A View from the Owens Valley, BW

A View from the Owens Valley, BW

The same view from a few days earlier, in B&W.  I think I like this one better.

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A View from the Owens Valley

The Easter Sierra from Hwy 395

The Owens Valley has an interesting history.  Essentially, Los Angeles, the city, took all its water for itself.  It is also where the Manzanar Concentration Camp interred thousands of Japanese American citizens during the dark and scary days of World War II.  While not the horrific camps of the German Nazis, these internment camps were still horrors in their own right, and a blight on America’s history of human rights.

Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth

The very first day of our vacation to Mammoth Lakes earlier this summer found us arriving at our B&B on a fine, sunny day.  The balcony behind the house was brilliant in the sunshine, and to greet us was this Hummingbird Moth, fluttering around, and for all intents and purposes, looking and acting as a hummingbird does – quick darts, sudden stops, hovering in the air.  Luckily my camera was able to capture this beauty.  Interestingly enough, I had never heard about Hummingbird Moths until only a few days before I saw this one!

Pano Problems Along the Trail

Along the Trail

Another view of Mono Lake take while hiking back from Parker Lake in the Eastern Sierras.  This is a pano of about 20 images . . . but if you compare the sky in the upper left and upper right corners of the photo, you will notice serious color differentiations.  The dividing line is the pine tree in the center, and then moving left (dark) to right (lighter).

I had my polarizer on the lens, but shifted it during the taking without realizing it.  Problem!  I think I’ll shoot next time without it.  Still, I liked this well enough to post.

Tourist Stop: Bodie, California

For what it’s worth, Josh and I went up Highway 395 to see what the Eastern Sierras has to hold. I’ve never been up there.

We decided to visit Bodie, the old silver-mining ghost town in the high desert of eastern California. It was amazing – not so much that it was a ghost town, but that at one point, it wasn’t a ghost town.  The road in is about 13 miles long, the first 10 of which have been recently blacktopped, but the last 3 of which are gravel and washboard.  We were there under a noonday sun.

Historically, about 5% of the original buildings remain, many of which had been destroyed by a fire sometime ago (1920s??).  While it is rather desolate and barren, visiting and learning a bit of its history, you are amazed to see the civilization of an age past come to life.

Click on the images below for the slideshow!

High Noon in the High Desert

High Noon in the High Desert

When we visited Bodie, it was in the middle of the day; it was hot; there was no shade; we were thirsty.  The high desert is a dry, and to many, a barren place.  I wouldn’t say that – instead, I would say it is a spare land with a spare beauty.  It isn’t lush and verdant, but it is aromatic and clean – the light is clean, the air is clean, and it shimmers and dances with subtleties.  You just have to look.

On the Road to Bodie

On the Road to Bodie

We spent a day in Bodie, California, a silver-mining ghost town in the middle of the high desert in northern California off Hwy. 395.  It’s a photographer’s paradise, a state park, and a place with a very interesting history.  The dry air keeps it preserved – as preserved as it can be – and the drive out is lonely.