Category Archives: Landscape

10-21-18 – Autumn in the Sierras



The natural landscape in the Eastern Sierra, where rugged granite canyons are carved by rushing streams and framed by an azure sky, offers a spellbinding contrast of colors during autumn golden, crimson and orange aspen and cottonwoods as far as the eye can see.

10-14-18 – Mono Lake



Mono Lake (/ˈmoʊnoʊ/ MOH-noh) is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp and alkali flies. Historically, the native Kutzadika’a people derived nutrition from the Ephydra hians pupae, which live in the shallow waters around the edge of the lake.

When the city of Los Angeles diverted water from the freshwater streams flowing into the lake, it lowered the lake level, which imperiled the migratory birds.

10-14-18 – Aspendell



Aspendell, CA. Higher in elevation than Donner Pass & Truckee, this Eastern Sierra granite canyon is located north of Mount Whitney, along the upper portion of Bishop Creek. The large groves of aspen trees can be spectacular in autumn.

07-11-18 – Sequoia National Park



The park is notable for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park’s General Grant Grove, home of the General Grant tree among other giant sequoias. The park’s giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The parks preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement.

05-28_29-18 – North Rim Grand Canyon



A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim, or “other side” of Grand Canyon is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors. The centerpiece of the park is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 metres). Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. Designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

05-02-18 – Morro Bay



Morro Bay is a coastal city in California. It’s known for Morro Rock, an ancient volcanic mound at the end of Morro Rock Beach. The rock sits within Morro Bay State Park, home to lagoons, trails and a bird-rich saltwater marsh. Morro Bay State Park’s Museum of Natural History features exhibits on ecology and local Native American culture.

04-07-18 – Exposition Park Rose Garden



The Exposition Park Rose Garden is a now historic 7-acre sunken garden located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California. It has been called “one of the city’s best-kept secrets”. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

02-26-18 – Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument



The Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is a complex of three Spanish missions located in the U.S. state of New Mexico, near Mountainair. The main park visitor center is in Mountainair. Construction of the missions began in 1622 and was completed in 1635.

02-25-18 – Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness



The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a rolling landscape of badlands which offers some of the most unusual scenery found in the Four Corners Region. Time and natural elements have etched a fantasy world of strange rock formations made of interbedded sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt. The weathering of the sandstone forms hoodoos – weathered rock in the form of pinnacles, spires, cap rocks, and other unusual forms. Fossils occur in this sedimentary landform. Translated from the Navajo language, Bisti (Bis-tie) means “a large area of shale hills.” De-Na-Zin (Deh-nah-zin) takes its name from the Navajo words for “cranes”.

08-20-17 – Garden of the Gods


Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.

The area now known as Garden of the Gods was first called Red Rock Corral by the Europeans. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden”. His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”

The name “Garden of the Gods” was also later given to a section of the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., filled with large sandstone rock formations, because of the area’s resemblance to Colorado’s Garden of the Gods. The story goes that back in the early days of Hollywood, a movie producer seeking a rocky filming location made a comment to the effect of, “Who needs to go all the way to Colorado — we have our own ‘Garden of the Gods’ here!” The Iverson family took the comment to heart and began calling their own collection of rock formations the “Garden of the Gods,” and the name stuck. Today the main section of Chatsworth’s Garden of the Gods has also been preserved as a park.