Wild Flowers of the Desert

California Golden Poppy
[Golden Poppy]
California poppy
[Yellow Poppy — Lancaster, CA]
Wild Daisy -- Utah

[Wild Daisy — Utah]
Desert Prickly Poppy -- Bristlecone Pine
[Desert Prickly Poppy — Bristlecone Pine]
Crimson Sheep Pod --Bristlecove Pine
[Crimson Sheep Pod]
Bristlecone Pine
[Bristlecone Pine]
Desert Apricot -- Lake Isabella
[Desert Apricot]
California Milk Weed -- Lake Isabella
[California Milk Weed — Lake Isabella]
Baby Blue-eyes -- Lake Isabella
[Baby Blue-eyes — Lake Isabella]
Palm Springs, CA
[Palm Springs, CA]
Palm Springs desert flower
[Palm Springs desert flower]
found in Palm Springs desert
[found in Palm Springs, CA]
Found at the Trona Pinnacles
[Found at the Trona Pinnacles]
African Violet -- Ridgecrest
[African Violet — Ridgecrest]
[Found in Johannesburg, CA]
Paper-Bac Bush Bladder Sage -- Garlock
[Paper-Bac Bush Bladder Sage — Garlock]
Desert Willow -- Ridgecrest
[Desert Willow — Ridgecrest]
Owl's Clover -- Visalia
[Owl’s Clover — Visalia]
Western Desert Penstermon
[Western Desert Penstemon]
Blue Jay -- Whitney Portals
[Blue Jay]
Beavertail Cactus -- Whitney Portals
[Beavertail Cactus — Whitney Portals]
Beavertail Cactus -- Whitney Portals
[Beavertail Cactus — Whitney Portals]
Beaver Tail Cactus -- Whitney Portals
[Beaver Tail Cactus — Whitney Portals]
Coulter's Thistle -- Short Canyon
[Coulter Thistle — Short Canyon]
California Poppy -- Kernville
[California Poppy — Kernville]
Mohave Sand Verbena -- Owens Lake
[Mohave Sand Verbena — Owens Lake]
Mariposa Tulip -- Owens Lake
[Mariposa Tulip — Owens Lake]
Leopard Lily -- Mammoth Lakes

[Leopard Lily]
Dwarf Monkey Flower -- Mamoth Lake
[Dwarf Monkey Flower]
Snow Plant -- Kennedy Meadows
[Snow Plant — Kennedy Meadows]
Felt (wooly) Paintbrush -- Kennedy Meadows
[Felt (wooly) Paintbrush — Kennedy Meadows]
Mojave Desert Mallow -- Fossil Falls
[Majave Desert Mallow — Fossil Falls]
Winecup Clarkia -- Delano
[Winecup Clarkia — Delano]
Wind Poppy -- Delano
[Wind Poppy — Delano]
Crimson Columbine -- Convict Lake
[Crimson Columbine — Convict Lake]

“Sweet Dreams”

Girl looking at cupcakes
Sweet Dreams  by Sandra Bitter

A few years back when my granddaughter (and roommate) first showed an interest in photography, I loaned her my camera so she could take a class.  At that time, the camera (a Canon) was near top of the line; it had all the “wolf’s and whistles” the average person dreams of and nearly all the attachments.  (Of course, that was before digital cameras took over the photography industry.)  Sandra made a promise, “I’ll be careful with it.  Thank you Grama.”  It was thrilling for her just being able to use it.

The camera was my pride and joy.  I loved taking pictures.  I purchased it with award monies I received from work.  I really could not afford to buy a camera like that.  I only did because I believe award monies should be spent on dreams.  The camera was my dream.  Shortly there after, I took that camera on a dream trip to England for five months with the local college (Cerro Coso Community College (CCCC)).  While I was in England, I snapped hundreds of shots and did the same in Paris and in Venice while on Spring Break.

Sandra put her all into that class.  As a result, photography became her passion and her avenue of expression and release, her Art of choice.  Excitement spills out onto to her canvas, so to speak, as each photo she produces emphasizes her love for the art and her subjects.  She chooses wisely.  When she graduated, I gave her my prize possession, the camera, and all its attachments, along with encouragement to continue with her endeavor, her love of The Art of Photography.  Even though she loved photography and did not forsake her passion for it, she was practical and chose a different major.

Years have gone by.  She works in her major field of study in Washington, DC.  Nevertheless, her passionate dream (photography) lurks in the background, seeking a release.  She now has one of those new fangled digital cameras that do everything.  She put it to work at the grand opening of the Alexandria Cupcake in Virginia.  Covering the event ignited that passion again.

An e-mail came exclaiming, “WHOOOTWOOO! . . .  I got my first photography credit!  Check out the pictures on “the icing on the cupcake” blog!  My favorite is the one of a little girl looking in the window at all the yummy cupcakes.  Sandra did not mention giving it a name.  It does not matter.  I gave it one myself.  I call it “Sweet Dreams”.  Isn’t that what the little girl is doing?  She is dreaming of the sweets just beyond her reach behind the window.

The photo is a work of art.  It is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s drawings.  What do you think?

Let me introduce a character in my life.

The Poppy Master
Lancaster, CA 2010 Poppy Fields

This is Sparky.  I call him the “The Poppy Field Master”.    Sparky is such a beautiful dog. He looks so regal.  His black fur glistens from the refection off the golden poppies. He is quite a character.  He follows me around during the day occasionally stopping me dead in my tracts.  He will not move until I say, “Excuse me”.  I am on a short lease, so to speak.  He is in control; I am not.  All he has to do is step on the leash (the oxygen cord) and I am toast!  Being stubborn does not help, I must speak on his command–or die because when he steps on the cord, the air stops too!  He is too big to pick up and move.  If I try, he just looks up like Eeyore (Poo’s donkey friend) as if to say with his expression, “Do I have to?”  It is so much easier to just relent and say, “Excuse Me!”  He moves and only then.  You just got to love him.

I dreamt of vine ripe tomatoes, so I planted a pot garden this year.

A Tomato Plant
The Pot Garden

I love tomatoes and so does Sparky.  Perhaps, Sparky loves them a little too much.  As soon as the tomatoes start to turn red, it is a fight to get them before he does.  It is my fault he loves them so much.  I give them to him in exchange for tricks, a trick for treat.   On taller vines, I thought, “I will succeed.”  That was until a big black crow dove down and plucked a tomato from the vine.  Sparky let him do it! Dogs are watch dogs.  Right?  Sparky is literally a watch dog.  He watched.  He didn’t even bark!  Each of us has our fears.  I think Sparky fears those crows, because he goes the other way when they coame near.

The Art of Persuasion

By Trudy A. Martinez

 London, England. 1990  

The disarrangement of layers of garments of what appears to be this man’s entire wardrobe encourages a perception of a hastened escape.  The unevenly buttoned overcoat adds emphasis, ringing out a concurring sense of rush.  But regardless of what his dress hints at, the sign next to him conquers his will to continue accordingly.


As a result, the uniqueness of the moment renders the words, Time to Relax, triumphant.  This is demonstrated by the man’s huddled posture resting on the bench while his hand is clinched on a plastic bag that is resting on the ground.  The position of the man and the bag, in addition to the caption (Time to Relax), suggest the Art of Persuasion has been fulfilled.