Update from Salton Sea

I wasn’t able to attend the fundraiser/celebration on Earth Day, being as I was in Menlo Park that weekend, about 10 hours drive northier. Here’s the report that Celeste (yes, I do know just about everyone mentioned) wrote about the event.

Salton Sea Earth Day

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Finished product

In last month’s newsletter I reported on a local community art project….well…here’s the finished product…. the newly restored ‘Salton Sea Beach’ sign.

Desert version…

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Remains of the puddle from the last couple days.  The ocotillo is** actually blooming a little.

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas

with every neighbor that I’ve met

May your ocotillo bloom red,

and my all your Christmases be wet.

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Storm over the Badlands when we drove home yesterday.

 

A little heavy poetry.

A note:  Where I grew up in Wales, during the Cold War, the time for nukes to reach us from Moscow was supposed to be four minutes.

Range

Within the upturned cerulean cup,
across the Wedgwood blue waves –
the milk-not-plain Chocolate Mountains.
Above, the bright October sun blinds us to
flashes of falling silver
dispensed from those brown-growling speedsters above.
We are too far to see
spiky gray instant clouds scattering
puthers of pulverized sand,
but the earth reports back to us
as shuddering ripples under our feet.

The bombing range is in use today.

It is night time now in another desert.
I wonder if Aleppo hears the gray jets’ approach –
do they carry on with their ecru lives
as do I, under these bombing runs,
wondering if they are in range,
knowing there is no place to hide,
like we carried on under the timescale
of the black cold war,
that four-minute range to white nuclear destruction –
not jet to hear, no future to hold
just gone in sunshine, releasing
the range of emotions we carried with us,
the thoughts and hopes we nevertheless hewed out
in our pastel lives.

But accidents happen within
the rainbow range of human possibilities;
a hop, a skip, a crimson heart beat,
a jumpy peach finger tip and we are all in range
of the friendly fire that
could rain down twenty miles too far west, upending
a Salton City day into the beige earth around us
and the cerulean cup above.

Newer Work #38

Oil painting of dusty sunset

#1213 Umber Sunset. Oil on Canvas, 12×12″. $100.

Umber sunset is painted from one of the most unusually colored skies I’ve ever seen.  A dust storm created a dark brown swirling foreground, (rather than the usual beige-out we get when we get a haboob coming through), with creamy gold clouds poking through at the back.  I also created a refractured watercolor from this scene.  Sadly the 10′ tall creosote bush that stars in the bottom corner is no longer there, it was uprooted when George’s house was built.

Salton Sea Tour.

A couple with a home in Borrego Springs had an interest in doing a round-the-Salton-Sea tour with a local, getting introduced to all those funky places the locals know about.  I was their natural choice.  (They’re also clients…)

The prior couple of days we’d had some rockin high temps – 122 and 1% humidity. But on the day – June 21st, we saw the expected drop in temperature and were blessed with clouds.

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Lois enjoying the clouds at the ‘beach’ near my house.  Some nice fat cumulus, a little virga and some crepuscular rays.

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Doug at my ‘Reflecting Pool’. As it were…..

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Compare it with the same scene 10 years ago.

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Someone got stuck in Box Canyon. I’m sure this was a Monte Carlo, I used to drive one long ago.

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The Albert Frey building that is the North Shore Yacht Club still has a beautiful backdrop.

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Lois and Bob were comparing this grotto at Salvation Mountain with some shrines they’ve seen in South East Asia. The same feeling!

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The ‘back alley’ at Salvation Mountain is a riot of color.

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We found nice shade under the ‘bridge to nowhere’.  We stepped out of that shade for the photo.  It was about 100 F at this point.

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Trailer at Salvation Mountain. Perhaps this was Leonard Knight’s former home.

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Next stop was the East Jesus Sculpture Garden. Upcycling at it’s finest.

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One of the stops you don’t get on your average tour – the green water lagoon. By now it was 106 F so we declined any further stops that involved getting out of the truck.

Oh but it’s a dry heat.

Those who don’t live in the desert southwest will throw eyebrows up in astonishment at the heat and how us desert rats can tolerate it. We always give the same answer:  Oh, but it’s a dry heat.

Yesterday my indoor/outdoor weather sensor gave a perfect example of not only how hot, but also how dry – that’s the figure at the top right.

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I’ve kinda stopped believing some of the things this sensor tells me – like the date is wrong again, I really don’t think it’s that humid indoors and it’s always* forecasting rain.  Maybe it’s just hopeful. But the temperature was in agreement with the dollar-store thermometer that hangs outside the kitchen window.