Scouting Joshua Tree National Park

Day 3…… Scouting in the park… Good News–Great Weather… Bad news–wildflowers, yet to be determined are 2-3 weeks late this year…. GOOD NEWS… these is SO much to photograph anyway!

You have to give whoever named the sites here credit for a great imagination. Most of the amazing rock formations have great manes as do the roads and side roads. Some are historical and some names depict the location.

How about..Skull Rock, Lost Horse Mine, Jumbo Rocks,  Shep Pass, Black Eagle Road,Wall Street Mine, White Tanks, Desert Queen Ranch… etc.

Joshua  trees is actually a giant member of the lily family and is in the yucca family. Native Americans used the leaves for sandals and baskets and ate the seeds  and flower buds. IN the mid 1800’s the Mormon immigrants named these trees Joshua trees after the biblical figure, Joshua who held his arms outstretched guiding the travellers westward.

Anyhow, my workshop participants get in tomorrow afternoon and I am sure the next few days will go pretty quick.

here are some images from today.

Below—both images                                                                                                    Joshua Trees–                 Canon G10 again–what a cool camera!


SUNSET TONIGHT —- NIKON D700, 28-70mm  2.8

                    Arch Rock—Nikon D700 Nikon12-24

Another Joshua tree next to a typical rock formation here in Joshua Tree NP..again Canon G10



Heading South…. on the way to Joshua Tree NP then AZ/ Utah

I left home yesterday morning driving south to Joshua Tree National Park for a workshop this coming weekend. After a few days of temperatures around 70 degrees the weather turned cold & rainy on Sunday night but Monday morning was looking good…. That is until I reached the Ashland Oregon on I-5. By then snow was falling at around 3000’. Fortunately they were only snow showers.

I drove south then cut over, now heading SE on CA-89. This is a beautiful road that cuts through Lassen National Forest and the Lasses Lava Beds National Rec. Area, south of Mt Shasta and SW of Crater Lake. The road winds through the high sierra Nevada Mt’s at times over 8000’ before dropping into Susanville California. Another ½ or so, I was on US 395 heading south towards Reno, then on to Lee Vining and Mono Lake. I had planned to get some sleep around the Minden Nevada, area then head south but the weather looked like it was moving in. I had some very heavy snow showers coming over CA-89.

                                                                                              Ponderosa Pines  Canon G10 camera, handheld shot RAW

My traction tires served me well and I made it to Reno, though late, but safe. Driving over CA-89 the groves of Ponderosa pines were beautiful. I had just a bit of clearing around sunset which made for nice images of the snowy countryside. 

I had a really treacherous drive from Minden down windy US395 through the small town of Coleville & Walker (paralleling the Walker River. The snow finally stopped. At times the only thing that kept me on the road were the 3-4’ snow posts on the sides of the road and the grooved pavement in the center line. It was really bad until Bridgeport. The last 25 miles of the trip was slick but ok.

                                                                                                                                                    late afternoon light  Ganon G10 processed RAW

When I ventured out to Mono Lake at 5:30 AM today, it was 11 degrees, but I had a feeling the sunrise would be really good with the new snow on the Sierra.

These images were shot this morning. It was quite windy as well. I was rewarded with a few nice images and another beautiful sunrise at Mono Lake. I’ve photographed here so many times and every time is special. 11 degrees felt like 80 to me. I am off to Bishop then points south. I will try getting into Joshua tree tonight. Stay tuned….. JG

Following images made with Nikon D700, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8, really right Stuff BH55, Gitzo 3541 Triopd. Singh Ray Grad ND (3 soft)