A Desert Oasis

The Palm Desert in southern California is home to Palm Springs and famous as a golf resort and winter oasis. It is also the home to Indian Canyons. It is not a national park since the park is on an Indian Reservation. In 1876 and 1877, the U.S. Federal Government created a deed in trust to the Agua Caliente people of 31,500 acres for their homeland. The tribe takes care of the park with assistance from California.

There are many different hikes and canyons and it is worth the short drive from Palm Springs to see the wonder of a desert oasis. We were there after a heavy rain and it was lush and green but also some of the trails were washed out.

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A Desert Oasis

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Mountain Textures

My cousin in Los Angeles seemed confused when I told him we were planning to drive to Las Vegas for a couple of days. Oh he understood the occasional need to go to Las Vegas but couldn’t imagine why anyone in their rights mind would drive instead of fly. Especially when I told him we had done the drive before. He has lived in Los Angeles for all of his life and can’t say Desert without putting the word stinking in front of it. He looked at me with confusion when I asked him what to see in The Mojave Desert.

For me, every terrain offers unique challenges and opportunities. Every time I am in the Desert I find the photographic challenges to be unique and also rewarding. It is too bright, too stark and kind of boring. However those very features provide unique opportunities. The drive is hot and tiring but worth it as long as you never stop in Prim Nevada.

This image was taken at Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas.

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Mountain Textures

My Smithsonian Contest Entries

To date I have submitted 23 entries in to this years Smithsonian Photo Contest. You can review my entries by following this link

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Ghost Ship

Pittsburgh Day Lily 2018

Each year I try to publish images of the best blooms form our garden in Regent Square. Somehow, this one fell through the cracks. So even though the bloom is long gone, we can still enjoy its vibrant color.

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Pittsburgh Day Lily 2018

Memphis Tennessee

Memphis is situated along the banks of the Mississippi River just across the border of Arkansas and only miles from Mississippi. It is a city of about 650,000 and ranks sixth in The United States asa center for African Americans. About 65% of the people in Memphis are African American and it shapes the culture and history of the city.

Of course Memphis is known for an unfortunate event in our history; the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I believe every citizen needs to visit Memphis to experience the emotion of the National Civil Rights Museum. It also important in the history of the Blues. See it performed on Beal Street or explore the history at Stax Records or Sun Studio. Also enjoy some amazing food and barbecue. A great place to visit and explore some original American culture.

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Memphis Skyline

Memphis Skyline

Memphis Skyline

Beal Street

In Austin it is six street, in New Orleans it is Bourbon Street, in Chicago it is Rush Street and in Memphis it is Beal Street. This is where you go if you want to hear live Music and in most places it is blues music that you will hear.

Memphis is a famous Music City. Most people think of Nashville when they think of live music which is fine if you like country music. However, Memphis is the birth place of soul. Stax Records was known as Soulsville USA and Sun Records is where Elvis Presley and many others recorded.

In 1956 B.B, King moved from Mississippi to Memphis and founded his own record label, Blues Boys Kingdom, with headquarters at Beale Street in Memphis. He opened his first Blues Club on Beal Street which is still serving live music and Barbecue.

After his death B.B. King’s body was flown to Memphis. A funeral procession went down Beale Street, with a brass band marching in front of the hearse, playing When the Saints Go Marching In. Thousands lined the streets to pay their last respects. His body was then driven down Route 61 to his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi.

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Beal Street Memphis

Beal Street Memphis

Beal Street Memphis

The Memphis Queen

My wife and I met on a River Boat 50 years ago. It was a paddlewheel ship called the The Gateway Party Liner in Pittsburgh. It was a party cruise with Archie Bell and The Drells. So it seemed right that visiting Memphis as tourists we should take a cruise on The Mississippi River.

We boarded The Memphis Queen and cruised down river a little bit to the south. We then turned and headed North and cruised under the bridges crossing the Mississippi learning the history of rivers boats on the Mississippi. We also learned a lot about the history and culture of Memphis in the 90 minute cruise. It was fun and inexpensive.

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The Memphis Queen