I was expecting to see more snow on the San Gabriel mountains after yesterday’s storm, but was kind of disappointed…until it became clear that the bulk of the snow was on another mountain range. Saddleback was bright white, visible shining as far away as Carson as we made our way toward Orange County. Snow not only reached further down the slopes than usual, but even the mountains to the south were dusted with white, which has never happened in my memory. (If I have my bearings right, they’re just west of Lake Elsinore.)
Since we were going to the Irvine Spectrum on our way to our evening plans, I figured I’d try to match some scenic views from years past before we headed into the mall to take the kiddo to the ice skating rink and Ferris Wheel.
Just yesterday, I had no idea there was going to be a lunar eclipse this morning. Then I skimmed an article somewhere and got the impression it was only going to be visible on the east coast, And then I read about it on Bad Astronomy and realized I had it backward. Not only would I be able to see part of the eclipse, but I’d be able to see the moon in totality! All I had to do was get up early in the morning and find a place with a clear view of the western horizon. I considered driving down to the beach at 5am, but thought I’d start out by seeing how visible it was from home. As it turns out, I should have gone to the beach to start with, but I had some good viewing before I left.
So I set my alarm, woke up at 5am (plus the snooze button), and went out to see what I could see. To my surprise, I actually had a decent view of the partially-eclipsed moon from across the street. It was about half-covered at this point (as shown in the first photo above). So I stayed out there for a few minutes deciding what I wanted to do, went back in to have some coffee and breakfast, then went back out shortly before 6 to watch as the umbra covered the disc the rest of the way. I found it interesting that it didn’t look particularly reddish this time, just brown.
Awesome viewing, though it was clear the moon would dip below the roofs of the houses soon. I needed a less obstructed view.
As soon as the moon went into totality, I went back inside, woke up Katie just enough to let her know I was going, tossed the rest of my coffee in a travel mug and hightailed it down to the beach. Continue reading →
The rain on Friday dropped the annual light dusting of snow on Saddleback. I caught glimpses of it while out walking with J on Saturday, but the peaks were still shrouded in clouds. Sunday, however, the sky was almost completely clear.
I kind of wish that sign wasn’t in the middle there, but my Photoshop (well, Gimp) skills aren’t quite up to it. Maybe I’ll give it a shot with context-aware fill at some point.
It was awfully hazy toward the north, though, and you can see the San Gabriels are fading into the haze toward the left of the frame.
On my drive to work this morning, a gap in the clouds left this amazing view of the San Gabriels covered in snow from the last week’s worth of storms, lit up by the rising sun. By the time I made it up to Los Angeles, clouds had blocked the view, and I didn’t see any mountains for the rest of the day.
I’m going to have to start taking my regular camera with me to lunch. Yesterday I looked out and saw a huge, puffy cloud, virtually alone (beneath a thin layer of wispy cirrus), hovering above Saddleback.
When I stopped to take a picture, I realized that there was a whole line of little puffball clouds, tracking the mountain range exactly, but not appearing anywhere else in the sky. It really shows the effect that mountains have on cloud formation!
I decided to try for a four-shot panorama of the whole range.
It came out better than I expected, actually. I believe this is the first time I’ve stitched together a panorama using phone pictures. I used Hugin, which was a little hampered by the fact that I couldn’t find specs on the G1 lens type, focal length, etc., but it seems to have done reasonably well.