Pre-Sunrise Exposure Check

Waiting for sunrise on a cold morning on the night of the full moon.   Looking east towards Alamagordo, with the National Solar Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico on the distant peak.

A perfect night and a perfect view for us while we camped at White Sands National Monument.

Yes, you can camp at White Sands!  We highly recommend it, although there are some significant considerations.

Things like, being in the desert, it can be hotter than Hades during the day, then freezing at night.  No water, no facilities, you have to navigate and hike in to your spot, which are non-reservable, first-come, first-served. Your spot gets reserved only after you sign in at the front desk and they give you a serious shakedown on your abilities, equipment, and water supplies.*

Perfect!

You don’t actually camp on the dunes, but in the hollows between the dunes, on the hard-pan desert floor.  One campsite per flat, so you don’t even know if there are others camping out there, until you climb to the top of a dune and they happen to be on top of a dune near their spot.

Like I said – perfect!

Not knowing how the spot was going to be, we carried in our free-standing tent.  With the crisp, clear night, we opted to go without the rain fly, so we had a fantastic view of all of the stars.  When we woke up in the morning, we had a nice layer of frost all over us.

Perfect!

If you are in the area, especially now, we highly recommend it.  This picture was taken last year, on November 6.  This would be the time of year that I would make return trips, as the crowd is almost non-existent, the temperatures are manageable and the views are outstanding.  More to come.

* For more details on the camping in White Sands National Monument, click here.

Homework

I don’t particularly mind that the school work is completely destroying me in a metaphysical sense.

Because the truth is that it really isn’t destroying me.

Just sapping most of my mental and physical energy.

That is not a bad thing.

But I am thankful for a few moments where I can break away and exercise my creative brain for some school work.
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This is a Mokugyo, a piece that we have had in our house for ten years now, in six different homes in three different countries.  I had never given it too much thought, other than the memories that it brought forth.

After spending the weekend learning more about it, the memories mean so much more.

Joshua Tree Cinema

Panamint Range, Inyo County, California

Moments after this, a pair of US Navy F-18 jets flew just a couple of hundred feet above us, banking hard enough that we could see the pilots in the cockpits.  We couldn’t hear, nor see them coming, although the first one gave it away.

Playing with a cinematic crop, which gives these landscapes quite a different look, a depth that the regular frame doesn’t provide.

Gimmicky?

Perhaps.

But still fun.

My Sunshine

A throwback to last April, watching the showers, hoping for some lightning or other exciting action.

Which may not have been smart, since we were on the highest point for several miles around.

But that’s what we do.

She’s looking at the last bit of last winter’s snow on Mount Ashland.  They’ve already received their first snowfall.  Here’s hoping that they have another great year.  They really need it.