Terrible lizard on the prairie

In unincorporated San Luis Obispo County, miles inland from the coast, along a little-used two-lane rural highway called Huasna Road, on a private piece of property (approximately here) are these giant metal dinosaur sculptures.

This triceratops...
...and this tyrannosaur (next to an abandoned building) are merely two of several that could be seen.

No idea why they are there, or who built them, or who owns the property, but I do know we had to stop and snap a few shots.


Sun on the finger

Credit were it is due: These shots were taken by my talented fiancée.
She placed her engagement ring on a large sunflower, then took an super macro shot using the flash.
It is the shadow of the extended lens that creates the shadow effect in the foreground, which I think makes it a much more dramatic shot than conventional lighting would have achieved. (And not merely because I love her.)

Sun at heart

These purple flowers open during the day and close up in the evening. Despite their color, they're called Blue Dawn flowers. (Ipomoea learii)
The first two shots are of the neighbor's back yard, through the fence.

The rest are in front of a house down the street.


Poppies, poppies, everywhere


Exposed for 1/13 of a second in bright midday sunlight, the subject is too bright to be made out:
Reduced to 1/40 of a second, it's a tiny bit clearer but still way too bright:

Only at 1/500 of a second do the California poppies show their brilliance rather than the sun's brightness:

(Taken 4/12/08, west of Lancaster, Ca.)

Around the poppies

Part of a barbed wire fence that isn't keeping anyone away from the fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Poppies 3

Poppies surrounded by tumbleweeds (or at least something that looks like tumbleweeds).

Poppies 2

A series of shots that feature unbloomed poppies amid the blankets of orange.

(This first one also includes some yellow blooms.)


Powered up poppies

On the drive west from Lancaster, poppies start to appear long before getting to the most heavily flower-covered hills. A glimpse off the road shows them to grow just about anywhere.
Even under power lines.


Poppies 1

Some shots of a trip to the blooming fields of California poppies out near Lancaster, back on April 12.


Evening delight

Fireworks from this year's 4th of July. (These were all set off in the street, not from a professional show.)