Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Noble Pinyon Pine

This morning I went in early to wander about and focus on Pinyon Pines, one of my favorite trees in Joshua Tree National Park. You start seeing them in quantity when you enter Hidden Valley, tucked high up in the rocks, a lone Pine at a point, or in clusters lower down near the trail. Each one seems to have it's own unique character. When I see one delineated against the sky amongst the shapely rocks, I'm reminded of Asian scroll paintings. Due to our changing climate, they are struggling more than ever to survive in our harsh but beautiful desert.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Walk Amongst the Joshua Trees

I realized recently, I don't take many pictures of Joshua Trees, mostly rock formations. So, I decided to take an early morning walk in Lost Horse Valley near Juniper Flats, where there's a good concentration of Joshua Trees. What a treat it was to just meander amongst these fascinating shapes. I did a kind of horse shoe loop around the valley, staying close to the base of the hills to catch the morning light. There was such a wonderful mix of fragrant and sage-like scents in the air as I walked along and still quite a few flowers in bloom. All in all, a nice way to start the day.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Unearthly Rock Forms

After we head off from Quail Springs on our morning bike ride, we always pass this group of rocks which intrigues me from afar, so the other morning, I went in early and explored the terrain and the shifting light. It's amazing, how sometimes you don't have to do the 'big' hike or take the same trail every time. Sometimes, it's fun to just pull of the road when something interests you and 'wander about'. I always find it pleasurable and rewarding. This particular morning, there were not only the fascinating shapes of the rocks, but as I was walking along, I could smell these wonderful, sage-like and flowery scents in the cool morning air. I thought to myself, 'What a treat... How lucky am I to live so close to Joshua Tree National Park and be able to enjoy it's many charms.'

Monday, April 27, 2015

Come on Ma'... Let's Ride!

We've been like a couple of bears in hibernation this last winter. Sleepin' late, eatin' too much... you know how it goes. Now that the weather is getting warmer, we thought... we gotta' get back on those bikes and in to our routine of biking three mornings a week in Joshua Tree National Park. So, on went the bike rack, I washed the bikes, pumped up the tires and off we went. The Park is a great place to bike, particularly early in the morning, there are few cars and people at that time. We ride for a couple of hours and about half way, we start talkin' about the hot coffee, the fruit plate, etc. That gets us home quicker than you can say jack rabbit! We saw some nice flowers still blooming along the way, which was just the 'icing on the cake'. So y'all bring your bikes and stay awhile.

Margie Ready to Go 



Orange Mallow

Prince's Plume

Spin...Bringin' Up The Rear As Usual

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Rewarding Walk Down the West Canyon Trail at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Since Joshua Tree National Park has been so busy with everyone trying to see the flowers, I thought I'd take a different tack and see what was happening at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. While birding with friends last week, my friend Margaret (birder extraordinaire) mentioned there were lots of flowers on the West Canyon Trail, so I got up early on Saturday and took a little walk down the trail. I was rewarded with lush vegetation and (Margaret was right) an abundance of flowers all along the trail. I only met one person on the way back, so I pretty much had all this beauty to myself. A fine morning indeed.

West Canyon Trail View 
Caterpiller and Phacelia




Still Life