Summer Skies And Clouds In the Hi-Desert

There is just a month left of our first summer living in the hi-desert, and we have been loving it here. We hope this is only the first of many years living at Casa de Gamma.

This is where the land of the Joshua Trees meet the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The air is clear, and the clouds and summer thunderstorms keep the daytime skies interesting… but when the sky is blue, it’s impossibly blue.

Here’s a small collection of photos from the last month of the clouds and skies in our new neighborhood.



August 12 – I stepped out front to have my evening coffee and let Suki hunt lizards while waiting for Tania to get home. I looked up and… Sunbeams – just sitting there looking all majestic and everything!


August 11 – UFO clouds over Gamma Gulch…


August 12 – Today’s moment of hi-desert heaven…

There is a thunderstorm north of here, just over Black Mountain, and another one to the southeast over Yucca Mesa (according to the weather map). Here in Gamma Gulch, between the storms, the weather is warm and humid with cooling gusts of wind that howls through the windows.

We were told when we moved here that Gamma Gulch has a special weather vortex. After 9 months here I tend to believe that now.


August 10 – I think Maxfield Parrish painted our sunset on this evening.


July 13 – 30 second exposure on a super moon night with stars and clouds…


August 17 – Impossibly blue.

Moving To The Hi-Desert!



During our vacation last month, as wonders of the southwest desert constantly opened up in front of us, Tania and I would often say, “you might still see that in the desert…” – based on a line from The Orb’s song “Little Fluffy Clouds.”

This phrase has become a mantra for me and invokes all that I find missing in my urban environment and the creative spark in myself that needs recharging – “you might still see that in the desert.”

Don’t get me wrong – we love Long Beach and it’s been a great home for over 23 years, but our creative journey is now leading in a new direction – to the Joshua Tree area.


Above: The road to our new home…

By this time next month we should be settled in our Jackrabbit Homestead-style home on 5 acres in Gamma Gulch, just above Pioneertown – about 25 minutes from downtown Joshua Tree.

We’ll be living down a long dirt road, surrounded by the beautiful hi-desert landscape and boulders with a front yard full of Joshua Trees. If you’ve ever camped in Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree National Park, then you can imagine what our “neighborhood” looks like.


Above: The view from our deck…

We have a trillion new things to learn about living in a rural environment but we’re looking forward to the challenge. Our little home is just barely tethered to “the grid” and I’m looking forward to learning about permaculture, composting, rain water collection, solar heating, using a wood-burning stove, the native flora and fauna, the cycle of desert seasons and so much more…

Thank you Long Beach (and everyone that includes)! We hope many of our friends to come out and visit us in our new piece of creative heaven soon.