Some people love the Blue Angels, others hate them. I have known spiritual people who were shocked when they said something negative about the planes and I responded that I love them. Those people usually remind me that they are fighter jets. That is a valid point, but I rationalize that these particular planes are not used for war.
I have friends who leave town when the Blue Angels fly and the hydroplanes roar. I’m not interested in hydroplanes but each year I eagerly await the arrival of the Blue Angels.
If I had fought in a war or lived in a war zone, my body would probably fill with fear when they came. If I was a dog, I’d probably hide. But I’m neither. When I hear their sound I feel excited.
Wikipedia says this about the Blue Angels:
The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.
During their aerobatic demonstration, the Blues fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the Diamond Formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the Lead and Opposing Solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6)….. The Solos showcase the high performance capabilities of their individual aircraft through the execution of high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. The highest speed flown during an air show is 700 mph (just under Mach 1) and the lowest speed is 120 mph. Some of the maneuvers include both solo aircraft performing at once, such as opposing passes (toward each other in what appears to be a collision course) and mirror formations (back-to-back. belly-to-belly, or wingtip-to-wingtip, with one jet flying inverted). The Solos join the Diamond Formation near the end of the show for a number of maneuvers in the Delta Formation.
I’ve been to the show at Lake Washington several times, but I tend to get bored. It is not the formal show that I love. What I love is that they fly over my house, often very close. (I have lived in this house since 1973 and I believe they were already performing when I moved in. In those days, there were times when we sat on top of the garage and watched. Now the trees are so high we wouldn’t be able to see much even if the garage still existed.) Because my view is so obstructed, I never know when the planes will be flying over the house. Their presence is preceded by their sound. For me the sound is electrifying, and my body fills with a healthy burst of adrenaline, as opposed to the adrenaline rushes that raise my blood pressure when I am stressed.
I not only enjoy watching them outside, I also enjoy listening to them from inside the house. During the shows they fly within my earshot, over and over again.
Since I have had this blog, I have attempted to get photos to share. That is not easy to do because I have only seconds to get the shot. It is much more difficult than taking a picture of a constantly moving bee. Having the houses, trees and wires in the way is an added problem. And this year my garden has become so big that it covers walkways and a good part of the driveway, making it even more difficult to get to a place where I have a chance of photographing them.
Here are two pictures I took today.
After I took those, I decided to use the burst setting on the camera for the first time and was surprised by what I captured. If anyone has an explanation for these pictures please feel free to share it!
The Blue Angels few into town earlier this week and I saw one of the planes when it arrived. There was a practice session this morning and as I am writing this post another one is beginning. Tomorrow there will be two more. Then there will be two official shows on Saturday and two more on Sunday. By the end of the weekend, I will be ready for them to leave, but will no doubt be looking forward to their return in 2016!
It occurred to me that I could end this post with a video clip so ran out to get one! You will hear an excited neighborhood child yell when he sees, or hears, them coming.