Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wednesday Vignettes: Horizon Views

I haven't posted a Wednesday Vignette in several weeks so I thought I'd make up for lost time by posting several.  All they share in common is that they capture views of the horizon taken from my backyard over the course of the past week.

Vignette #1, from January 31st:

If you've ever wondered how the smog accumulates so quickly along our horizon, even in the midst of a series of rainstorms, here's a clue.  The State of California and the South Coast Air Quality Management District are currently considering new controls on local oil refineries.


Vignette #2, from February 1st:

This may be the weirdest sunrise I've ever seen.  Another rainstorm was moving in and there was a heavy bank of clouds filling the upper horizon, although the Port of Los Angeles was still visible as the sun came up.  It looked almost as if the storm was lowering a curtain on the sun.


Vignette #3, from February 3rd:

While sitting in my office on Sunday morning, a saw a large flock of birds swooping in to land in the mimosa tree, only to leave as a group shortly thereafter.  The process repeated itself several times until they departed altogether.  Unfortunately, they didn't file a flight plan with me so I can't tell you where they went.

Although you probably can't tell it from my photos, which were taken from inside the house, they were Cedar Waxwings.  On this visit, they didn't bother with the dips in the backyard fountain I captured on video in early January.


Vignette #4, from this morning:

This may be the best photo of the snow-covered mountains to the northeast of us I've captured.  The mountains are well and truly dusted.

This photo was taken about an hour after the previous one.  You might notice that the blue tarp on the roof across the canyon has been removed and roofers are hard at work on repairs.  Blue tarps are a common scene on rooftops here when we get heavy rain.  There are a lot of them in the neighborhood at present!


That's a wrap on my horizon views.  For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

38 comments:

  1. I can imagine, with the kind of drought you guys have endured for so long, that roof repairs slip farther down on the housekeeping to-do lists, only to be reinstated to the top position when the rains DO come. That second image is almost surreal... And yes, I do hope CA and the SCAQMD will implement some stricter controls. The first image illustrates the need for that beautifully. You should send it to them to use in their political marketing campaign!

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    1. Oh, there have been plenty of complaints and much documentation of the refinery emissions. The Torrance refinery in particular has been the subject of concerns for years as modified hydrofluric acid (MHF) is used on-site, which people have been trying to get banned for years as exposure can be deadly. And there was reportedly a spill in late December...

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  2. What a stunning (and unusual) sunset! Nice to see the mountains so clearly as they are often quite hazy.

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    1. Yes, sadly, clear views of the mountains are all too uncommon.

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  3. Great range of weather and light conditions. That purple roller shade lowering over an orange sky is something, as are the snowy San Gabriels. Cool post.

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    1. Luckily, I've taken to keeping my camera close at hand these days.

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  4. We have an oil refinery on the far side of the Peninsula, and people living there do battle with pollution.

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    1. When I lived closer to the Torrance refinery, I heard some of the complaints about emissions but, now that I can see evidence of refinery outputs from my own backyard, my concerns have intensified. We get periodic alerts of "flare events" when combustible gases are released during refinery maintenance operations. Those can be scary enough but unplanned flares are even scarier. A neighbor came over alarmed just about a week ago when he saw billowing smoke.

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  5. All lovely photos. That sunrise is so colorful. I would never tire of looking at those mountains.

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    1. Well, you'd be prevented from seeing the mountains 95+% of the time, Lisa, so you'd have to find something else to look at!

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  6. A nice lineup of vignettes. I especially liked the curtain of clouds coming down over the sun. Sometimes on the way down to the train station in the morning I can see a similar line of snow-capped mountains.

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    1. We don't usually see anywhere as much snow, at least from this distance. I saw the clouds hugging the mountains as the morning progressed so I have to wonder if they got even more snow today.

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  7. Wow, that sunrise was pretty unusual. I've heard that they are getting tons of snow in the mountains - the skiers must be happy. And there'll be water in the rivers come spring.

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    1. Most of our water comes from the Northern California snowpack and, according to today's paper, it's in really good shape right now. However, an early warming could cause a premature melt and lessen the water available later in the year when it's really dry here. I'm trying not to count my chickens quite yet.

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  8. Great vignettes. Love the curtain-lowering storm cloud sunrise. If you have so little rain, it must be difficult to know if the roof is leaking or not until a downpour decides to let you know. Glad that you're getting snow in the mountains!

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    1. I imagine 99% of all calls to roofers here follow rainstorms, Peter. As much as I love rain, I bet it makes roofers ever happier.

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  9. You really have the best views, don't you? This brings back memories of the summer I lived in L.A. with my aunt and uncle. They lived "down in the valley" but drives in the hills revealed similar views to the ones you show. Lovely part of the country, except for the smog.

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    1. If that was the San Fernando Valley (home turf of the original "valley girls"), that's where I grew up, Beth. Some views were better than others. Sadly, summers in the inland valleys have become hotter and hotter with each passing year.

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  10. When I was driving home from Morro Bay this morning I was surprised to see snow on the coastal ranges between 101 and the coast in Monterey County.It's damn cold ! We have more rain on the way this weekend.

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    1. There's a little rain in our weekend forecast too, Kathy, although I don't expect it to amount to much. Actually, when I look at the extended forecast through February, chances of rain are popping up every 4-5 days, which is remarkable. It was also VERY cold here today - I don't think the temperature ever got above the mid-50s even though the sun was shining. That's unusual for us.

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    2. Whoa, it was actually warmer than that here; it went into the mid-sixties so we could open up the house and air out, and do things ouside. Given that it was only last week we stayed below freezing for a stretch, plunging briefly to single digits, you can see why freeze-thaw is a big issue for plant survival in winter in western Va.

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    3. The current temperatures here are a regular source of comment - we're just not used to this. While it's sunny again today our temperature is still in the low 50s. Our house is hard to heat properly. I may have to follow the cat's example and curl up next to a sunny window.

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  11. I wouldn’t ever get work done with views like those.

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    1. You'd be surprised how oblivious you get to the view in short order, Loree.

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  12. What a great series of pictures. The mountains took me by surprise, exactly the way they'd occasionally do when I lived in L.A. in the 1980s: Just a few times a year, weather conditions would clear out the smog, and when you looked up Broadway -- shazayum, the San Gabriels! They looked so close, too, that it was hard to believe they hadn't snuck in towards the city while under cover...

    My favorite are the birds. We get a lot of fun-to-watch avian action out in the country here, but I have yet to see a flock of cedar waxwings. Lucky you, and thanks for preserving the moment!

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    1. On this last visit, the Cedar Waxwings were clearly using our mimosa tree as a staging ground for nearby activities but I wasn't able to determine what their focus was this time. Our Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) still has a plentiful supply of berries but they don't seem interested in those.

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  13. The horizon is one thing you never see from our garden, so those views are all amazing in their own way. There is a roof on a neighborhood house that is having work done on it right now. From the tarps etc. I think it is chimney work which must be awful to try to do in this cold and snow and wet. Ug.

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    1. Roof work here is usually put on hold until the end of the rainy season. From what I can see at the neighbor's home across the canyon, a fairly large section of the roof is being repaired. I hope they can finish it by tomorrow - there may be more rain on Saturday.

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  14. Incredible photos - what a view you have! The first two are so surreal...they look like they could be out of some futuristic sci-fi movie.

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    1. I'm creeped out every time I see the refineries releasing steam/smoke - and somewhat terrified when I see the fiery flares!

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  15. Oh goodness, Kris, such wonderful snowy mountain photos! It’s wonderful that you’ve had rain, and I hope it augers well for the seasons to come.

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    1. I hope this does indeed mean a better gardening year, Jane, but, as you've seen in your part of the world, our summers seem to be getting increasingly vicious.

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  16. Your sky photos are always amazing. How wonderful to have a view of mountains.

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    1. The view of the mountains is indeed wonderful, Chloris - when I can see them! Gazing at the horizon from my office window this morning, the mountains are nearly invisible again, shielded from view by a dirty gray/brown screen.

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  17. I always love catching glimpses of your views over the harbour; so this post was a real treat, thank you.

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  18. Wonderful views as ever! The first one gave a shock when I first caught sight of it, it looks too much like a tornado! I’m not sure the reality is much better though.

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    1. Even though I'm well aware of the refinery emissions after 8 years here, they still manage to shock me at times, especially when the flumes all spew on the same schedule or, worse yet, show flames.

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