Smoke rises from Mt. Wilson above Los Angeles on Tuesday around noon. The wildfire has threatened the observatory and critical communications towers. Today it’s too hazy to see anything but the barest suggestion of the downtown skyline, much less the mountains behind it. Not that it looked quite this clear even on Tuesday – I ran the photo through auto white balance to make everything easier to see.
I’m reminded of the last time the mountaintop complex was threatened by fire, during the 2009 Station Fire… and the photos I scanned from a 1992 tour of the observatory, wondering if that had been my only chance to see it.
Last week’s storms actually dropped snow in the San Gabriel Mountains that lasted more than a few hours! Clouds have hid them from view for the last few days, but this morning I could see snow behind the distant LA skyline, before the smog layer thickened too much to be able to tell.
Out of pure luck and timing during last night’s errands, I saw this amazing view of lenticular clouds over the San Gabriel Mountains, lit up red from the side by the sunset. I knew the phone couldn’t capture it, and ran back to the car for my camera. Even that came out awfully grainy, but the colors and shapes are intact.
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.
These were taken at the same spot as the loooong snowy panorama from January 2008, the Misty Mountains from December of the same year, and the cloud window panorama from January 2010. (I should really just come up with something to tag all the photos I’ve taken there.)
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.