Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Walk Around the Neighborhood

Here's a quick tour of some of the homestead cabins within a half mile of our house in 29 Palms. There are actually a couple I missed, but this will give you a flavor of the little desert cabins in my neighborhood.
This little pink brick cabin is owned by our neighbors directly behind us. Neighbor Bob is in his early 90's and uses this house mainly for storage (the main house is just to the right of this photo). He keeps an eye on our place when we're not there, and maintains our local sandy roads so they don't get too badly rutted. A super guy! The cabin has been well maintained over the years and is in very good condition. Great location, too!

This little homestead is in the best location possible... The property line along the back side of the parcel is the fence for Joshua Tree National Park! This photo doesn't do it justice. A better angle would show the beautiful "Wonderland of Rocks" in JTNP directly to the south. It's currently owned and well maintained, although not being lived in. Too bad, you could rent this out on weekends for quite a bit!

Well, no cabin in this photo. I just like the look of this old, mangled yucca plant I came across during my walk!

This red brick homestead cabin is directly across from my neighbor above me. It's been abandoned for a long time. Too bad, it's got great potential with awesome views and very close to the JTNP border. Do I sound like a realtor??

Just to the west of the above cabin, this one is nestled in the rocks in a beautiful location with great views. I'm afraid it's likely too far gone to rebuild. Also, no water or electricity, so it would be very expensive to rehab.

My last photo of the night. Fortunately I had my tripod for this one-second exposure taken well after sunset. This little homestead is just below (north) of the above cabin. The owners have totally rebuilt it but have kept all the original walls and dimensions. It still looks just like the original. Nestled in the rocks with great views, close to the Park, and no close neighbors... I'm jealous!

Hope you enjoyed my little tour of the desert cabins in my neighborhood. I was fortunate to enjoy a beautiful sunset as I was hiking around taking these photos, so linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world. Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Moon + Contrail

I was taking late afternoon moon shots a couple weeks ago as this contrail was drifting across the sky. Lucky timing for me, as I was all set up (telephoto lens and tripod) to capture it! Kind of interesting looking, don't you think??

Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world, and thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's Around the Corner??

I'm picking up the theme from my last post. As a refresh, I posted on San Onofre State Beach. It's a beautiful, isolated beach that has a strong feel of "old California" (think "surfing safari" and Gidget movies... and how beaches looked prior to the building and population explosion that has left most of S. CA crowded and over-built... but I digress.

Probably a little anticlimactic for the locales (because they all know this already!), but as you head down this beautiful stretch of coastline, you suddenly see (drum roll please)... the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. It's a strange feeling coming upon such a huge, intimidating structure in an otherwise secluded stretch of beach.
This nuclear plant is now decommissioned due to "premature wear" in steam generators that were less than five years old. A very controversial topic is "Who is responsible?" and how much should taxpayers (me) and electricity purchasers (me again) have to pay for this mishap??  Sorry, I digress again...
Does this qualify as a fence??  Perhaps more of a barricade!
These signs were posted up and down the power plant area. Since the plant has been shut down for a while, I figured nobody would much care about a guy wandering up and down the beach taking pictures. Wrong again! Shortly after taking this photo, I heard a loudspeaker: "You on the beach... no photography allowed. Please leave the beach immediately". Evidently big brother is watching!! I figured I better do as I was told, so starting hiking back in the direction I came. But not before taking a couple more photos!

I was really fortunate to have some dramatic skies on the day I took these shots.
Linking with Skywatch Friday and Good Fences.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

San Onofre State Beach

Even though I've lived in S. CA most of my life and have explored most of our local beaches, I've only been to San Onofre beach a couple of times. It's somewhat hidden from the masses, but it's like stepping back in time. Before San Onofre became a state beach, you had to be a member of the San Onofre Surfing Club to ride waves at this spot. To this day, it feels like you've entered a private beach. There are personal touches all over... everything from carved tiki statues to custom built benches and surfboard totems. I have no idea who maintains all this stuff, or who built it to begin with (I'm pretty sure it's not the State of California!), and it's very cool that nobody messes with it.

I was in San Diego on business a few weeks ago and, knowing my meeting would end around 2 PM, packed my camera gear. I was lucky... we had rain that morning and some great clouds mixed with blue sky worked to enhance my photos. It was a weekday after a rain, so the beach was nearly empty. Actually, it was closed (I parked in a lot next to the closed gate and made the short hike in). Hoping those of you in frigid climes will enjoy these photos (taken in December, 2014).
Just look at the surfboard up in the sky to see which direction the wind is blowing!
Just give me a firepit, a picnic table, and a beautiful beach.  What more do you need?? 
Surfboard, totem, rock-lined gardens... feels like you are in somebody's back yard!

Surfboard racks on the left... shower straight ahead!
If you continue walking to the far end of San Onofre State Beach, there is a surprise waiting for you. Can you guess what it is? I'll post again in a few days with photos of what you'll see as you continue your journey down this beautiful stretch of coastline.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul - Philadelphia

I've been in Philadelphia all week. This was the view from my hotel window (shot through window glass using my iPhone). The moon was setting just around sunrise, which made for some beautiful skies!
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!!