The View From Heaven’s Back Porch

My apologies for the problems some of you had with Tuesday’s post. Hopefully that problem has been fixed.

Yesterday’s post hinted at the spectacular show going on right now in the deserts of Southern California. The pictures below were all taken from a recent visit to the Borrego Springs, California area. It was unlike anything we had ever experienced. God is Good. (Click to enlarge)

Showtime For Fairhaven


The Fairhaven District of Bellingham was just beginning to find itself when I first saw it in the 1970s. It had a lot going for it with its heritage of old buildings. Fairhaven was also the southern terminus for the Alaska Marine Highway but the town was then more gritty than gorgeous.


Since then it has become a “must stop” place whenever we get close. New to me since the last visit are some wonderfully creative murals that surround a new square. The white space is for outdoor movies and the stage for live music. By the way, not everyone is painted in on this scene.


Detail from the right side of the facade of the previous picture. This isn’t a brick building: in the dark of the windows note the outline of individual concrete blocks. Now go back and look at the previous image – almost the entire two building structure is a concrete block building that has been well camouflaged. Imagine the hand coloring necessary to make each brick seem distinct.


Bragging of their early start in 1883, art is found indoors as well as out. There are at least 12 buildings in this small district that are well over 100 years old and all new buildings or exterior remodeling must follow the architecture of that earlier era.


The hollyhocks are timeless – and real.

Yakima River Canyon 2

Sage & Lichen

 I’m always amazed at what I find growing and how things live together. Here sage and lichen find a symbiotic relationship. 

Yakima River Canyon 12

Sprays of Phlox were everywhere on the flanks of the canyon.

Yakima River Canyon 10

 Arrowroot Balsam are also generous with its flowers. 

Morning Hikers

A mix of talus and vegetation, right? Look again for the spots of bright color towards the skyline. This foursome got up long before the sun to hike to the ridge line for what they said was a worthy sunrise. I like to think of myself as an early riser but these folks get the title. This habitat also hosts bighorn sheep though we didn’t see any. On my modest hike I did startle a nice 5 point deer who had been in the shade of one of the taller shrubs. To be fair, he startled me more as I didn’t see him until I was about 25 yards away.

For those who prefer motels, there is also the Canyon River Ranch ( and plentiful lodging in either Ellensburg or Yakima.

Canyon River Ranch

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Canyon River Ranch 46.842380, -120.461226