Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rattle Rattle

I guess the lesson learned this weekend is that summer rain makes the desert come alive!  But more on that later...

We decided to take a quick detour to Desert Hot Springs on our way out to 29 Palms.  We always drive right by... never stop.  I don't think we did it justice today... just a few quick stops, but I did get a couple of good photos.
Old water tower on west side of 62
Turquoise jewelry on turquoise sky 
Wind turbine on outskirts of Desert Hot Springs
"El Corral"
This old desert home with the sign "El Corral" out front must have been a very beautiful rancho in it's day!  Kind of sad that it's abandoned now and in disrepair.

So on up the hill towards Morongo Valley.  We were noticing some big storm clouds on the horizon.  We made a quick stop in the "dig your own" cactus store in Morongo to pick up a Sun Runner magazine.  Always good stuff to take photos of in this store, so grabbed my camera before heading in!
Decorative pots
Roof leak??
As we were passing through Morongo Valley, a rare site in July... rain!!

As we got to our place in 29, no rain, but lots or dark clouds and evidence of rain in the last couple days (rutted roads, etc).  As we settled it, the thing that was really noticeable was the abundant animal life... birds, rabbits, squirrels, lizards... all the animals appeared to be celebrating their new-found easy access to water!  We watched their antics all weekend, and they really kept us entertained. 

Antelope squirrel (on right) and unidentified rascal (on left)
Waiting patiently for the squirrels to finish eating!
Towards the end of the day, we headed over to the water tank for a short hike and sunset photography.  As we got out of the Jeep, my wife said something about "watch for snakes", or "this is when the snakes come out", or something like that.  And a few minutes later, I see my wife running back towards me yelling "rattlesnake!"

If  you've ever heard the rattle from a rattlesnake, you will never forget it.  It's very loud and unmistakable.  My first thought was "how in the world do people step on these things?"  My second thought was "I didn't know my wife could run so fast!  Where's my camera?"  Anyway, that was our big excitement for the day.  The snake went in a deep crevice in the rocks, so sorry, no picture to share, and I wanted to respect his space since he gave us such a nice courtesy rattle!
Setting sun in "Rattlesnake Gulch"
Blog Addendum:  Beautiful lightning display last night. If you've never tried to photograph lightning, let me tell you, it's very frustrating!!  I could never get off the shot fast enough to capture it.  As the night got darker (and my exposure times got longer), my luck finally changed, and I got a couple good ones.
Lightning over the 29 Palms Marine Base and near the radio antenna on Hwy 62


  1. Nice lightning shots! I tried a couple of summers ago and out of 100 shots, I only got 2! Beautiful sky. Wasn't our rain delightful?

  2. Yes, the rain was great. I hope we get some more this summer. And seriously, 2 shots out of 100 is very close to my experience as well!! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Great pictures...haven't seen the Dutch Girl wear turquoise in the past..nice photo.
    Good thing she runs fast!!
    The lightning is my favorite, glad you let the rattler be the "shot" that got away.