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Andree Clark Sunset Reflections

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Andree Clark Sunset Reflections
The drought has been hard on all of the natives and visitors of California, the Andree Clark Bird Refuge and its visitors have been no exception. But standing there on a beautiful peaceful evening like this enjoying the sunset with the ducks offers a wonderful break from all the cares of the day.

-Bill Heller

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Night Fishing at the Harbor

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Night Fishing
On warm days I like to take a walk out the breakwater at the Santa Barbara Harbor. It’s always cooler out there and any time of day it’s a beautiful walk. At sunset, and just after, it’s absolutely magical. This evening I was enjoying the beautiful view of the last colors of the setting sun in the company of an amazing Great Blue Heron (in the center at the edge of the water). Of course I think he was more interested in the fishing than the sunset, but we were both happy to patently stand there and take in the wonderful evening.

-Bill Heller

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Clock Tower View Closed Soon for Renovation

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Clock Tower View, Closed soon for Renovations

I’m often surprised at how many locals have never been to the observation deck at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Clocktower. It’s a wonderful experience, even for those of us who may be used to looking at the beauty of Santa Barbara all the time. A wonderful experience that is, if you can easily navigate the tight metal stairways winding up the last story from the top of the elevator.

But that is all about to change for the better. Thanks to the caretakers of the courthouse a new project is underway to extend the elevator the last story all the way to the observation deck. But unlike some of the accessibility stories you hear where someone sued or complained to get action, the story behind the project is very positive. The courthouse has had ADA accessibility plans in the works for some time, but this particular project was accellerated by the people who forged ahead, rather than let it stop them. Even though the climb to the top was tough there are many who make the trek apparently even in the face of extreme difficulty. Inspired by the people who felt the experience was worth the effort, the Courthouse Docents urged the powers that be to fast track the project. Led by a guy who’s love of the history and heritage in his care is quite apparent when you talk to him, the County Architect Robert Ooley, the project got the green light this week.

Of course, extending the elevator another floor is no easy task. Starting January the Clock Gallery and the observation deck will be closed to the public to allow for construction, which is slated to run through July 2015. So if you’ve never been to the top because you’ve just never got around to it, now is a great time to go before construction starts! Of course if you’ve stayed away because of the climb, your wait is almost over. Either way, during the construction I’ll do my best to bring the wonderful views right to you.

You can find out more about this project and others in the works at http://www.santabarbaracourthouse.org/

-Bill Heller

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Saturdays with Seibert: Full Moonrise

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

Tuesday evening a full moon rose over the harbor teeming with activity.  Surfers caught waves at Sand Spit, SUP’s and kayakers enjoyed the very warm weather & waves rolling into the harbor.  One guy even went for a paddle and took his dog.

moonrise

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Vintage Views of Santa Barbara, California

Can any Viewers recognize these old eateries, the location and/or date? Answers below

vintageviews

Nite Owl at 530 State St. and the Rice Bowl Cafe at 532 State St. as seen in 1980.

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Butterfly Beach Wedding

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

Butterfly Beach Wedding
Not long ago I was out at one of my favorite spots trying out a new lens. This beautiful Cypress tree watches over all the weddings and dog walks, and people just enjoying this beautiful stretch of the California Coast called Butterfly Beach. And on this particular day, he just happened to be watching over a newlywed couple enjoying the first moments of their marrage down below on the beach. One of countless amazing moments this wonderful tree has witnessed I’m sure.

As for the lens, if you’re interested. A while ago Canon replaced the 15mm fish-eye that I love with a zoom lens. An 8mm-15mm fish-eye. This circular picture is what results from the 8mm end on a full frame camera, which when used sparingly in the right situation can give a beautiful and unique point of view. -Bill Heller

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Santa Ynez Grapes

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

Wandering through the vineyards of the Sant Ynez valley. Thanks to our extreme weather this year, it’s been an early grape harvest throughout California. I love to watch the grapes develop for photo opportunities like this and just because I’ve always loved plants in general. This year I noticed early in the summer the grapes looked unusually advanced for the time of the season and with a bit of research online I found that vineyards were expecting a particularly early year. Early, but no less impressive and beautiful from the looks of things.

-Bill Heller

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Vintage Views of Santa Barbara, California

Here is a photo of the Boeseke & Dawe Co. building as seen after the June 29, 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. Does anyone know where this was/is? Answer below
vintage
Continue Reading →

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Shoreline Bluff

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Shoreline Bluff
Just after sunset the colors are beautiful this time of year. This is looking east from Shoreline Park, one of the best places in town for a nice evening walk.
-Bill Heller

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Santa Barbara Marine Layer

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Santa Barbara Marine Layer
Although nothing like our friends to the north in San Francisco, Santa Barbara is a favorite hang out for something the weather man calls the “Marine Layer”. It’s basically a layer of air cooled quickly by the water making it hug the ground under the lighter warm air above. This cool layer has a tendency to slide into the coast as the sun is setting, bringing with it some beautiful swirling fog. Once in a while the effect is so pronounced that from the right vantage point you can see it rolling in like a beautiful blanket.

If you take the time to watch it, you can almost imagine an animated living breathing thing the way it swirls and moves so gracefully. This year we’ve seen a little less than usual of our beautiful fog friend, but there are still some amazing moments!

-Bill Heller

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Peaceful Evening on the Water

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

Peaceful Evening on the Water

I love to walk on the beach and at the harbor and look at all the boats. There are a wide variety of amazing crafts around Santa Barbara, but the sailboats have to be my favorites. It’s been a long time since I’ve been sailing, and I’m pretty sure I’d have trouble living full time on one. But it sure looks like a nice relaxing way to spend the sunset hours. Someday soon I’m going to find the time to spend more time out on the water -Bill Heller

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All About Hendry’s, I mean The Pit, I mean Arroyo Burro Beach Park – Out and About with SBGirl

IMG_0255If you’re a local you probably just call it Hendry’s but the official name of this free county beach has been “Arroyo Burro Beach Park” since 1947 when the county purchased six acres at the terminus of Arroyo Burro Creek from the State of California and leased an additional adjacent 6.8 acres. In 1968, the State granted the leased land to the County and today it’s one of the best family-friendly, not to mention dog-friendly, beaches in Santa Barbara.

Surfers call this beach “The Pit”. Not because the Spanish word Arroyo means gutter or pit (it does), or because people used to dig big pits in the sand on the fourth of July (they did), it’s because since the 1960s local surfers affectionately have referred to the generally poor surf here as being “the pits”!

As to why locals have long called it “Hendry’s”, well that’s probably a matter of tradition. And as we all know, Santa Barbara is very much about tradition! William and Anne Hendry (née Stronach) were Scottish immigrants who migrated to Santa Barbara from Aberdeen, Scotland. They happened to own a farm near the intersection of Wade and Alan Rd, just off Cliff Drive in the early 1880s. Even though the County named it Arroyo Burro Beach Park in the 40s the locals kept calling it Hendry’s. And the rest, as they say, is history. William and Anne had 12 children and some of their descendants live in Santa Barbara to this day.

birdIn addition to being a great place to walk, jog, play in the water, make sand castles, watch the hang gliders at Elings Park, explore tide pools, marvel at the majestic cliffs, bird watch, take in the extraordinary landscape, enjoy a sunset, etc., the Park is the entrance to the only legal off-leash dog beach in Santa Barbara. Dogs are required to be on leash through the parking lot and on the public beach in front of the lot, but after passing Arroyo Burro Slough on the left, dogs are welcome to run free and play in the surf. This part of the beach actually belongs to the City of Barbara and some dog owners call it the “best dog beach in the world”.

I don’t have a dog, and I still come to this beach every chance I get!

Hendry’s is located 5 miles west of Santa Barbara’s city center on Cliff Drive near Hope Ranch. From Highway 101 take Las Positas Road south to Cliff Drive. Turn right and travel 1/2 mile to the park entrance. Parking can be crazy, so try taking the bus. MTD Line 5, 17 minutes from the transit center. The Park is open 8:00 AM to Sunset daily. Enjoy!

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Heaven and Earth

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Heaven and Earth
Every evening as we go about our lives there is an amazing ballet going on above our heads. Most of us are too busy to think about it. But if you take some time to get away from the brighter lights of the city you can see some spectacular things just by looking up. This is the the beautiful Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, under the equally beautiful Milky Way Galaxy. The Galaxy we call home. If you think of all those stars at night that you usually see from any location, they are in general just our local neighbors in a small part of the Milky Way. All the visible stars you can make out with your naked eye in every direction from the earth (anywhere between five to ten thousand stars give or take) only comprise a tiny fraction of the stars in the Milky Way. That glowing band however, is made up of individual stars so numerous that they appear to be a continuous cloud of light to the unaided eye. Estimates put it from one to four hundred billion stars. There are absolutely wondrous and beautiful things all around us!

-Bill Heller

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Local Views of Santa Barbara

By Dan Seibert

I was wandering through my computer and I saw these lush landscape photos of the Lily Pond at the El Encanto—summertime 20 years ago. Back then, the whole town was a lush landscape. (click to enlarge photos)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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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