Guest Blog by Scott Eicher
I have been an early riser for most of my life. There is a certain serenity during the few minutes between first light and the time the Ojai foothills are fully lit by the sun. My viewpoint each morning is from Sarzotti Park as I walk with my dogs. The best colors are visible from early spring to early fall, when the earth’s tilt returns to its warmer weather axis. This light show is the evening Pink Moment in reverse.
The air is still and the only sound is the resident hawk declaring his territory from the top of a eucalyptus tree. At a few places in the park, you can see both the sky and the foothills above Grand Avenue and mountains of the Wills Canyon/Rice Canyon ridge line and escarpment toward Meiners Oaks, and into the far reaches of Matilija Canyon.
The tips of the hills and ridges begin turning a light pink as the sun begins to rise out of Santa Paula. If there are some clouds, they too will be pink, contrasting with the turquoise sky. As the light progress down the hill sides, the color moves to a deeper pink, then an amber orange, casting wide vertical shadows that shrink to the east with the increasing light. If you are standing still and staring at the hills you can see this movement and the not-so-slow alteration of color. The clouds start to lose their pink and the sky turns a deeper blue. At the end, the hillsides get a blast of spectacular gold light before finally having all the natural colors of the scrub oak, sage and ceanothus come into view as the sun is fully exposed in the east, bleaching almost all of the blue from the sky and turning the clouds a bright white.
As this daily event unfolds, the sounds of the waking valley begin: more birds calling, dogs barking, motor vehicles starting up, the aroma of frying bacon floating over the park. It is a short show of only ten or fifteen minutes depending on a myriad of influences from humidity to upper atmospheric winds. I am lucky enough to experience this almost every day, and this is one of the things I love about living in Ojai.
– Scott Eicher
CEO, Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce
Life-long Ojai resident, the third of five generations living in the valley.