Joshua Tree National Park Monochromes

5 October 2016, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Agriculture in the desert to the north of the Salton Sea.

Cottonwood Spring and Teddybear Chollas.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Cottonwood Spring.

Joshua Tree National Park (IR).

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Mountains and desert.

Cottonwood Spring and Teddybear Chollas.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Ocotillo and desert landscape.

Joshua Tree National Park (IR).

.Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Desert landscape.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife
Teddy-bear Cholla.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Chollas.

Cottonwood Spring and Teddybear Chollas..

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Desert landscape, possibly with Triffids.

Joshua Tree National Park (IR).

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Jumbo Rocks.

Jumbo Rocks and Hidden Valley.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Joshua Tree.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

.Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Hidden Valley.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Coyote.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Rock climber.

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

Joshua Tree National Park (IR).

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Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

 

Black and White, Desert, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

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This was the last post of my expedition to Cuba & the Caribbean (Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, St Martin, Antigua, Jamaica, California).  This has included over 2,500 images and more than 52,000 words.  I have updated the index of all posts on this expedition which you can find here.

Next I will make a couple of local posts and then I will start on the final posts for my trip to Uzbekistan, Istanbul, Athens, Santorini, Crete, Andalusia, Washington and Oregon.  That is the last trip for which I have not made final posts.  I may not make any overseas trips until 2022 so those posts should keep me occupied for a while.

 

Salton Sea Monochromes

1 to 5 October 2016, Salton Sea, California, USA.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

This car may be going cheap, though also not going at all.

Salton Sea (IR).

 

Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

North shore palms.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Dead fish by an endangered sea.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Bombay Beach.

Salton Sea

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Slab City.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Slab City.

Salton Sea (IR).

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Salton Sea.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife .

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Mud Volcano.

Birds and Mud Volcanoes.

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Art, Black and White, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel, Wildlife

Hummingbird.

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L.A. and Salton Sea Monochromes

1 to 5 October 2016, Los Angeles and Salton Sea, USA.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Colombian Mammoth (Mammathus Columbi)

La Brea Tar Pits.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Chest of drawers from the 18th century Japan.

Netsuke Gallery, LACMA.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Netsuke.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Buddha Shakyamuni, Sukothai, Thailand, 14th-15th century.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Eagle-headed demon (Assyria).

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Borrego Palm Canyon.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Desert cacti, perhaps clavellina cholla.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Gomphothere.

Encounters with Megafauna.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

A locust or grasshopper and a scorpion.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Ground sloths.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Chinese dragon.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Humans in vehicle.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Salton Sea.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Dead fish on the salt.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

The end, but of what?

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Near Salton City.

Salton Sea (IR).

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Probably at Desert Shores.

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Art, Black and White, Infrared, Landscape, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Travel, Wilderness

Trees in the desert.

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Joshua Tree National Park (IR)

California USA, 3 October 2016

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We are in Cottonwood Spring in Joshua Tree National Park.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We see the autumnal yellow of the leaves and sometimes white leaves protesting against environmental indignities.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Deep in the grove is a fiery furnace of localised volcanic activity.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

You can tell the person at bottom left comes from Colorado because he is turning yellow in sympathy with the leaves of the trees.  This is due to long-term deciduous exposure.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The leaves become more orange as the day warms up.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

… then more yellow due to a sudden cool breeze.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We’re now in the desert with the ocotillos..

Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The ancient spirit of a sky snake hangs in the sky.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The local authorities have helpfully planted a sign showing which way is up.  This is puzzling for some.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

You might have noticed it’s a desert and quite dry.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

One day many years ago, triffids rained down.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

But it was a desert and no good for them so they turned into teddybear chollas.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

Because it’s so arid they usually don’t move much at all, except sometimes a little in the wind.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

You might be tempted to cuddle up in bed with a nice teddybear cholla but beware, it might turn into a triffid.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We are now approaching Jumbo Rocks.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

It’s much safer to cuddle up with a rock.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

And here we have a Joshua Tree in full autumn colours.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

in the foreground we have a Joshua Tree with an identity crisis, trying to be a palm.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The rocks are actually ancient fossilised Mojave Indian spirits.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

We are now in Hidden Valley and this may be the headquarters of the Mojave spirits.  They provide psychiatric assistance to Joshua Trees with identity crises

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The plants here are all Joshua Trees.  Some of them are very confused.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Hidden Valley, Infrared, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness

The spirit snakes are also very active in the sky in this area.

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OK, these are all infrared images.  So what does that mean?  Well, human eyes have a range of visible colours that can be expressed as combinations of red, green and blue.  Below that is infrared and above that is ultraviolet.  Many animals see outside our spectral range.  One of my cameras has a modified sensor that records infrared, red and green but not blue.  (You can also do this with most normal digital cameras but it requires using an R72 filter and a tripod).

The image out of the camera is basically orange but this hides the potential for other colours.  I then use software to hit the image with a virtual firehose to assign and modify colours.  My last infrared post I processed using complex processes in Photoshop and I processed each image quite differently.  Since the images in this post are more homogeneous, I decided to apply similar processing to them all.  I used a more simple process just in Lightroom, though using channel-swap profiles I had created in Photoshop.

Jumbo Rocks and Hidden Valley

California USA, 3 October 2016

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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We continue further through Joshua Tree National Park.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The first half of images in this post are from Jumbo Rocks.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a campground nearby.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The rocks are granite, originally created many eons ago by volcanic eruptions and subsequently smoothed by water during immersion in an inland sea.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Not so much more to say so I’ll mainly let the images speak for themselves….

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

If you look closely, you might see a sign on the right.  It is a Keep Out sign.  This is after all a fragile desert environment.  During the Government shutdown in 2019 and the early impact of COVID in 2020 when the rangers were absent but the park was still open, there were many instances of vandalism.  These included illegal off-roading, creating new roads, cutting down the rare Joshua trees and excessive littering.  The park was subsequently closed and hopefully better control will be maintained in future.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We have now moved on further and this is Hidden Valley, featuring here a magnificent specimen of a Joshua Tree.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

If you look closely on the right side of the rock (perhaps you need to click on the image for a larger size) you will see there is a person climbing it and another below him.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A somewhat mangy coyote near the car park.

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Desert, Hidden Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

And back through the park and on a main road again.

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For some reason, the images from this day (this post, the last one and the next one) have all been lost and recovered.  Perhaps it is from when I had two disks in my PC and one in my Drobo backup fail in a week and found there was a hole in my backups.  Though that would affect presumably more than one day.  In any case, the images were all lost until I later realised it was possible to recover full-sized jpegs from Lightroom previews (using a Jeffrey Friedl plug-in).

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Cottonwood Spring and Teddybear Chollas

California USA, 3 October 2016

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Today we left Salton City and the Salton Sea, and headed north and slightly west to the Joshua Tree National Park.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

We are still on the way there here.  The Salton Sea is in the background to the south and this is a farming area where they are irrigating the desert, using water ultimately from the Colorado River.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

Definitely desert, but also the lines of irrigation sprays.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

This is nearby, the opposite side of the road facing north, not quite in Joshua Tree National Park as yet.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

Now in Joshua Tree National Park, this is Cottonwood Springs, a strategic watering place for travellers in the nineteenth century.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

I think this is probably the Great Basin Fence lizard.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

You can see how large the California Palms are by the walker at bottom left.  You may need to click to a larger image to see that properly.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

Desert views inside Joshua Tree National Park.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

An Ocotillo.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

We stopped at a place near the road where many Teddy-bear Chollas (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) were growing.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

Teddy-bear Chollas.  Nice cuddy plants to curl up in bed with.

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel .

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Cholla, Cottonwood Spring, Desert, Irrigation, Joshua Tree National Park, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel

(More from Joshua Tree National Park in the next post).

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Birds and Mud Volcanoes

California USA, 2 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul . ..

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

We headed off for the southern end of the Salton Sea.  On the way we encountered some chickens on the road.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Large black chickens with red heads.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

… or turkey cultures, if you prefer.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Our first intended stop was the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.  These are probably sandhill cranes, flying overhead.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

This is probably a great blue heron.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

… with an egret or two out of focus in the background.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Not far from the wildlife refuge is an outcrop of  small mud volcanoes.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

This is a reminder of the San Andreas Fault and subterranean heat.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Not far away is the Elmore Geothermal Facility.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Normally I’d reduce this in size so images are roughly equal in area, but I’ll leave it as it is. We are at Calipatria, just south of the Salton Sea. We are at 56 metres below sea level (184 feet, or more than 30 fathoms). The top of the flag pole represents where the surface of the ocean would be if a fissure opened from the Gulf of California. I have read that it is a home-made construction and given that we are on or near the San Andreas Fault, one should not stand too close in the event of an earthquake.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

We are now back at Salton City and I am photographing hummingbirds in Jeni’s back yard.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife

Black-chinned hummingbirds.

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Birds, Desert, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wildlife .

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Slab City

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul ..

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

You may recall from the previous post that Leonard Knight, the creator of Salvation Mountain initially came to the nearby Slab City.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

Currently we are in the desert between Salvation Mountain and Slab City but the sculptures belong more to Slab City than Salvation Mountain.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

The more observant amongst you may notice some artistic differences in the style of the sculptures here as compared to Salvation Mountain.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

The materials used can be somewhat different too.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

It appears that cycling around in the desert may sometimes have been uncomfortable.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

There’s a conundrum here.  Is it a political statement, a sculpture or a theme park?

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

We are now in Slab City and the rows of bottles indicate boundaries for vehicles.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

Before there was Slab City, there was Camp Dunlap.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

This was a World War II military base, chosen for suitability for desert warfare training and proximity to San Diego.  It opened in 1942 and ran for three years.  By 1956 all the buildings had been removed but the concrete slabs they were built on remained.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

It’s reasonable to assume the array of sculptures wasn’t created by the Army in the 1940s to give a sense of normalcy to their soldiers.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

From the 1980s, people came to stay here.  Originally there were “snowbirds”, seasonal refugees from the cold northern winter, taking advantage of the concrete slabs as a place to park a mobile home.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

It has expanded to include artists, squatters, survivalists, people trying to escape and homeless people.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

The population is around 4,000 during winter months and 150 during the summer.  It is a harsh place to spend a summer.  In the hottest four months June to September, maximum monthly temperature is likely to be around 50ºC (122ºF) and maximum daily temperatures are likely to be around 40ºC to 42ºC (103ºF to 107ºF).

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

There is no electricity, running water, sewers or rubbish services provided by government.  There is also an absence of law enforcement, taxation or administration.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

So it might sound like a libertarian paradise and it is self-styled as “the last free place”.  Life must be hard for most of the people here though.  In recent years there has been an increase in drug use (particularly chrystal meth), theft and rubbish build-up.  Currently they are hiding out, closed to outsiders and trying to avoid COVID-19.  Many or most of them will have no health insurance and be unable to afford a doctor or even transport to see one.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

There are times when the light changes and an eerie glow descends over the area.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

This might be the Earth trying to fight back and defend itself from commercial exploitation and Climate Change.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Sculpture, Slab City, Travel

One might mistake it for the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse.  But it is due to permeation by future ghosts of the wealthy political figures who are currently striving to overwhelm Democracy by propaganda and legal manœuvres and end up here, despised by other residents and bereft of personal resources.

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Salvation Mountain

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Next we visited Salvation Mountain, near the south west corner of the Salton Sea.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Leonard Knight created Salvation Mountain.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He came to this area in 1984 with a massive 230-foot high hot air balloon he had sewn together over a six year period.  It had ten-foot high letters on the side; “God is Love”.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He came to Camp Dunlop or Slab City, near the south west corner of the Salton Sea but more on that in the next post.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He had help from the locals at Slab City to launch the balloon but when it came time for the launch, he discovered that the material had rotted so the launch never took place.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Inside the Hogan.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

So, instead of the balloon, he decided to display his God is Love message on the face of a small nearby mesa.  However, concrete was expensive and he used too much sand.  So after three years of hard work, when he must have thought he was making progress, his creation slithered down the face of the mesa into a gloopy mess.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Undeterred, in 1989 he started again, using a small donated front-end loader to cut more deeply onto the hill and using metal scrap to anchor his new façade into the hill.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

He proceeded without needing regular income, scavenging materials and receiving donations of paint, money and food.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Inside “The Museum”.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

In 1994 there was some controversy about the presence of a private monument on public land and the local government threatened to bulldoze the mountain due to the claimed presence of lead in the paint.  This produced public support, including a documentary from a Los Angeles film maker and the local authority relented.  An independent assay also showed no lead in the soil.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

It was declared “a folk art site worthy of preservation and protection” by the Folk Art Society of America in 2000.  In 2002, Senator Barbara Boxer of California entered Salvation Mountain into the Congressional Record as a national treasure.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

Leonard Knight aimed to repaint the mountain every year to ensure the paint remains thick but he died in 2014.  In his absence, volunteers continue this maintenance.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

This is his truck.  He initially used it to transport scavenged materials and at least later, lived on the back of it.

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Art, Desert, History, Landscape, Photography, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Sculpture, Travel

“He lived in the funky camper on the back of his old flatbed”.  I presume this is it (or perhaps, was it).

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Salton Sea (IR)

California USA, 1 October 2016

With Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul.

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If you have not read the previous post on the Salton Sea then you really should do so.  It contains images from similar places but also includes the ecological history of the Salton Sea and the way in which it represents a modern ecological parable.

(Click on any image for a larger view).

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness
The sign is headed SCSB – could this be Salton City Surf Beach?  It goes on to say: Property/ Parking Lot/ XXXX (i.e. erased) & Jetty/ Open to Public Use/ Sunrise to Sunset.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end my only friend, the end (Jim Morrison, not to be confused with Van Morrison).

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Of course everyone knows that the camera presents a completely accurate representation of reality.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

What is not so commonly known is that cameras have a mind-reading chip and really show what you see when you look at the subject.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

This is why images commonly have more contrast, more saturated colours  and more pleasing renditions than reality.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

It is also why most nude photographs you see are of people who had their clothes on at the time.  It just depends on how the photographer’s mind works.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

One of my cameras is particularly honest and shows what I saw as I stood there in the searing heat with the agricultural toxins born on the wind slowly searing into my brain.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Sometimes it is night, sometimes it is day and sometimes in the day it is night.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

We’re on a road to nowhere….

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Perhaps this is an alien landscape with a dead robot trying to emerge from the primordial slime.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Here, though, Jools and Jeni are discussing what we can possibly say to the rental car company.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

The reality is having an identity crisis.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

It is changing before our eyes.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

So back to normal reality.  Here we are at the North Shore Beach and Yacht Club, hoping for a swig or two amongst the jet-setters.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

The streetlight is causing a total eclipse of the sun.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

It’s gone now.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Ah, but it’s back again to normal daylight.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

You may think they are giant mushrooms but I’m assured they are palm trees.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Notwithstanding what appears to be an orange jump suit, i can assure you this is not a person recently escaped from prison.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Fish and chips anyone?  (Fission chips may be another option but Diablo Canyon is hundreds of kilometres away).

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

I’m told the fishing has been better.

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

Purple haze all in my brain.  Lately things don’t seem the same….

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Desert, Ecology, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salton Sea, Travel, Wilderness

The great desert paradise of Bombay Beach.  I didn’t manage to catch the frolicking Beach Boys at the time though.

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