Best Photos from our Readers and Staff

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: MOON HALO

December 29, 2012 (Mount Helix) -- "Ring around the moon, rain is coming soon," according to an old saying. There is truth to the statement, since a halo around the moon is caused by high cirrus clouds and a reflection off millions of ice crystals high up in the atmosphere that creates this irridescent rainbow-like effect.  Moon halos were seen by many people across the eastern U.S. before Hurricane Sandy, for example.

ECM editor Miriam Raftery took this photo last night from Mount Helix--and sure enough, rain is forecast for today and tomorrow.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WILD TURKEYS IN CUYAMACA

Decenber 26, 2012 (Cuyamaca) -- Turkeys for Christmas  may conjure up images of a holiday dinner.  But photographer Tom Lemon spotted this flock on Christmas Day while driving through Rancho Cuyamaca State Park.  He suggests these turkeys should be grateful that they're living in a protected area where hunting is not allowed--or, perhaps, hoping more folks will choose ham for their next holiday feast.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CHRISTMAS MAGIC AT COWLES ISLAND

December 25, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- No, this isn't a preview of what East County might look like after a few decades of rising tides and global climate change.  This image of Cowles "island" is in fact Cowles Mountain, surrounded not by water, but a sea of clouds. 

Scroll down for a second image depicting the Grossmont Knoll and Cowles Mountain, adrift in early morning clouds viewed from Mount Helix.  Both of these magical images were photographed by photographer Tom Lemon.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: MOUNTAIN SHADOW

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 24, 2012 (Mount Helix) -- This Christmas Eve, enjoy Tom Lemon's gift to our readers.  I've seen shadows cast by clouds on the earth below, but I'd never before seen shadow on top of the clouds.

Lemon snapped this unusual image from Mount Helix, looking down on pink-tinged clouds early in the morning to see the shadow of the mountain cast on the surface of the clouds.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: UNCLE SAM AT LAKE MURRAY

December 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – “Uncle Sam made sure everyone knew (well - everyone at Lake Murray on my 6 mile walk) it was their civic duty to vote today,” Greg Dunne wrote in an e-mail to ECM on election day, adding that he received enthusiastic comments from walkers, dog walkers, bicyclists, joggers and others.  “Thanks to some great photography work from my walking buddy David,” he added. “Now it's off to vote,” said Dunne, who struck a “muscle pose” while modeling the costume made by his wife.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SILENT BEAUTY

December 1, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Melody Ponchot has provided us with a dazzling set of photographs that are a study in contrasts, some shot in the snow-covered rural landscape around her home in Boulevard, others taken at Valley of the Moon, a boulder-strewn terrain east of Jacumba.  In both places, there is tranquility in the rugged beauty of nature—from serene winter wonderland to jagged peaks in these wild and special vistas here in our own backyard.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WIND TURBINES SCAR VIEW FROM MCCAIN VALLEY’S CARRIZO GORGE OVERLOOK

October 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Construction of the Tule Wind project in McCain Valley has not yet begun, though developer Iberdrola has pledged to preserve the most scenic portion of views across the Carrizo Gorge.  But photographer Tom Lemon stopped by  McCain Valley’s famed Carrizo  Gorge Overlook this weekend in McCain Valley, discovering to his dismay that wind turbines at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express wind project in Ocotillo are plainly visible across the formerly pristine vista, gateway to three designated wilderness areas. 

BLM rules do not allow the agency to consider lost views when determining siting of energy projects, unfortunately for the many who cherish wilderness.

 

Above is the new view, with turbines across the horizon:

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SPACE SHUTTLE' ENDEAVOR'S FINAL JOURNEY

October 14, 2012 (Los Angeles)-- ECM photographer Ron Logan, in Los Angeles this week, snapped this historic image of the Space Shuttle Endeavor on its final journey to the California Science Center in Inglewood. 

Astronauts, movie stars and political leaders were on hand. State Senator Roderick Wright concluded, that the reason for making the California Science Center the Endeavor's final home is "because we want you to know, every young person here in the audience, that the universe is your limit. You can go as high as you choose to go."

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: A TOWN SURROUNDED

October 8, 2012 (Ocotillo) – Photographer Daren Sefcik visited Ocotillo in May, before construction began on the Ocotillo Express wind project, then returned on October 3.

Through still photos and dramatic panoramic videos that reveal 360 degree views, Sefcik documents turbines dwarfng mountains and looming in close proximity to homes. “The landscape has already been destroyed by Pattern [Energy] and it will never, ever be the same,” he said.

HELP CREATE A LIVING PHOTO HISTORY OF EAST COUNTY! OCT. 7 DEADLINE

September 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Help tell East County’s story through  photos! 

The Far East Project, a print/multimedia anthology and performance project, is comprised of personal narratives, interviews and histories from East County communities and residents.  This living history project for our region is sponsored by San Diego Foundation Arts and Culture Foundation along with So Say We All.

You’re invited to submit photos that “capture the soul of East County” as you see it.  Deadline for entries is Sunday, October 7, 2012.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: A WIND FARM RISES

September 21, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Parke Ewing forwarded these images showing transformation of the desert landscape in Ocotillo, where public outcry and seven lawsuits have thus far failed to stop the Pattern Energy's wind project. 

The first image reveals excavation for just one of the 112 wind turbines; this hole measures 16 feet deep.  In the sunset shot, towering wind turbines now replace the century-old ocotillo forest that once stood here, sacrified for "green" energy.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: OCOTILLO SUNRISE

August 13, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- ECM photographer Jim Pelley shot this beautiful sunrise this morning from the yard at his home in Ocotillo. 

Soon this dramatic landscape may be only a memory, vanished in the dust as towering ocotillo cacti are torn down and replaced by 112 wind turbines, each 500 feet tall. 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WILD RIDES AT THE BULLS ONLY RODEO

 
 
July 29, 2012 (Lakeside) -- Barry Claessens (www.bcphotography.biz) snapped these action shots at the Optimist Club's "Bull's Only Rodeo" at the Lakeside Rodeo arena on July 21. Rodeos began to help cowboys hone their skills and, in the case of bull-riding, showcase their bravado. Isn't this the original extreme sport?

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ON THE ROCKS

 

July 23, 2012 (McCain Valley) - ECM reader Tom Lemon sent in these spectacular photos of McCain Valley, site of the proposed Tule Wind facility in San Diego's East County.

"I first visited McCain Valley around 1995 after reading Jerry Shaad's book Afoot and Afield in San Diego County. I began camping and hiking in the Valley and explored the trails and side roads to vista points where you can see the abandoned San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad tracks, the Salton Sea, and Castle Butte in Arizona. Yes, you can see all the way to Arizona," he wrote.

"My friend Brian getting into the spirit of McCain. Yeah, it does make you feel like that."

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SPACE INVADERS?

 

July 25, 2012 (Ocotillo) – No, this isn’t the mother ship that’s landed in Ocotillo. It’s another alien power – the first wind turbine foundation poured at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express project.  Photographer Jim Pelley measured a single turbine foundation hole measures 286 feet.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: HORNED DESERT LIZARD

 

June 20, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Photographer Jim Pelley snapped this image of a horned desert lizard, whose camouflaged appearance blends right in with its desert surroundings. Pelley spotted the reclusive reptile on the site of the Ocotillo Express wind energy facility, which is now under construction.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SUPER MOON CLOSE-UP

 

May 10, 2012 (East County) -- If you thought the moon looked larger than usual Saturday night, you’re right! The “super moon” occurs once a year, when the moon’s orbit past brings it closest to the Earth.
 
Bill Ortiz took this photo of the “super moon” shining brightly over East County.   

 

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT AT MISSION TRAILS NOW THROUGH MAY 4

April 25, 2012 (San Diego) -- The Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation is presenting a solo exhibition by award winning nature photography Scott Streit. This exhibition is on display in the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor’s Center Art Gallery, One Father Junipero Sera Trail, San Diego now through May 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

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