Finally Friday and I'm all but caught up on my images for the last week, phew. I thought I'd share a few more from my trip to Joshua Tree NP if that's okay. I went looking for gallery shots and am really happy with all the images I got that day.
This is one of a few entrances into the Cholla Garden. I loved this view and if you view in full screen I promise you'll feel like you are on the trail with me.
In bloom these cacti are so beautiful but be careful not to get to close. Their needles are very fine and ball like pieces fall off which are then carried by the wind. If you get stuck I've been told they actually go all the way into your skin so it's incredibly difficult to get them out. Ouch.
While waiting for night to fall so I could shoot the Arch (you can see it here) my photog buddy and I enjoyed an incredible sunset where I tried to capture some love, light and God's beauty to share with you all.
Last weekend in Temecula's Old Town and throughout wine country Reality Stars visited and participated in an annual race known as Reality Rally. They came in droves and with a purpose. They raced all over the area to raise money for low cost treatments and awareness for Breast Cancer for Michelle's Place.
Though I don't watch reality TV I had a blast covering parts of this event. Everyone I encountered was gracious, friendly and played up to my camera. It was really fun seeing all the different personalities.
The race in town is an obstacle course with challenge stops, kind of like the show amazing race. They ran in teams and competed for the best time. These folks just finished running their race and I sure love those glasses!
I was blown away and grateful to see so much generosity and kindness for others. Humanity at it's finest. You see this incredible event, all of it from A to Z is done by volunteers. Isn't that awesome?! In a world where sometimes we get stuck in our own little bubble it was great to see hundreds of people coming together to donate their time to help others.
The brainchild and incredible woman behind this project is Gillian Larson. If you're a Survivor fan you might recognize her. She is such an inspiring and gracious person and I was honored to work with her on this project.
I love all the artist, music, wine and kind heart'ed people who live in my town. A place where people come together to not only get artsy but to help others, is rad!
I have been on the run shooting lots of projects since last Wednesday and phew I'm tired. No complaints I love my life! Today I did take a break from editing and spend my morning with Chancie on a nice relaxing trail ride and
the afternoon with Ms. Punkin Pie. She is so stinking cute and I love her new pink socks, hoping they will help keep the flies off her legs.
My day trip to Joshua Tree NP Wednesday was a blast! Mother Nature blessed us with wonderful weather, by the time my buddy and I got there temp had dropped into the 80's.
This image is my first click of the day and I love it. I think it encapsulates the Iconic Joshua Tree and desert perfectly. Check out the balancing rock in the background. The wild flowers were beginning to bloom as well as the trees.
The clouds were perfect too and gave just enough to add texture and depth to our shots. This park is so incredibly vast and there is so much to take it. It was great to be here in the day light hours. December when I visited it was dark, you can see those pics here.
The evening was warm, quiet and awesome. The only light in this photo was from the moon and the yellow glow is from the town 30 miles away.
This is Arch Rock. It's just a short hike in from one of their campgrounds and super neat. It is a really popular photography spot visited by tons of people. We were lucky though as there were only a few people there with us. It's not the scale of the arches at Arches NP but for being a couple hours drive away it is pretty rad. The arch itself is 30' across I believe and we light painted it with pink and yellow gels. God's beauty is everywhere but for me there is something very magical about the desert, perhaps the hugeness of it that puts my life into perspective. A gentle reminder that we are part of a much bigger picture.
If you live local or find yourself in So Cal I hope you'll check out this place it really is beautiful. Just don't go in the middle of summer because you might melt...
Well Winter is definitely gone and I think we've skipped Spring. It flipping HOT here today and I may be or may not be melting... I'm not sure yet as my body has overheated during morning chores. 90's it's in the 90's today! Okay enough complaining I'll move on now.
My gear is clean, bag packed and I'm super excited! I'll be heading out shortly for a day trip with a photog friend. If all goes well and the heat doesn't kill me, I'll have some great images to share with you guys soon.
Though this weeks storms didn't produce much moisture for us it did give us dramatic and textured skies. I drove into town the other day and right past one of our favorite wineries. I love the movement in the sky over their vineyard. So beautiful.
The other morning between a few rain drops and on my way to clean the coop I saw more drama in the sky. I'm looking forward to warmer mornings where I can sit and enjoy my coffee here for I know soon enough it will be very warm here. No matter what the weather I'm thankful I can enjoy this view from indoors too.
This is my neighbors driveway, isn't it awesome! I love my hood. I know... I just can't help myself I say it all the time. Since I was a little girl I wished and waited for a life in the country and though we've been out in this area for several years now I just can't get over how every single day is a photo op. Though it's hard work living here and sacrifices were made, the reward and joy is huge and beautiful. Spending my days serving animals, my camera nearby and the love of my husband who works so hard to make all this a reality... I feel like the luckiest person on planet earth.
Storm #1 rolled in Monday night and it's been blustery here since. Not much rainfall but the wind is gusting and it's cold. This is last nights sunset over the ranch, it was so pretty and you can see storm #2 rolling in. By Thursday the weatherman says we'll be dry and warming up again...
As for this morning it's still dark and very quiet out. The wind must be taking a break.
Our weekend started off with a spa day here at the ranch. Debra with Equine Massage came out and showed me some great moves to add to massages that I give him . Oh my gosh he was so happy and enjoyed his time with her very much. Thank you for working with us. Connecting and serving these amazing animals is a gift for all of us...Seeing them melt like hot butter in your hands was incredible! Thanks again.
Everyone spent time with our farrier J and Ms. Punkin Pie had her first trim since coming to live with us. She did wonderful and has happy feet.
I nursed a sick hen who spent three days in my bathroom with an impacted crop. I was able to get it almost all emptied but am afraid she has quite a few small pebbles in there and it may be one of those that is causing the blockage. She is eating, drinking and back in the coop today. I'm continuing to keep an eye on her and she's also getting massages several times a day.
Saturday I spent some time at a National Cross Country event that was
hosted locally. These animals are incredible athletes and I am always in aw when I get to see them race. The power, beauty and disciple to jump these obstacles really is amazing.
I spent a lot of this weekend weeding like a mad woman. The rain that came a few weeks ago has weeds and wild flowers growing like crazy here. I have to keep the area's clear where the animals are as well as around the house and pathways.... I want to be able to see any snake before it sees me. Not to mention the weed abatement for fire safety... I do need to hurry up and get some goats!
And finally we spent time with friends while sipping on a some red wine.
They say we have a really good chance at more rain this week which will be great. We are still severely behind and dry here in the state. Our weather has been so weird that bud break in the vineyards came strangely early and I'm not sure what it means to this years crops. Time will tell us.
Happy Hump Day peeps! How is your week so far? Mine... Busy but good.
Yesterday I danced with the vacuum cleaner, worked in the garden and harvested some sweet peas in addition to regular ranch chores. Monday I rocked the laundry basket and cleaned up after the weekend.... And killed a gigantic Diamondback Rattle snake!
Oh my gosh it was so scary and the music man was gone. I had no choice but to kill it. It was really close to the house and I actually heard the rattling from inside the kitchen! It was getting ready to strike Honey our mini schnauzer I think? Not totally sure though because it had something in it's belly already, maybe a gopher? It was coiled up and rattling really loudly. Honey was only a couple feet from it and the girls were walking around close by.
Once I grabbed Honey bun and put her in the house the snake quieted down but the girls were eating grass almost on top of it. What the heck??? Didn't they care it was there? I called them, shook their scratch box and thankfully they came running and I was able to put them away. Do you think it got quiet because it was going to strike out at them? Nature is amazing.
Annie grab your gun! This thing was so big there was no way I was going after it with a shovel. It was three plus feet long, fat and had nine thick rattles. The photo above is without it's head, yuck. This was by far the biggest snake I've seen and had to deal with... Yikes!
I thought the 12 gauge was to big so I grabbed a pressurized pellet riffle. It took several shots and wasn't good. I had to get uncomfortably close to have the power I needed and it was to close for safety so we'll be loading up on 22 shells... I think it will be better and allow a nice cushion between me and their striking distance.
I am always amazed at how environments can change behavior. A few years ago when we left the city and moved out to the country I was petrified of bugs and seriously would have had a heart attack if I had to deal with a snake. These days I can handle the bugs, spiders and good snakes no problem. If you have a rattle or a red hour glass on your belly you have to go. Period. You're deadly and completely freak me out.
Snake season is now underway here and about a month early. Sadly they say it's going to be a really bad year for them due to our weather. Living remotely is all about being prepared isn't it. I am learning so much even since moving to the ranch last summer. I have already been weeding and trimming bushes that are in areas the animals and we are in. I have flat head shovels in all the work areas and porches. Keeping the area clear is vital and I want to be able to see whats there before it seems me.
Not all diamonds are good are they? The title of this post makes me think of the dvd Blood Diamond. I loved that movie... Well those and Diamondback rattle snakes are a couple kinds of diamonds I can definitely live without.
Do you have snakes in your hood? If so I would love to hear any tips you can share with me?