Orange: Sky, Flames, Balloon…

The first thing I noticed when going through my photos for the orange challenge is that I take a lot of sunset pictures! I made a point to mix it up and narrowed it down to twelve shots, then checked out how they looked together and settled on six. Then I realized I’d forgotten to upload one, and couldn’t bear to leave it out, bringing the gallery up to seven.

Ragged clouds in a blue sky, lit up yellow-orange just like a Maxfield Parrish painting…a bird of paradise flower…a cosplayer at Comic-Con dressed in a jumpsuit, wielding a Portal gun…ocean waves reflecting another sunset, made even deeper orange than usual by smoke from a wildfire….visiting the big orange balloon at Orange County’s Great Park…torches lighting the gateway to Adventureland at night…and finally a sunset shot, silhouetting the Manhattan Beach Pier…


Abandoned Railroad

Abandoned floppy disk on tracks

This week’s photo challenge is “abandoned” — kind of like this blog was for a few months. 😉

A few years back, I explored a disused spur of railroad tracks branching off of the main line into a light industrial area of town. In many places, the tracks had already been ripped out, leaving only gravel paths (and in some cases stepping stones, as seen below) between buildings that no longer needed freight access.

I found this floppy disk sitting on the track, and the combination of an obsolete data technology and what I thought of at the time as an obsolete transportation technology just struck me.

A path of stepping stones between two buildings.The funny thing is, trains in the form of light rail have made a resurgence in the last few years. Los Angeles’ Metro rail system, started in the 1990s, has expanded dramatically. I actually commuted myself along the Green Line at one point, and while normally that meant driving halfway there to pick up the end of the line, there were a few times I tried picking up a connecting (well, not quite connecting) train from Metrolink, at a station not far from this spot. In fact, the track in the first two photos has since been converted into a footpath connecting a shuttle stop to the commuter rail station.

Blimp Hangar and Cloud Shadows

Blimp Hangar and Cloud Shadows

This is the other of the two blimp hangars at what was once MCAS Tustin. This was taken on the same party-cloudy March day as the shot I posted last week of the south hangar. [Edit: make that today. I’d intended to schedule this post for next week, and ended up scheduling them both for the same day by accident.]

View on Flickr: Blimp Hangar and Cloud Shadows.

Blimp Hangar Looming

Blimp Hangar Looming

One of the two World War II-era blimp hangars on the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, California. I posted another angle on this one a few years back.

The base was decommissioned in the 1990s, and last I heard, the fate of these historic buildings is still up in the air. The trick is finding the means to preserve them.

View on Flickr: Blimp Hangar Looming.

Mt. Saddleback

Saddleback from Tustin Hills: January 2011

Today is moving day. I’ve spent most of my life in Orange County, where the eastern skyline (when not blocked by trees and buildings) is dominated by the Santa Ana Mountains. The two highest peaks, Santiago Peak and Modjeska Peak, are known locally as Saddleback because of the shape they form together.

We’re not moving far — just to the South Bay — but it’s going to be weird not seeing this landmark on a day-to-day (well, non-smoggy day-to-day) basis. You can see it from that far away, but it takes a very clear horizon and a very clear sky. On a good day I can just make out the silhouette from LAX.

This shot was taken in Lemon Heights, where you can (usually) see a lot more than just the silhouette.

Barn After the Storm

Old Town Irvine After the Storm

Well, technically, it’s Old Town Irvine during a lull in a storm last December. The clouds were moving very fast, with light and shadow moving over the empty fields and office parks, and I waited several minutes for the sun to play over this scene.

I particularly liked the contrast of the dead brown tumbleweeds scattered around the bright green meadow.

My one regret with this photo is not being able to capture the steep drop-off into a wash right below the frame. I could get the wash, or the sky, but not both.