The flowers on our property are not spectacular, just the occasional yellow daisy. We are hoping there's more to come. The purple verbena that my gorgeous pup is standing in is about a mile from us. This area looks more like Coachella, and the elevation is pretty low here--eastern 29 and Wonder Valley are different than Joshua Tree, for sure (ie no Joshua Trees).
Our neighbor trimmed the seven pitiful Tamarisk trees that surround the farmhouse. They had been badly hacked by the previous owners, and will hopefully grow back in better shape. Now we can see the view through the trees. The invasive mustard in the photo has to be pulled. We are working on it, but it probably covers 3 acres of our property. With rain comes weeds, sigh.
This funny photo was taken on the 62 West in Joshua Tree (on our way to gallery openings, which seem to happen most Saturdays, it's great!). The real mountains are Big Bear. The drive up from San Diego is so beautiful right now. I go through Winchester, which currently looks like Ireland, and the outskirts of Hemet. Orange poppies coat the creases in the mountains all along the route.
We have never posted pics of the dune on this blog, even though it's an important and beautiful part of our property, and we walk on it every time we are out. Our property used to be Shortz Lake, which is why water is close to the surface and the dune formed. The lakebed also explains how this area could have supported a dairy in the 1930s.
Here's a tour, with plants because of the rains. Click on each photo for a description.
We are spending the first year with the Desert Dairy healing it, trying to understand the land and the town, experiencing the crazy weather, and enjoying most of each day we are here (yes, there are moments of despair, too). We are not making much art yet, but that will change when the barn is in better shape.
We are also testing the idea of running a residency by inviting groups of friends/guinea pigs out for retreats, in which we organize artist workshops, cook together, and do some art tourism. Our first retreat was in January, with members of the Feminist Image Group, an artist support group I founded ten years ago in San Diego. Although we have about 60 members now, about eight hardy souls agreed to come out to 29 Palms to celebrate our anniversary, and the fact that I'm passing on the leadership reins to others.
Anna does most of the writing. Ted does most of the photos. But sometimes we switch. We are repairing a distressed property in 29 Palms, California, and eventually hope to run an artist residency there.