Monday, May 6, 2013

A time of rest and restoration.

The past couple of weeks were taken up with a lovely car trip into a southern desert of California.  Death Valley National Park was our destination.  It is a place where the earth is laid out wide open for all to see and wonder about. At first glance it looks baron and destitute but it is quite the opposite. There is life all around and it isn't lost to the eye for all the traffic and commerce we are used to in our cities.   
Death Valley lies beyond the Sierra Mountains and Panamint Mountains.  Bad Waters, Death Valley, is the lowest point (at 280 feet below sea level) in the United States, and is said to have the hottest recorded temperatures on the earth, at more than 130 degrees. 
Upon our first descent down into the valley, we drove slowly and saw this parched coyote walking up to Panamint Springs. 

And...and few more critters crossed our path......

........a black lizard with half a tail.......

...Pup fish, which have an amazing story of survival and intrigue! They dehydrate and lay dormant in the earth until water comes, and then rehydrate themselves once again.  They don't need immense depths of water, and are on the protected list of fish that could easily become extinct due to their small numbers and limited environment on the face of the earth.

 Here is the boardwalk that allows people to follow the stream bed and view the fish in this harsh existence. 
We saw several Killdeer birds that stood in the waterway and we wondered if they eat the salty fish?

Buzzards circle in the sky at Furnace Creek Ranch.  There are so many that...again we wonder how they find enough to eat.  There are just so many dead animals, and it doesn't seem likely there would be enough for them to survive.  But, as you can see...they do survive and multiply! 

The black specks in the sky are the buzzards.  There are more than a hundred in this one area.

The above photo was taken from our patio and looking towards
 the swimming pool at Furnace Creek Ranch.  Palm trees are not native to Death Valley and they are only seen on the ranch.  If any do spread their seeds and sprout up outside the ranch they are removed so that  native species can thrive.

I could go on and on about this favorite vacation spot of ours, but I will leave you with a few landscape photos, and maybe you will understand why we come back time after time. 

Zubrinski Point

Dante's View
There were professional photographers at Dante's View, and they took this picture of us.  We enjoyed talking with them and found out they came from Newport Beach, Ca.  The draw for them is obvious and I'd like to see their work! 

Upon leaving the area we drove up and up and up and then down and down and down to see the beautiful Sierra Mountains.  They followed us along the road until we were long on our way headed back to our Willamette Valley. 

Our week was indeed a time of rest and restoration.  We are now back at home ready to begin a very busy Summer and Fall full of blueberry and hazelnut harvest!  Jim will being doing that while I am arranging flowers and delivering them in our community.


  1. You captured some beautiful photos of the desert!
    I'm a bit behind here with weeds....

  2. And just as you are gearing up for work, we are winding down for the summer! I wish we could be on the same work schedule!

    I have wonderful memories and photos to enjoy from my two visits with you there!

  3. Wonderful photos, Julene! Glad you had a great time away. :o) ((HUGS))