You don’t know how important your routine is until it’s broken. I’ve been without a computer for a day and a half. Not so bad? Yes, bad…grumble, grumble. Richard is installing a new modem/router and the computers were off limits. Therefore, no email (cell phone worked for that), no reading the newspaper (difficult to do on a cell phone), no solitaire games and no writing my blog. Again, grumble, grumble!
I didn’t realize how important my morning routine was until we joined my cousins in Palm Desert for the week. I was the first one up in the morning and enjoyed my routine of reading emails, reading the newspaper and processing photos.
This morning, the computer is working, and I can get on the internet to write this blog about a hidden gem in the desert–The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert. We took a docent tour through the gardens, and since cousin Ernie is a retired landscape architect, the discussion was informative. We talked about various cacti, shrubs and trees. Of course our docent had to put up with my veering off to shoot pictures. But, after the tour, she did ask me to send her my pictures.
Then we went on to the zoo. This was so unlike my local Sacramento Zoo. Habitats were large and the animals were those adapted to the desert. You’ll see what I mean in the picture gallery. It was a great visit. If we go back to the desert, I’d not hesitate to visit there again.
Oh, Richard woke up and is working on his computer. I’d better finish this blog–just in case my routine gets interrupted again!
I liked the juxtaposition of the grass against this beautiful rock.
This cactus captures the golden afternoon light.
A group of barrel cacti.
Close up of wood texture.
Close up of a twisted cactus.
Another cactus close up.
A cheetah shot through a window. It was cheetah week at the zoo.
I forgot what this animal is called. It has beautiful horn though.
There were two dromedaries. This one is lighter in color, made even lighter by the setting sun.
This one is darker and also lighted by the sun.
Our last stop just before the park closed was the giraffe enclosure. Well, it’s hard to call it an enclosure.
The golden hour helped me create beautiful pictures.
They would peek over the hill and come down the same path repeatedly.
I had a great time observing and shooting them.
A close up shot with my 18 – 140 mm lens.
They were a good distance away so cropping was necessary.
If the cacti and their flowers weren’t enough for us to photograph during this Meetup outing, the addition of sculptures made it an outstanding experience. We were allowed to photograph the sculptures, which were for sale, if we gave credit to the sculpture. So, I put a system in place of shooting the name card before I shot the sculpture. Of course, there were times I forgot! I’ll do my best in identifying these amazing artists. My apologies if I didn’t get them all right!
The art forms came in all mediums. There were some sculpted from metal, glass, stone, and wood. Here are just a few.
Which Meetup do I want to go to? Yes, if you belong to enough Meetup groups, you’ll have a choice. I joined my first Meetup group when I ordered my Nikon D3100–before I had taken my first digital SLR shot! That was 26 months ago, and I think I was excited about my new hobby.
Most photography Meetups try to do at least one outing a month. Some groups do more. They each have their own personality and leadership. Many of us belong to a few, so we run into each other as we travel. Through the Meetup world, I have met new people, made new photo buddy friendships, learned new information, have gone places I didn’t know about and have had fun.
On a recent Meetup, we went to the Ruth Bancroft Garden while they hosted their Sculpture in the Garden show. The garden features various cactus from Mediterranean climates and other dry regions around the world. Its founder, Ruth Bancroft, lives next door and is 105 years. The garden became the first preservation project of the Garden Conservancy, a nonprofit organization and has been open to the public since 1992.
Well maintained, this garden was easy to walk through. It was small, but still took us a few hours to take our images. The next outing I went on was to a garden that was not well maintained. But, first take a glance at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. I’ll show you the cactus in this post and the sculptures in the next. I was able to identify some of the plants from the garden’s brochure. Too bad, I did somehow catalog them by their numbers!