Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ten days in the desert

My husband, son, and I arrived on the mesa late Friday, April 3 and I stayed through until last night, returning  to Los Angeles on April 14. The desert is a magical place and my stay was packed with so many people and activities that it's a bit of a blur. I'll try to tease out some of the high points. Scrolling through my photographs will help remind me.

Our visit began with the lunar eclipse. We arrived around midnight and set the alarm for 4:45 a.m. so we could get up to watch the eclipse.

The eclipsed moon setting over Mount San Gorgonio.
We were all working the First Saturday breakfast at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center so we all had to be there by 7:30 a.m. We were a little ragged, but it's always so fun to be with the community that none of us minded.

The desert is so beautiful right now, color and life everywhere. If you're ever in the desert, this is the time you want to be here, and if you live here all the time, spring is the big payoff. Spring feeds your spirit for the coming hot months, the debilitating, lock-yourself-in-your-cabin with the air conditioner and old movies months.

Beavertail cactus, opuntia basilaris
Meanwhile, in Wonder Valley, our mesquite trees hosted a riot of butterflies, bees and moths drunk on a cloud of heavily scented pollen. Standing in the midst of these trees baffles the senses.

Sphinx moth, Sphinginae 
Ken and I had place a bee box under the tamarisks near the mesquite, hoping that bees would move in. Last week, on the advice of a friend, I opened the empty hive and placed a couple of drops of lemon grass oil on the top of the wooden frames. A few days later we had bees.

Ken was skeptical and opened the top - without his bee suit on, mind you. He quickly dropped the lid back on the hive and high-tailed it out of there as it was humming with bees inside.

All in camera, one shot, no content manipulation.
This was a fun photo. I did resize the photo for this post, and corrected the color, but I didn't alter the content. Let me know if you can figure it out.