Rock Climbing

This was a photograph I took in Joshua Tree National Park while I was there attending a photography class. As we were walking to the area we were planning to photograph we spotted these people climbing this lone standing rock face. 

When I was sixteen and just joined the railways in England I had to got on a compulsory one week long outward bounds course. This course was a lot of fun for a sixteen year old. We had to canoe, orienteering, potholing, rappelling down a cliff and of course rock climb. Well heights were never really my thing, mind you as I got older I find I mind them less. So we had to climb an 80 foot high cliff, it was scary but I was very proud of myself too for doing it. In fact the whole class was a lot of fun and I got to learn a lot about myself.


The Ladybug

My expertise with macro photography is very much lacking. I've rented macro lenses a couple of times but never knew enough about the technique to really get a great shot. This was a photograph I took of a ladybug the week before I took a macro photography class. I think it came out pretty good. The class most definately improved my macro photography, but I don't see it as a style I will use very often. Anyway, this ladybug was caught on camera at Anza Borrego State Park.


The Flowering Desert

As a continuation to yesterdays photograph taken next to the Bradshaw Trail I thought I would post this one taken at the site we visited that day. This is the view from Spring Hill in the Chocolate Mountains. The dirt road that you see in the foreground has to be specially made for us to be able to get up to the new site location. If you drove that road you would really understand the work that it took to make it. All of the yellow in the photograph is from the flowers that bloomed after the late rains we have had here in Southern California. The steel sections along the road are the sections of tower that will be moved up the hill and bolted together.


Danger UXB!

Actually UXB or Unexploded Bomb is misnomer because in this case this 500lb bomb casing is a dummy filled with concrete. One of the new radio sites at work is located in the Chocolate Mountains in the south east of Riverside County, close to the Arizona border. To get to the site you have to drive along one of the first stagecoach trails into Southern California known as the Bradshaw Trail. To the south of the trail is the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, used by the Navy and Marines for aerial bombing practice. My guess would be that these 500lb dummies were part of that practice. These ones were sitting right next to the Bradshaw Trail and in some cases were split open from their ground impact.


My Work Day

Yesterday at work I had the pleasure or discomfort to head up to one of our new radio sites called Spring Hill. Spring Hill is on the border of Riverside and Imperial counties. It's also in a really remote area with 20+ miles of dirt roads to drive on to get there and those dirt roads were far from smooth. When we left there we then spent another rough and bumpy 30+ miles of dirt road driving, heading home a different way. The Bradshaw Trail travels east - west from along the two county lines. To the south and adjacent to the Bradshaw Trail is the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range. This is a live aerial bombing range for the Navy and Marines. As we travelled the trail we drove under the railway trestle bridge photographed above. The line that traverses this bridge was used to transfer ore from the Eagle Mountain Mine to the Fontana Steel Works.  


A Cross Fountain

This was a photograph I took of a fountain at the Mission Inn in Riverside. I like the fountain with the cross in the background looking over it. I took this one during a photography class I was taking. I was told though that the fountain is a little bit creepy. What do you think?


My Jeep

When I was younger (like about 5) one of my favorite songs ever came out. In fact that song was the first single I every bought, remember those 7" vinyl singles. Then when I was 8 a movie was made that was inspired by that song, one of my all time favorite movies. The song also happened to be on the first album I bought, Black Bear Road by C.W. McCall. In that album a type of vehicle was mention a whole lot and that vehicle was the Jeep Renegade. I wanted a Jeep when I grew up so badly as a kid, I wanted to go off-roading with it, I wanted to pose with it. I day dreamed of owning that Jeep. Funny though, I moved to the USA and had the chance to own one and never did. Mind you I'm glad I didn't get one, I get to off road at work in a Jeep and really, it's not as much fun as I thought. Oh and by the way if you haven't figured it out already, the movie and song I was talking about, that was Convoy.

This photograph was taken at Keys Ranch in Joshua Tree National Park.


Soaring with the birds

I got to fly in a glider twice, it was an amazing experience. My girlfriend at the time, Sue, bought me a glider lesson. Her dad and uncle went along for the ride too. Being winched 2000ft into the air in about 8 seconds was pretty amazing, but the quiet once you are up there soaring around was even better. The pilot that took me up there gave me the chance to actually fly the glider around, which was even more fun. Try it if you get a chance, it's worth it. Oh and in England the rules state you have to wear a parachute too.....just in case.

This photograph was taken at Warner Springs Airport in northern San Diego County. I was driving past when I saw the gliders and decided to take a photo stop.


The Ranch House

So first off let me apologize for the lack of photographs over the past week, I had the worst cold I have had for a long time and felt like....Well it's unrepeatable here. Anyway this is my comeback photograph of the ranch house at Keys Ranch in Joshua Tree National Park. To visit Keys Ranch you have to schedule a visit through the Park Service and meet a ranger. They will then escort you into the ranch area. It's a pretty amazing place in the middle of a pretty amazing National Park. 


Baseball & Fireworks

For the past few years I've been going to see the San Bernardino 66ers play baseball. The 66ers, named after Route 66, are a Minor League baseball team and to me are more fun to watch than the major leagues. Of course the added advantage is that tickets are cheap and they are only a fifteen minute drive from home. So this year after the games they have a firework display and I decided to take along my camera to see what I could capture. Two other advantages with the minor leagues, no restrictions on cameras and front row seats behind the dugout to make photography even easier. Did I mention it was cheap too? 

I'll be going to a few more games and I'll see what I can do with the fireworks photographs. I'll get better I'm sure.