Monday, March 19, 2012

Hello Spring

So much has happened in the past few months. Nothing I would call monumental -- mainly the day-to-day changes that have come and gone. Like the exquisite days we had this fall and winter. After two summers of fog, our fall and winter turned out to be the best summer I've seen in years.

I was looking forward to sharing with you the beauty of those days. But then, on Saturday, we got a perfect rainstorm. One that doused the succulents in the garden with just the right amount of moisture, fed the poppies on the hillsides and stopped from time-to-time to give us several breaks throughout the day. After the brunt of the storm had passed, I woke early Sunday morning to find its signature scrawled in white across the peaks. Oh yes. Since our snow melts quickly, and on this day it lasted less than two hours, you, Dear Readers, get to see something that most Santa Barbarans missed.

When I saw the snow, I grabbed my camera, hopped into my car and tore down to Stearn's Warf for an unobstructed view. At the Warf, as always, I got lost in its wonderland. The high surf warnings had brought surfers out to tackle the wild waves of the Breakwater. Hefty winds were slapping the surf into a back-drift and splashing spume into the air; a group of grebes, seemingly stunned from the storm, were bobbing and preening in the water; and uptown, on the East Side, a misty patch of rainbow hovered above the Mission for half-an-hour. On this Sunday, Santa Barbara once again displayed her splendor.

** Dear Cherished Readers, my writing assignment is going well and has been extended through the summer. I will continue to post on the 20th of each month, unless otherwise announced, and on a few holidays as well. My next post will be on Easter, followed by a post on the 20th of April. With gratitude and joy, expressing my warm regards, ~ Aneet


  1. Aneet-

    This is an amazing set of photos. I truly am speechless at how beautiful these pictures are especially the one of the rainbow over the mission. That shot with the mission, the beach, hills, and rainbow captures the essence of Santa Barbara perfectly.

    I'm very happy that your writing assignment is going well.



  2. Joseph,

    Again, it's lovely to hear from you. I'm honored that you like the photographs. The rainbow was so subtle, just a glow in the distance. I'm glad the camera was able to capture it. I failed to tell you just how cold it was out there. With the windchill, it was truly freezing.

    I hope that life is delivering some special and fulfilling moments to you.

    My good wishes Joseph, Aneet

  3. I'll second what Joseph said about the pics, Luv; this batch is something special, indeed. The first three remind me of the views I enjoyed when I lived in Colorado Springs many moons ago. Put a snow-covered Pikes' Peak in the middle of the second pic down, and they'd be identical. Same rapid-change weather, too; snow in the morning, clear and warm in the afternoon and evening. Many's the time I would start at the bottom of Pikes' Peak in sunny 80-degree weather, then wind up shivering in 30-degree snow squalls once at the top. Couldn't beat the views, though. Although there wasn't a pretty ocean to be seen, the view from Pikes' Peak was sufficient to clearly show the curvature of the Earth itself. And on the clearest days, you could get a reflected image of the Great Salt Lake towards late afternoon if you were looking off to the west.

    I'd also have to say that you've got an excellent blend of words and images; each complements the other perfectly. I always feel like I'm right there, reading your lovely descriptions and thoughtful observations. And it's fabulous that you can really appreciate all that's around you. Far too many people miss out on such a wonderful Gift IMHO, Dear Aneet. Thank you for sharing all this with us!!

    Be well, and keep doing what you're doing - you've hit a pretty comfortable stride, now.
    Until Next.

  4. Chris, hello, hello,

    Thanks for your wonderful message. Wow, your experience in Colorado is fascinating. That you were able to scale Pike's Peak on a regular basis seems to me extraordinary. I so enjoyed your description of the environment, from heat to squalls, to the curvature of the Earth and views of the Great Salt Lake. IMHO really amazing!

    I'm so glad you liked the photos Chris. Thank you for your compliment about my blend of photos and words. It means a lot.

    I hope that life is bringing beauty, success and health your way. Great to hear from you, ~ Aneet

  5. Hi Aneet,

    Wow, what pictures! I can't remember the last time I saw palm trees and snow capped mountains in the same picture. Real great photography as always by our one and only Aneet!

    Meanwhile here in New York,we are experiencing a spell of unusually warm weather for March. Not that I'm complaining as I prefer warmer weather to begin with.



  6. Jonathan,

    Always lovely to hear from you. Happy you liked the photos :)

    It must feel great to be getting this unseasonably warm weather. Hope all is going well with you and your furry dependents.

    My warm wishes, ~ Aneet

  7. Happy springtime Aneet,

    That was very ambitous and generous of you to hustle down to catch the rare shot of the briefly show-capped mountains - I really like the poppies in the sidebar too. Once again your photos and descriptions send out good vibes of the serenity of creation.

    I love your blog! These impressions of Cali will add to the enjoyment of my upcoming trip to Sonoma. Thanks for that!

    peace to you, and all


    1. Al, hello,

      So enjoyed your comment. Of course it's the synergy of you readers that causes me to up and catch the drifts. Thank you for your kind words.

      I too have been thinking of Northern Cal. It's another remarkable place. I'm sure you'll enjoy your excursion.

      Sending my good wishes your way, ~ Anitra

  8. One clarification - while it is possible to climb Pikes Peak "the hard way" {which I've done once}, there is a road and hike / bike trail all the way up, plus the Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway:

    The railway webpage gives you a small taste of what it's like up there - it really does have to be seen to be believed. There have been all kinds of races and road-rallies up and down the mountain for an even century now. I do believe Shell Oil still sponsors the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and there are other events scattered throughout the year.

    If you ever get a chance to visit Colorado Springs, I highly recommend a visit to the Peak. You won't be disappointed!!!!

    1. Chris,

      I really appreciate all the information on Pike's Peak. I will check out the webpage. You're really well informed.

      Thanks so much, and cheers! ~ Aneet

  9. Thanks Aneet, I'm looking forward to it. My wife's family grows grapes and olives in Europe (your poppies reminded me of the ones that grow wild on Mediterranean hillsides), so we enjoy the beauty of the vineyards and groves. It's my first trip to No. CA, so I'm getting pumped for it by reading Steinbeck...and you! :)

    enjoy the day - Al

    1. It sounds as if you'll be travelling from Europe. I didn't know that wild poppies grew in the Mediterranean. Steinbeck is good. To be mentioned in the same sentence makes me giggle.

      Good wishes to you Al, ~ Aneet

    2. quick clarification - we're in NJ, her family's from southern Spain. Yes, poppies grow wild on hillsides among the olive groves there. Wonderful environment.

    3. Al,

      Thanks for the clarification. It's good to know :)

  10. Hi Anitra:

    Your pictures are so beautiful. I enjoy seeing the one that provide panoramic views--the one where visitors are looking at the mountain range and the one with the rainbow. To me the last one seems to signal some sort of hope for a good summer and a sort of serenity for a busy world.

    I don't think people take time to explore God's beauty and creation. They seem to be so busy with their lives and catching up with their favorite reality shows that they forget of the world around them. Your photography gives visitors examples to appreciate the California landscape.

    Thank you for your kind words about my writing. Just want to wish you a Happy Easter!

    Marie L.

    1. Marie,

      So nice to hear from you. I'm happy that you like the photographs. I enjoyed hearing your impressions. They are sensitive and insightful. I'm so glad that the rainbow showed up. To the naked eye, it was more like an imperceptible glow. But it seemed like a sort of validation. As though the city was wearing a crown.

      Thank you for your thoughtful Easter wishes. I will be making a post for that day. Until then, Marie, sending warm wishes your way, ~ Anitra

  11. GORGEOUS photos Anitra!! Especially the last one with the rainbow!! Absolutely beautiful.

    I am so jealous of the beautiful sunshine. Hoping to relocate back to Southern California this year. The gray and gloom of Seattle has really taken its toll on me.

    So happy to hear that you're writing assignment is going so well and will keep you busy into the summer!!

    Best wishes to you, as always!!
    Mark :-)

    1. Mark, hello,

      Lovely to hear from you. So glad you like the rainbow photo. I hate to think that my blog might intensify your frustration. Once you've lived in a sunny climate, It's hard to be deprived. The sun has a real and tangible effect on the body. In spite of the lack of sunshine, I hope life is bringing you some joy.

      I so appreciate your good wishes and supportive words. They make me smile.

      Take good care Mark, ~ Aneet

  12. Anitra,
    I must admit this is the first time I have visited your blog.....and I am so inspired by your higher appreciation for nature. I would like to share a sweet story with you and how I've come to know of you. My charming husband, who through a childhood story of his, has caused me to become familiar with you. It all started back to your first year on TPIR. He was 12 years old..... and quite smitten by you. To what degree you ask? Well, he took the time to write CBS studios at that young age. All he wanted was a picture of Anitra Ford. He poured out his heart, sealed the envelope and added the stamp..... then ....waited. Sure enough, a few days later he received an envelope with a return address of CBS Studios. Oh the excitement! He opened up his mail....and with such anticipation taking each thing out one at a time. First, 2 tickets to TPIR.... then a letter ....and then....very slowly pulled out the photo he had waited so long for......All to discover a photo of Bob Barker and Janice Pennington! What?! No picture of Anitra?!! He was quite broken-hearted!!

    Well, here we are, today, he never forgot his childhood crush, Anitra. He's the most wonderful man in the whole world to me! The greatest husband and best friend a woman could ever dream of. I'm quite proud to be his bride. I would love to share more with a more private way. My husband is an accomplished musician and writer of verse. I guess my point simply is this.....I would like to share with you some of his verse. I resonate so much with you and your perceptions of nature. The way you capture everything in a photo....takes my breath away. I think you're a wonderful woman and a beautiful inspiration to me. I truly hope that it was alright with you to take the liberty to write you and share this story with you. I would love to share some of my husband's writings with you in a private fashion via email. Is that possible? we are quite private by nature.

    I sincerely desire for you all the lovely things in life.

    Michelle :-)

    1. Hello Michelle,

      Gosh, thank you for writing your message and for sharing your husband's story with us. It's tender and touching. I too am sorry that he wasn't able to reach me then. CBS used to give us our fan mail in the morning and I read mine during slow spells in rehearsals. Home at night I would autograph photos answer letters and address envelopes. I sent them and handled them personally. His letter must have arrived when I was on a brief leave of absence.

      If you want to contact me, the best way would be through a message on Facebook.

      Until then, thank you so much for you kind words Michelle, Sincerely, ~ Anitra

  13. Hi Aneet:

    Congrats and continued success with the writing assignment!

    Spent the day in Hollywood. I snapped a photo of Roger Corman's star on the Walk of Fame. I will forward the photo to you via Facebook.

    Have a good weekend!


    1. Hello Dear Bitsey,

      Thank you for your enthusiasm about my project :)

      You are such an active, interested and dynamic lady, and you certainly get around. It's really great that Roger Corman has gotten his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in many ways, amazing. I'm delighted that you brought this to my attention.

      Hope the sun is shining on you Bitsey, is spite of our rain.

      Always great to hear from you. My warm regards, ~ Aneet

  14. Somewhat belated, but, Happy St. Joe's Day Aneet! (March 19 is St. Joe's Day!) Thank you for celebrating the nacent spring in this post with a farewell to snow, waves, and a rainbow!
    Take Care.

  15. Hello Joe,

    And so your birthday rivals St Paddy's day.

    So glad you enjoyed this post Joe.

    My good wishes to you, ~ Anitra

  16. Hi Anitra. Actually, my birthday is at a completely different time of year. But, I've celebrated St. Joe's Day for life.
    Thank you for thinking of me.