I noticed on Christmas Eve Night that we got some snow in Joshua Tree National Park, so I convinced Margie to get up at first light and head in to the Park to see if we could frolic in the snow (and get some pics of course). The best area was between Hidden Valley and Cap Rock, so we got out and wandered around amongst the Joshua Trees and then headed over to Hidden Valley Nature Trail for a short walk. We certainly worked up a good hunger for breakfast on Christmas Day!
Saturday morning I got up at first light and headed over to Covington Park and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve to take some pictures of the Cottonwoods in their Fall colors. Unfortunately, some of the color had been lost due to the bad weather this past week, so instead of doing my usual 'straight' photographs, I experimented with some double exposures. I came up with a little technique that put, what you might call, a little 'spin' on the pictures. Always fun to do something a little different eh?
We were driving down the Geo Trail the other day and discovered a new hike from a small pull-out about two miles past the California Riding and Hiking Trail. We're always looking for something new, so we parked the car and headed out to some rock formations to the west. We could see all these piles of rocks in the distance, sort of like 'castles on the plain' and decided to head for them. We passed so many interesting and unusual rock formations along the way, stopping to explore, but the best part was when we got way out to this one area with a canyon running through. It seemed so magical and powerful in some way. I wonder if it was a special spot for original inhabitants. When I was processing my pictures, I had trouble seeing them in color or black and white. I wanted an 'otherworldly' look for them, like being on the moon, with that eery light and heavy atmosphere. Joshua Tree National Park is a very special place.
It was a busy day in the Park, so we headed down the Geo Trail to our favorite spot which we call 'The Magic Spot', because something magical is always happening there. Today, it was great light and some wonderful clouds. The rock formations never fail to fascinate me: full of texture, shape and movement. I always love coming here any time of year.
I talked Margie in to a new hike the other day. At first, she was grousing, said we'd already been there, but afterwords, she admitted it was pretty fun. You park at the information board just before Split Rock and head off north toward the rocks and canyons in the distance. You end up in Queen Valley Wash and just follow it up to John's Camp and The Gold Hill Mine. If you want to do more exploring in this area, just keep heading up the wash, there's lots to see. For more information check out Cali49's blog: http://cali49.com/jtnp/2014/3/26/gold-hill-mine
I awoke yesterday morning to a blazing sky and thought, I have to get in to the park! So I drove in and as soon as I got to where I wanted to take my walk, the sun disappeared behind the clouds. Typical. But I thought, the air is so cool and moist, I'll just take a nice walk out and see what I find. What's not to love. I couldn't take the usual 'landscape' photos because the light was soft, so I just concentrated on the details: What was close in, what was at my feet, as I walked along the edge of the rocks. I found a lot to focus on and had a very nice morning. Now home to breakfast!
This is one of my favorite areas to explore early on a Saturday morning. I park at the pull-out just past Split Rock and head in to the rocks to see what I can find. I usually, only have a couple of hours before breakfast, so I just find an area and 'work it'. I love just getting in all the little crooks and crannies of the rocks, taking my time and enjoying the cool morning air. I usually discover something new, something different I hadn't seen before. Always a treat.