Baby, It’s A wild world!

Good morning World! How are you out there in the Netherlands, Indonesia, Denmark, Turkey, Germany, and China, to name a few of the countries that frequent my space.. Thank you for visiting my blog. India, I see you and have read many of the stories coming from your country and pray that things get better as the coronavirus is ravaging their country. Today is May 19, 2021 and you made it! This morning I hastily looked over the photos that I and Hubby shot last week while the kids were here. Hubby is great photographer and has a good eye for detail. I was happy that he got me in a few shots as I often complain in my mind that there are never any photos of me. Really, I know what I look like and can do with out pictures but this is my history that I am documenting and it is nice to be captured every once in a while.

My arms are out like that while I walk to keep my balance.

In the past few months I have not been posting as frequently as I had in the past. It reminded me that I had another blog on photography website Photoblog. The last entry that I posted there was August 6, 2018. The post entitled Next Rest Stop 100Miles. I included the link as there are photos that I have posted. In fact, below is the last post on Photoblog. I guess I lost interest or something. I was having a rough time back then.

by Michelle Keena AUGUST. 06, 2018 457 VIEWS
I often see on Instagram “follow for a follow”. What is up with that? I have officially been on Instagram for a year in June. I only jumped on to draw attention to my photography business. It did get me one client. So, yes, it did help. What it has helped me see is what a powerful game it is. You can put as much work into it and make it a business or doing nothing and it does nothing for you. I choose to do as little as possible. I love music and taking pictures and have kind of given up on my photography business, but not photography. That I will never give up on, ever. Some how, I have figured out how I can join to the two obsessions in my life together, music and art together. Maybe it won’t make me money, and that is okay, but it will keep me busy and my mind active. Anyhow, back to my IG rant. I started out in June, I never asked or begged for followers not from my friends or family. I never wanted to force anyone to follow me. Things need to happen naturally. I had went to one social media training class and it was a load of crap. It was cult-ish and reminded me of a multi-level marketing scam of the 80’s. Like I said, I need things to happen naturally even if it’s painfully slow. I have been fortunate to have had the band the Ghosts of Kelso, the band my husband plays in, and several country bands that have graced the stage at a local casino here in Indio, CA let me take pictures of them in a lounge. Without all of these talented musicians and my handy Nikon D3400 none of this would have been possible. So, when the band is good, hopefully, I take the right shot that conveys how special they are and throw in the right hashtag and it catches the eye of the right person. Who knows maybe someone that may have never heard of them may now look them up. That’s all I am trying to do. After all, my Ghosts of Kelso videos have been seen as far away as Brazil and Australia. I think that is pretty cool, right? So, don’t follow me, really, as I am still a little lost but okay with that.

I guess I thought of this post as I had a conversation recently about photography and cameras. The other person was explaining about how good their friend was and how much he had in equipment oh and how all his photos get hundreds of likes. I was polite. So, I still feel the same way as I did in 2018. Followers is not the ultimate goal, me, I just want to tell my story and if only one person sees it or millions, then cool. You see social media was very important to me in the beginning and I mean, in the last few years. I did want to be a considered a professional but lacked the credentials or things like that. Me, I am just not a sales person and could never charge someone to capture their memories with my cameras. I was asked to shoot two weddings in the last two years and did them for free because of my philosophy. Anyhow, It was nice seeing old faces and reading about old memories of others. It was was also nice to get updates and see the marriages, birthday celebrations, memorials and such. Really, though, it is more like background noise and something I scroll through when I am in my office. Besides, the ultimate goal is that my kids get a better picture of me.

The Living Desert is celebrating their 50 year anniversary in 2021.

Last week while my daughter was here, we took a trip to the Living Desert as my daughter wanted to visit some of the places that we had been to when I had first vacationed here in the desert in 2001. Hubby and I were still dating back then and he let me use this condo a few times. Those two trips were the farthest away I had traveled with the kids and stayed overnight anywhere.

I noticed many things have changed since then. There were a few colorful murals that I had never seen before and a few exhibits that were closed off or renovations. I was excited to see the model trains. The model trains originally were introduced to the park in 1998 as part of the Wild Lights and but became a permanent fixture because of their popularity. Hubby and I both took many photos of the trains.

We could have spent hours there, looking at the trains and the little model buildings but it was getting hot and we needed to make the most of this visit before it got to hot to be out in the sun. As we were walking away from the trains I looked up and noticed something on the hill, a ram.

There was actually a whole family that was looking down on us from their mountain perch. It was so cool! Those were not the only wild animals that we saw. We saw mountain lions, giraffes, wild dogs and many birds and other animals.

I really loved the giraffe exhibit as I found a few places that offered a place to sit and glorious shade as the sun was shining hard on the desert that morning. While I was sitting down and resting, I got to watch the coolest scene a a pond full of water fowl and a few giraffes looking at us humans like they we caged animals.

I could have sat in this spot for hours just watching.

We only stayed in the park for around two hours as I was worn out and hot and I am sure the kids were as well. It had been almost 4 years since Hubby and I had been in the park. When Hubby and I first started dating and I would only be in the desert on the weekends, the Living Desert was a place that we would go to often and walk around in during morning hours. Glad that we will be able to resume those activities again.

Here are a few more shots that caught my eye as I was reviewing photos. On this day, we used both the Nikon DSLR and the Sony mirrorless. I see not many differences, well, I do notice the difference as the Nikon was equipped with a 35mm prime lens.

This was something “new to me”.

To anyone that is planning a visit to the Coachella Valley, do stop in to visit the Living Desert. Do go to the website to review their Covid-19 protocols and how to purchase tickets as you do need to order your tickets and make reservations before entering the park. Here are my personal recommendations for people with walking issues.

  • Wear good foot ware! Flip flops are not the shoes of choice for walking in the park. I noticed that since I got a new pair of sneakers with a thicker sole, I seem to have less pain in my hips when walking and an easier time walking.
  • Go as early in the morning as possible! Even in the winter, the sun can be brutal and sunburns happen fast.
  • Use sunscreen!
  • Bring a hat and sunglasses if brightness is a problem for you.
  • Bring water or a container that can be refilled. There are a few places to buy beverages so also bring money!
  • Bring a camera or recording device.
  • Be mindful of the staff. These are some of the nicest people I have spoken with and you can feel their love of the Living Desert as most of the staff are volunteers.
  • Read and follow all signs as they are there to enhance the experience and make it safe for everyone.
  • Bring your mobility aids if you need them. There is plenty of paved walking paths that are easy to get around on.

Thank you to my daughter, sons and Hubby for making my week so wonderful! My heart has never been fuller. I hope that my children will create many happy memories with their own families. Really kids, the time goes by fast. One day you are going to blink and AARP will be sending you birthday cards in the mail.

To you dear reader, where ever in the word you are and what ever you are going through, I am cheering for you! Where ever you are heading, may you get there safely. Hugs.

The Living Desert is a non-profit zoo and botanical garden located in Palm Desert CA. This year they are celebrating their 50th year.

For tickets and information, visit their website: The Living Desert.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Really great reflections on social media! I completely share your thoughts about how odd Instagram can be. You quickly realize that many likes and follows are often just a ploy for self gain. At the same time, it’s such a wonderful way to stay connected with old friends and even make new friends along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me a while to learn that but yes, you are right. it is a great way to catch up with friends. I use my personal IG account for photos that are, well, personal. A friend of mine once mentioned that she uses IG as a photo album that after she is gone, maybe her kids or family or friends can go to for memories. So, I am now doing the same.


  2. rkrontheroad says:

    I’m happy to find a community of bloggers that write well and enjoy sharing stories about their life. And always appreciative when they read my blog now and then in return. That’s what it’s about for me. Keep posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that there is a community of bloggers. I have met several through the last few years of blogging. I love that many people that I have virtually met are from places in the world I have never been and may never go.

      I look forward to your posts as you have traveled to so many places. I have mentioned this to others, reading other people stories about their experiences is sometimes the next best thing to traveling.

      Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. terrie gura says:

    What a fun adventure for your family! I’m glad you got to do so many memorable things during their visit. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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