Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vicious Door Knocker

Having this character as a door knocker would be enough to scare away most peddlers and solicitors.  He looks pretty mean.  I wonder if it really works?

"Vicious Door Knocker"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where's the Pollen?

This bee is busy collecting pollen from a Desert Bluebell or Phacelia campanularia.  They're blooming here in the desert along with many other members of the Phacelia family. 

"Where's the Pollen?"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jumping Cholla

See those sharp spines?  They're on the cholla plant and don't really jump at you but it doesn't take much to disturb them and the next thing you know you're covered with the sharp prickly things.  Just be careful.  They come unattached from the cactus awfully easy.

"Jumping Cholla"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pueblo Home

Taos Pueblo is similar to a large apartment house.  Or should I say two apartment houses.  There is a north and a south Pueblo separated by a small stream.  This particular house/apartment is located in the south pueblo.  Aesthetically, I like the north one but if you poke around there are lots of good nooks and crannies in the south pueblo.

"Pueblo Home"       © Kathy Dunham 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Abstract in Stone

The weather worn slots in the Antelope Canyon area outside of Page, Arizona are spectacular.  As the light changes so does the effect and colors of the various layers of sandstone that formed these narrow slot canyons. 

"Abstract in Stone"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poppies & Cream Cups

I'm hoping that the Poppy Preserve near Lancaster, California will get another show as good as the one I saw several years ago.  There are acres and acres of California Poppies on the hillsides and when they bloom, they turn to gold. 

"Poppies & Cream Cups"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Desert Poppy

The wildflowers are starting to bloom, albeit slowly, but you can find both these Desert Poppies, Eschscholizia parishii, and the Arroyo lupines, Lupinus sparisflorus, in the Box Canyon area just outside the small town of Mecca, California.  They make a beautiful and dramatic combination with the yellows against the blues.  Time to dust off those cameras and take a road trip.

"Desert Poppies"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Orchids on a Tree?

No, they're not really orchids but they do call the Bauhinia variegata an Orchid Tree as the flowers do have a resemblance to orchids.  A native of India, when this tree blooms it's covered from top to bottom with these large, fragrant flowers.

"Orchids in a Tree?"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Perigee Moon

Tonight was the night that the moon was going to be the closest to the earth for another 19 years.  That meant it was supposed to appear larger.  Determined as I was to capture this, I set out with a friend after an early dinner to set up our tripods and cameras in readiness for the big event.  Our biggest concern was a potential cloud cover.  There were scattered, thin clouds and sure enough, they remained on the horizon as the moon rose.  But we snapped away regardless.  However, I've seen larger appearing moon rises in the past.  Maybe it was the clouds and haze in the sky, but we weren't impressed!  So much for all the hype. 

"Perigee Moon"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Moonrise Over the Tennis Garden

It was a beautiful evening at the Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA.  Federrer (in the blue) was playing Nadal (orange) tonight for the semi finals in men's doubles.  Federrer's team won and will compete tomorrow for the finals.  But the full moon rising over the stadium only added to the evening (upper right).  Tomorrow is supposed to be the closest the moon's orbit will be to the earth for the next 19 years.  They say it'll look about 14% larger.  I just hope we don't have a cloud cover.

"Moonrise Over the Tennis Garden"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Also know as California Sage, the Chia plant is a member of the sage family.  The dark purple, prickly globes have small lavender flowers.  The plants have a medicinal, minty odor and could be steeped to make a mucilaginous (your word for the day!) drink.

"Chia"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who Dressed You Bud Collins??

Every once in a while I see something wild that catches my eye which I have to share.  This photo of former tennis pro Bud Collins, he's the one in the bright yellow polka dotted pants and orange sneakers.  I wonder if this was really a suit and he forgot the jacket!!  But if he switched shirts with the other guy and he'd have a matched outfit.  That's Stan Smith on the left, another former tennis pro receiving the Alan King Award at the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Tennis Open in Indian Wells, California.

"Who Dressed You Bud Collins??"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

The City of Indian Wells is hosting the BNP Paribas Open this week and all the top tennis players are in town.  I was lucky enough to attend today and always enjoy watching the great players at the top of their game.  This petite French gal wasn't able to beat Maria Sharipova but she put up a good fight.

"Keep Your Eye on the Ball"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Green Goddess

The La Quinta Arts Festival is the #3 ranked art festival in the nation and well worth attending if you ever get the chance.  As part of the ambiance, the La Quinta Arts Foundation who sponsor the event, arranged for costumed mimes to roam the festival grounds.  This year it was this "Green Goddess" and her sidekick (he looked like dust and dirt).

"Green Goddess"       © Kathy Dunham 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Looking for Lunch

This insect was preparing to do some heavy duty dining on this Dune Evening Primrose, common in the sandy areas of local deserts.

Looking for Lunch"     © Kathy Dunham 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cactus in Bloom

They're not very big, just slightly larger than my thumbnail, but these tiny cactus blossoms were a real find today.  A friend and I trekked down to Borrego Springs to see what wildflowers might be in bloom.  We were slightly disappointed, not seeing as much as we had last year.  But we figured we might be about a week too early as we did see signs of buds and new plants.  One of the best ways to find flowers is to take a hike off the beaten path.  And that's where we found this lone cactus starting to burst out in blooms. 

"Cactus in Bloom"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brittle Bush

Northeast of the Salton Sea is a weather worn area known as Box Canyon.  Eroded by water and wind, the hills take on a erie look but come alive when the wildflowers are in bloom.  This brittle bush, Encelia farinosa, has yellow daisy like flowers and love to grow on rocky hillsides and in sandy bajadas.  As the flowers die, they stand tall on dried "brittle" stalks above the parent bush.  Early missionaries used to burn the resin for incense.

"Brittle Bush"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bladder Pod

Yes, the wildflowers are in bloom.  But you need to get out of the car and take short walks to find the good ones.  We don't have fields covered with blossoms, but they are out there.  This is a Bladder pod, Isomeris arborea, it's a member of the caper family and a favorite nectar plant for hummingbirds.  What's neat about this plant is the inflated seed pods, hence it's common name.

"Bladder Pod"    © Kathy Dunham 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

After the Party

There's still time left to celebrate Mardi Gras & Carnevale.  Two more days and all  the celebrating ends until next year.  So as they say in New Orleans, "Let the good times roll".  I'm not sure what they say in Venice but I do know they started it all over 700 years ago and wearing masks was a way of life for almost 6 months of the year. 

"After the Party"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mardi Gras Trimmings

Next Tuesday is the last day we can celebrate Mardi Gras/Carnival/Venetian Carnevale.  So  put those masks on and party while you can. 

"Mardi Gras Trimmings"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tucson Sunset

One of my favorite cities for beautiful sunsets in Tucson, Arizona.  I don't know why, meteorologically speaking, it sports some spectacular skies as the sun sets but I just know it's totally awesome.

"Tuscon Sunset"      © Kathy Dunham 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Way to the Roof

For the Indians of the Southwest,  the only cool spot during the hot summer evenings was on the roof of their pueblo style dwellings.  And this was the way up.  No fancy stairs.  And hopefully the lashings holding the rungs didn't give out.

"Way to the Roof"     © Kathy Dunham 2011