Friday, September 17, 2010

Palm Desert, Joshua Tree Sunset, and an Arizona Sunrise

I begin this large gallery with a few photos from my aforementioned jaunt to Palm Springs, to see an old friend and lubricate my anxieties.  Kim and Anji invited me to their client-furnished condo in the Palm Valley Country Club.  Nice digs...ended up staying for two nights and could have stayed a week.  Alas, I still have some responsibilities (and appointments, sigh) back home.

With old buddy, Kim...

...and new buddy, Anji.  Can I call her your fiance?  Whut's that, Kim?

The extent of the day's physical activities.

It's amazing what you can do with a desert when you add water.

Venus and the moon set among the palms.

Checking in back home, I got permission to stretch my time another night on the road.  Saturday afternoon I headed into Joshua Tree National Monument via the Berdoo Canyon 4-wheel drive road.  I didn't find the canyon to be particularly scenic though it was a surprisingly quick journey into the heart of the area.

These whimsical plants provide a variety of photo-ops.

It's just parched bushes on a rocky hillside of basalt.

The road to Keys View passes through a dense and mature stand of Joshua trees.

Keys View rises almost a mile over the Palm Springs Valley.  This evening there are some two dozen folks waiting for the sunset.  This composition is a voyueristic theme of mine; photos of family photos.  I don't know who any of them are but the two young women are with a group of 20-year olds...their conversation indicates some disadain for freshmen and they do a light-hearted rendition of "America the Beautiful."  The two women also played model for the designated photographer of their group, a lucky young man given the combination of pretty faces and golden light.

It's a bit disconcerting to realize that the cloud bank on the horizon is actually a blanket of smog blowing over from Los Angeles.  But, hey, you take what you get.

Dramatic 'mares tails' fly in the sky above.

It's only a few moments from this photo to the next...a dramatic storm cell has developed far to the south.  The Salton Sea can be seen in the basin below.

Not bad for a hand-held shot.

That's it for Joshua morning, and after a couple of rest stops, I was 300 miles east waiting for the morning light of an Arizona sunrise.

Arizona did not disappoint.

Morning glory (sacred datura) grows by the wayside.
It's said to be a potent narcotic, but also a deadly one.

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