Tag Archives: clearing storm

November 2019 Photo of the Month: SSB4

My November 2019 Photo of the Month is SSB4, photographed after sunset at the Tabletop Reef located at Seaside State Beach in Encinitas. Continue reading

LM110 by T.M. Schultze

May 2019 Photo of the Month: LM110

My May 2019 Photo of the Month is LM110, taken in the Laguna Mountains during a large storm. Continue reading

Transitions by T.M. Schultze

April 2018 Photo of the Month: Transitions

My April 2018 Photo of the Month is Transitions, a photograph taken in the Laguna Mountains during a clearing storm in San Diego County. Continue reading

Layerscape by T.M. Schultze

March 2018 Photo of the Month: Layerscape

My March 2018 Photo of the Month is Layerscape, a photograph made during a stormy afternoon in the Laguna Mountains overlooking Granite Peak.

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Anza Borrego Buttes and Slot Canyons

This weekend brought another storm to San Diego (wildflowers should be fantastic next month).  In anticipation of picturesque weather in the desert, my friend Alex and I decided to head to Anza Borrego Desert State Park (see his post on the trip). Continue reading

April 2016 Photo of the Month: Figueroa Mountain Valley

My April 2016 Photo of the Month is Figueroa Mountain Valley, an image made North of Santa Barbara during a clearing storm. Continue reading

Figueroa Mountain Canyon Storm by T.M. Schultze

Morning Clearing Storm at Figueroa Mountain (12 Images)

A Morning Clearing Storm at Figueroa Mountain

This morning, I spent a stormy Spring morning up at Figueroa Mountain north of Santa Barbara near Los Olivos, California.  While I was a little late for the California Spring wildflower season in 2016, I knew that California Poppies tend to bloom late and I could take advantage of the storm clearing most of the Southern California.  Below is a gallery of images I made and some notes on how I made them.

I left my home in San Diego a little past midnight and got some rest at the Gaviota Rest Area on US Highway 101 (I was far from alone, many were there doing the same thing!).  At sunrise, I left for Los Olivos and proceeded North on Figueroa Mountain Road.  This road came to my attention many years ago when Google revealed the location of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, which is indeed right off the road.

As Figueroa Mountain Road winds its way up the mountain, it is a very narrow paved road, sometimes with only space for a single vehicle.  During Spring wildflower peak season, it can get very hectic, and you have to watch for vehicles rather than look at the hillsides.

I was here past peak, and I knew it.  But with California Poppies being late bloomers and the storm, I thought I could make some cool images and the weather did not disappoint.  Everywhere I turned, there were things to see, if I only I could find a turnout!

Even the turnouts turned out to be difficult once I found them.  Because of the storm that blew through, a lot of it was extremely muddy and my Honda Civic Coupe was not built to handle it well.  Mud caked all over the bottom of my boots and I gained a couple inches of height just from the mud.

The storm seemed to have two major clouds layers.  The lower cloud layer, which I drove through, was low to the ground and hugged the lower canyons.  There was also an upper cloud layer that was above the mountain.  At the ridge-line, there were many compositions of the canyon below which were amazing to see.

One of the best spots had light rays shining right through an oak tree off the mountain.  I found a turnout about 1/4 mile away, but by the time I got there, most of the mist was gone.  I didn’t get quite the image I wanted, although I like the color and black and white I selected for this gallery.  Still, I have another image that will stay in my mind forever.

I wanted to close with a shout-out to Jeff Sullivan, who posted an excellent blog post on Figueroa Mountain on April 3.  I was a little late for peak wildflower season, and staying only until the morning meant I had closed poppies, but it was a great refresher after not having visited in several years due to the persistent California drought.  Thanks Jeff!

Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you enjoy the images!


Sunset Storm Santee Lakes by T.M. Schultze

Ending January With A Clearing Storm In Santee

Ending January With A Clearing Storm In Santee

2016 - DSC_2991 Clearing storm in santee

Oh no, my rainbow is gone!

2016 - DSC_3073

Great late light over Mission Trails and Lake 2

2016 - DSC_3100

That was all she wrote. A little nice light right at sunset, but the clouds were too low to light up after 15 minutes.

Driving back last night from Phoenix, I knew a quick storm was blowing in.  I made it over the mountains in East San Diego County before the rain set in.  Today was very rainy, but this storm was also particularly windy.  I saw many a tree flexing in the wind, and I wondered how many gusts it would take for the tree to finally break. Continue reading

Birthday Storm by T.M. Tracy Schultze

August 2014 Photo of the Month: Birthday Storm

My August 2014 Photo of the Month is Birthday Storm, a photograph made near Oceanside Pier north of San Diego. Continue reading