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Santa Barbara Breakwater Twilight

Santa Barbara photo to start the week, by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Santa Barbara Breakwater Twilight

Walking along the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater at sunset, the perfect end to a warm day. -Bill Heller

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Santa Barbara’s Chromatic Gate

First, thank you Loretta Redd! Loretta began writing columns for Santa Barbara View in October of 2011, and had produced some of the most informative, important and commented-on posts to date. More importantly, she is a wonderful person and a pillar of our Santa Barbara Community. The synchronicity among contributors at Santa Barbara View has always been unique and Loretta touches on a directional sway that is taking place—a renewed mission to find what’s good and right and wonderful in Santa Barbara. Moving forward, Santa Barbara View will focus on a positive approach to people, places and events around town that Santa Barbara should know about; hopefully making a positive difference by just by being positive.

One of the positive victories that Santa Barbara View is proud of is the restoration of Santa Barbara’s Chromatic Gate. Dan and others helped bring awareness to the once-dilapidated art installation by Herbert Bayer which pays tribute to art and artists who make the city unique. And what better image to use for SBView 3.0. “Sunday morning at the Chromatic Gate, the light was beautiful and the art had a bit of a glow,” writes Dan Seibert. “Some students making a short video added a few more colors.”

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Friday Night Lights at Butterfly

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Friday Night Butterfly Lights

I’ve always enjoyed taking my camera out after dark. A long exposure can reveal all kinds of interesting things you didn’t even know were there. This was Friday night at Butterfly Beach. The moon was bright enough in the sky to easily catch the details at a faster shutter speed than this. But I intentionally lengthened the exposure to try to capture a more dreamy effect. In the middle of my exposure the people at the right walked up carrying some kind of small light, a cell phone presumably, which made for some unexpected interest in the form of an abstract light painting along the wall.

-Bill Heller

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Andree Clark Sunset

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Andree Clark Sunset
One of several absolutely spectacular sunsets this week thanks to high clouds in the area from Hurricane Hernan. This was the view from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, one of the amazing natural places in the Santa Barbara area, named in memory of the sister of the refuge’s primary patron, Huguette Clark. A special thanks to Alan Rose at KEYT, for the heads up early in the week about the impending high level moisture. Knew it was going to be a good week when I heard that.

-Bill Heller

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Evening Over Stearns Wharf

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Evening Over Stearns Wharf
A nice cool evening out on Stearns Wharf. This is one of my favorite times to be out on the wharf. Most of the shops have closed and the only people out are fishermen or the restaurant patrons heading back to their cars. Of course it’s a little harder to get ice cream and candy at this time… but the parking is free!

-Bill Heller

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Anna

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Anna's
Our hummingbirds are having a particularly active season right now. On one evening walk we counted at least eight sitting patently waiting for their flowers to refill with nectar on a small stretch of the path by the beach.

This beautiful little creature was watching me quite intently. He seemed as interested in me as I was in him. He was probably just trying to figure out what the tall guy with the 300mm nose was doing. He was a little nervous at first, but over the years I’ve found a patent slow approach usually puts them at ease. After a few minutes I was able to get close enough to get the shot I was looking for.

-Bill Heller

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Cypress Super Moon

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Cypress Super Moon
The view from last night above Butterfly Beach. At the time I did not realize this was a “supermoon”. A full moon that coincides with the moon’s perigee, the closest part of the moon’s orbit to Earth. But the crowds of people out along the beach watching seemed to suggest something was up. Of course the moon needs to be very close to the horizon to really notice a difference in size, but then every moonrise is beautiful here.

-Bill Heller

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Santa Barbara City Lights

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Santa Barbara City Lights
A nice long exposure just after sunset from the end of the breakwater. The tide was pretty high when I took this last week, so I came back from a nice evening walk on the breakwater a little soggy. But it was well worth it. I was not the only one crazy enough to brave the beautiful waves either. There were more than a few people trying to enjoy the view while running from dry spot to dry spot on the breakwater. I actually had fun trying to capture the breaking waves, but they seemed to take on a life of their own. Taunting me only when I turned my back. When I came close to the wall ready to snap my shot quickly then duck, they seemed to know I was stalking them. I actually got all the way out and most of the way back before they caught me off totally off guard. I guess the score is waves 1 – photographer 0, but there will be plenty of warm evenings this summer to give me the opportunity to even up the score.

-Bill Heller

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Fire Palm in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara photo of the week as we head into July - by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Fire Palm - Happy Birthday USA

The fourth of July fireworks from one of my favorite locations high above Santa Barbara. I love the closer palm trees in the photo, and from this angle it almost looks like the fireworks are trying to immitate the palm trees. Fire palms. – Bill Heller

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Mission Santa Inés

This week, Santa Barbara View will take you on a journey of discovery as we share the history of the five Missions that grace our local community; Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (5th), Mission San Buenaventura (9th), Mission Santa Barbara (10th), Mission La Pursima Concepción (11th) and Mission Santa Inés (19th). 

Mission Santa Inés
sbmissionweek2Mission Santa Inés, often (mis)spelled Santa Ynez, was founded on September 17, 1804 by Father Estévan Tapís.  This mission is the ninetieth of twenty one California Missions and the third to honor a sainted woman.  It was chosen as a midway point between Mission Santa Barbara and Mission La Purísima Concepción and named for Saint Agnes, also known as Saint Inés, of Rome, Italy (patron saint of girls), it was the first educational institution in California and today serves as a museum as well as a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Mission Santa Inés expanded rapidly, the other eighteen Missions were at the height of prosperity and many trained neophytes (baptized Indians) from other missions helped found this gem situated in the lovely Santa Ynez Valley. With fertile lands Santa Inés became famous for its large herds of cattle and rich crops.  At one point the Mission boasted 13,000 animals.

Troubles started with the earthquake of 1812 that destroyed Mission Santa Inés and many of the other California Missions.  Rebuilding began in 1813 and the new church, constructed with 5-to-6-foot-thick walls and pine beams brought from nearby Figueroa Mountain, was dedicated on July 4, 1817.  Prosperity ensued until the Indian revolt of 1824.  When the fighting was over many of the Indians left to join other tribes in the mountains; only a few Indians remained at the Mission.

In 1834 the missions in California were secularized and most of their land given in land grants as ranchos.  In 1843, California’s Mexican governor Micheltorena granted nearly 35,000 acres of Santa Ynez Valley land, to the College of Our Lady of Refuge, the first seminary in California. Established at the Mission by Francisco García Diego y Moreno, first Bishop of California, the college was abandoned in 1881. By then the Mission buildings were disintegrating.

It was through the efforts of Father Alexander Buckler in 1904 that reconstruction of the Mission was undertaken.  After 20 years of extremely hard work, Father Buckler retired. The Catholic priests of the Order of Franciscan Minors (O.F.M.) were asked to come back to the Mission but declined. Instead, priests from the Capuchin Franciscan Order of the Irish Province took over control of the Mission and continued the process of restoration.  The Capuchin Franciscans redesigned the Mission’s inner garden, you can still see the hedge in the shape of a Celtic cross planted today.

Major restoration was completed in 1947 when the Hearst Foundation donated money to pay for the project. The restoration continues to this day and the Capuchin Franciscan Fathers still take excellent care of this beautiful Mission.

We hope you enjoyed this journey of the Central California Missions with us. We’ve certainly been inspired to visit each of these beautiful Missions and will enjoy them with an added appreciation for the sacrifices of the native Indians of the area and the indomitable fortitude of the early settlers.

Note: Content was gathered from many online sources.  If you see any discrepancies, they are unintentional and we will be happy to correct them. 

3D rose arbor at Mission Santa Inés, by Bill Heller.

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Athena the Barn Owl

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Athena the Barn Owl
This week I made it over to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Although I was especially looking forward to the Butterflies Alive exhibit, on the way to the pavillion we bumped into this beautiful creature. (You may have noticed, she’s not a butterfly!) This is Athena, a barn owl who was rescued after being hit by a car left her with limited eyesight. With limited depth perception she has trouble landing on perches and would not be able to catch food in the wild. Athena and her friends (a group of seven raptors, including Max a great horned owl and several falcons) were adopted by the Santa Barbara Audubon Society when it was determined for various reasons they could not be released back to the wild. You can learn more about them at their website. And you can meet them at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History most afternoons (check their online calendar for times).

Oh and, we did eventually make it to the Butterflies Alive exhibit, and they were absolutely amazing too!

-Bill Heller

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Vintage Views of Santa Barbara, California

by West Coast Franciscan Vocations
vintage
Franciscan Friars in 1885 are working the fields at Old Mission Santa Barbara. All friars of the Province of Saint Barbara are encouraged to work with their hands. In the Testament of Saint Francis he states:

I worked with my own hands, and I am still determined to work, and with all my heart I wish to have all the rest of the brothers work at employment that can be carried out without scandal.”

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Terra Sol Customer

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Terra Sol Customer

Yesterday I had intended to visit the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. I just got my macro lens back from being serviced, and what better place could there be to put it through it’s paces than wandering through the Butterflies Alive exhibit? As so often happens, Saturday flew by too quickly. Fortunately, Terra Sol Garden Center is open until six these days. We stopped there to get some peppers for the garden and I thought I would snap a few shots just to test the lens.

When we arrived we found our peppers, and a great display of various flowers grouped into sections based upon what they will attract to your garden. Sure enough, in the butterfly section right next to the Milkweeds was another Terra Sol customer and my butterfly photo opportunity. This beautiful Monarch was a very patient model too, posing on several different flowers and waiting just long enough for me to catch up and snap a few shots before finding a new perch.

I’ll still find time to make it over to the Butterflies Alive exhibit sometime soon, and maybe I’ll get some great hummingbird photos with my new flowers too.

-Bill Heller

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Santa Barbara Evening View

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Santa Barbara Evening View
I love trying to get a different perspective on our beautiful corner of the world. And I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with my cameras after dark. No surprise then that I would always be on the lookout for a wonderful nighttime perch like this.

Thanks to our mountains, we have the opportunity to go from a beautiful cityscape like this, to an absoulute dark sky allowing great views of the stars in Santa Ynez Valley with only a short drive. And you can see that on some interesting maps online that can help you find dark skies for stargazing, or even bright cityscapes if you’re a crazy owl-like photographer who likes that sort of thing. This is one of my favorites… http://darksitefinder.com/maps.html

(By the way, access to this particular perch was thanks to a friend, client and long time Santa Barbara View reader!)

-Bill Heller

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La Playa Lights

Santa Barbara photo to start the week, by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
La Playa Lights

The lights of La Playa Field at Santa Barbara City College as seen through the masts of the sailboats at the harbor. -Bill Heller

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