The Lone Tree

Well, this is pretty much about nothing.  It’s definitely not about art. You might be wasting your time reading this.  Anyway, here is the story…

I bought my house in 1984 , a new tract home, when it was still being built.  Awhile after I moved in, and during my daily trek home from work, I always looked up to the hills behind the house.  Through the seasons, the coastal hills of California turn from a deep Irish green to golden fields of dry grass.  Scattered around are plenty of oak trees. 

Looking up, I began to notice a tree at the crest of a hill on the skyline which was all by itself.  It was a little odd shaped like it was windswept bending over to the right.  Most every day I would glance up as somewhat of a beacon to the way home. In my mind, I called it “The Lone Tree”.  

My original intent was to eventually move up to a bigger house, although this one is plenty big.  As time passed, I got married, had a son, and pretty much settled in.

Through the years, the tree was always there, beckoning me home.  One day I was driving home with my son, and he just blurted out, “Dad, have you ever noticed the Lone Tree?”.  So, I’m not the only one who noticed it, and my son is also observant!  I answered, yes, I look at it most every time I drive home.

Some years ago, when I had more free time, I began to wonder if I could drive or hike up to the tree.  I looked for it on Google Earth, and tried to see if there was an easy way up.  I would occasionally drive up in the hills nearby to paint,  but couldn’t see it from those vantage points.  It must be on fenced private property, so never did try to visit it.

A year ago, I purchased a fairly nice drone, a DJI Mavic Pro, and if you follow my adventures have seen my many drone videos the last year.  You can see them all here.  

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations has a limit of 400 feet altitude AGL (Above Ground Level) for drones.  It is built into the drone software, and it will stop you from flying higher.  I might have missed something, or DJI changed the software, but recently discovered you can set the limit much higher, about 1500 ft, even though it is breaking regulations to fly that high.

I didn’t want to break any FAA rules, but if I keep the drone close to the hillside, it will never be 400 feet above the ground, which is legal. From my takeoff point in nearby Groesbeck Hill Park, the Lone Tree would be much higher, but the rule is above ground level where ever the drone is, not from where it took off.  So I took the drone on a journey up the hill to find the Lone Tree.  Here is a short video clip of the drone’s journey…

It looks like an Oak Tree, and looks like it might be dead.  Perhaps I will do another reconnaissance in several months to see if there are any spring leaves.  BTW, the tree is about 1350 feet above our neighborhood.

So, this blog entry is pretty much about nothing…possibly reminiscing the passing of time.  Maybe a little about observation of your surroundings.  Perhaps it’s just about a tree with a couple of admirers.  Perhaps I have too much time on my hands to write blogs like this.