Friday, March 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday 03/27/09

From the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, taken at sunset 03/10/09.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yep, It's Spring

I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow on the hills behind us.

 Just in time for Tom's return from California, where he's been h

Friday, March 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday 03/20/09

It's so nice to finally be getting home before dark again.  Happy Equinox, everyone!
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Emerald Isle?

No, just Southern Oregon wearin' the (misty) green.

Happy St Paddy's Day.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Consider Them Beautiful

I know that in some areas there have been outcries against wind farms.  There are a number of windmills up on the Columbia River Gorge which have generated debate.  For me: well, I am rather addicted to having electricity.  My computers need it.  And I have seen more than enough of coal-fired plants and their pollution.  Wind power is clean.  Wind power is beautiful.  Think of them as an addition to the scenery rather than a detraction from it.  Clean, white, elegant arms which reach for the sky.

Silhouettes against the skyline between Bakersfield and Tehachapi.

  There is a large wind farm across the road (Indian Canyon) from Mom and Dad's place in North Palm Springs. A plus is that means less population growth in the area for the immediate future. The windmills are quiet and peaceful neighbors.

(Yes, it does say "Enron".)

View from the Motel 6, Interstate 10 just off Indian Canyon Drive.

And seen from Mom and Dad's patio (barbecue in bottom left).

I'm posting the picture below just because I like it.  This freight train was snaking her way through the hills between Tehachapi and Bakersfield.  The countryside is lush and green in early spring.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

4004 BC

Surprising that was long enough to turn ancient forests into stone.

 Yes, these logs are solid rock.


And look, we also found the place where the lunar landing and the Mars rover images were faked.

 Images from Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert National Park, Arizona.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Red Rocks

Traci told us how beautiful Sedona is. The place, that is . . . though the dog is certainly colorful too.

 The pictures above were taken from outside of town, the one below from the balcony of The Wildflower Bread Company where we had lunch.  Highly recommended.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ruins and Cacti

The Casa Grande Ruins are only about a half hour from Traci's house.  Fascinating to think of people building 3- and 4-story dwellings of clay in pre-Columbian times.

 Flowering cactus seen at Casa Grande.

 Giant saguaro dot the landscape on the back road into Phoenix.

  Montezuma's Castle, one of many cliff-dwellings in the reg ion.

Ladders. Very tall ladders.

 And another dwelling at the same site: this one lower on the cliff and not as pristine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

Just up the road from North Palm Springs lies a national park we hadn't been to before.  Joshua trees may be extinct due to climate change within the next century, so we decided that we needed to see them now.  What we found was not just the strange desert trees, but fantastic vistas and fascinating rocks.

Catherine?  More "bouldering" in your future?

See our cute little Element sitting by a rock?

 A rock-climbers Mecca.  Look closely at the little dot at the top right of the rock below:

  And look into the little round hole toward the bottom of the middle rock.

The climbing faces on the rock below have names:

I took a picture of the sign with the names:

Mom and Dad: pack some water, pack a picnic lunch, and go for a drive.  Take the west entrance at the town of Joshua Tree and then come out at Twenty-Nine Palms.  No walking is required in order to see some beautiful scenery.  It's well worth the day-trip.