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Old Aug 24, 2010, 6:41 PM   #1
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Default Brown Landscape

As many of you have noticed, I turn green with envy whenever anyone posts lush green landscape pictures. Our landscape is anything but green at the moment. But I have a certain fascination with it, and set out Sunday to try to capture some local scenes, to give all of you an idea why I get so jealous of everyone else's pretty landscapes.

Some mountain scenes:

Notice the antenna and trees on top of the mountain in the center of the panorama? It's a weather station. Here's another picture of it, taken with the K100 and shot through an R72 filter:

Higher up Lieber Mountain:

Another pano - the view when I turned around from the one just above.

Quail Lake, manmade and part of the California Aqueduct system, is on the left of this picture of the northwestern most part of the Antelope Valley:

I visited a small pond that's spring-fed and usually a fun spot to see migrating birds. The water table is way down. The only birds I saw for a while were American Coots:

As I turned to leave, a flash of white caught my eye. It seems like not all of the Great Egrets I saw last spring went further north - at least one must have decided to stay. Sure wish I had a TC!

The Gorman Hills mark the top of the Grapevine. This is a usual scene - brown hills and an overheated vehicle (the road is pretty steep):

I didn't originally take these two shots with a pano in mind, just trying to capture a good picture of the Gorman Hills. When I saw them on the monitor I realized that they could be put together, even though they didn't line up perfectly vertically (and I had to crop some off of each frame). But I liked how it came out:

I like roads less traveled:

My last picture was going to be this one, I rather like it: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v18/p760838504.jpg , but I'm just going to link to it. Instead, I'm going to post this picture, taken from my upstairs window about an hour or so ago.

It isn't the greatest shot, but I left it uncropped - you can tell it was shot from inside. While we might have had a mild summer so far, it doesn't change the fact that everything is very, very dry and that fire season just started for my local area.

Perhaps that will give those who've never been here, why I admire the green, green grass of Tennessee and other places.
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 7:57 PM   #2
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Harriet, these are great photos. I can really see the azppeal of this landscape -- it has a stark, almost surreal beauty. I'm especially taken by your remarkable season variety: you post gorgeous snowy photos in the winter, and you have stunning wildflowers in the spring. Then in the summer, when we in the east are enjoying lush green foliage everywhere, your landscape gets brown and stark. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not about to put my home up for sale and move to california, but I definitely find your landscape fascinating.
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 7:59 PM   #3
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Wow, Talk about memories... That's the first time I've seen the Gorman sign in many years! I know what you mean about lush green landscape but, believe it or not, there are times I miss the high desert. I know I know, it gets old when you're there day in and day out but, the lush green gets kind of old too if you're stuck with it for over 20 years. I guess its like the sating goes... the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Some great shots BTW.

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Old Aug 24, 2010, 8:25 PM   #4
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i like the road less traveled shot. both the shot itself and the title. the lone tree shot is also nice. some good shots here, but the those esp the road stick out for me
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 9:44 PM   #5
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Dustin - I wasn't too sure about the tree shot, but liked the contrast with the various elements, so posted it. Glad to read that you liked it. It's amazing to think of the thousands of people who drive I-5 every day and have no idea that only a few feet away another world exists.

GW - I know what you mean, I don't think I'd like all your humidity. Its just that I do get tired of brown and can't wait for winter snow to come - it can't come soon enough for me (as I watch the internet for updates about the Post Fire).
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 9:59 PM   #6
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Harriet, the panoramas are great.

That's one heck of a fire that developed since you took that picture when it was nearer Lebec, where it started and there were some evacuations - it exploded and quickly grew to over 1,000 acres moving West to a point just over the ridge from Frazier Park, which is on alert for evacuations, when the winds died down and it stopped; they hope it will move back on itself when the winds reverse later tonight. I am not sure how far from that you are - higher up and further to the West towards Mt. Pinos?
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.

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Old Aug 25, 2010, 6:02 AM   #7
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Some amazing & lovely landscapes! Beautifully executed panoramas as well!
Thanks so much for the expertly photographed tour of your grand, but dry countryside!!
(But I think I will stick to our greener hills...)
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 8:34 AM   #8
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We are in one of the communities further west (and south, which is a good thing right now), toward Pinos. There were some exciting moments for others yesterday, and I'm sure that all of us who live up on the hill will be on pins and needles today, watching to see what the wind does. They lifted the evacuation notices, though some people are still under "be prepared" notices.

The only thing that bothers me somewhat is that this morning I could see the flames glowing part-way down one ridge, and there's not much between that ridge and the main road out of our area. As long as the winds don't change direction and the fire crews can work their magic, there's not a problem. If conditions were to change suddenly and the fire close that road, we wouldn't be cut off but the other two ways off the mountain are very slow and way out of the way for me to try to get to work. We did have to do that one Labor Day and the usual hour from Costco ended up taking 4 hours. It was a very beautiful drive along winding, narrow mountain roads but not practical for anything other than a long holiday jaunt.

Of course, if by chance the fire were to reach the road (it's not expected to) - our power lines run beside it. That one Labor Day also found us without power for two days as the power company replaced over a mile's worth of power poles. Those guys are also miracle workers, even more unsung than the fire fighters.

See what you get to think about when you live in such an area? Mole - your green hills are beautiful and you don't usually have to think about the hazards of brush fires, but on the other hand, you have to think about flooding and all that goes with it. Different location, different hazards.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:20 AM   #9
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I echo Mole's comments regarding the pictures. The panoramas are great.

As an easterner these landscapes were so appealing to me when I first lived in So Cal, because they were so alien to what I was accustomed to. After a while when I had lived with seeing them all the time they lost their appeal. It was the long duration of seemingly season less living that helped convince me that I needed the 4 seasons we have here in New England.

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Old Aug 25, 2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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Interesting images, thanks for sharing them. "Sunny California" as a saying becomes a(nother) face with these for me, kinda. I wasn't aware how dry it must be around your place, just about - what? - 100km away from the sea... are the mountains blocking the rain? This is what happens for me - I'm in an area with around 5/8 of the average rain in Germany. We've got other climate and other soil here, though... so the area is really fertile.

Hm... according to g**gle maps there is Los Padres National Forest to the west - can't you get some views of green hills there?

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