A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grills and I don't mean bar-b-que grills

These last few weeks I have been busy doing repairs, maintenance, additions and improvements to the Little House on the Highway.  As such I haven't been out and about very much, even for as little as a hike on the trails all during that time.  But they did have a car show this past weekend here in the old folks village where I live so I did go to that.  Old cars always provide good material for picture taking.

I love the grills on cars from yesteryear.  Some truly are pieces of art.

- more to come -

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

Here in the States Monday May 30th is Memorial Day where we honor those who gave their lives so that our country may be free.  It is a three day holiday weekend which is otherwise known as the unofficial beginning of summer.  When I was working it would always be my first road trip of the year and I'd go to the desert in Nevada where few others did, thus avoiding the hoards of people at parks and beaches.  Now retired, I prefer to stay home off the highways and be safe for the weekend.
Take care and be safe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Sad Day

Sinbad is fine.  The title to this post might cause you to think otherwise so I'll put that out first.  
No, the sad day part is I sold my motorcycle last week.  Motorcycles have been a part of my life since my first one nearly 50 years ago.  So it is as if a chapter of my life has come to a close, and for me that is sad.  I just didn't ride it all that much anymore and it seemed silly to keep buying insurance and registration for something that just sat, unused.  Oh I still enjoyed riding but as of late it seemed I went for shorter and shorter rides feeling like I had went for a really long ride afterwards.  
Just part of getting old I guess.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where I Live

Over several days I was trying out different camera set-ups for filming when driving while going back and forth between home and the shop to have some work done on the RV.  You will see the neighborhood I live in and the area around where I live.

  Interesting note:  YouTube picked up on the music that was being played over the radio at the end of the video and tagged it as copyrighted material even so far as identifying the piece, who wrote it and who and when performed it.  Amazing YouTube can figure that much out but not the fact that it was background noise rather than something I uploaded to the video.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Time to Leave

 Our time in the Mojave National Preserve draws to an end.
Before we go, one last flower, my favorite, the blossom of the Beavertail Cactus.

Maybe one more morning walkabout and then

Sinbad leads the way back to our home away from home,

where we begin the long drive back to where we started our journey.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Few Unknowns

These flowers I was unable to identify with any certainty.

This one here had a very nice design deep inside.

Yellow is the most common color of flowers in the desert it seems.

 If I have seen this plant before I most certainly have never seen the seed pods.

There are some very oddly different plants in the desert and for a good reason too no doubt.
This adaptation must insure its continued survival in some way.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Baby Joshua Trees

For all the times I have been to the desert I have never seen small starts of a Joshua Tree before.
This was a first for me.

New seedlings may grow 3 inches a year for the first 10 years 
and then slow down to 1.5 inches growth a year thereafter. 

 In the background you see one coming to its life's end.  Joshua trees can take as long as 60 years to fully mature and may live 500 years or more.  
The largest one known was 80 feet (24 meters) tall and thought to be 1000 years old.

Their trunks have thousands of small fibers and lack growth rings like normal trees do so it is difficult to tell there actual age in most case.  The bark is extremely hard and tough.  It'd have to be in that harsh desert environment which helps to conserve moisture. 

I just had to show this picture again of my little buddy near a very healthy and handsome Joshua Tree.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sinbad and the Dinosaur

When I returned to the RV I showed Sinbad what I found.
Really?  Do you have to set that thing here?

 Nearby our camp was this improvised gate designed to keep people from continuing on the road.

The gate was securely locked to keep anyone from opening it.
Now, what is wrong with this arrangement? 

    When we first arrived at our campsite I immediately went for a short walk leaving the 

camera behind which I soon regretted.  I walked up over the nearby hill and discovered someone's 

“camp” down on the other side.  It was a strange set-up.  There were no structures except for a 

broken down camper off to the side.  The guy must have had 10 to 15 handsaws of all types laying 

around on boxes, rocks or in the dirt.  He had a 50 gallon barrel stuck full of long items like a mop, 

fishing poles, crutches (several pairs of different styles) among other scraps of long metal and wood 

poles.  Another 50 gallon plastic barrel was full of water.  There were 5 gallon buckets scattered all 

about filled with things you'd have no use for in the desert like plumbing fixtures, door knobs and 

hinges. There was even an antique Seagull outboard boat motor lying there in the dirt which is quite 

the collectable.   Also numerous cases of empty beer bottles including a case of champagne bottles, a 

few looking yet uncorked.  He had a huge round wire cage where he tossed his empty food tins.   I 

looked to see what he ate.  Most of the cans were Alpo dog food.  I hoped he had a dog.  Whoever it 

was that lived there, it was he who designed that gate and I bet he would be quite interesting person 

to talk with.  Or maybe not.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Baby Dinosaur Tale

I was climbing around on the side of this hill looking for anything to take a picture of.

Anything, like this cactus for example.

The hill provided a nice view of the valley.  See the Little House on the Highway?  
Sinbad is asleep inside.

Well this was a surprise find!  I wondered how it came to be out here.  A little boy camping with his family where we were camped probably lost it somehow.  Now how could a little guy loose his toy dinosaur without knowing it?  I was soon to find out.

I thought it would be fun to pose the dinosaur in various settings, took several pictures and then stuck him in my pocket while I resumed looking for things to photograph.  Several minutes later I realized he was gone.  He'd fallen out of my pocket somehow.  I backtracked and eventually found him.  Back in my pocket he went.  Well I lost him again!  Each time I stooped down to take a picture he'd fall out.  I searched and searched.  What else did I have to do?   I even scrolled back through my pictures trying to help me retrace my steps.  I figured he was gone for good and was meant to stay here on the hill.  Finally, there he was!  This time I stuffed him all the way down in my pants.  

He now has a new home on the dash of the Little House on the Highway.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monday Mural: Water Tank Bunny

Found in nowhere land of the Mojave National Preserve.

For more murals click on Oakland Daily Photo Monday-Mural

Just Stay Home

Yeah, each year I go off to the desert looking for cactus blooming meanwhile here at home...

Several more will open up tomorrow and the next day on this one.