Sundry and the Rather Blustery Day


Snow was falling on the mountains across the valley, in the Angeles National Forest as we took off for a run into Lancaster.


The Antelope Valley was stunning from the vantage point of the 14 North.


On the way back, the weather front moving in. Taken from the 14 south at the western edge of Palmdale. That ridge is deformation caused by the San Andreas Fault.


As we hit the pass, snow mixed in with the rain!


And it had an immediate impact. The guy in the black truck was out, on his cell phone, helping the woman in the spun out vehicle by the time we passed. I love people sometimes.


Sunny skies at our place. That’s our community to the left of the hill. Snow just a couple of miles away, to the right, on the other side of the 14 from us.  One of the great things about living in the foothills is getting these views of the weather as it moves around us.


Waiting for El Niño


Click on the images for individual captions.

You can see signs of preparation for El Niño all around Southern California.  They’ve put new K rails along the sides of the freeways where rocks are likely to fall from cutaway hills. You can pick up empty sandbags at fire stations, and our HOA bought a pile of sand for us to fill them with.  Local cities are providing sand for their residents, too.

Our HOA also re-graded the fire road around our neighborhood so that it angles water away from our homes, and added fill dirt to places that were starting to erode. Unfortunately, it looks like the first couple of rains washed away a lot of the fill dirt.  There are some little channels out there that look like they could spell trouble.


Our personal effort to avoid complications involved having this wall built to stall further erosion of the slope between our house and our upslope neighbor.  Fingers crossed that it does the trick!


High Contrast Weather


Looking more or less east from the hill behind our house this morning.


Looking more or less west from the exact same place the first shot was taken. It’s so often like this lately. Quite a difference depending on which way you’re looking. There’s probably a ripe metaphor in there….


Encountered this marker where the fire road comes close to Stallion Meadows Trail.  Called the HOA manager because we are super snoopy. He says it’s a CalTrans marker that will be used in getting new aerial shots of the nearby 14 freeway.

Yeah, this has nothing to do with the proposed high speed rail route that could go right under our neighborhood.


I do not understand people who enjoy nature enough to go be out in it, but who are then capable of leaving broken glass behind them. Oh well, gives me the chance to feel like a do-gooder. After the recent rain and wind, there were a few other pieces of detritus to pick up, too.  Some day I will remember to bring along a plastic bag!

Stormy Weather


That big, slowly rotating eye in the sky makes Skinner”s farm look pretty vulnerable!  From the back yard of the homestead in Indiana. I watched a lot of storms roll in from this back yard.  The buildings on the left are where my grandmother’s house was.


The gathering storm from beneath the cottonless cottonwood. The electric lines were all lit up against the sky.


Yes, I lay down in the grass in the corner of the yard to take this.


While I was down there, I also aimed at the magnificent cottonless cottonwood. This tree inspires love and awe. It was planted when I was eight or nine, I think, and was run over by the lawn mower in its infancy. Tree:1, Brother: 0.


Yes, I lay down in the middle of the road to take this. Because I can out here in the boonies, that’s why!


My sister, Pegerty, braving the winds with me. Mom called us in right after this.

A few minutes later we watched from the sliding glass doors as a wall of rain marched across the fields toward us, kicking up dust as it came. Thrilling!

Sky Sights – Sun Halo and ZigZag Contrail


Hydra called me out to see the sun halo above our back yard in Acton, CA today. Always impressive.  Very large.

My DSLR wouldn’t take the shot and I wasn’t sure how to adjust it to make it happen, so this was taken with my crippled Lumix. No viewfinder, natch. Squint, point and shoot!


It reminded me that I took this shot from the 14 freeway on our way home from Bakersfield last Wednesday (April 1.) Pretty wild contrail or chemtrail, huh?

Can you see the slightly smaller one to the right of the frame?


A slightly earlier view.  There’s probably a very good explanation for this. It’s very near Edward Airforce Base and China Lake, and the experimental airial stuff that’s going on in Palmdale and Mojave.

I have no conspiracy theories to offer, I just like these things.

Double Rainbow Afternoon


I promise you, this is not an enhanced photo!

Acton was visited by a little rain storm on Monday afternoon.  Like, enough to wet the driveway completely which, if you live in a desert or desert-edge climate, you know is kind of a big deal. Then afterward, these double rainbows showed up!  The one on the left was one of the most vibrant I have ever seen.

Hydra and I went to the slope behind our house to shoot pictures and we could hear neighbors coming out into the street laughing and talking about it. Yay!




Another un-enhanced photo, looking up at the hill right behind our house at the same time. Color happiness.

Wasn’t That a Mighty Wind?


Yikes, the wind is blowing like mad at our place today. We heard a thump and when Hydra went out to investigate, he found this 10-foot piece of one of our pine trees had broken off.  (We are leaving the trash can on its side…no point in tempting fate any further.)



The piece came off of the tree up on the slope in the upper right hand corner of the shot.  This gives new meaning to planting a wind break!  That tree is taller than we realized.  We’re amazed it could withstand losing so much and still look pretty good.


The broken bough.


You know, if it’s not one thing, it’s another.  We were all set for our best apricot crop ever.  The blossoms survived heavy rain, late frost, etc..  Now about a third of the unripe fruit is on the ground.  The bunnies will feast this afternoon.