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Casa Grande Ruins NM

Casa Grande Ruins NM


Largest Known Structure of the Ancestral People of the Sonoran Desert

“Four stories high and 60 feet long with a platform mound filling the first floor,

it is the largest known structure of the Ancestral People of the Sonoran Desert.

The early Spanish explorers named it well – Casa Grande (Great House) – and to them it was a mystery.”

“Its walls face the four cardinal points of the compass.

A circular hole in the upper west wall aligns with the setting sun at the summer solstice.

Other openings align with the sun and moon at specific times.

By 300 CE (Common Era) the Ancestral People lived in permanent settlements along the Salt and Gila Rivers

To irrigate their fields, villages cooperated to build and manage vast canal systems that diverted water from the rivers.”


To flourish and produce the desert was irrigated then as it is irrigated now.

Some of the same canal corridors are in use today.

Casa Grande Ruins NM ~ Image Gallery Link

27 Jan 2018

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The Lush Sonoran Desert Borderlands of Arizona

More Green Than the Word Desert Evokes For This New Englander

“Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a showcase for the Sonoran Desert and its many plants and animals.

Desert dwellers here must live in extreme temperatures, intense sun, and little rainfall.

Cacti are the most recognizable plants ; 28 cactus species live here, including Saguaro and Organ Pipe.”


“The Organ Pipe is a large cactus rarely found in the Unities States, although it is common in Mexico.

The Monument protects the bulk of its US range. “

GPO.2018-403.332/82022Organ Pipe Cactus may live 150 years.

Average height at maturity is 15 feet.

An Organ Pipe Cactus produces its first flowers at around 35 years.

The bat pollinated flowers blossom at night and are closed by mid-morning the next day.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

27 Jan 2018

Torrey Pines Gliderport ~ San Diego ~ 2-19-2018

Torrey Pines Gliderport

San Diego County

World Class Cliffs & Flight Deck

Watching & Waiting


Some Intense Energy HereSoft Touch Landing

Torrey Pines Gliderport ~ Expanded Image Gallery Link

A Shout Out To Hadi Golian, PPG Instructor & Good Guy

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery Link


20 Jan 2018

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery ~ San Diego

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive

Point Loma

San Diego, California

“Situated in San Diego County on the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation, the cemetery is located approximately 10 miles west of San Diego, overlooking the bay and the city.”

“Fort Rosecrans became a National Cemetery on Oct. 5, 1934. The decision to make the post cemetery part of the national system came, in part, due to changes in legislation that greatly increased the number of persons eligible for burial in a national cemetery. Grave space in San Francisco National Cemetery then grew increasingly limited. In addition, southern California was experiencing a phenomenal population growth during this period, and there was a definitive need for more burial sites.” 

“Room at the cemetery overlooking San Diego Bay has been at a premium for decades, with most remains being placed in a wall instead of buried in a casket in the ground.”

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery Link

19 Jan 2018

Point Loma Light ~ San Diego

Point Loma Light

Cabrillo National Monument

Ocean Beach

San Diego, California

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery


18 Jan 2018

Little Italy & Ocean Beach ~ San Diego

A Tale of Two San Diego Communities As Seen Through the Experience of Their Farmer’s Markets

Little Italy & Ocean Beach

San Diego

Little Italy

A Fashionable Community With a Colorful Farmer’s Market Peopled With Fashionable Folk, a Bunch of Chill Southern Californians of All Ages and a Tourist Or Two

Little Italy’s Mercato Farmer’s Market

Ocean Beach

A Beachside Community With a Colorful Farmer’s Market Peopled With Surfers of All Ages, Hippies of All Ages, the Homeless, a Bunch of Chill Southern Californians of All Ages and a Tourist Or Two

“This event boasts the same free-spirited and funky vibe that can be felt throughout this beachside community.”

Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery

18 Jan 2018

Arches & Fiddler ~ Balboa Park ~ San Diego

Balboa Park

San Diego

Hallway Arches  At the California Tower and the West Gate

“Except for the Organ Pavilion, the buildings of the Plaza de California were the only exposition buildings built to be permanent.”

“The architectural effect is intended to suggest the Spanish city of Toledo, which also has a long bridge leading to a low entrance gate.”

Isolate the Busker and You Have Something Special

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery

18 Jan 2018

Hotel del Coronado ~ Coronado ~ San Diego

Hotel del Coronado

San Diego, California

Coronado San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery


18 Jan 2018

Spreckels Organ ~ Balboa Park ~ San Diego

San Diego Again

… not a complaint.

Balboa Park

Spreckels Organ

Since December 31, 1914

“With 5,017 pipes in 80 ranks, the Spreckels Organ is the largest outdoor organ in the world.”

A gift from brothers John and Adolph Spreckels to the people of the world, offering free music in the days before commercial radio, television, or movies with sound.”

A serendipitous arrival in Balboa Park on a January mid-day landed us in the midst of a ‘5th Graders In the Park’ presentation and recital of the Spreckels Organ.

Life Is Good

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery

14 Jan 2018

Little Italy ~ San Diego

More San Diego

Little Italy’s Farmer’s MarketOne Sharp GuySan Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery

14 Jan 2018

Studio 19 ~ Glass Apprentice

Tucked off in a corner of Balboa Park

The Spanish Village Art Center.

Artists at work and art on display.

Andy Cohn, Glass Artist at Studio 19 provides lessons and mentoring.

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery


14 Jan 2018

Balboa Park ~ San Diego

San Diego. California

Balboa Park

Back in the day there were a few prescient and philanthropic people in the growing community of San Diego.

Decisions and actions were made and taken that proved to be in San Diego community’s best interests in the long run.

Alonzo Horton comes to town in 1867 and San Diego as we know it begins.

Fourteen hundred acres of land set aside in 1868 by town father’s for a ‘City Park’.

Kate Sessions landscaped the park and the city over time in return for 32 acres of land to be used as her nursery.

The Panama Canal and the Railroad arrive in town in the form of increased trade and commerce.

1915-16 Panama-California Exposition, was San Diego’s first world’s fair.

San Diego’s second world’s fair, was the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition.

(When and where was the last World’s Fair? Will we ever experience another?)

San Diego has inherited and preserved history and historical buildings that were meant to be temporary as the result of World’s Fairs and foresight.

Balboa Park ~ Beautiful Place

San Diego ~ Expanded Image Gallery

14 Jan 2018

La Jolla

An Overcast Day’s Walk & Drive in La Jolla

A Sunday in La Jolla

(Do not appear the rube, pronounced La Hoya)

Never thinking that the LDS Temple grounds  and the Salk Institute grounds would be closed, gated and locked.

Another day, but this time.

The City of San Diego and the surrounding San Diego County are an exceptional area.

The Torrey Pines Gliderport

Take a Run At the Windy Cliffs of Torrey Pines

Wind Was Not Enough To Fly That Day But Folks Did Hang Out and Practice Latter Day Saints Church Temple

Through the Bars

“After the temple is formally dedicated, entrance is reserved for faithful members of the Church.”

Wildlife On the Coast Boulevard Walk To the Children’s Pool

Dog-Faced Harbor Seal

Homes Along La Jolla Farms Road

It Is All About the Landscaping & the Entryway

At Least From the Road

Think Route 1 Along the New Hampshire Coast

Only the Desert & the Pacific Ocean San Diego Image Gallery

9 Jan 2018

Anza-Borrego ~ Palm Canyon

Anza-Borrego State Park


“This park’s combo name, pairing the name of famed Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, who crossed this desert in 1774, and the Spanish word for sheep (“borrego”)—referring to the region’s native bighorn sheep, this desert preserve—California’s largest state park—protects more than 600,000 acres/242,811 hectares of badlands, palm oases, slot canyons, and cactus-studded hills. A geology lesson in making, still being altered by erosion and flash floods, it’s a wild and remote place, with much of it accessed via primitive roads, or on foot. (Consider renting a 4WD with high clearance for best access.) But the payoff is stunning stillness and unforgettable beauty.”

Peninsular Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep are an endangered species.

“Anza-Borrego is home to about 60 desert bighorn sheep, the largest mammal in the park. The bighorn sheep spend their lives in the remote terrain of the Peninsular Ranges, venturing down on to the slopes to feed and find water. Keen eyesight allows them to view large expanses of terrain, ever wary of predators, humans or perceived threats.”

“Both rams (males) and ewes (females) have horns their entire lives. Ram horns can be massive curls, while ewe horns are smaller and straighter, like sabres that they use to protect themselves and their lambs. Rams show off their horns to other males as a means of gaining dominance, and will often go head to head in ritualized combat.”

“Water is essential for lamb survival and the long-term health of bighorn populations.The State of California and the Park have ongoing projects, including the removal of tamarisk and other non-native plants, to improve water supplies for wildlife.”

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – A Place For Discovery , 2018-2019 Edition

Palm Canyon Trail

“Anza-Borrego’s most famous hike leads to Borrego Palm Canyon, a watery haven fed by underground springs and shaded by California fan palms, the only palm that is native to California. It’s not a major hike round trip (3 miles/4.8 km total), but it feels like a trek from the desert to the tropics. Head off into a sandy wash twisting through a rocky canyon dotted with barrel cacti and ocotillo (look for hummingbirds flitting to the plant’s crimson flowers).”

“A little further along, you come upon lush willows and the sound of little waterfalls, until finally, rocks give way to deep pools of shade cast by the soaring, shaggy palms (their untrimmed fronds make them look a bit like Wookiee out of Star Wars). A series of severe rainstorms and flash floods in the last decade wiped out many of the oldest palms in this grove, but Palm Canyon is still the largest of the palm groves in Anza-Borrego. Over 80 species of migratory birds use Palm Canyon as a watering stop as they travel through the desert. Bighorn sheep like this spot, too.”

6 Jan 2018

Mountain Empire ~ In the Hall of the Ibis King

Lake Morena County Park

The Mountain Empire Region of San Diego County, California

The highest and furthest east of a series of reservoirs watering the San Diego watershed.

Pretty, but lots of dried up lake bed, with the reservoir at maybe 20% capacity.

The far shallow end of the lake provided endless photographic pursuits, with late day light and an energetic and successful wading hunter.

The same stretch of shallows, the same time of day, the same Ibis.

A nice place with comfortable, competent and chill staff who manage and maintain a quality environment.

Lake Morena County Park

The Mountain Empire Region of San Diego County, California

Expanded Image Gallery Link

3 Jan 2018

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Expanded Image Gallery Link

2 Jan 2018

Joshua Tree National Park ~ Desert Queen Ranch

Joshua Tree National Park

Bill & Frances Keys’ Desert Queen Ranch

“From 1918 until 1963 Bill and Frances Keys were the leading – sometimes the only – citizens of the high desert valleys of Joshua Tree.

Bill was prospector, miner, mill operator, cattle rancher, road and dam builder, mining equipment salvager, and improviser;

whatever was needed to survive in this desert hideaway.

Frances Keys was gardener, housekeeper, mother of four children, doctor, nurse, teacher, and as innovative a survivor as her husband.

In 1943 a feuding neighbor, Worth Bagley, tried to ambush and kill Bill Keys, but Bill was the better shot and killed Bagley instead.

Keys was tried and sentenced to 10 years in San Quentin for manslaughter.

Erle Stanley Garner took up Keys’ case in his “Court of Last Resort” magazine articles.

Bill was paroled after 5 years in prison and finally pardoned on the basis of self defense.

Then 69 years old, Bill and Frances returned to the Desert Queen Ranch.”

Decker, Decker & Hazlett, Road Guide To Joshua Tree National Park, 1999

Bill & Frances Key’s Desert Queen Ranch

Joshua Tree National Park

Expanded Image Gallery Link

2 Jan 2018