April 17, 2009

Salton Sea - South End

The Salton Sea is a freaky-deaky place. It used to be a tremendously popular resort destination. Now it's practically a ghost town. It's the middle of the desert and gets less than 3" precipitation per year. But there's this HUGE, closed basin, VERY SALTY lake - in fact, the largest lake in California. The surface of the lake is 225+ feet BELOW sea level. It is said by some to be the world's most productive fishery. It's an important wetland habit for millions of birds. There are volcanic domes at the south end; we climbed to the top of one of them.

Here we are at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.

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The trail to/from the volcanic dome...

salton sea 2009

Must be ladybug season!

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There are a bunch of these geothermal plants, taking advantage of all the hot stuff deep in the earth.

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I was dying to take a sidetrip up to the North end of the lake (where the really freaky vibe is), but we had limited daylight left and we wanted to get to the Sand Dunes before heading home for the day ...

You can see my North Shore pictures from last year's trip in these posts:

Salton Sea - Abbreviated No Words Version
This is not your grandfather's desert
Salton Sea - the wordy version

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15 comments:

Tracy P. said...

Whoa, that first photo with all the geometry...awesome!

What a place!

metaphase said...

These are absolutely beautiful photos. I love them all. Since I have a thing for wild life, I really love the birds. It looks like a magazine photo (I'm thinking Smithsonian or Nat Geo.
Is it wrong I want to go to bed one night being me as a photographer and wake up the next morning with your skills?:)

fxmixer said...

What great adventures!

Beth@Pages of Our Life said...

I think having a camera is such a great stimulus to getting outdoors and having adventures.

We went on one yesterday! I love the birds against the green and those lady bugs remind me of my freshman college dorm. (They came in through the windows like crazy!)

Teri said...

I love the ladybuy shot. What lens are you using? And you use Photoshop, not Elements, right? I'm trying to figure out if there are any actions for Elements. As always, you're photos are GREAT.

SKELLER said...

Teri-
I was borrowing my friend Leslie's 70-200mm lens, which was great for the close-up stuff (tho, I was bummed to miss a couple wide angles I would have loved to have had - I was too lazy to haul a 2nd lens along on our hike). At 200mm that lens really REALLY nicely blurs EVERYTHING but the main subject.

yes! there are actions for Elements. Check out this site for sure for some very nice actions for Elements:

coffeeteaphotography.blogspot.com

kbreints said...

Wow! Love the bird picture....

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Deidra said...

You are an amazing photographer. I love that you share little tips along the way.

Can you swim in that sea? Would anyone want to?

SKELLER said...

Thanks, Deidra.
And yes, you *can* totally swim in the sea. Tho, you might not want to. It's really very salty -25% saltier than the ocean. And sometimes (when the algae is dying off in the hotter months, and the fish, too...) the sea *smells* pretty bad. But it's completely safe to swim in. It gets a bad rap for being "polluted", but that's not the reality.

EL at Through My Own Lens said...

Those ladybugs are AMAZING!!! I was once at a waterfall in the Seattle area (Snoqualmie Falls) and on this particular day there were a TON of ladybugs all over the viewing area! It was like you had to keep waving your hand in front of your face to see (like gnats or something). Anyway, I didn't even think about trying to get a photo (that was before photography was such a hobby of mine). What a great shot...love it! And, thanks for the memory!!!

Katarina said...

You have some really cool places to visit. Thanks for sharing the pictures....although everytime I come to visit your blog, I add one more place on my "To visit in this lifetime" trip list!!

theArthurClan said...

Love all of these, but that last bird photo is amazing. What a beautiful trip!