Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Slab City

Slab City (formerly a World War 2, USMC Artillery Training Base), is located a few miles outside of Niland, California.  The base, which closed in 1946 is about 120 feet below sea level, in the desert near Salton Sea. The buildings were torn down and only the cement slabs were left behind. Through the years people starting living here either full-time or on a seasonal basis.  There are exactly ZERO utilities here. That means no water, electricity, and no plumbing. The people living here are mostly artistic, counter culture, crazy, or eccentric. Throw in some snow birds who come here to escape cold weather and you got a pretty eclectic group.

Post Apocalypse is a good description of it. They have a library (of sorts), crude yet creative galleries (of sorts) and even a couple of bars. All electricity is from solar, wind, or generators.  Somewhere close, there must be a VERY stinky dump! If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I'd say it's hippie commune meets Mad Max... Personally, I think it's amazing, but I could never live here. Maybe back in the day, but not now. The place has clearly seen better days...

This was the original gate guard blockhouse at the entrance gate to the base.

From what I've seen, this is a pretty typical looking resident of Slab City.

Two of the most well known characters around these parts are "Half Pint" and her donkey. They are well known enough, that even I know who they are.

Please meet Half Pint's hippie donkey. It's waiting for her outside of a small store in the fast approaching modern day ghost town of Niland. That little slice of decay will have it's own post pretty soon.

Slab City is about one square mile in size. Although most of it isn't as congested looking as this, a lot of it is. This photo was taken from the jeep and those smudges in the sky are most likely squished bugs. 

A Slab City estate.

Lot's of "hippie" type buses.

Some local art! (you know I had to have a least one black and white shot in the group.

Mobile folk art.  Do you think it actually runs?

Who ever lives in this one has some electricity.

A Slab City night club called the "Range." Okay, how do they keep the beer cold. Or do they?

Slab City condos?

This thing was awesome looking. I wanted to get a closer look, but the locals were chasing us with pitchforks and torches (not really).  Embiggen for a closer look at the whatever it is...

More buses and I don't know what the heck those containers are. Maybe studio apartments.

Slab City is another example of the strange things (and people) you see in the deserts of America. I love the desert for those two reasons and because of the amazing landscape.  This place is less than 200 miles from Los Angeles and about 75 miles from San Diego and I'll bet you that 99.9% of the population of both cities have never seen, or even heard of this place. Probably half of those who've heard of it, would be too afraid to go there.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Walk Around the Lake

Earlier today I tried to create this post and nothing would work. Then a message from blogger informed me that they were no longer supporting MS Internet Explorer. I couldn't even make a blog post unless I downloaded and used Google Chrome! Wow! Is there going to be a war between Amazon.com and Google someday to see which one will control the world?
Okay, enough of that. Today, my wife and I took a walk around our local lake. It's only a few minutes (walking) from our house, but every time I go there, I'm amazed by how much wildlife we see. All of these photos were taken today.

Although we live close to the ocean, it's nice having this little bit of freshwater paradise in our neighborhood. This view shows about half of it. Although there are some huge rainbow trout in the lake, motorized boats of any kind are not allowed.

I believe these guys are "Coots."  There are some here all year, but many more come each winter. They are pretty comical to watch.

Heron of some sort

A closer shot of a coot.

Although this is strictly a fresh water lake, pelicans make the short hop here from the ocean to do some fishing.

There are probably a couple hundred Canadian Geese wintering here. They are really big and loud birds. Love the colors.

Red-Tailed Hawk looking for something to kill I suppose.

Not at all a good photo of a woodpecker.

I have no idea, but he/she liked me

A grumpy Egret maybe?

We also saw a turkey vulture, many squirrels and rabbits. There are rattlesnakes, mountain lions, coyotes, and deer around also, but we didn't see any.

For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections by James.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Japan Imperial Palace Moat - Weekend Reflection

This is the view from the small bridge leading into the ancient Imperial Palace. It is an amazing place.  It is only open to the public a couple of weeks a year. We were fortunate to be there during one of them.

Here is the view in the opposite direction. I posted this one about a year ago.

For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections by James.


Monday, February 13, 2012

More Desert Art From Anza-Borrego

Sorry that I haven't been posting much lately. Lots to post, just not a lot of time to do so.  We've spent so much time in our RV this year, that when we get home, there is too much stuff piled up for us to do. I just don't seem to get things posted.  I'm working on it though.  These sculptures are in the general area of the sea serpent I posted last week. Still, they are all in the middle of nowhere. In this case, nowhere is an awesome place to be.

Wasn't expecting to see this.

From later in the day. I liked how moody it looked.

Another old dinosaur. The mastodon, is pretty old also.

Lot's of steel plating in these things. Lot's of rust also.

All of the hair in their manes and tails is steel also.

A little different view of the one above.  As you can see, there isn't a lot out here.

Even steel babies gotta eat.

I totally forgot what these are. Something prehistoric.

This thing was HUGE! I thought I took another shot that better showed the scale.

Wart hog, I'm thinking...


Friday, February 10, 2012

Weekend Reflections - Gulls

Ever notice how birds almost always face the same way?

For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections by James.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekend Reflection - Street Candid

She apparently wasn't calling the police on me. Oh yeah, she's one of our daughters, so I guess she couldn't...  Her hat looks to be straight out of Carnaby Street.
How many of you did I lose with that reference?
For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections by James.