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Feb 292012
 

I know Las Vegas is quite polarizing.  It’s known as sin city by many; gaudy, too bright, corrupt, etc.  Yet, it’s such a desired destination by so many others.  Whether for gambling or live entertainment or something else it attracts huge crowds of people.  So, are these adult theme parks sacrilege or modern contemporary art?  I didn’t spend a dime on gambling but I sure appreciated the architecture.  What a visual blast!

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 Venus over Luxor  February 29, 2012  Las Vegas Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Feb 272012
 

It seems that a cow is content with what is.  Sun, wind, rain, cold, heat, they always just seem to go about their business, usually eating, in whatever conditions life brings them.  There must be a lesson in there somewhere.  We humans are so busy rushing from here to there, filling our plate, adding to an already busy life, trying to get more and more done.  Cows just seem to fit in.  And when they find a fresh bed of soft hay in amongst the old farm implements… well, I guess that’s just a little piece of heaven.

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 At Home in the Hay  February 27, 2012  Rural Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Feb 252012
 

On my last morning in Death Valley I decided to walk out onto the badwater basin.  It’s the lowest land point in the U.S.  I arrived there when still dark and just started walking out onto the crusty salt deposits.  I can imagine it gets suffocatingly hot out there in the summer, but this day in Feb. it was just perfect.  For an hour I only saw one other person, another photographer, of course.  Who else would be out there, just hanging out, watching the dawn emerge.  It’s quite incredible, though, with the hexagonal salt patterns and the shear immensity of the valley floor rising into incredible mountain ranges on both sides, the suns creeping slowly up.  Still, quiet, grandeur.

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Feb 232012
 

I was heading home from SFO one day when I decided to take the long way back through San Francisco; along the Great Highway paralleling the Pacific Ocean.  With so many great neighborhoods and iconic structures in the City sometimes I forget about the ocean side.  I’d never seen these kite surfers before and it was fascinating to stop and watch them.  There was a fresh ocean breeze blowing and I imagine you’d have to be pretty strong to ride the waves this way.  I’m not sure if this guy had had enough or was just taking a break before heading out again.  Have you ever kite surfed?

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Feb 202012
 

Going from Death Valley to Las Vegas is about as opposite an experience as there is.  The quiet and vastness of the Valley replaced by the taut lines and visual overload of the Strip.  And ,wow, is it ever visual!  Yes, color and flash everywhere you go, but also uniquely artistic in a way that doesn’t happen like this in the U.S. any more.  I guess the hotel/casino owners make enough money from the masses that they can afford to design in something a bit more artisan.  This shot just happens to throw a bit of natures beauty into the visual mix.  It was rather cloudy when I went into Caesars Palace to explore.  When I came out an hour later, many of the clouds had parted.  Those that hadn’t yet made a perfect reflective mirror for the setting sun.

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Feb 182012
 

Well, I’m back from Death Valley and Las Vegas.  The conditions were great for making photos.  Beautiful mid 70’s in Death Valley and not too cold in Vegas.  I’ll post a few photos from each of those places here in the days to come but they won’t be up in the galleries pages for a while yet.

 

Death Valley is so huge.  Where to go, where to be?   I had not been up to Dante’s view yet and knew I wanted to be there one evening.  The temperature in the valley was just right all day, but Dante’s view is up the mountain side at an elevation of 5475 feet.  It was 25 degrees cooler up there than in the valley!  Luckily there wasn’t much wind.  But the views… awesome in all directions!  I love being up high and having the perspective of looking down on the scene below me.  There’s a large viewing area right in front of the parking lot, but it’s also possible to hike a little way in either direction to find that perfect spot for being with the elements and the shear magnificence and wonder of this special place.

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View many more images and galleries of Death Valley at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks

Feb 072012
 

This will be my last post here for about 10 days.  See you back here then with some new stuff!

The Colorado River is so cold!  But not this luscious, silky welcome relief of water.  A group of us had been rafting down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon for almost 2 weeks.  Now the days were beautiful but the water was cold and we hadn’t had a warm shower the whole time; until we stopped at Travertine creek.  Wow!  A warm waterfall to frolic and play in.  It seemed like it washed away two weeks of cold water in just seconds.  What a wonderfully playful and blessed time we had there!

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Feb 052012
 

When I was up in the Big Pine Lakes area of the Sierras last summer I became mesmerized by the brilliance of the night sky.  Being alone in the mountains at night at 11,000 feet can be an exhilarating experience; especially with no moon to give at least some light to the area.  So… the stars became my friends.  With the long exposure time of the photo you can really see the different color of each star shine forth.

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Feb 022012
 

Have I mentioned before that I like a good storm?  Well, I do.  A couple of years ago we had a tsunami warning on the west coast so I  thought I’d drive the half hour out and check it out for myself.  The coastal beach rangers were trying to keep everyone off the beaches, just in case, but alas, it never showed up.  But the weather was just awesome enough to let the waves form.  And it was just windy enough to create some real power over the wave crests.  It was a gorgeous day!

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