Saturday, December 29, 2012

Jeeping in Havasu

So yesterday we were bumping around in my sister's red Jeep in the desert out by Lake Havasu... beautiful canyons and rocks:

A drive along "Powerline Road":

A visit to an Indian graveyard:

View from the back seat... Brother-in-law driving:

Old desert trailers (I want one of these!):

A desert hummingbird getting ready to take flight:

And, my favorite shot... the red Jeep!
Cool ride, eh?? A great time was had by all! Linking this photo with 
Have a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Havasu Landing, Lake Havasu, CA

Took a night walk with my wife and Lap Dog Knits and her husband from their lake house at Havasu Landing down to the water for some night photography.  Hoping to capture some good night skies for Skywatch Friday. Wow, what a night... full or nearly full moon raising over the water, with the lights from Havasu City on the other side of the lake reflecting on the water... really pretty, perfect night for some moonlight photography!
16-35mm wide angle lense, 10 second exposure
24-70mm lens used for this shot... moon was just out of the frame. I like the moonlight reflected on the water.
View north towards the campground
View south towards the Landing
Lap Dog Knits and her Hubby, version #1...
And my favorite shot of the night, Lap Dog Knits and Hubby, version 2, enjoying a beautiful moon-rise!
If you celebrate Christmas, hoping it was a good one! Linking to Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from all over the world. Have a great weekend, and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Warm Afternoon Skywatch

I'm posting a photo from Oct. of this year, when the S. CA weather was a little warmer (ya, I know, it never really gets that cold here) and the beaches had a little more activity. Really thinking of those of you in colder climes... especially if you're in an area where you don't seen the sun very often in the winter... hoping you enjoy this photo. Click on it to view large for the full effect!!

This looks like a street scene, but it's not. These folks are walking on the Huntington Beach Pier at sunset. I love the activity of the people and the bird, and the yellow / orange sunset glow. I cropped the original image in a way that makes it hard to tell this is a pier.  Here's the original:

Linking to Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!  Not sure how much posting I'll have time for with the holidays upon us, so wishing you and your loved ones HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To the Cold Country and Back Again

I flew to Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting this AM. With all my desert travels and living in S CA, I sometimes forget how the other half live! Folks in Minneapolis are going to enjoy a wonderful white winter. I took the photo below outside the back door of my Courtyard by Marriott hotel last night. Brrrrr!
Here's a b&w photo of the view outside my window on the flight home today...
And a little later, the skies were beautiful as we were on final approach into Orange County airport...
Made it back to my house by about 4:15 PM, just in time to take the dog and my camera out for a quick hike and capture some sunset shots to post for Skywatch Friday! Ah, it's good to be home!!

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Zzyzx, CA

I have fond memories of Zzyzx from my college days at Cal State Fullerton. I was lucky enough to spend time there during overnight field trips (once for my Plant Ecology class with Dr. Jack Burk, but I think there was a second visit for another class). I remember the feeling of awe of the open desert, incredible remoteness from anything and everything, the strong impression of desert beauty... all emotions I still experience when I get out in the desert.

Technically, Zzyzx is located in the Mojave National Preserve, but just barely. Many travelers will be familiar with Zzyzx because they've seen the exit off the 15 Freeway on their travels to and from Las Vegas. Most will not have taken the time to turn off and explore, which is too bad. It's well worth the short drive... the first mile or so is paved, then another mile or so of dirt, but 4WD is not needed.
Zzyzx has achieved a certain pop culture status as well... the name has been used for two movie titles, multiple song titles (Zzyzx Road) and an album title. The common theme of both movies seems to be dead bodies. I'm not sure why dead bodies and the desert go together in the minds of script writers and film makers, but they do!
On our drive back from Death Valley this week, the sun was just setting as I saw the exit for Zzyzx and couldn't resist taking the turn-off for a couple quick photos. Click this link for more information on Zzyzx:
Standing water along Zzyzx Road... very unusual in the desert!
A two image panorama shot... gives a truer view of the beautiful desert vista seen from Zzyzx Road
Three image pano shot... even better for sharing the open vista!
Sharing these beautiful desert skies on Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to see great skies from around the world. Have a great weekend, and hope you have time to take some photos!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Death Valley Coyote

We just returned from an overnight stay in Death Valley and I'm in awe of the natural beauty of this area!! This was our first visit, and we didn't even scratch the surface of this incredible place. Repeat visits are in order!
On the drive back today, we were in a really remote section of Death Valley (well, it's all pretty darn remote!) and saw a coyote on the side of the road. My wife was driving, I asked her to turn the car around in hopes of getting a photo, and the strangest thing happened after getting the car turned. Instead of the coyote trotting off into the desert, as usually happens, it started running directly towards us! 

It came right up to the car, and I was able to get some great photos (no cropping necessary!). Quite a thrill getting this close and personal with a coyote.  Isn't he a beaut?