Sunday

Site Introduction

Welcome to my Photo Gallery. With more than 1,399 posts and counting, many containing multiple pictures, I estimate that there are now more than 6,000 pictures on a wide variety of subjects scattered throughout the site that have received more than 285,700 page views. Because most of the pictures shown here have been captured while hiking areas in and around Las Vegas, the site has somewhat evolved into more of a hiking journal; listing and describing the places I have visited. There are five ways to find stuff on the site. [1] To locate a page on a specification place or subject, use the SEARCH THIS BLOG box located in the upper left side of the home page. For additional ways to locate specific pages ... {click "Read more" below}

Saturday

Recently Added Pages


July 2017 Posts (by Category & Title
NEW - Bellagio Botanical Garden -Bellagio's Conservatory Botanical Garden
NEW - Bonanza Trail - Bonanza Trail - Hike Notes For 07032017
NEW - Plants & Flowers - Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa)

June 2017 Posts (by Category & Title
NEW - Picture Photos - April - Color on B&W Background
NEW - Picture Photos - My Cousin Johnny Coxon
NEW - Artistic Compositions - Enhancing Landscape Photos
UPDATED - Mt Charleston - Mt. Charleston Loop & Area - Summary Page
UPDATED - Cactus - Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida)
NEW - Cactus - Eldorado Valley Tiltshift
NEW - Birds - Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
UPDATED - Eldorado Canyon - Techatticup Mining Camp - Summary Page
NEW - Eldorado Canyon - Techatticup Mining Camp - Trip Notes for 05/27/2017
UPDATED - Mt Charleston - Fletcher Canyon Trail - Summary Page
NEW - Mt. Charleston - Fletcher Canyon Trail
NEW - Year in Review - 2016 Year in Review
UPDATED - Joshua Tree Highway - Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness Area - Summary Page
NEW - Plants-Flowers - Desert Milkweed (Asclepias subulata)

                  
Click the "Read more" link below for a quick view a list of the Current Year-to-Date posts ... 
Click here to view an index of ALL HIKES Listed by Previous Year and Month ...                            Click here to view an index of ALL HIKES by location: Daytrips & Hike Index

Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information on the posts made on this site, but occasionally depictions may be inaccurate due to error of available information at the time of posting, mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is indended for informational and historical purposes only.

If you have any comments regarding any of these postings, or if you would like to be placed on my mailing list, click here for contact information ... Contact Me.

Thursday

Daytrip - Bellagio's Botanical Garden and Conservatory

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Each year I try to make a pilgrimage to the Bellagio to view the exhibits in the Conservatory. This year I attended their summer exhibit with my friend Blake Smith. The summer exhibit features its first Italian-inspired display titled "Tour of Italy". Follow this link for pictures and description ... Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Garden.

Tuesday

Daytrip - Bonanza Trail Hike

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On 07/03/2017 I made my tenth visit to Cold Creek. Today, Jim Herring, her daughter Christina, Bob Croke, Harvey Smith and I decided to head to Cold Creek Nevada to hike the Bonanza Peak trail. Once we reached the town of Cold Creek, we spent a little time looking around for some wild horses that normally populate this area. After a few pictures we then headed up the 2.2 mile dirt road above the town (Camp Bonanza Cold Creek Road) that leads to the trailhead. We made it in Jim's SUV without any trouble. Click here for description and pictures of today's hike ... Bonanza Trail Hike - Notes for 07/03/2017.html.

Saturday

Daytrip - Techatticup Mining Camp

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Back in May I came here with my cousin John for the expressed purpose of taking pictures. Over the years this was our second or third visit to this unique site. Once was to take their one hour mine tour. As they are always adding additional buildings, old cars, and hundreds of early 1900's era antiques, the photographing opportunities never disappoint. Click here for pictures and a description of this visit ... Techatticup Mining Camp - Trip Notes for 05/27/2017.

Friday

Daytrip - Fletcher Canyon Trail

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This was the third time I hiked this trail. This time I was accompanied by my friend Blake Smith. It was an absolutely beautiful day in the low 80's with a cool breeze. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, on the drive up Kyle Canyon Road we had a good view of the snow that was still lingering on Mt. Charleston. Because we got an early start, we decided to stop at the Mt. Charleston Lodge and enjoy a delicious breakfast of Eggs Benedict. Click here for pictures and a description ... Fletcher Canyon Trail.

Thursday

My Review of Pictures for 2016



At the end of each hiking year I review all of the year's posts, selecting what I hope are the better pictures worth sharing again. For display I have chosen to group them into 13 subject categories ranging from Desert Landscapes to Desert Wildlife. Each picture provides a link that will take you to the specific daytrip/hiking post showing additional pictures and descriptions of where the picture was taken. Picking the links to all of the 190 photos gives you a virtual tour of more than 40-plus hikes I took in 2016. Even though this page is a little late in coming, I hope you enjoy. Click the following for a link to view the page ... 2016 Year in Review.

Friday

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden - INDEX Summary

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(Fig. 01)
Background: The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Casino (Fig. 01) is one of the best FREE exhibits in Las Vegas. Only a few steps away from the hotel lobby, the 13,573-square-foot, Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is always in full bloom with it's ever-changing natural display of flora that is arranged in a theatrical theme presentation that changes five times a year. It celebrates each of the four seasons and Chinese New Year. The exhibit space, filled with lush plants, vibrant flowers and towering trees offers a place where visitors are offered a soothing and exciting dance of color that only its staff of 140 expert horticulturists can create.

I try to make it a point to visit this amazing place at least a couple of times a year. Though most of my visits have been during the day, attending at night offers a whole new experience. First of all, every afternoon provides two live 45-minute musical performances at 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 – 6:30 p.m., filling Bellagio’s Conservatory with varieties of jazz and symphonic harps. At night the expertly designed lighting of each display provides a whole new visual dimension. 

(Fig. 02)


Similar to the 2015 summer exhibit, the current 2016 Summer Exhibit, titled "Unda da sea", invites visitors to enter a magical undersea world, crafted with 80,000 flowers, complete with a sunken ship, treasure chest, coral reef and a whole slew of sea creatures; an underwater world in the middle of the desert. In addition t the 80,000 flowers that will be used during the exhibit, there are 1,500 fresh cut flowers in the mermaid’s tail, more than 600 shrubs, 60 trees and 1,250 fresh-cut flowers in the fisherman’s wharf. The coral reef is 26-feet-tall, 35-feet-long and 20-feet-wide and a shipwreck that is 35-feet-long and nine-feet-wide. There is also a five-foot tall Bellagio Sandcastle. The index list below provides links to my last 12 visits. 


Click A Title To View
BELLAGIO'S BOTANICAL GARDEN EXHIBITS

Bellagio's Conservatory Botanical Garden (2017)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - 2016 Winter Holiday Exhibit (2016)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Year of the Monkey (2016)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Summer Celebration (2015)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Year of the Goat (2015)

Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Spring Celebration  (2014)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Year of the Horse (2014)

Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Summer Garden Party (2013)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Spring Celebration (2013)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Chinese New Year (2013)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Winter Display (2012)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Spring Celebration (2012)
Bellagio's Botanical Garden - Fall Display (2012)
Conservatory at Bellagio (2010)
The Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius)
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)



Category Description

Description of the Single Edit Pics Category: This category contains mostly pictures that are the result of severe editing effects such as changing the sky, mood of the picture, etc. using the program LandscapePro.

Thursday

Techatticup Mining Camp - Trip Notes for 05/27/2017

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This page last updated on 06/17/2017
(Fig. 01)

05/27/2017 Trip Notes: I came here with my cousin John for the expressed purpose of taking pictures. Over the years this was our second visit to this unique site. As they are always adding additional buildings, old cars, and hundreds of early 1900's era antiques, the photographing opportunities never disappoint. Trying not to duplicate pictured captured on previous visits, here is a sampling of pictures we captured today. Taken on a previous visit, the picture in (Fig. 01) is of the original general store and visitor center. The pictures in (Figs. 02 & 03) are of a 'restored" gas station and garage. As we toured the property, it seemed that he has added sever more old cars and vehicles (Fig. 04). As you can see from (Figs. 05 & 06), the entire property is surrounded by a Bajada filled with thousands of [Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida)] cacti. Look at the photo in (Fig. 05) and see what I did to it by turning it into a "tiltshift" picture and adding a "blue" sky to the washed out sky. [Eldorado Valley TiltshiftThe owner even erected a reconstructed "arch-way" that stands as an entry into the desert. (Fig. 07). Over behind the general store there is a "reconstructed" mine entrance that leads to nowhere (Fig. 08). Here is an old, 1878 Straube vintage piano built in Chicago, that has seen a better day (Figs. 10 &11). (con't below)
                         
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
Visit Notes Continued: On the way home, we spotted a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) sitting on a cliff on the side of the road. We got out and walked back to get some pictures. Finally he flew off the cliff and began to circle the area. It took us a while but eventually we finally figured out what he was after. There was a dead rattle snake in the middle of the road that had been run over by a car. See the collage below (Fig. 12).
                                       
(Fig.11)
(Fig.12)




Return to the summary page ... Techatticup Mining Camp - Summary Page.

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Garden – Tour of Italy

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This page last updated on 07/11/2017 
(Fig. 01)
Description: Each season, the enormously talented horticulturalists and designers who make up the Bellagio Conservatory team transform this 14,000-square-foot floral playground into a showcase of the distinctive sights and colors of spring, summer, fall and winter. For 2017 the summer exhibit features its first Italian-inspired display titled "Tour of Italy". It features a rugged mountain landscape with multicolored villas (Fig. 01) that sit high above a cove-studded coastline. A large waterfall flows down the mountain feeding the cove-studded coastline (Fig. 02). The journey begins in the East Garden as you make your way through two 26-foot stone archways framed by eight Cypress trees (Fig. 03). Each end of of this walkway is guarded by a pair of large pots (Fig. 03) and four over-sized, beautiful handcrafted Italian vases with miniature lemon trees emerging from each vase (Fig. 04). (con't below)
                                       
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
Description continued: The two large arches are encased by two lush gardens, both resembling estates near Rome. To the left in the South Garden there is an over-sized 22-foot, moss-covered fountain overflowing with water that pays tribute to "The Fontana dell'Ovato" located in Villa d’Este, a 16th century residence in Tivoli (Fig. 05). The fountain is 18 feet in height and 40 feet in length x 3 feet in width. Atop the 18 feet high wall sit's 4 lemon trees along the balustrade. The fountain bowl is 10 feet wide and 5 feet deep. Two on each side of the waterfall , the wall itself has four cut out arches below the balustrade. These arches are 9 feet in height and 3 feet in width. Each of the arches contain inside, decorative hand painted containers housing citrus trees. In front of the fountain there is a decorative plate that was inspired by the magnificent Italian tiles and plates that are made in Italy. This 8-foot diameter plate was first covered in lentils and then became the canvas for an incredible hand painted Italian village landscape, illustrating the beauty found throughout the countryside (Fig. 05).. The front radius of the balustrade wall in front of the pond is 39 linear feet in length. It contains nine additional, 20-inch plates, each artistically hand-painted with Italian country-side scenes (Fig. 06).
                   
To the right in the North Garden, water streams from five lion and monkey sculptures mounted on a foliage-covered wall (Fig. 08) lined with four lemon topiaries comprised of 1,400 flowers and an intricately majolica-tiled bench (Fig. 07).

Walking to the rear of the exhibit in the West Garden you are confronted with a magnificent, rugged landscape and cove-studded coastline, studded with fifty multicolored villas complete with terraces and a 12-foot chiming bell tower (Fig. 09). The village is surrounded by magnificent vegetation and eight hanging Italian lanterns and a half dozen sun-soaked umbrellas that create an architectural model representing life on the island of Capri. Hanging overhead there is a huge sun and moon (Fig. 10). On the west side of the small pond, there is also a 30-foot tall lemon tree (Fig. 11) that provides shade to the multi-collared yachts calmly floating by Lovers’ Rock (Fig. 12). Below the lemon tree there are some large fallen lemons lying in a beautiful bed of yellow flowers (Fig. 13). The outer edges of the area are filled with some beautiful yellow fluted flowers (Fig. 14). Outside the garden in the Bellagio's entrance lobby and "check-in" area, there are additional displays and dozens of exquisite flowered vases everywhere (Fig. 15).
                                    
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)

(Fig. 10)

(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig.13)
(Fig. 14)




(Fig. 15)
The Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens display will be available now through Sept. 9 and is complimentary to the public and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.



Index for Category - Post Edits of Single Pics

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Enhancing Landscape Photos - 2017

Bonanza Trail Hike - Notes for 07/03/2017

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This page last updated on 07/03/2017
(Fig.01)


Bonanza Hike Summary: After following the paved Cold Creek Road through to the edge of town, it will turn into a dirt road. This unmarked dirt road is called the Camp Bonanza Cold Creek Road. To get to the trailhead, follow this road for 2.2 miles to a parking area. The elevation at the parking lot and trailhead is 7,553 feet. (Refer to (Fig. 02) From the trailhead, follow the obvious trail for 2.8 miles up 2,253 feet to the Bonanza Saddle at the top of the ridge. From the saddle, elevation 9,803 feet, looking west into the valley below you will see Pahrump NV. Once you attain the saddle, turn to your left (south) and you will again see the very obvious trail heading off towards a heavily wooded area. Stay on the trail that ascends with a series of gentle switchbacks. After nearly a mile, just 10 yards before the last switchback that heads down, turn left. This use trail takes you to the summit of Bonanza Peak. The peak is an elevation of 10,397 feet , making the total one-way hike a distance of 4.07 miles from the trailhead.  Even though there are lots of switchbacks (someone estimated more than 80), the total elevation elevation gain from the trailhead is 2,844 feet, making what I consider to be a moderately difficult hike.
                         
(Fig. 02)

07/03/2017 Hike Notes
This trip was my tenth visit to Cold Creek. Today, Jim Herring, her daughter Christina, Bob Croke and I decided to head to Cold Creek Nevada to hike the Bonanza Peak trail. On our approach to the town of Cold Creek we spotted a mule and 5-7 wild horses. This was the first time I have ever seen a mule here (Fig. 04). It seemed that most of these animals were not getting enough to eat as the 'ribs' on most of them were showing (Fig. 03).   

This was my fourth time hiking this trail. The 2.2 mile dirt road above the town (Camp Bonanza Cold Creek Road) leads to the trailhead. We made it in Jim's SUV without any trouble. Even though we got an early start, by the time we arrived at the trailhead around 8:15 am, it was already 82 degrees. From the trailhead, the total distance to the peak is 4.07 miles with an elevation climb of 2,844 feet. Our goal was only to the saddle at the top of the ridge line, a distance of 2.8 miles with a 2,253 feet climb. Even though there are lots of switchbacks, due to the elevation gain, this is a moderately difficult hike. As we continued to gain elevation the temperature actually began to drop some. Because we were all somewhat out of shape we made frequent stops in the shady areas to drink and rest (Fig. 07), many of which provided beautiful scenic views of the valley below (Fig. 08). The higher we hiked, the more and more switchbacks we encountered (Fig. 09). (con't below)
                                   
(Fig. 03)

(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
Trip Notes Continued: At the higher level the sides of the steep hillsides and the trail were lined with thousands of Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa) (Fig. 09), the delicate white flowers seen in (Fig. 10). We even spotted several rocks that contained marine fossils (Fig. 11). Closer to the crest the trail is filled with a mix of Ponderosa Pine, White Fir, and Bristlecone Pine. (See... Bristlecone Pines (Pinus longaeva). The higher we climbed, the more breaks we took in the shade of the beautiful Bristle Pines (Fig. 12)  Every open space provided wonderful views (Fig. 13). In addition to the occasional cacti there were we many Utah Penstemon (Penstemon utahensis), as seen in (Fig. 14). Talking with some returning hikers, they indicated that we still had more than a mile left to reach the Bonanza Saddle. Upon our return, Bob's study of Google Earth indicated that we would have had to climb another 500 feet in elevation in only 0.4 miles to the nearer ridge and over over 1000 ft in 0.9 miles to the big ridge. After only a few more switchbacks, the trail seemed to be getting steeper; verifying the information we later learned. At this point, we all decided that we were all getting quite tired and made a decision to turnaround and head back down. A good decision; by the time I reached the trailhead my legs were pretty well spent. Even though we were disappointed we didn't reach the saddle, it was a good hike.
                                       
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)

(Fig. 14)





Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa)

(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: On 07/03/2017 these pictures of Spreading Phlox (Fig. 01) were captured while hiking the upper elevations of the Bonanza Trail above the town of Cold Creek, NV. As you can see from (Figs. 02 & 03)) they line both sides of of the trail.

Description: Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa) is a species of phlox that is native to western North America from British Columbia to the southwestern United States to the Dakotas, where it grows in many types of habitat, including rocky, high elevation mountain slopes. It is a very compact mat-forming perennial herb growing in cushions or patches of short, decumbent stems. The linear, lance-shaped, or needle-like leaves are no more than 1.5 centimeters long and are oppositely arranged in bundles on the short stems. The corolla has five lobes, which may overlap to form a near circular flower, or remain mostly separate. At the center are several stamens bearing bright yellow anthers. Flower color ranges between white and pink, and four subspecies are recognized, reflecting the large variation in habitat and elevation. This perennial plant blossoms early May through Mid August and then goes dormant in November until next spring.
                                      
(Fig. 02)


(Fig. 03)