Joshua Tree:  Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, and Painting Light, 19-21 February 2011
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The weather report said it was cold and rainy.  Nonetheless, we intrepid explorers went to the high desert, staying near the West Entrance of Joshua Tree National Park in a little cottage with a jacuzzi.  If it's gonna be cold, why soak in a nice hot jacuzzi?

We started off walking around the park in Hidden Valley.


Chinese characters mysteriously appearing in the trunk of a tree?  Or the work of Mother Nature, likely in the form of a worm burrowing under the bark of a tree?

Billowing clouds dwarfing and enormous rock formations dwarf a full size tree.

And just why is this named Hidden Valley?  In the 1800s, unscrupulous thieves used the valley to hide cattle and horses they had stolen.

Nowadays, on the Saturday closest to the full moon, the Andromeda Astronomical Society hosts a stargazing party here.

Hidden Valley, peppered with Joshua Trees, in all its glory.

More tree branches, adorned with Mother Nature's doodling.

This is Intersection Rock, aptly named, known particularly among rock climbers as one of the most sought after and nicest looking rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park.  Just rock throwing distance from Hidden Valley, this campground is one of the most coveted, and is often where climbers gather, hang out, and exchange information.  Even when the high temperature for the day tops out at 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, back at the cottage, Curious George reunited with his frog bunny buddy.

This fine Saturday evening, we hopped into the jacuzzi.  It was breezy.  It got breezier, then windy, then downright gusty.  We left, choosing instead to watch "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly", watching a parched Clint Eastwood crawl across the desert, as it began to rain.


Sunday morning birds.  The cottage sits on five acres, so we frequently wander the grounds, checking out the birds and wildlife.

Photo geek stuff:  I set up a tripod, pre-focused on a bush near where the birds were gathering, and shot at 1/2000 to capture these birds in flight with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens.

Sunday, Barker Dam, JT National Park again.  But this time, we'd go past the dam and farther into the valley behind it. 

The mountains were covered with fresh snow from the rainfall the night before.

The valley behind Barker Dam, Joshua Tree, with its otherworldly terrain.


Near Barker Dam, Joshua Tree.

Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

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Joshua Tree: Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, and Painting Light, February 2011
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