Red Rock Canyon – Vegas

May 30, 2015 at 5:39 pm (fine art photography, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Nevada, Photography) ()

First Creek Trail, Red Rock Canyon

First Creek Trail, Red Rock Canyon

When my son and his wife visited me recently, they wanted to do some climbing at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.  While they climbed, I hiked.  Then we did the First Creek hike together.  I wish I knew the name of the flower in the foreground, but I can’t find it in my field guide or online.

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The campground was quite nice, and even had water.  It is an absolutely lovely area and wasn’t as overrun as I expected with it being so close to Vegas.

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Of course, early morning and late afternoon provided the “golden hour” necessary for rich landscapes.

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I even got up early enough one morning to catch the sun sneaking over the eastern mountains.

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This shows the classic banding of rock types in the area, with the red rock obviously being the park’s namesake.

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Deserts always create some interesting skies, don’t they?

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This is a climbing route off the First Creek trail (see the guy in blue?)  Ryan and Amy climbed it the previous day.

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You don’t need to hike to see the gorgeous rockscapes on the Scenic Drie.

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Pictographs at Willow Creek picnic area

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Cyclists love this section – they zoom (I mean ZOOOOOMMM!) downhill, the impetus carrying them a good ways around this curve as they go uphill.

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Rock Spring trail

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One afternoon there were layers of lenticular caps, indicating the upper atmosphere was even windier than what we were putting up with on the ground.  Just before sunset a marvelous and scary cloud built up with threatening rapidity, but then dissipated after the sun set.

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Stay tuned for flowers, birds and critters of Red Rock Canyon

 

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Images taken with Canon SX-50

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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Singing Birds of Joshua Tree – Video

May 24, 2015 at 11:26 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Video)

 

 

 

Feel free to reblog or share

Images taken with Canon SX-50

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Barker Dam Trail – Joshua Tree NP

May 24, 2015 at 8:05 am (California, Mojave Desert, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

Barker Dam Trail

Barker Dam Trail

A very nice short hike in the Hidden Valley area of Joshua Tree National Park is the Barker Dam trail.  There are a few climbing and bouldering routes past the dam, and except for a little scooting around rocks, it is an easy trail. Read the rest of this entry »

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Birds of Joshua Tree

May 19, 2015 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, Mojave Desert, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Birds, Wildlife)

Canyon wren fledgling looking grouchy

Canyon wren fledgling looking grouchy

The young canyon wrens made a non-stop racket at the 49 Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree National Park.  The loud peeps helped their parents keep track of them when they were ready to fill those noisy mouths with caterpillars.

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The fledglings could fly well enough to pester a parent hunting for their meals.  Soon, though, these babies will learn to find their own food, and the palm grove will return to peace and quiet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wonderland of Rocks – Dusk to Dawn

May 17, 2015 at 8:49 pm (California, fine art photography, Mojave Desert, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, , , )

Hidden Valley at dawn, Joshua Tree National Park, California

Hidden Valley at dawn, Joshua Tree National Park, California

Ryan and Amy wanted to go rock climbing in one of the world’s premiere spots – Joshua Tree National Park.  Who knew?  These rock pillows and piles didn’t look very impressive to me, as far as conquering goes.  But apparently they are very challenging, and very scratchy.

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However, they are very beautiful, especially at dusk and dawn.  Some of these images are taken right in the campground, or very near it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bighorn Sheep, Valley of Fire

May 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm (Mojave Desert, Nature, Nature photography, Nevada, Photography, Wildlife) (, )

Desert bighorn sheep, young rams, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Desert bighorn sheep, young rams, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

I just returned from a 10-day outing in the desert, most of it with my son and his wife.  The bighorn sheep were the grand finale of the visit to the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada,

Young rams

Young rams

At first it was a couple of ewes peering over the mountaintop, then later, the whole herd came down to munch on mesquite and other succulent plants in plain view of hikers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rainbow Basin Natural Area

April 26, 2015 at 9:09 am (Bird photography, California, Mojave Desert, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers, Wildlife)

Rainbow Basin Natural Area, Barstow, California

Rainbow Basin Natural Area, Barstow, California

The photos may not show it as well as the eye sees it, but there really are green rocks in them thar hills.  Rainbow Basin Natural Area is a gem of a place in the Mojave Desert, just north of Barstow, California.

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The last hour of the day is a marvelous time to visit.  In late winter/early spring you can see desert tortoises, wildflowers, and a Joshua tree or two in bloom. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Few Good Birds of Mojave National Preserve

April 20, 2015 at 12:01 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Birds, Wildlife) ()

Zone-tailed hawk

Zone-tailed hawk

Going birding with an expert familiar with which bird will be found where is usually an excellent way to “meet” new species, and the zone-tailed hawk was the highlight for me on a trip last week to Mojave National Preserve, California. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mojave National Preserve

April 19, 2015 at 9:50 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, Butterflies, California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Birds, Wildflowers) (, , )

Mojave National Preserve, near Mid-Hills Campground

Mojave National Preserve, near Mid-Hills campground

Since I moved to Southern California, I’ve been “saving” a visit to Mojave National Preserve for just the right weekend – an early April birding trip with the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society.

Rock Springs House and desert purple sage (Salvia sp.)

Rock Spring House and desert purple sage (Salvia sp.)

The weather was perfect, I added two birds to my life list, and the scenery surpassed expectations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Desert Tortoise

April 4, 2015 at 11:11 am (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

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Watching desert tortoises isn’t as bad as watching paint dry.  They might freeze up if you approach them, but within a few minutes they will probably resume their foraging, or walking, or whatever. Read the rest of this entry »

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