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User / photography by Derek G
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N 249 B 11.0K C 17 E Sep 13, 2016 F Apr 6, 2018
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Part 5
As the sun sank lower the temperature dropped. The cloud cover had kept the air relatively warm like a blanket, but now in the fading light and with the majority of the clouds gone, the warmth escaped as the cold tightened it's grip. I became aware of each finger and toe while the chill worked its way to my bones as I was swallowed up by the shadow of the mountains. Ironically, as the air grew colder the light became warmer as the surrounding peaks began to glow pink and so did the embracing clouds.

(my blue tent is just left of the middle of the photo)

Tags:   sunset mountains lake tarn warm light cold storm clouds wilderness camping backpacking hiking high sierra yosemite national park california

N 202 B 7.7K C 17 E Aug 26, 2019 F Mar 22, 2021
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youtu.be/xWtfo9kuRTU

Tags:   rocks talus lake lakes landscape wilderness snow mountain mountains high sierra camping hiking backpacking water earth goethe light shadows home

N 267 B 8.6K C 23 E May 26, 2019 F Jun 2, 2021
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With no clear idea of where I was going, I grabbed my gear and left. There was a thunderstorm that I wanted to catch but other than that I had no plan.
Over several ridges of mountains and down into the plains beyond I drove towards the storm. Then I turned onto a new road that led into rolling hills where meadow larks where singing and the grass was swaying with the storm-wind.
Finally after 95 miles I had reached the storm's edge. I got out of my car and climbed to the top of the closest hill as thunder echoed through the folds of the earth. Soon after the storm subsided, while rain now blessed the valley far below as the dappled sun played upon the ground through the shape-shifting clouds.

I continued down the road and found a small turnout with a beautiful view of the rolling hills receding and falling away into the Great Central Valley. A patchwork of vineyards, orchards and fields stretched as far as I could see until the scene faded into the hazy distance. It was here that I watched and waited, enduring multiple passing bursts of rain, rolling clinging clouds, thick drab fog and ceaseless wind. In all I spent two days and two nights here.

As the sun set and twilight gathered, the valley below began to shimmer and sparkle as the lights of human civilization fought in vain to fend off the coming night. Along the horizon the last glowing embers of the dying day outlined the purple towers of the few lingering thunderstorms far off beyond the lights. As Below, So Above, the stars in their magnificence mirrored the landscape that spread out before me, while somewhere in the darkness an owl screeched.
I sat outside admiring the view for as long as I could bear the cold, unceasing wind. When I had had enough I climbed into my Jeep, crawled into my sleeping bag and went to sleep. Every so often a large gust would rock my car and briefly wake me.

Tags:   landscape valley hills clouds storm rain light shadow california storm chasing wilderness hiking bakersfield farm fields

N 292 B 25.8K C 24 E Jul 18, 2020 F Jul 19, 2020
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Comet Neowise July 18 2020.
We gathered atop a 6000 ft peak to witness a once in a lifetime event, Comet Neowise. A mother asked me to take some photos of her and her child with the comet, and I'm so grateful she did because this one was the best shot I got that night.

Here is an article about the area this photo was taken:


lpfw.org/forest-service-to-expedite-logging-and-habitat-c...

The Forest Service recently announced plans to selectively log old-growth forest and chaparral across 755 acres deep in the Ventura County backcountry. The agency quietly released the proposal in late May amid a pandemic, economic crisis, and period of civil unrest, offering the public a single 30-day period to submit comments. Officials indicated that they hope to use a loophole to approve the project without an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
The project would allow the logging of centuries-old trees, up to five feet in diameter, and the clearance of rare old-growth chaparral along six miles of the prominent ridge known as Pine Mountain stretching from Highway 33 to Reyes Peak. The area is a popular recreation destination beloved by hikers and climbers.
Despite the project’s massive scale, the Forest Service intends to use two controversial loopholes to bypass requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to conduct a detailed study of potential impacts to the area’s unique ecosystems. These loopholes would also limit the public’s ability to voice their concerns while eliminating the official objection process that helps reduce the potential for litigation.
“Once again, the Trump administration has shown its willingness and desire to avoid conducting the level of environmental review needed to ensure that places like Pine Mountain are protected from damaging and unnecessary projects such as this one,” said Los Padres ForestWatch conservation director Bryant Baker. “To make matters worse, the Forest Service’s use of loopholes for this project has diminished the public’s ability to participate in the decision-making process—and they made their announcement at a time when citizens are focused on the COVID-19 crisis and fighting racial injustice.”
The ridge is home to some of the most diverse and unique habitats in the Los Padres National Forest. Pine Mountain hosts the greatest diversity of coniferous tree species in Ventura County, which occur next to large expanses of rare old-growth chaparral. Altogether, the ridge is home to over 400 species of native plants, including dozens that are rare or sensitive. As a biodiversity hotspot, the area is also home to several species of wildlife that depend on the mountain’s unique ecosystems. Mountain lions, black bears, bobcats, and numerous species of birds and small mammals can be found in and around the project area.
The agency has not confirmed whether this project will involve the selling of cut trees, but the Forest Service often uses agreements known as “stewardship contracts” for similar projects that allow private logging companies to profit from the timber harvest in exchange for services. Regardless, the agency has stated that trees and chaparral will be removed using mechanical equipment which can cause significant damage to soil, water, and plants that are not being targeted.
“The Trump administration is trying to hand over our southern California national forests to the logging industry, at taxpayer expense,” said Dr. Chad Hanson, forest ecologist with the John Muir Project, based in Big Bear City, California. “This destructive logging proposal would degrade wildlife habitat and make climate change worse, and would increase threats to human communities from wildland fire; we need Congress to protect our National Forests from logging once and for all,” he added.
The Forest Service has proposed the project under the guise of community protection from wildfire despite countless scientific studies that demonstrate that remote vegetation treatments, such as the Pine Mountain project, are ineffective against the fires that cause the majority of damage to communities each year. Pine Mountain is several miles away from any community, and the agency itself admits that the project will not help mitigate fire spread under extreme weather conditions. In fact, the Forest Service’s own assessment of existing and potential vegetation removal projects in the Los Padres National Forest ranks the one on Pine Mountain as only 118 out 163 in terms of priority for community protection and other factors.
In 2017 and 2018, just six fires out of 16,600 throughout California caused nearly 90% of the total damage to communities. All six fires burned under conditions that render vegetation removal projects, such as the one proposed on Pine Mountain, useless for suppression purposes. Moreover, vegetation clearance projects can increase wildfire risk by removing fire-resistant trees, increasing heating and drying of the forest floor, and spreading non-native invasive grasses and weeds that ignite more easily and spread wildfire more quickly.
Scientists and conservation organizations have long advocated that funding should be directed instead to creating defensible space directly next to homes, retrofitting and building structures with fire-safe materials, and reducing development in the wildland-urban interface.
“The Los Padres National Forest administration has a record of not only ignoring the science,” Richard Halsey, director of the California Chaparral Institute, said, “but also of violating agreements to collaborate with scientists and community members to manage the public’s land. Los Padres officials are well aware that the science does not support this project to clear fragile habitat far from communities at risk. This project is about obtaining taxpayer dollars to support the agency, not protecting citizens from fire.”
Over 30% of the project is within two proposed additions to the Sespe Wilderness approved by the House of Representatives with the passage of the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act earlier this year. The legislation would designate an area along part of the western portion of the ridge and an area that includes Reyes Peak. The bill is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate.
The proposal comes at a time when the Trump administration is attempting massive rollbacks of regulations under NEPA and similar laws. Earlier this month, the president issued an executive order that would waive requirements under these bedrock environmental laws for a wide variety of projects on federal lands. The Forest Service has also been directed to ramp up vegetation removal projects across the country, especially those that involve timber harvesting. Last year, Los Padres National Forest approved two commercial logging projects near Mt. Pinos under loopholes that similarly allowed the agency to avoid conducting the level of environmental review that is normal for such projects.
The public comment period is open until August 14 and may be the only chance the public has to weigh in with concerns about the Pine Mountain project. To submit a comment online or learn more about the project, visit p2a.co/IASAFIf

Tags:   Neowise comet 2020 astronomy stars night sky stargazing sunset atmosphere silhouette twilight space landscape celestial mother child people portrait

N 88 B 2.9K C 15 E Mar 5, 2019 F Mar 6, 2019
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This is why I gave my shift away at work yesterday. It was totally worth it.
I have wanted to get a shot like this for years; a massive lightning bolt over the most popular view of my home town.
DO NOT RE-POST WITHOUT MY PERMISSION

Tags:   ocean lightning bolt lightning bolt black and white landscape ventura california downtown pacific storm clouds thunderstorm thunder rain rare city cityscape


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