Desert Fountains

One expects the desert to have little water. Of course that’s true. Try driving the back roads from California to Nevada if you need proof. However people who own property in the Palm Springs area seem obsessed with water. Small houses will frequently have fountains and large resorts have many water features from large fountains on golf courses to small little ones in gardens. Here are a couple from our recent trip.

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Desert Fountains

Desert Fountains

The Miniature Trains at The Living Desert

One of the great surprises of The Living Desert in Palm Springs was the extensive miniature railroad exhibit. I have always loved miniature railroads. I have a great set as a kid and have seen some amazing exhibits. The exhibits at the Barnum Museum in Sarasota, at The Science Center in Pittsburgh and The science and Industry Museum in Chicago are unbelievable However, the one at The Living Desert in Palm Desert California is truly unique.

The exhibit is outdoors and is almost an acre large It consists of more than 3,300 feet of track, six different loops and a variety of trains in different gauges. There are all sorts of surprises in this exhibit including Most Rushmore. I imagine the fact that it is outdoors creates all sorts of maintenance costs. Throughout the exhibits are miniature road signs of the corporate sponsors.

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Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Desert Textures

Some people think the desert is ugly. It looks dry and lifeless. Some of it is pretty rough. We drove from Palm Desert to Nevada and the lan truly looked dead. It is one of the most desolate drives I have ever taken. Truly no country for old me. It is surprising though when you stop you notice all kinds of life. Even when we stopped in the Mohave desert we saw lots of life. Not dead but a different type of beauty.

This image was taken in The Living Desert and the textures of the desert plants provide a different sort of beauty.

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Desert Textures

Desert Textures

The Tuscan Island of Elba

Our cruise ship, The Azamara Pursuit was a small luxury cruise liner. Because of that we could visit smaller ports that can’t be reached by the large cruise ships.

When The Pursuit docked in Portoferraio it was the largest ship in the harbor and the only cruise liner there on that day. This made our stay on Elba more enjoyable. Portoferraio is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful and filled with shops, cafe’s and beautiful beaches.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Portoferraio

Portoferraio

Polo Final

This will be my last post about Polo. Well at least until I attend another match. We had a great time seeing a match at the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio California during our last visit to the Palm Desert. Here are some images from the match.

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Hummingbird Vignette

Hummingbirds are difficult to photograph. They move very fast. Also to get them in the wild, away from a feeder presents an optical challenge. They tend to disappear in to the foliage of the plants they feed on. In this case I used a vignette to make the bird stand out however you still can’t see the fast beating wings.

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Hummingbird