Sunday, August 29, 2010

Statues~Sunday Stills Challenge 082910

Hubby and I took a vacation to Arizona in June of 2006. He wanted to visit Taliesin West, which is outside of Scottsdale, so off we went. You have to purchase tickets for their tour, but it is well worth it! I was amazed how Wright constructed his house to get a view of the valley below AND the afternoon breezes! And, I was amazed at how he incorporated so much art into the design of his house and property. It truly is a magical place and if you ever get the chance to take a tour, DO IT! Here are a few of the many, many sculptures there. In fact, there is a whole sculpture garden! Sunday Stills Challenge for August 29, 2010.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bodie~"Metal"~Sunday stills challenge 082210

Yup. It's back to Bodie for this week's Sunday Stills Challenge, "metal"~Bodie is such an interesting place and we've been there several times now, but each time we go, we discover something new to observe! If you haven't been there, Bodie is an old California mining town on the edge of the Sierras, near Bridgeport, CA. You have to drive a side road to get to Bodie, which is 14 miles, and 9 miles unpaved! But, it is worth it. I would recommend either going early in the morning or late afternoon (check their closing time, as sometimes it is 4:00 p.m.). It is a California state park, and, with our budget cuts, its hours may be cut, but if you are in the area, it is a trip that is well worth your time! These are some of the metal things we saw on one visit, including many of the mine's buildings. You can't actually walk up through the mining area. It is closed to the public for safety reasons, but you can walk fairly close to some of those buildings and take a close look at them. Bodie is up high on a plateau and the wind blows there quite a bit and it is HOT and DRY in the summer, so be sure you bring water with you. Oh, and GOOD walking shoes! Sunday Stills Challenge, "metal", for August 22, 2010.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Palm trees and sky~SkyWatch Friday 082010

As I was walking through the palm garden of the Living Desert Reserve, in Palm Desert, I decided to look upward. This is what I saw! Palms, palms, and more palms! Oh, and blue sky! SkyWatch Friday for August 20, 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Small Animal Crossing~Nature notes 081910

I visited the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA last week and took a lot of photos of the animals on exhibit there, but, you know, it was the wild critters that really caught my attention. There is a huge family of quail that I've seen now a couple of times. There seem to be some "teenagers" in the family and they are fun to watch! They aren't fully grown yet and they are completely goofy! They run across the trail and back and forth and I'm sure they drive their parents crazy!!! There are cottontail rabbits and jackrabbits out on the trails early in the morning. There are mockingbirds, cactus wrens, and hummingbirds. Butterflies visit the lantana. Since our daytime temps are up over 109 degrees WITH HUMIDITY right now, the perfect time to get out is early in the morning before it's too hot to even walk outside! Nature Notes for August 19, 2010. For other participants in Nature Notes, please visit:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smoke and Fire~Sunday Stills Challenge 081510

"Smoke and Fire"...those are two words which send fear down the spines for many of us who live in the desert southwest, especially those of us who live in Southern California. I grew up near the San Gabriel mountains and I remember at least twice that those mountains were on fire. And, living near the Malibu canyons, there were also several times during my childhood that they were ablaze and homes were lost. Believe me, we do NOT want to see smoke or fire! Our local mountains right now are very dry and the California Department of Forestry signs saying "Fire Danger: HIGH" are everywhere. I always check out cars that have stopped because a few years ago, on the east side of our mountains, an arsonist started several fires that raged out of control for several days and several firefighters were killed when their fire truck was overrun by fire. We haven't had any monsoon storms this summer and so there haven't been any lightning fires (phew!). I always look up at our mountains before I leave the desert to stop and see if there is any smoke. A couple of years ago there was a large fire down by Ramona and another one near Rancho Bernardo, which killed three people and destroyed many, many homes. My aunt and uncle, who lived in Rancho Bernardo, told me they had embers fall in their was that close to them! It came to within a mile of their house. Fortunately, the brave firefighters were able to save their neighborhood, but others were not so fortunate. So, yesterday I stopped to snap these photos of one of the local California Department of Forestry fire stations. This one is located in our local mountains and I spotted a burnt area by the road further down which they apparently got right on one afternoon recently. I remember being up at the horse ranch, looking up, and seeing the smoke from this fire. My heart immediately started pounding as I was alone on the ranch, the owners were gone, and I had no idea how far away they were. I even heard the sirens of the fire trucks as they went out to battle this fire. Fortunately, they knocked it down right away (see pics). . So, I believe this is a salute to the brave men and women who are the watchdogs of our mountains and valleys and serve the forest service and the California Department of Forestry. THANK YOU for all you do!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Dirt"~Brenda Photo Challenge 081410

Dirt? It is actually silt. I found this spot up in our local mountains, on a dirt road that I usually take. It meanders through the pinyons and I happened to look down and see this spot. Isn't it interesting? They had just had a downpour up there about a week before I stopped to take this photo. I know because the horse ranch, where I board my horses, had it too. Brenda Photo Challenge for 081410

Monday, August 9, 2010

Farmers' Market~Mellow Yellow Monday 080910

Last weekend I visited a vendor, up in our local mountains. He had a truckload of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, including these lemons and yellow squash. I went back this weekend and bought plums, peaches, fresh corn, and a green salad mix. I think I'll be sure to visit him every Saturday! Mellow Yellow for Monday, August 9, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Massive Thunderhead over Bishop, CA~Sunday Stills Challenge 080810

On our trip to Bishop, CA last August, this tremendous thunderhead was developing over the desert. It grew and grew. By late afternoon, there was rain all over the valley and Mono Lake. I can't even imagine the power in this thunderhead! Sunday Stills Challenge, "clouds", for August 8, 2010.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fountain~Watery Wednesday 080410

Even here in the desert southwestwe have fountains. I headed out a couple of mornings ago to The Gardens in Palm Desert after meeting a friend for coffee in the morning. Just being near the fountain there seemed to cool me down! The past few mornings haven't been that hot here...down into the high 70's, which is very unusual for August. Doesn't this one look refreshing? Watery Wednesday for August 4, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

graffiti~Sunday Stills Challenge 080110

We took our son with us to Arizona in 2008 and stopped in Williams, AZ. We like to stop there and eat breakfast at the Pine Country Restaurant. Along the way to the Grand Canyon, I spotted this building with all kinds of "stuff" written over it. I was intrigued by all the writing at the time and I'm glad now we stopped. I believe it is in the town of Williams, since my other photos were all taken there. Sunday Stills Challenge for 080110