Saturday, October 6, 2018

Salton Sea Beach, CA - A Worn Out Beach Town

Salton Sea Beach is on the west side of the Salton Sea, California.  This is a worn town with inhabitants.  We stopped here to get interesting sea salt rotted photographs, but opted to keep moving.

Borrego Springs, CA - Anza Borrego State Park

On the way to the week in Fallbrook, California the road took us through Anza Borrego State Park.  This is the largest state park in California and the second largest in the contiguous states.  It is one of my "grand bloom" spots for the future and I wanted to drive through to get an idea on what was here.

Most of the time was spent with the giant metal sculptures, but I will share this one Badlands view.  The top photo is my trusty red Jeep with the Salton Sea in the background.

The bottom photo is a shot of the Badlands.  Nicknamed "the California Grand Canyon" it has access from a four mile drive over sand.  I took this view from a lookout point on the east side of the park.

Galetta Meadows, CA - Giant Metal Sculptures

This is art and one needs to see it all to appreciate it.  There are 150 sculptures in and around Borrego Springs, California.  We saw about 1/3 of them. Here are some of my favorites.

We stopped at the Anza Borrego California State Park for a park map and information about the artworks.  The rangers gave us a map with dots all over the town.  We drove north on Borrego Springs Road until we thought that we had totally missed them.  I pulled the Jeep to the side of the road and we consulted the map.  When we looked up, we could see brown structures in the distance.  "There they are!"  You turn off the main roads on to any number of sand roads and in to a big field.  And the adventure begins as you drive around and over and back again.

There were camels.

 And what to me looked like an elephant with a squid face.

 More elephant squid things.

 A grasshopper and a scorpion.

 A view from the driver's seat.  Jeep in 4WD!! Woohooo!
 And "The Giant Sea Serpent", the one that I was looking for.

 There are 150...150!!! This is an amazing stop.

The story behind all of this?  The owner of the private estate "Galetta Meadows Estate", Dennis Avery, decided that he wanted to add free standing art to his massive property.  He enlisted the help of Ricardo Breceda who began crafting these amazing sculptures and they started to pop up around the desert. Mr. Breceda often claims that he is done creating the sculptures but then another one pops up in the barren landscape and the speculation continues.  Source for the owner paragraph:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Gilbert, Arizona - Spring at the Riparian

I joined a group from Arizona Night Photographers this morning on a photo walk at Gilbert Riparian.   While 4:30 am comes around very early, it was good to get out as the sun was starting to rise and the animals were beginning the morning routines.

This is a summary of my photographs with some spring color especially for those who have spent this spring in a bit too much snow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Phoenix, Arizona - Scottish Highland Games

The Scottish Highland Games are held by the Caledonian Society of Arizona.  This year 2018 the event was held at Steele Indian School Park for two days in the beginning of March.  There were many food booths, entertainment, and "heavy athletics" with both women and men divisions.  The general idea is to throw the furthest, the highest, and carry the furthest.  Interesting event with a lot to see and eat.  And a note on parking for next year.  I drove around the park but there were no spaces.  Then I saw a sign that a free shuttle was running from Park Central and decided to go there.  You can also take the Metro Light Rail because it stops near the entrance to Steele Indian School Park.  $20 entrance fee for adults and then discounts for children, seniors and military.

This is a grouping of the practice for the women's events on throwing various items.

Kilt study.

This event involved carrying this huge pole the furthest.
 This is a swing it around then let it fly event.  Furthest wins, not the highest.
 Time to break out the Scottish attire for the weekend.
 Another "swing it and throw it" event with the participants queued waiting for their turn.

 This event was a hay barrel toss.  You make it over the bar, you go to the next round.
 Higher and higher the bar went.  Crazy!
It was a beautiful day and a fun event.  This was my first "Scottish Highland Games" and to those who were asking throughout the day via text messaging, no, I did not find Jamie.  (Outlander fan question).

Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona - Early Morning Photo Adventure

I was awake before dawn and decided to take a local photo tour to capture dramatic lighting and early mornings sights.  I incorporated my black and white photography work in to this trip.

I had my smaller lens because I intended to only work on landscapes. But when I saw this beautiful bird in Papago Park, I had to quietly approach it to get close enough for a photograph.  I was ready to take this "bird in take off position" type of photograph.
 This is a view of Papago Park.  Today it is a municipal park in Phoenix and Tempe.  The area is know for the desert plants and the geological formations.  It is a former national monument (1914) but the ownership was transferred to Arizona in 1930.
 This is the First Solar office building.  It is interesting with the top part of the wall leaning away from the main part of the building.
 This is the new Salt River Project (SRP) office building.  This is a stunning lobby with the neon artworks.

This photo is taken on the opposite side of Tempe Town Lake and shows the magnificent new buildings in Tempe.

Dark time lighting makes one notice areas that had gone unnoticed before.  This is an area under the  202 Freeway that is used to store racing boats.  A few of the teams were practicing on Tempe Town Lake.