Friday, January 18

Death Valley Dunes

Just do me a favor and click on this pan to get a bigger picture. It's a view of the eastside of Panamint Valley from the Panamint Dunes at the north end.  In the distance, you can see Lake Hill, a volcanic structure sitting in the dry lake bed. We were out there for the last weekend of 2012.
I love that walk. We didn't have the best light on the dunes that weekend but it is a pleasure to be out there looking around anyway. I'll go again in the spring, I think.

When we came away from Panamint Dunes, we headed for Stovepipe Wells for two nights. On Monday morning we went to Mesquite Dunes for first light.  My friend Thom got a terrific shot of the rhythmically undulating dunes. That sent me back to my own collection to see if I had anything to compare and I found I could work up this image. Thom's is way better.
You can see a few more shots in my Picasa collection.

Monday, January 14

New Year's Morning - Zabriskie Peak

Happy New Year

I can watch this two minute video again and again, following the changing light, the marching clouds, the shuffiling crowd.  If you look very closely, you will see hikers on the trail moving away from Zabriskie Point and then to the left and in the distance on a crest of the trail. They are heading for the Golden Canyon trailhead.   
That was a great spot to catch the first light of 2013.

Saturday, January 12

Winter in LA

Finally we are having a little winter here in Los Angeles!
For the last few days, I have been glad to have lunch dates with friends because, besides the good company, that meant sitting down indoors to eat. Typically, I take a light lunch to work and find a sunny spot to sit outside. Walking about at midday on Thursday and Friday was a Chicago-like experience with crazy-cold wind. Definitely not good for al fresco dining.
But today we have a reprieve. It is sunny and clear enough to cut your finger if you reach out to the mountains. A few minutes ago, I took the trash out and stopped to turn some kitchen trimmings into the worm pit. I was perfectly comfortable in a sweatshirt. Lingering in the garden, I noticed that the fig tree is almost nude but a few hold-out figs are stubbornly hanging on, waiting for a little ripening warmth. January sunshine may be pretty but it's not much good for figs.
Now, as I write this, I see outside my dining room window, the manzanita is blooming little white bells in the musky green. A hummingbird is looking for a taste of something sweet. There are bumble bees stirring things up, too. You have to appreciate the SoCal Winter.

I have Death Valley photos coming soon. In the meantime, this is the last moonset for 2012.