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.
California is a true wonderland when it comes to visiting National Parks. So many are within a 5-hour drive. Yosemite is one of them. I’m so glad that I saw Yosemite before the drought.
Photo buddy Laura and I went there for a couple of days to catch the “fire fall effect.” Once a year when the sun is in the right place and water is in abundance you can get the “fire fall” effect just like the old days when they used to drop fire over the falls. Even though it rained the week before, there was not a drop of water coming down the mountain. The drought was evident elsewhere too with the meadows dry and brown. I remember green meadows.
Our journey began with our first night outside the park. We light painted a gazebo across from the lodge. Then at 4 a.m. the next morning we went into Yosemite to catch the sunrise from the Swinging Bridge. This will be a three part post. Today’s post will take you though first evening and morning at Yosemite. We waited on Swinging Bridge for the sunrise. It was an experience!
Good news, this is the last post of Death Valley National Park. Bad news, this is the last post of Death Valley National Park! It was so pretty, unusual and amazing there, I wish I had more to show you. But then, you may have seen enough. We are so fortunate to have spectacular National Parks here in the U.S. And seven or more are right here in California.
Today I’m showing you scenes from the Artist Drive, another drive through canyon, and Natural Bridge Canyon, a short hike to an amazing natural rock bridge. I will admit that I almost didn’t walk it because of the cold and bad back I was suffering from, but I was glad I did.
If you have a chance, visit Death Valley. Just don’t go in the summer when temperatures are HOT!
It’s partly cloudy today, and it’s nice to go to the store without getting rained on. I know we should feel blessed to finally have rain, but a break is nice. More is due next week. Southern California is digging out from mud slides, and I’m hoping the families whose homes are near the summer’s King Fire are doing okay.
We’re almost done with Death Valley. Today I’m going to show you images from Twenty Mule Team Canyon and of Tom. I was walking Gem in the morning and saw Tom sitting on a table engrossed in what I thought was a music sheet and playing his guitar. His feet were propped up on an orange 5 gallon pail. I told Gem that we had to rush back to our trailer to get the camera. Yes, I do talk to the dog, and yes, he does try to understand. We did get back to Tom. I took some candid shots before he noticed me. Then we talked as I shot more. It was great to meet and talk with him.
After that we left for our drive/hike tour of our last day. Tom hikes the back country and avoids the “tourist areas.” I guess we’re tourists! Our luck had changed because they just opened the Twenty Mule Team Canyon that morning. It’s a drive through canyon, although you could stop and hike, and just beautiful.
I just don’t understand WordPress and their new setup. This is going to be a short post since it’s the second time doing it. I wrote and added pictures and accidentally published without adding tags and categories. In the old setup, you could edit the published post and update it. I did find where I could revert to a draft, pressed the button, and lost the entire post!
Enough grumbling. Death Valley is so diverse geologically that you could never be bored. Even though we couldn’t do major hiking and some trails were closed, we did get a good sense of this beautiful park. Today I have shots of Ubehebe Crater, The Sand Dunes and Mosaic Canyon. Our favorite was Mosaic Canyon and most of the images are of it. Explanations of the areas are in the captions.
Yes, not so sick, but recuperating. The cold is almost gone—no tissues used today and my back is allowing me to move more easily. I hope my chiropractor, Dr. Heather Rosenberg, is home from Russia when we return.
Today we jammed in three sights that I will show you in another post. Today’s post is all about the highest and lowest places, Badwater Basin, in Death Valley. This is such an amazing place. In the summer, temperatures can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit. During this winter trip, the temperatures are in the low 70s, and it is just beautiful.
One disappointment: they advertise Death Valley as one of the darkest places and welcome astronomers to view the stars. However, since we’ve been here, there has been a cloud cover. It’s great for photography, but not for Richard who brought his telescope!
Tomorrow we start the trek home. By the time we get there, I’ll be ready for more photography meetups.
Now, for the high, Dante’s View, and low, Badwater Basin, of the trip.
Yes, still sick. Yesterday was a bust. I slept through the morning and two guys slept through the afternoon. So we stayed put. I can’t say I feel a whole lot better, but at least I’m walking upright!
To make up for our day off, we’re having a full day. I figure I can sleep in the truck if I need to! Oh, we have a camp mascot—a coyote. He roams around the campground. Hopefully, I’ll get a shot of him before we leave. Of course we’re very careful with our dog.
Today, I’m going to show you the Borax Museum. The Borax Company’s history is rich in this area as a mining company. Our Ranger guide at the Inn told us that Borax wanted to have this area designated as a National Park and did whatever they could to make it happen. In 1933, Death Valley was designated as a National Monument and became a National Park in 1994.Borax is still mining here.
The museum is a small structure and has artifacts from the old mining era. However, outside, I found my own gold mine—a bunch of old rusted mining equipment.
That equipment can’t be brought back to life, but I hope I don’t feel old and rusted for too much longer!
I didn’t plan on it, but it happened anyway. I left home with a bad back, hoping it would get better. While here I caught a cold from my dear friend Sandy. And, she really didn’t want to give it away. All of us four adults seem to be suffering from cold in some way.
So, we have taken it easy, avoiding strenuous hikes. Our first outing was to the Furnace Creek Inn and the Borax Museum. The Lodge is rather posh. We’re not staying there, but are camping in the National Park campground down the road. Here are some images from the lodge. Tomorrow (maybe depending on how I feel) the museum
It’s a bummer being sick when you want to see the sights and shoot pictures.
Shoot, shoot, shoot. Yes, I did a lot of shooting Thanksgiving weekend. We had one great day, and then the rain came. Fortunately, by the time we got out to see the sights, it had stopped raining. However, it was cold, damp and overcast. Not the opportune time to take photos.
At the butterfly sanctuary, the Monarchs were huddled and not really flying around. They hang from branches high up on trees, and my 300 mm had a difficult time reaching them. But, I did my best–with Richard’s help. I have a difficult time bending my head back; I get dizzy. So, Richard became my human tripod. I leaned up against him and had him hold my elbows so I could steady the camera. I had two other alternatives: 1. to hand him the camera; 2. to go get the tripod. But why take the easy way!!
The weather was in my favor when we visited the lighthouse. But, no blue skies. This wraps up our Thanksgiving weekend. We are on our way to Death Valley. I’m looking forward to more shooting, shooting, shooting.
Busy, that’s how I would describe Capitola Beach. Of course, the holiday weekend helped. The city was gracious to offer free two or three hour parking, but you had to go move your car. We were about a half hour late, but didn’t get tagged. This was my first time to this cute little beach town.
It catered to whatever you needed: surfing, just sitting on the beach, fishing, shopping and eating. My family opted for all except surfing. The grandkids enjoyed their beach time, their parents enjoyed relaxing, other family members enjoyed not catching fish, and the rest shopped. I had fun walking and shooting. My wonderful husband walked with me and patiently waited while I took pictures.
Here are some of the beach images. My next post will be on Monterey.