Bandit and Shadow

Before returning home to Pittsburgh we lived in a mountain community in the Pocono Mountains. Our current dog is not well socialized yet and doesn’t do well at dog parks. But Shadow knew how to play and he would play with Bandit until they both fell over exhausted. I miss the show these two would put on and never once hurt each other.

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Bandit and Shadow

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

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

Beautiful Barstow California

Not every place in California is beautiful. However even the Mohave Desert that runs between Pasadena and Las Vegas has some beautiful and unusual spots. Barstow however is not one of them.

It lies about halfway between the two cities and a lot of people stop there for gas, food, and Alien Beef Jerky. It is a town famous for UFO sightings.

Around town you will notice drawings of aliens and strange men drawn on deserted buildings. There are many of them. This is an abandoned gas station on the outskirts of town. In my opinion, it’s best to drive through Barstow and stop at Peggy Sue’s Diner.

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Barstow CA

Mountain Wetlands

Maple Swamp located in the Delaware National Forest of Pennsylvania is labeled a swamp on the maps. However, people who live in or near swamps prefer to cal them wetlands . In all four seasons they look different. I think they provide beautiful scenes in the autumn.

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Mountain Wetlands

Pocono Boat Dock

This is a boat dock on Hemlock Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pike County Pennsylvania. The image was captured in 2013 and edited in 2017.

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Pocono Boat Dock

Another View from Indian Canyons

Recently I posted about Indian Canyons. That post featured a view along Murray Canyon Trail.
This view was taken from the foot of Palm Canyon Trail. in the background are the San Jacinto Mountains.

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Another View from Indian Canyons

Goal Post Cactus

These two large cactus seem to act as a goal post for the other cactus. The setting sun provides an interesting back lighting making what was beautiful seem somewhat sinister and spooky.

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Goal Post Cactus

Goal Post Cactus

Indian Canyons California

Palm Springs is surrounded by the San Jacinto Mountains on the western side of the city and leading up to the mountains are the world famous Indian Canyons.. There are a variety of hiking trails and while many are strenuous, less serious hikers can also find suitable trails. Palm Canyon is the most popular but we hiked the Murray Canyon Trail.

We couldn’t make it back to the waterfall because of the violent storms that preceded our hike. It was a beautiful day and the palm trees in the desert made me think of the desert oasis I was reading about in the novel,The Alchemist .

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Indian Canyons California

Indian Canyons California

San Jacinto Mountains.

I remember first hearing about Palm Springs on the Edwin R. Murrow Television show Person to Person. That show was my first exposure to Murrow. I don’t know which star he was interviewing, maybe it was William Holden, but we were riveted to our ten inch black and white TV like we were every Sunday. I was amazed that they were sitting at a pool in swimwear but it was the winter in Cleveland (freezing,cold,tons of snow) and they were sitting at a pool and looking at the snow on the surrounding mountains.

What a magical place I thought.

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sierras