Jul 282013


The Spanish Dagger Yucca plant with fruit.  I was reading about how to eat these fruit… and one of the advise given was to leave the ones out of reach for the birds… since they like the seeds… and using a step ladder in the desert is unwise.


Jul 212013

Kuehn Road Closed 1756

Carl and I went to Blythe for a cup of coffee yesterday… needed the caffeine after the previous nights thunder boomers… on the way back we got off the highway at Dome Rock Road and then after talking about some new rumored development going on, we stayed straight on Kuehn Road to check it out. Well… we weren’t thinking about the wash flowing… and we came across this road block. Isn’t it pretty? This was taken at 3:15pm.

Jul 212013

Tyson Wash 1755

About 3am Saturday morning we woke to a terrific thunder and lightening… and rain. The wash filled and was still flowing well at 11:30 am (when I finally went out to see what it looked like… was very tired from lack of sleep!).

Later in the day we took another look — this is what it looked like at 3:30pm:
Tyson Wash at 3-30pm 1757

You can see the cement sewer openings again and there is a lot less water under the bridge.  (I should have stood in the same, but I had a different camera with me on the second picture and didn’t think about it until I started working on the photos last night.)

Anyway, this is where we usually start off our ATV trips (see here) since we have to entrances from our park into the wash and from the wash we can get most anywhere for great adventure. But not on days like this! Not unless we add a kayak to our toy collection. But even then it would have to be a quick trip since it is only a temporary river.

Jul 152013

twister 1753

I caught this dust devil while we were coming back from Joshua Tree National Park yesterday. We were on the western end of I-10 driving about 80 mph (speed limit is 75 mph). I guess all my years of taking pictures from a moving car have paid off!  Not to mention a little help from Aperture to correct for the tinted window… and Topaz Clarity.

A dust devil, like a tornado, is a weather phenomenon. Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado. According to Wikipedia,  certain conditions increase the likelihood of dust devil formation: Continue reading »

Jul 142013

NIght Ride Home 1753

I have not been using the Topaz setting Spicify. I know lots love this tool but I always found it too severe. Well after my week of tutorials (I know how to have a good time on vacation!) I decided to not be so afraid of it. If the tutorials have taught me anything, it is that the settings are just a starting point. I tweaked this one within Topaz and then more in Aperture. I’m still more comfortable adjusting colors in Aperture than in either Topaz or PSE.

Last week of June, Carl and I set out for a night ride on the ATV to see if this was a way to enjoy the desert without the heat. Anyway, we decided this was not such a good idea as one can not really see all that well in the dark… we realized the dangers when we mistook a landmark (remember this tree?) and just veered slightly to the right rather than to the left and could have gone crashing down a cliff-like embankment.

The title refers to one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, which always comes to mind around the 4th of July.

Jul 142013

i-60 1752

After the rains on Thursday, we took a road trip to Surprise, AZ to pick up a few things at Trader Joe’s. We take the old route 60 rather than I-10, which is very scenic and offers better gas mileage for our Prius. I always love when we get the part of the trip where we start to see the layer of mountains in the distance. Normally, it is clear blue skies. These monsoon clouds added an extra layer to the landscape .