Tuesday, May 8, 2018

California Poppies

brighten up our town and countryside:

The pictures are from 2012, when I took a day to explore the countryside around here. It looks just as lovely this year, poppies are everywhere except for in the the canyon. No flowers here at all, just some low growing weeds. I'm not even sure I will need the tractor/mower guy to come this year. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Morning Reflections

These ancient apple trees live in a windy place, they are twisted and gnarly, but every spring they bloom. They remind me of an old Swede who lives through the dark and cold winter, a bit twisted and gnarly from a long life. When spring comes you'll find him on a park bench, his head lifted to the bright sunshine. Smiling......

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Death Valley

One clear and bright day during Christina's visit, we set out for Death Valley. We were going to meet Christina's friends from when they all lived in Brazil, many years ago. 

We were to meet them for lunch at the Furnace Creek Inn, recently renovated and renamed The Oasis at Death Valley. Never having seen an oasis before, this was quite an experience for me. But first we had to drive through a part of the valley to get there. 

It was winter, there were no flowers, no heat, nothing much really, except for this wonderful desert place, surrounded by mountains. We stopped here by the sand dunes at Stovepipe Wells. 

Since our main objective was to meet friends and have lunch, we didn't seek out any of Death Valley's famous tourist spots. We drove by a sign that said Scotty's Castle was closed due to flooding. Many parts of Death Valley were flooded in the fall of 2015, in the same storms that caused the mudslides on our route 58 and the mudflow in my backyard.

Few cars were on the road, leaving a deserted 

landscape for me to enjoy. 

Then we arrived and what a place it was. More so because it appeared suddenly, like any true oasis should.

Christina's friends, who drove here from their home in Las Vegas, were lovely people. We had a nice lunch and it was clear how glad they were that we had made the effort to meet up with them. I even had to explain that since Christina was such a great driver and since I had always wanted to see Death Valley it was no effort at all.

Built in 1927, the inn was beautiful, the food good, and the grounds spectacular. 

Here I tried to capture the pools and ponds at the foot of the hill, and managed to cut off the tops of the very tall palm trees that surrounded them. 

Not my best pictures, but while in all this greenery I came down with the worst case of my non-allergic (called vasomotor rhinitis) runny nose and eyes condition since I left Los Angeles. As soon as we left, I was fine again. 

We came upon several signs that told us we were at sea level, then the road would continue down to below sea level a bit. The lowest point in Death Valley at 282 ft (86m) below sea level is called Badwater Basin. It's the lowest point in 
North America. Another place we didn't see, but it would have been fun. 

But it was fun to know that Christina and her friends got a chance to visit. They will see each other again this summer in Sweden, so there was talk of that and plans to be made.  

We left by a different route, which made the trip so much more interesting and complete for me. Christina drove all the way, I tried to take pictures. We stopped here, to document an about 5,000 ft. trip up from sea level. 

Then my old camera started acting up again, which was a shame as we soon after this came upon some interesting stuff in the road, as well as great views of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains.


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