Wednesday, June 22, 2011

where the streets have no name

carrying one small bag a piece, we caught the saturday morning train, we'd only be away one night. we were on our way to anaheim and angels stadium, to see u2. U2!  the train delivered us at angels stadium, and we'd reserved a room a short walk away. so close was our hotel that when the bands began warming up in the late afternoon, we could hear them! it was a great great show, and an excellent, great night. i realized later, it was one of the only times my husband has been without his camera. me too. well, almost, i had my cell phone. all photos are taken with my phone, except the ones borrowed from here.

amtraks pacific surfliner train runs next to the coast

sunday afternoon, home again. and ready for part two of weekend plans. we raced home, unpacked our city bags and packed again (cameras now), this time for camping. we were heading to the carrizo plain, intentionally ignoring that it would be swelteringly hot in the california valley.

we were on a mission to find an endangered lizard, the blunt- nosed leopard lizard. and it likes the heat.

on our way, passing through the sespe wilderness we saw blue sage

and matilija poppies. the temperature began to rise

welcome to the carrizo in summer

noticing how brown it is now. and how almost all alone we are. the kcl campground is empty except for a few feathered year round residents.

in the campground there are towering eucalyptus trees that are home to many of carrizos birds. walking around the base of the trunks i found this raptor feather, it might be from an owl.

i think this totem helped me to see...

a running desert cottontail

a curious finch

a watchful california ground squirrel

and a chattering bullock's oriole

 it was also easy to see hiding black-tailed jackrabbits

 and a digesting gopher snake

 escorted out of the road by chuck

a soaring red-tailed hawk

and a greater roadrunner crossing the road

parry's mallow still growing on the hillsides

and an at ease western rattlesnake

basking in the sun

not even shaking his rattle

but definitely making use of his forked tongue to pick up our scent

yellow prince's plume

i can't say for sure what this pretty plant is

a perched california quail

 hitchhiking grasshopper on our windscreen

on and on we drove through the streets with no name (sandy dirt roads) and there it was, the thing we'd been searching for! the blunt-nosed leopard lizard. just when we'd been admitting that this was not the trip to find one, here was the perfect reptile after all. posing even!

he remained on the rock for all the photos chuck needed. then, scampering down, he ran under this bush and let me have a good look too.

he seemed to smile and i'm sure i saw a wink, and then he was gone.

thank you husband for a fantastic last three days, and thank you feather totem for helping us to see.

thank you too for coming along. i'm nearly finished with an order i've been working on so soon life will return to normal, i'm looking forward to catching up with all of you.
xo lori


  1. Oh Lori♥ Thank you for this lovely trip you shared with us! U2? Awesome! That would be just awesome to see.
    The wildlife~ ohhh I so love your photographs! Especially all the critters! Isn't all life grand?

  2. hi lori....i loved all of this...i just LOVE the train...we live across the street from the train station and i always LOVE hearing that train....summer and winter....late in the afternoons...i love hearing the clickity-clack of it on the tracks....

    the last time i was at that stadium it was for a Rolling Stones concert...about 100 years ago


    loved the carizzo plains journey...all those beautiful animals you got to it all....

    give little owen a hug from teddy and me

    sending summer love,
    kary and teddy

  3. Oh man, Lori, what a three days adventure! All of it! Oh man.
    I could feel the heat, and the dryness (you can`t imagine how GREEN things are here at the moment!), and I was afraid of the rattlesnake but enjoyed all those birds and bunnies! And the lizard! Wow! Your totem is powerful!
    Now finish all your knitting, and recover! I`ll write you extra!

  4. The things you do with your camera are beyond amazing! Even the cell fone camera! U2 ~ WOW! I am bringing my son Carl to LAX for a Dodgers/Mets game in early July ... can't wait to explore. Three nights for us too.

  5. cool lori! i love u2 and matilija poppies! what a great weekend you had. your phone pics are still great. what a great weekend for you guys. u2 is coming to miami soon. we would love to go. not sure though if that's a good idea with ezra - we'd have to get headphones for him for sure..

  6. like, save the whales and stuff.
    love you mum.

  7. Lori,
    The jackrabbit. gulp.
    the roadrunner. gulp again.
    the pink unknown flower. (Looks a little like buckwheat?)
    oh yeah, gulp.
    I really felt the muscles in my neck relax as I looked at these uplifting images.
    Amazing post.

  8. Well, what to say! Firstly, U2 are gods. I saw them years ago. Not really liking them when I was younger because my brother idolized them (was uncool to like the same things). I'll never forget that concert..the best.
    Secondly, the photos are incredible and look at your husband's camera! Great great shots :)

  9. What an utterly amazing photo journey! Starting with U2 and ending with an equally exciting desert journey.
    I always find it amusing when people say there is no life in the, there are just people who can't SEE.
    And yes, that lizard was flirting with you.... ;-)


  10. What a lovely and fun post! Great pictures!!! :) Thank you for sharing


  11. Loved the post, Lori!!! I have seen U2 a few times!! Love them...BIG!!!

  12. Oh I so needed this!
    Everything was so amazing. I just knew Owl would guide you to the blunt nose lizard ;)

    What a wonderful job Chuck has. (And how very lucky for the viewers of his photos.) And yours! Even the phone snapshots. really??

    U2...wowee!! They have done such wonderful things for the planet (and our ears.)

    Don't get carpal tunnel from so much knitting. How wonderful though that you got such a big order!

    Thanks for the beautiful walk through the plains again. Each experience with you is so new.


  13. The U2 concert looked fantastic & I'm so glad you had a good time. I have never seen a roadrunner before, so amazing!

  14. Wow,stunning photos.
    U2 takes me back, I met them long ago, several times and I have seen them in concert at least 12 times, LOVE them.
    But I think I love that lizard more :-).
    What an amazing 3 days!

  15. oh! i have to calm down after viewing this post. i'm having the equivalent of a hot flash or something kind of related :^)

    you are amazing lori. AMAZING!
    my favorite is the curious finch. i am enamored with the way it bends its head, not to mention my favorite turquoise color.

    emily wants me to tell you that the black tailed jack rabbit is named jack and is emily's third cousin twice removed. she says next time leave light purple jelly beans and you will see magic happen right then.

    and finally, that blunt nose lizard. i dated someone by that description, but just once :^)

    you and chuck are a gift to eachother and definitely a gift to many.


  16. i got so excited i forgot to mention U2. you took those shots with your cell phone? no way! you did? how did you? i can no longer kid myself that my photos don't look anything like your photos because of your camera. (i always knew better)

    love sf,

  17. U2 and then a trip "out there" - couldn't think of anything better!!


  18. U2....when I was young, a friend gave up U2 tickets (totally sold out in minutes concert), to be with me on my 21st birthday...I have never forgotten that gesture, given the total magnitude of it.

    What a great journey for you!

  19. Wow you found it!!!!
    And on your way found a lot of other gifts!
    Wonderful pictures Lori as usual. What a place!
    And what an event that must have been to see U2! Sometimes it is nice not to have a camera with you so you just have to store all into your senses ;)

    Have a nice day♥

  20. The photos of the oriole are awesome:) Can I ask what lens you're using for all the creature photos?

  21. wonderful
    w o n d e r f u l


    *the plant is a buckwheat


  22. What an incredible weekend! I can't tell which half was more exciting, the concert or the wildlife! And I LOVE train rides. I remember taking one all the way from LA to Vancouver once. What a ride! :D

  23. janis,

    thank you so much! it's a lot of fun to share these kinds of trips, i'm so glad you enjoyed!



    i know what you mean, we've lived near the train for years and years too. i love it at night, the sound is comforting isn't it? i love riding it too. thank you so much!



    the rattler is scary and it's good to be afraid, i think it keeps us aware, respectful and safe. but he seemed okay, not threatened or stressed and isn't he beautiful? i'm so glad you enjoyed, i think you would love it there, in the carrizo.



    thank you so very much, i really appreciate your kind words. you and carl will have a great time! dodger games are really fun!



    i hope you do get to see them, it's a FANTASTIC show. i LOVE u2. i did see a couple children there, the sound was perfect though (i brought my noise cancelling headphones just in case). plus they came on so late, ezra might fall asleep.


    love you too baby


    thank you julie. the road runner was so fast, it was hard to photo. there were actually three! and they appeared to be chased by a squirrel!



    i heartily agree! we are still high from that night. my husbands lens is very fun to use, i borrow it every chance i can!

  24. anne,

    you are so right, the desert is teeming with life. i think everyone would get excited if they only knew. and thank you.



    thank you very much! i'm so glad you enjoyed!



    thank you! i am so happy to have had the chance to see them, glad you did too!



    thank you so much! yes, it's incredible the photos this phone takes, i have a blackberry bold. it's got a 5 mgpixel camera, its amazing. thank you again for such kind words.



    we were thrilled to see the roadrunner, what i didn't show was that there were three! just like their name says, they run, fast!



    12 times?!! wow! thats amazing. we were really lucky to see them and that lizard too!



    the finch is my favorite too. the pose is priceless, i love those little birds.
    please tell emily thankyou, and that i really like her relatives very much.
    yes, my phone takes great photos, so does yours, you just have to put them in your computer!

  25. janet,




    what a sweet friend and a lovely memory. thank you for sharing.



    it was an incredible feeling to find that lizard. my husband was thrilled. it was perfect, we were running out of time and ready to head back. a great weekend for sure.


    whitney lee,

    thank you very much. all the wildlife, birdlife photos were taken with canon lenses. my favorite is a 300mm fixed lens and a 300mm 2.8 with a doubler. they can both be handheld (sort of)without a tripod. i have a canon 60D and a leica c-lux 2. and then i borrow from my husband :)


    thank you ro,

    i knew you'd know.



    thank you! wow, i would love to take such a long ride. it was all exciting, i am truly grateful for a great weekend!

  26. Amazing pictures Lori - and yes I'm agreeing with everyone - my cell phone or ipod does not take pictures like that - you've got the special eyes!
    SO glad you had a wonderful weekend - see you next time,

  27. wonderful pictures and adventures Lori! i love the red tailed hawk particularly :) Jeepers all those people at the U2 concert - so so many. I bet it was great tho.
    keep on living life your way - you are inspirational xx

  28. My dear adventurer,

    U2? I can't believe you got to go! And then the amazing journey through the plains and Sespe. Loved the lizard, the gorgeous jackrabbit (the sun through his big ears). Loved the finch, the roadrunner, loved it all.

    The pink flower is an Eriogonum, but I don't know which one...there are so many and they are so lovely as they are and when you look at them with a magnifying glass or loupe, they are exquisite.

    I haven't been peeking into blogs for a couple of weeks because of life. I am so glad you stopped by for a visit tonight (we posted at around 11 P.M. so I know you're a night owl too).

    Sending a pocketful of joy,


    Yes, that was an owl feather...oh, loved Chuck picking up the snake to rescue it...and the Bullock's of my favorites. Hugs.

  29. Lori, I just love reading your posts. You are really living well, and that is such an inspiration.

  30. mim,

    thank you, yes, for sure next time.



    the funny thing was, we didn't even really notice, it was that amazing. it was a magical night, full of peace and unity, along with insane music.



    i'm so looking forward to your next book, of course it's always an honor when you can pay a visit here. thank you for identifying the flower, next time i'm going to use the macro lens to have a closer look!



    thank you dear. are you in nyc? looking forward to your next post.



    heart you back my friend. :)

  31. OH, Carrizo plain is always beautiful whatever season it is.
    Always a pleasure tagging along in your trips.

  32. Magnificent Lori.... I know you know that I love everything you share with that lens of yours.

    The snake shots are fantastic!!!
    I'm a little afraid of snakes, but curious about them too.

    Keep on sharing
    You bring much joy
    xx Robyn

  33. ps.. I'll be in touch soon, just a little busy at present xx

  34. It looks like you had an awesome trip. Your pictures are beautiful

    However we hate U2. On the grounds that THEY PAY NO TAX! So much for being a big charity worker.... what a bunch of bull. He doesn't pay tax!!


xoxo lori