Weekend Coffee Share – almost a Las Vegas local…. or not?

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about? All are welcome! 

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How are you doing today? It’s Friday, and life is good, right? There’s plenty of coffee, if you’d like a cup? How is your week so far?

I’d say that I feel great, on top of my world great. I have a fun adventure planned for my daughter this weekend. She’s going to be so stoked, and that makes me very excited. I told her about it this morning, but she doesn’t know exactly how awesome it really is going to be. I spent a lot of time planning this adventure, and getting everything ready. As you might remember she asked me two weekends ago why we never go on adventures anymore… (like if moving over 600 miles, to another state, isn’t adventure enough…) When she said that, I immediately started to think of fun adventures. Girl..I’m going to give you a good one! I can give you one clue, and tell you the rest when we get back on Sunday. It will include getting out of the city. (It’s going to be 109 in Las Vegas this weekend, I don’t really care so much for more heat.) Lol, what did you say? You already knew that I wasn’t going to stay in the city during a weekend? So that’s not a good clue? Sorry.. that is the only clue I will give you, for now. I promise a full update afterwards. Well, I guess I could tell you that the adventure will include roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? 

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It’s been a great week here in southern Nevada. I’ve had lots of fun at work, getting to know the kids better. I’ve had time to work on my photography, learning more about my new Canon EOS 6D Mark ii. I’ve also edited all the photos from last weekends adventure, even though I haven’t had a chance to share all of them yet. The best ones, if you ask me, are yet to come.

I’ve made some new local friends. People seem very friendly, and open here. I take the kids at work out to parks, and talk to other parents, or they talk to me. When I go out on photo excursions I often meet other photographers, that likes to talk. When I work with my German Shepherd a lot of people approach me. I’ve had a few offers from people wanting me to train their dogs, and a few people trying to buy Gretchen from me. I have been offered several thousands for her, even though I didn’t pay a dollar for her when I got her, she is worth a lot now with all the training I’ve put into her. For me she is priceless, and I will never sell her. She is my best friend. Anyways, it seems easy to make new friends here. Actually a lot easier than in northern California. Not that I ever had a problem making friends, but here it seems very easy. The days are just flying by. I might not feel like a local quiet yet, but I do like it here. (As long as I get to do some exploring outside the city every week.)

The sweet family I work for took me out on Wednesday night, to a very good buffet at the M RESORT SPA CASINO. It was absolutely delicious, and everything was super fresh. The casino itself was exquisite. I particularly liked the entry, it had beautiful flower arrangements in a glass wall. I was kicking myself a little, because I knew that the lens I had on my camera wasn’t going to do the sen justice, so I didn’t even try taking the picture. I will be back for that one..

I hope you’re having a wonderful, amazing weekend!

Love,

Ms Zen

Valley of Fire State Park 2

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Arch Rock, Valley of Fire State Park (NV.)

Imagine being inside a Star Trek movie, then you’re pretty close to the experience of Valley of Fire. In fact Star Trek Generations was filmed in Valley of Fire, the notorious Captain Kirk died here. It does feel like you enter another world when you enter this state park.

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I may not be a huge Star Trek fans, forgive me, (I have seen all the  movies,) but I do understand why this location would be perfect. Numerous other movies, and commercials, have also been filmed here.  The park is easy to access, and less than an hour from Las Vegas. If you want to visit, but don’t feel like driving out to the desert all by yourself, there’s companies that have guided tours in the park, that happily pick you up in Vegas, and take you to Valley of Fire State Park.

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Sandstone

These amazing monuments are fragile, and protected. You are not allowed to climb up on top of them (we did see people doing that.)

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There is hundreds of natural caves in the park, and some formations have what looks like huge balconies. With so much housing/protection from the elements already there, it’s easy to see why early human beings choose this place for their home, despite the scarcity of water.

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With every turn of the road, new totally awe-inspiring vistas opens up.

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I think the highest sandstone formation, in the above photo, looks like a huge bird of prey. Can you see the open beak?

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Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. 

– Valley of Fire State Park visitor brochure

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I hope you enjoyed the second visit to this incredible park. If you missed the first one, or simply want to re-visit, you can find the first post here. There will be two more posts from Valley of Fire State Park in a near future. To be continued..

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Amazing Nature – Desert – Joshua Trees

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Joshua Tree, outside Las Vegas (NV.)

Joshua trees are fascinating to look at, standing tall in the middle of the desert landscape. It looks like they are reaching up towards the sky. In fact they were named by mormon settlers, that crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The trees unique shape reminded them of a story in the Bible, where Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in a prayer.

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Joshua trees in a desert landscape, along State Route 160, in southern Nevada.

These hardy little trees that grows in southern Nevada, southern California, and Arizona  are actually very sensitive to our current climate changes. Scientists believe that their numbers could be reduced by 90% by the end of this century. Which would have a huge impact on the ecosystem, probably more than we can understand today.

Joshua trees aren’t actually trees, they are succulents, a type of plant that stores water. In their dry ecosystems, however, they are considered trees of the desert. They have a complex root system that consists of deep and shallow root. Their deep roots can reach a depth of 10-30 feet (!) and collect water that no other plant can use. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

Joshua trees have been used for wood, and building materials for centuries. I think just looking at them is a treat. The way they reach up towards the sky is such a positive, hope giving gesture. Like they are giving thanks. I think they are  among the most interesting, fascinating plants in the desert. What do you think? Have you ever seen a Joshua tree? How do they make you feel?

It was cloudy yesterday when I took these pictures, and the light was kind of flat. It was a lot of fun experimenting with my new camera anyways, and enjoying nature at the same time. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

 

Love,

Ms Zen