Sunday, October 28, 2012

You Know How to Whistle, Don't You....?

Taking a quick break from desert photography... can't resist posting a couple more pics of my new granddaughter, Lillian (I guess I'm smitten!). And a big THANKS for all the notes of congratulation (post below)... really appreciated. These two photos were taken over the shoulder of Great Grandma Jan, who was whistling, and I swear, little one month old Lillian started doing crazy things with her mouth imitating Great Grandma! Maybe it was one of those moments where you had to be there, but these photos bring a big smile to my face!!

Linking with Weekly Top Shot & Your Sunday Best. Hope your weekend was a good one!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fourth Floor, NICU, UCI Medical Center

My wife pointed out this great view from the 4th floor at UCI Medical Center a couple weeks ago. I took these photos through a dual pane window without a tripod after sunset.  Impossible, you say? My technique was to place the front of the lens hood securely against the glass to anchor the camera (kind of a make-shift tripod, I guess) and to reduce glare off the glass.  The sky and clouds were so incredible that evening... so linking to Skywatch Friday.  Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!
1/15 second exposure, f 3.2, ISO 800
Corner of Chapman and The City Drive in Orange, CA
You may be wondering why I was (and have been) hanging out in the NICU at UCI? Well, let me introduce you to my granddaughter (my first grandchild): beautiful Lillian! She got off to a rough start and had to spend the first 4 weeks in the hospital, but we have her home now and we feel so incredibly fortunate to have a healthy granddaughter after everything she has been through!

Happy skywatching, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Taking the Long Way Around via Desert Center

Folks heading out to Joshua Tree from LA or Orange Counties generally head east on the 10, then north on Highway 62. This is our usual route, but we decided to switch it around last weekend and did a big counter-clockwise loop around Joshua Tree National Park.
One of the highlights was the little town of Desert Center. An incredible place for photographers... don't miss it if you're in the area! Since this is a Skywatch Friday post, I'll only include photos that include some of the great skies taken in and around Desert Center. Be sure to click on the Skywatch link to check out great skies from around the world!
My wife and our chihuahua outside the Cafe in Desert Center
The old Kaiser Steel plant (now shut down) had a rail track and is just outside of town.

Desert bungalows 

On the road out to the mine, we stumbled across the Pentecostal Church (now just used for storage)
And a heads-up... there is no gas available in Desert Center! Top off your tank in Indio.
Nice open road and desert sky shot... heading north out of Desert Center on Highway 177.  Happy sky-watching, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cloudy with a Chance of Thunderstorms

The weather forecast was promising from a Skywatch perspective:  50% chance of rain (we haven't seen any rain here in S. CA is quite a while) with possible thunderstorms. And this time, the forecasters nailed it: A little light rain, thunder, and absolutely awesome clouds!! So Miley the Chihuahua and I headed over to the Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton for some great views of Orange County. I took these photos earlier today for Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from all over the world!

Summit House Restaurant

Miley and I stopped for gas on the way home. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

As the song says, it winds from Chicago to L.A. An interesting piece of Americana that, as the country grew, has been bypassed by six-lane freeways. And with the freeways, people were less likely to stop at the stores, restaurants and motels in the little towns along Route 66. Many of these little towns are now ghost towns, or close to it.  Take Lundlow, CA, for example. My wife and I were "getting our kicks" in Ludlow last weekend. A photographers paradise, but otherwise not much there... abandoned buildings and homes. There is still a gas station, restaurant and motel, but that's about it. Side note: We were actually looking for the Bagdad Cafe (a great movie if you've never seen it). Although Bagdad was on my map, it doesn't seem to exist in real life. Almost like a Hollywood mirage. The next closest town is Ludlow, but no Bagdad Cafe there either. Turns out it's in Newberry Springs, which is now on our "places to go" list and hopefully a topic for a future post!

The view East
Abandoned buildings:

Abandoned cars:

Oh, and don't forget the desert sunsets!!
Linking to Skywatch Friday. Check it out to see 
great skies from around the world!  Also linking to 
Orange You Glad It's Friday over at Hood Photo Blog.