This gallery contains 4 photos.
This gallery contains 4 photos.
Some more recent local sky views:
Our usual air pollution, plus some extra dust courtesy of strong winds lately, have produced some especially great celestial views around here.
I just finished Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction classic Rendezvous With Rama, and chapter one concerns an asteroid strike that destroys the Mediterranean Sea but, the story says, the whole world enjoyed the most beautiful sunrises ever for the next six months.
I really like how the rays not only leap out from behind clouds here, but clearly shoot down in front of the mountains.
On the pro side, our family camp out Monday and Tuesday provided lots of great scenery, sun, and exercise. We all climbed and hiked like crazy, including the baby. The temperature was perfect. The landscapes were majestic. The together time was fun.
On the con, a huge wind storm blew dirt in our faces and broke my biggest tent. The fabric ripped, half the poles snapped, and the metal hardware that connects the poles to the tent fabric was actually broken in half! Never seen anything like it. And we got orange sand all over our stuff. Guess Anakin Skywalker was right about that junk after all.
On balance, a great experience, though!
I took these pictures with my phone’s camera during a spontaneous family vacation this last weekend.
Took several of my children hiking at Red Rock Canyon this morning. My favorite pictures of the landscape are these two, showing mid-morning sunbeams streaming down over a lush desert vista, rolling out in layers. This view is facing southeast from the highest point of the Keystone Thrush Trail.
Of course, the whole family’s favorite view of the hike was this little critter. I’ve lived here my whole life, and this is actually the first tarantula I’ve seen out in the desert:
Some of my favorites as I review the contents of my tablet from the last two months:
The word “art” is related to words like “artifice” and “artificial,” which reminds us that art refers to things people create to represent beauty and other ideas. All human art is, by definition, artificial.
But God’s art is natural. A great example is below. This is the photo used for the cover of the Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. It’s a shot of Yosemite, California. On our left is El Capitan, a vertical cliff well over half a mile high. In the central distance is Half Dome rock. On the left is Bridalveil fall, one of the most beautiful and popular falls in the U.S.
In this photo, mist covers the forest of the valley floor as the dawning sun first touches the highest points around it.
Each of these was taken around a quarter after 6 A.M. This is what I see on my drive to work.
A couple of weeks ago, my oldest son and I tried hiking to the top of Mt. Charleston, which is 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas and at nearly 12,000 feet is the highest peak in southern Nevada. We only made it halfway, but a few days ago I went back and did the whole thing.
I went up the south trail, and down the north trail. Those are about eight miles each, and with the short hike up the highway to get back to my car, the whole trip was 17 miles. That took me ten hours (5.5 hours to get up, 4.5 hours to get back down). I drank seven water bottles during the hike, FYI. Here are some pictures I took along the way:
Here are two photos from my family’s campout this week at Mt. Charleston’s Hilltop campground.
Las Vegas sits at around 2000 feet above sea level; this campground, 8400 feet. To help visualize the distances here, see that little white line sticking up from the valley on the right? That’s the Stratosphere Tower. It’s 1149 feet tall.
I tried to get a shot of this view at night, with a mostly full moon hanging over the city lights, but my camera isn’t strong enough.
I went up to Lee Canyon, near Mt. Charleston, last week to do some bike riding. I didn’t go far, so I didn’t take many pictures, but here are a couple of views.
First, two shots near the end of the road, by the ski resort; the sun had just risen over another peak, and was shining between a couple of huge pines.
Also, on the way down the mountain, I saw a couple of burros on the side of the road. It’s hard to tell here, but the one on the right is far larger–a parent. It’s possible that one or the other was on its way to deliver mail to Boys’ Life magazine. The big plants in the middle ground are yucca plants,which are everywhere in this part of the country. Joshua trees are a kind of yucca.
A couple of big falcons flew around my area, but they were far too fast for me to get a picture, and I couldn’t identify the exact species. I also say a cute little kit fox, but he ran off before I could get a picture, even though I pulled over and tried to find him. A pretty good day for spotting desert wildlife.