CAF SoCal Wing, need to get cash boxes and paperwork ready for our various revenue points such as our PX booth [T-shirts, hats, toys, etc], our Beer Garden [margaritas, sodas, water, and snacks as well], our membership booth, and our ride sales) and took the time (I could I not!) to watch a few of the planes coming in and doing their practice routines.

Allow me to share!

(Click on image to enlarge to full size)

Our ramp has some sweet aircraft on it! Not only are our warbirds there, but there’s a P-38 Lightning, a Corsair, and a Warthog!!

Then the F-18’s started coming in and practicing. (Having two F-18s taking off in formation on full afterburners is an ASTONISHING thing to experience, even if it does leave you saying “What??!!” a lot for the next couple of hours!)

That sunset!! And then our Zero taxied in.

It would have been sweet to have the good camera (I didn’t, I went to the hangar straight from work) but this doesn’t suck!

I hope to see some of you this weekend out in Camarillo. For the rest of you, watch for pictures here and on my other social media.

For the really, really good photos (to be taken by pros who aren’t simultaneously running around like lunatics trying to be the finance guy) you can follow the CAF SoCal feeds on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Panorama, Photography, Video

New Mycelium Attack Plan – Early & Often!!

Okay, gather ’round! Here’s the new plan for taking over Paul’s lawn! Instead of four or five big mushrooms pushing up on Wednesday just to get cut down on Thursday, let’s have a bunch of small ones pop up on Monday!!!

It could work!

(David Attenborough narrator voice: “It will not work.”)

But in that little gap between the sidewalk and the grass was this guy, who freaked out of his pinhead-sized brain and started scurrying around like a lunatic until he went straight off the sidewalk and into the gutter, where he continued to scurry until he suddenly froze.

Smaller than my little finger, maybe he thought if he closed his eyes and he held really, REALLY still and he couldn’t see me, then I couldn’t see him.

I do love my little lizard pals!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Critters, Photography

Forty-One Hour Old Moon

I don’t know that I’ve kept strict records, but this has got to be about the earliest I’ve ever seen the new moon. One day, sixteen hours, fifty-nine minutes as of the middle of this series of photos – forty-one hours, give or take.

I saw it first through binoculars – it was so faint in the still illuminated sunset sky that it was another ten minutes before I could see it with the naked eye.

As light as the sky was and as dim as the moon was, there was very little contrast between them.

In a minute though, Venus popped out, still fairly high in the sky. (Remember Venus?) I ran to get the other camera, since they were still fairly far apart.

Venus in the upper left, the moon just above the tree tops at the lower right. (Click to enlarge.)

Contrast got a touch better as it got darker, but the moon was still very close to the sun, which meant it was setting soon after the sun, before it could get very dark.

Tomorrow night it will be higher, closer to Venus, still up when it’s darker. And we start the cycle over again.

Go check it out!

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space

Bearcat Closeups

When you get up close and personal with an F8-F Bearcat, it’s all nut, bolts, wires, metal, grease, and rivets – designed to tear through the sky like a bat out of Hell! It’s a beautiful thing.

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography

Smoke & Humidity

The Holy Fire may be 50+ miles away, but it kicked up today and we’re downwind. In addition, today was the hottest day of the week so far (the rental car I was driving said it was 110° at 14:15). Best of all, it was humid.

The humidity’s actually good, since it makes the brush somewhat harder to burn as the plants, grasses, brush, and trees absorb water. It also fills the skies with some nice popcorn clouds. Put it all together when I finally got out of the office, and it was spectacular.

I can’t rule out the possibility that I was staring into the wormhole as a starship emerged – but I’m pretty sure the odds favor it just being the sun, smoke to make it orangeish, and a bunch of puffy clouds running interference.

You’re right, this isn’t the new view from the new house. It’s the old view from the office parking garage roof.

I wish I could claim credit for getting the exposure just perfect here due to an amazing amount of skill! Nope, just got lucky. (No filters!)

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Filed under Photography, Weather

Smoky Sunset

As you might have heard, California is burning. On the other hand, California’s a pretty big place, so there’s nothing burning particularly close to us, at least not right at this second.

The closest fire here is the Holy Fire, down on the Orange County / Riverside County border, fifty or sixty miles away. But we still got a bunch of that smoke drifting over tonight and I was hoping it might at least make for a spectacular sunset.

Meh.

I’m not saying that the view from the heat soaked front porch wasn’t nice, but it wasn’t a 10/10 sort of day, let alone “an eleven.”

I do love me some sunset silhouettes, though!

You can see the bands of smoke that had drifted to the west from the Holy Fire.

As the sun set you could see (click on the picture to blow it up to full size) little bright spots in the palm tree fronds as certain fronds caught the sunlight just right and reflected it in my direction.

Admittedly, a much better sunset than some of the completely cloudless, boring ones we’ve been having, but not an award winner.

There were some nice ripples in the cloud layer showing up as the sun got further over the horizon.

And that little dot out there just to the left of center (click to enlarge) is a 747 on its way into LAX from Singapore –> Hong Kong –> Anchorage. We see them out there like beads on a string, coming in from over the pole, down the coast until they’re off Malibu, then turning downwind over West LA, turning base over Dodger Stadium and Downtown LA, and then turning final into LAX.

This particular one was Singapore Airlines Flight #7972, at about 13,000 feet when I caught it, slowing down to 342 knots. How do I know?

There’s an app for that.

(Image from Flight Aware)

As I said, like beads on a string, another big jet off of Santa Monica about five minutes ahead of it, another just coming into Ventura County north of Santa Paula and Fillmore about five minutes behind it.

I hope the people on the starboard side of those flights had a nice view of the sunset!

 

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Filed under Flying, Photography, Weather

Dividing But Not Conquering

While they might be thinking in their mycelium-ic (mycelic? myceliumish? myceliumbic? I’m making this shit up, obviously) brains that instead of growing in clusters, they’ll take over the yard by dividing and conquering, the simple fact is that the gardeners have all of the power tools.

Spreading out isn’t going to help – Thursday is coming.

Whether due to the spread out nature (these might be slightly different genetically from those that grew in clusters? or are they all the same since the mycelium underlying the yard is one huge organism?) or the heat (it was 107°F here today – again), these guys are more split and oddly-shaped than the last ones.

That does however leave them open to getting pictures taken of their gills and other structures, which were pretty well hidden in the earlier blooms.

It also has led to the somewhat inevitable by some of the neighbors that there’s one weird-ass dude living here.

One of the neighbors that I haven’t actually spoken to yet came out while I was taking these pictures tonight. I heard her Corgi barking at me first – I got up and tried to be friendly and say something, but she wasn’t having anything of it. As soon as the dog did its business, the two of them were headed back inside as fast as those little Corgi legs could waddle.

I’m sure it wasn’t the weird guy on the lawn taking pictures of mushrooms that had them hustling. I’m sure it was the heat.

Yeah, that’s it.

It was the heat.

Thursday is coming.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography