Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Frosty Morning At Covington Park

I got up early the other morning and went over to Covington Park, next to the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and the ground was covered with frost. Here are some 'still lifes' of the frost on the ground cover there. I love the subtle colors, rhythms and textures I found in these leaves. Each season brings something new, something different.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter Reds

During the cold winter months, the Desert Trumpets and Buckwheat turn a magnificent reddish hue. They appear to be on fire when the light hits them. The other day, before the huge rains, I went in search of pictures of these beautiful, native plants. This is what I found. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Taking A Walk At The Cholla Garden Just Before The Rain

A 'wall of rain' was forecast for the area, so we thought we'd drive down to the Cholla Garden and take a walk before the deluge. The light was quite dramatic, going in and out of the clouds like a spotlight, hovering over the ground the whole time. The Cholla Garden is always an adventure, full of grotesque yet strangely beautiful shapes and textures everywhere you look. From here, you can see far down into the Pinto Basin toward Cottonwood, an inspiring view. When you go, just be careful where you step, the area is littered with pieces of 'jumping cholla' that love to get stuck to your shoes and clothing. Ouch!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Beautiful Day Hiking At The Desert Queen Mine

It was a perfect winter day, so warm and bright you could see forever. We hiked up to the overlook of the Desert Queen Mine, got some photos of the old stone miner's cabin and did some hiking around and up the other side of the mountain. It's a great hike, a nice amble really. There's a nice mix of vegetation, rock formations and beautiful views along the way. Don't miss it when you visit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fall Color at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

I took a walk at the Preserve this morning, looking for some golden colors in the cottonwoods, but they haven't quite reached their peak yet, maybe another week or so. For the most part, I was looking up, into the trees for color, but when I looked down, there at the side of the trail, was abundant color all around my feet. The Preserve is one of the few places here in the desert where you really get that sense of fall like back east. The smell of the leaves, the morning breeze, the quiet, the birds singing in the trees, it's all there. The Preserve is a special place indeed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Color

Fall is in the air. The days are nice and warm and the nights are chillier. The Cottonwoods are turning golden, the peach tree a reddish hue and of course, the leaves are falling, lots of them, which means lots of raking. The hiking, biking and climbing are wonderful in the park. It's a great time to visit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our First Rain Of The Season!

Last year we didn't get any substantial rain until January, so we're all happy with the early rains. Hopefully, this will mean a banner year for flowers as well. I was able to get out early in the morning before the rain and then later, after the rains, to catch some wonderful clouds. Now, if it would clear up so we can bike!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Take The Keys Ranch Tour While You're Here.

"The ranger-guided tour of the ranch includes the colorful story of the 60 years Bill and Frances spent working together to make a life and raise their five children in this remote location. The ranch house, school house, store, and workshop still stand; the orchard has been replanted; and the grounds are full of the cars, trucks, mining equipment, and spare parts that are a part of the Desert Queen Ranch story." There you have it in a nutshell. We always take friends on the tour and they love it. It really gives you a sense of what life used to be like in these 'here' parts. Call 760-367-5555 for information. The Ranger led tours are held from October to May at 10 and 1 p.m. The cost is 5.00 per person. Don't miss it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spin and Margie Take a 'Spin' in the Park on Their New Bikes

We love getting up early and riding in the Park before breakfast, it's a great way to start the day. The air is cool and there's very little traffic and the scenery can't be beat. The Park has recently been re-paved so it's smooth riding all the way, so grab your bikes and come take a ride. A few of us took a ride during the full moon the other night, what a fun way to see the Park with friends. We recently traded in our Trek Navigator 2's for something a little more racy, the Trek FX 7.3's so now we can keep up with the road bikes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How Did We Spend Our Summer? Renovating!

This summer we replaced all the old casement windows on the north side of the inn with glass brick. This makes the rooms quieter and adds beneficial insulation qualities, warmer in winter and cooler in summer. We also added a privacy wall with glass brick in Suite 2 and gave it a new paint job, soothing tones of cocoa and mocha with a warm golden color in the ante-room and kitchen. It's our new favorite suite. We think you'll like it too. With the Inn all spiffed up, we're ready for the new season and look forward to your visit!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Come See The New 'Pinhole Series' at JTAG for September

This is a new series I have been working on since last winter. Using my LX3 in 'pinhole' mode, I've been looking more at the 'details' rather than the 'big picture', finding shadings, mysterious light and rhythms in the 'elements' at my feet and around me as I walk in the morning or evening.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A morning walk at Jumbo Rocks

The light in the morning is so special, everything seems magical. I meandered about, discovering one beautiful scene after another. I even stumbled upon a labyrinth made by campers. A magical place indeed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What a Sky!

Riding our bikes in the park this morning we were treated to a fantastic cloud display. It's easy to love the summer when you get up early. The nap comes later...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mojave Desert Land Trust Needs You!

The Mojave Desert Land Trust is only 80,000 dollars away from purchasing 955 acres (Quail Mountain) of pristine desert habitat adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park. When purchased, this land will be conveyed into the park for future generations to enjoy. Please help by joining or donating to the Mojave Desert Land Trust.
Spin and Margie's thank you!