Saturday, February 26, 2011

Peace and Quiet

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I enjoyed tromping around in the snow, last Sunday. The snow lay like a great, soft blanket over the valley wrapping everything in quiet, muffling the usual everyday sounds. It was a peaceful day. Not many people were out. One of the few vehicles we encountered was the snow plow. As I was completely caught up in the scene at this stop, the clattering of the plow did not register until it was virtually on top of me. Then, I was startled by the intrusion on the calm.

I can't blame snow, but something certainly has made me quiet. While it is true that I have been deeply immersed in projects, that does not normally still my voice. Over the past few days, I have worked like mad—processing, printing, backing up, shooting, and exploring. But, I am virtually mute. I struggle to put five or six words together in a meaningful sequence. It is a peculiar state. I am not in a dark mood, nor am I overly reflective. Still, it isn't easy to put thoughts into words.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Up the Road to Jawbone Canyon

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Monday afternoon, we made a quick scouting trip to Jawbone and Red Rock Canyons. There wasn't any time for photography other than a few grab shots in the "drive-by" mode. But, my mouth is watering now that I have seen these two spots.

The verdigris colored rock in the photo here is known as Blue Point. It is located at the mouth of Alphie Canyon off Jawbone Canyon, and at the end of Alphie you would find the San Antonio mine. The color is produced by the oxidized copper in the rock. Kern County was mining country starting in the mid-nineteenth century and some of them continued producing until the 1940's. We see remnants of abandoned gold, silver, quartz, and copper mines off most of the old roads in our area. It's scouting trips such as this that make me regret not being thirty years younger, male, big, and strong. There is some fine exploring to be done up here.

We made the excursion because The Husband is looking for a place to ride outside Bear Valley Springs. Our slippery trails have him eager to escape. There is so little sand in the soil here that the water doesn't drain well and, with more rain and snow coming this weekend, it looks as though we won't dry out for months.

Jawbone and Red Rock seem to fit The Husband's needs fairly well. Plenty of sand. Of course, the downside is rocks. Because both our horses go barefoot (like most of the horses up here), he will need boots to handle the rocks; but, their first ride there on Wednesday went well. Jawbone is less than an hour away and is BLM land—no parking fees and miles of riding available. Some trails would not be advisable, since Jawbone is a favorite place for off-road enthusiasts. Being on the back of a horse going up a trail and meeting one of those vehicles coming down wouldn't make for a pretty picture.

I am working at talking The Husband into an overnight stay in Jawbone. The colors and formations of the rock are sure to produce some wonderful viewing in golden light. This is a trip we would want to make before May, because it does not sound like fun to be there on a blazing hot day. So far, he is lukewarm about the idea, but I am patient.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow—For a Few Hours

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Things got a little crazy around here for a few days, but I am back again. One thing about being out of touch for a bit is that there such a wealth of images to view and plenty of interesting reading to catch up on.

We had snow last Sunday, but it did not last long. Supposedly, we have more coming this weekend. Rather than snow, we have had mostly rain this year. Of course, if this year is anything like 2010, we could have snow as late as May.

I wish I knew what these seed pods are from. I haven't seen any others, but I will be watching for them now.