Monday, August 31, 2009

Dancing in the Streets

Los Angeles, CA -- Costumed dancers proudly pose after their show at Plaza Olvera.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Heat, 02 and Fuel

Pasadena, CA -- It is the Scarecrow's greatest fear and Southern California's kryptonite.

Add 100-degree days, 15% humidity and wind, and you have a cocktail from hell. The good news is that the winds died down, temperatures are supposed to be lower today and there are no other major fires at the time, which allows all surrounding fire-fighting resources to concentrate on this fire.

All day Saturday, dozens of water and Phos-Chek-dropping aircraft orbited the city, waiting their turn at being a modern day dragon-slayer. Everything from helicopters to a DC-10 swooped over the flames and dumped their precious cargo on the flames.

A Sikorsky Skycrane drops water onto a hotspot near NASA's, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. At the same time, neighbors lining the streets cheered each drop as if it were a show. The same people also gave each passing fire engine a thunderous ovation of appreciation. They usually got a loud blast of the horn in return as acknowledgment.

California Highway Patrol officers turned away both curious observers as well as residents at the top of Lake Avenue today. Some motorist claimed that family members were still in their homes while others just wanted a closer look at the raging fire.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Illusive Miss Havisham

Los Angeles, CA -- There was a Miss Havisham sighting today in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Not to be confused with the other Miss Havisham of the San Gabriel Valley and blogosphere..., the Charles Dickens character doesn't seem to get out too much, but the proof is in the picture.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Skywatch and Junior Gunslingers

Palmdale, CA -- Despite the heat and humidity, nothing beats an afternoon drive through California's Mojave Desert in the summer. We parked the car along side the road and walked among the Joshua Trees (featured above), the creosote, pickle weed and Mormon tea, looking for the Thistledown Velvet Ant.

Most of the critters and insects were well-hidden from the summer heat. However, we did find a half-buried Texan Jr cap gun under a tumble weed. The circa 1955 cowboy toy is a fitting artifact for the western desert landscape. Who knows, maybe a Hopalong Cassidy cadet lost it during a shootout with a bad guy? You never know what you will find out West.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"The Cleaner"

Big Rock Creek Camp -- The girls caught the trout but the boys cleaned them. That night, everyone ate their catch with pride.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One On One

Los Angeles, CA -- A father and son play a spirited game of basketball.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Splash!

Valyermo, CA -- Kids jump off a high dive at camp, landing in what's known as a "cannon ball." The object is to make the biggest splash. One youngster achieved his goal, which paid off in dividends.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Whisper

San Marino, CA

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chinatown Goes Green

Los Angeles, CA -- At first I thought the compact florescent bulb made sense: they use less energy, saves money and may even save our planet from mass destruction... but then again, why are all the lights on during the day?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

John Deere and His Tee Pees

Another attraction along Route 66 in Rialto, CA

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Faces

Los Angeles, CA -- I passed this couple and asked if I could get their picture. I didn't give them a reason, I just thought they looked good together.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Windows Vista Madness

Los Angeles, CA -- Local LA residents heckle pedestrians from their flat.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zombie in LA

Los Angeles, CA -- As a kid, I used to watch those 1960s horror films like, "Night of the Living Dead" and "Carnival of Souls." This day, however, my childhood nightmares came to life as a flesh-eating zombie appeared before my lens during a downtown parade.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ian at the Huntington

San Marino, CA -- Ian Whitcomb & His Bungalow Boys entertained a group of hundreds at the Huntington Library and Gardens Saturday night. Picnickers and music enthusiasts gathered for the third and final summer concert in front of one of the massive art galleries of the railroad mogul, Henry E. Huntington.

Ian Whitcomb is best known for his many hit songs like "Henry the Eighth" as well as "You Turn me On,"which reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965.

Ian is as whimsical and entertaining as he was during the British Invasion.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Training Day

Los Angeles, CA --

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First in Freeways

Los Angeles, CA -- Originally the Arroyo Seco Parkway, now called The Pasadena Freeway, is considered the first freeway in the United States. Opened in 1940, the Pasadena Freeway was built to give L.A. commuters a more direct route to the quaint suburb of Pasadena, six miles north-east. It is now considered a State Scenic Highway, National Civil Engineering Landmark, and National Scenic Byway.

Notice the "on" and "off ramps" to the right. Can you imagine going 65 to 5 mph to get off a freeway? ...and try getting on!

The freeway is a blast to drive on, especially late at night when you have most of the windy "race track" to yourself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Skywatch Friday in the High Sierra

Rock Creek, CA -- At 10,000 ft: A mere, 4-1/2 hour drive north from Los Angeles, but well worth the effort.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What you looking at, Willis?

Pasadena, CA -- Both Mantids and Cockroaches are in the same order: Dictyoptera. But the Praying Mantis above is a much more endearing insect who seems to have an almost pet-like personality. I noticed this guy peering out from the side of a fence. As I moved from side to side, his head followed my movement. Yet unlike a lost puppy, he didn't follow me home.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Understatement...

Olancha, CA -- The gateway to Death Valley and 150 miles left on our scenic drive south to Los Angeles. My friend, Scout and I decided we wanted to get a few up-close shots of the "Rustic Motel" along Highway 395. I've featured this place before.

One reviewer from Trip Adviser suggested that if you are considering staying there, you should "Run Away!" The reviewer continued, "Do NOT STAY HERE. Sleep in your car...." Another review was more positive but still mentioned the spider in the shower.

We walked along the dirt road to the office and began shooting the aged motel from different angles. A woman emerged from one of the decaying screen doors and walked toward us. With her hands on her hips and her head cocked to the side, she asked us, "Can I help you?"

I held my camera up and told her, "We are just admiring your motel."

She nodded her head in disbelief and uttered, "Well, that's odd…!" and walked back into her room.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tree Hugging

Bishop, CA -- About 300 miles north of L.A., along McGee Creek, I found two Aspin trees appreciating each other.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Artist's Palette

Corona, CA -- Some choose canvas, others rocks.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Silver Lining

Pasadena, CA -- Telephone and power lines are the bane of photography. I avoid lines in my photos as much as possible. I will even remove a line or two if it does not require too much work in "post."

Tonight, however, I think the poles and black cable lines work in this photo, as do the silvery-lined clouds against a near full moon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Get Your Kicks and "Left Hooks" on 66

Fontana, CA -- When I drove through this section of Route 66, it was 106 (f) degrees. High humidity added to the misery. Los Angeles is a quick 40-minute drive from Fontana and is about 10 degrees cooler.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fantasy Island

Arcadia, CA -- Many remember this building as the house Mr. Roarke and Tattoo walked out of to greet their guests as they arrived on the "Ze plane." The house is real; it was built in 1886 at what is now the LA Arboretum. Queen Ann's Cottage and other locations at the Arboretum is also the location for hundreds of TV shows and films beginning in the early 1930s with Tarzan.