West & East

When it’s getting golden in the west…

…the trees light up in the east.

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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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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.


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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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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No Context For You – August 06th

Of course, tonight at 23:55 my internet connection decides to go to hell.

Enjoy a picture of…something.

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A Spooked Hawk

Yesterday when the Condors flew over, there was another creature in the skies nearby that wasn’t at all pleased with the company.

He was squawking pretty good!

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Yesterday the house was buzzed by a squadron of warbirds – the Condor Squadron out of Van Nuys Airport. Today I ran into one of their pilots at the CAF hangar and commented on how great it was to see them so close overhead. I was given the heads up that yesterday was a practice run for a memorial service near our house – tonight was the real thing. So I was ready.

In preparing this post, I’m struck by how much this view resembles the pictures of storks that I posted yesterday.

While three are painted in German markings, they’re all American AT-6 Texans – also known as SNJs when the Navy flew them, or Harvards when the British and Australians flew them.

They circled the hill I live on, giving a number of different views. They made three passes.

What struck me was the number of people on the street and in neighboring yards who seemed totally oblivious. I understand that no everyone’s going to be an “OOOHH, and AIRPLANE!!!” ga-ga sort of guy like me who’s going to grab a camera and run out into the yard, but for crying out loud! If you’re already out in the yard and you see these guys circling around just seven or eight hundred feet up, don’t you at least look up?

On the second pass, one plane popped smoke and went into the “missing man” formation over the memorial site a few blocks from us.

After that, it was time to form up, pass behind Castle Peak, and head off to the west toward Camarillo, where there was a retirement party tonight at our CAF hangars for one of the Condor pilots.

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