Saturday, February 27, 2010

Round Robin: Bright Sky, Warm Water

When I packed up my laptop yesterday to post my entry for the newest Round Robin Photo Challenge from a Los Angeles hotel room, there were several difficulties I forgot to consider. I knew my Vaio was slowly dying, but I refused to think about what would happen if it didn't work at all. I knew the LAX Marriott had WiFi in the rooms (for a hefty fee), but didn't consider that it might not actually work, or that my computer wouldn't cooperate with their network. And even if the computer worked and the network worked, there were still two problems:

1. All the photos I've taken since October are on the other computer at home, except this week's photos still on the camera.

2. The laptop no longer has any photo editing software except the bare-bones Picasa 3.

I don't mind telling you that I had kind of a difficult day today, and computer problems were part of that. I first tried to get online in my hotel room, but my computer wouldn't stop trying to load some other page long enough to let me agree to terms with the Wi-Fi ISP. I took the computer down to the lobby, where the Wi-Fi is supposedly free, but it couldn't even find a network down there - well, maybe an unnamed, local-only one, but what's the good of that? So I hauled the computer back upstairs, found a little wireless access switch that had been turned off by accident, opened Explorer because Firefox was still stuck trying to open two useless, non-functioning tabs -- and voila! Success!

And as it happens, my camera did have some photos still on the memory card to fit the topic Round Robin Challenge: Blinded By the Light, as suggested by Vicki of the blog Maraca. On Tuesday afternoon, finished at last with a difficult and time-consuming project at St. Michael's, I took off with the dogs, hoping to take them someplace interesting. Our first stop was at PetSmart, for dog food and to trim Cayenne's nails. Then I drove north toward the snow-dusted mountains. Starting out from PetSmart instead of from home, I missed a turn and ended up on Houghton Road, miles from anywhere. But getting lost is one of my favorite ways of finding stuff, and Tuesday was a prime example of that. Entirely by accident I came across a sign for Agua Caliente Park, a place I hadn't visited in 20 years or more. So that's where we went!

It was late afternoon. The sun was shining through the trees and across the largest and wettest of the three ponds.

The sun was very much in my eyes, so when I took this photo I tried to cram the sun behind a tree. And it almost worked!

Look how lightstruck the old palms are, and the brightness of the ground in between the late afternoon shadows.

Agua Caliente Park has a long and interesting history. It was originally the site of two springs, one hot (100 degrees F) and one cold, and is thought to have been used by local inhabitants for thousands of years. There was an army encampment there by the late 1850s, and a few decades later became a ranch and health spa, where people could "take the waters." Possibly so that there would be more waters for people to be theoretically healed by, owners dynamited the place, combining the hot spring and the cold spring into one warm one. Nowadays it's a county park, known mostly for its birdwatching and nature programs. Nobody takes the waters anymore; no swimming, wading or drinking of the spring water is allowed. Traces of the past are very much in evidence, though, including the very old and very large non-native palm trees and the ruinous bridge in the photo above.

The water table around here has fallen quite a bit over the past century, leaving less water above ground than there once was. This large, vaguely mushy field is technically a pond. But even though it had rained heavily just a day or two before, little water remained in evidence on the day of my visit.

Now let's see how everyone else saw the light!

Linking List
as of 10:55 AM MST Saturday

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Carly - Posted!

maryt - Posted!
Mary Tomaselli's Photos

Jama - Posted!
Sweet Memories

Suzanne R - Posted!
SuzyQ421's Photo Blog


flashbulb100w *** Welcome new member***
mga gihuna-huna

Sherrie - Posted!
Sherrie's Stuff

Ladyhightower *** Welcome new member***
Ladyhightower's Meme Castle

Sandy - Posted!
From the Heart of Texas

Ruth - Posted!

Gattina - Posted!
Keyhole Pictures

Manang Kim - Posted!
My Photography in Focus

Peggy - Posted!
Holmespunfun Memes and Themes



Sherrie said...

Hi Karen,
Great pictures of the light! Love that first one of the light coming through the trees. Have a great day!

Sherrie's Stuff

Manang Kim said...

Wow your photos is worth all those extra worked you do. I didn't know some hotels asked for a hefty amount just to connect with their internet connection. Anyhow, good job, the photo is awesome I so love it. Happy weekend!

Blinded by the Light

maryt/theteach said...

Karen, your shots are beautiful! I will put Agua Caliente Park on my Bucket List :) Thanks you for the great photos!

Carly said...

Hi Karen

Beautiful park. A new place for photos when the mood for parks strikes you. It's so exotic. :)


From the Heart of Texas said...

Beautiful photos of light! So glad you got all your computer problems to work out so you can share these with us!

MyMaracas said...

Love that fourth one! What a magical place.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

love that you have peeks and fullviews

Suzanne R said...

What a lovely variety of bright pictures! Good job!