Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Tales in The Nevada and California Deserts

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

I am not a big fan of Halloween.  I really lost my taste for Halloween, sometime after I was "egged" while walking home from Eric Brand's place to my own.  However, we at Dalmdad Landscape Photography try to "give the people what they want".  So, here are links to two Halloween stories: 

First, last year we have reported on:The Ghost Bus, The Finger and Phalli on an Arizona Highway.   This story has been repeated by chroniclers of strange Mojave Desert days and ways.  The story is not original to us.  However, next time you are in Laughlin watching the baccarat table and see a player with diabolical red eyes going all in, wonder if the player has the forces of evil on his side.

Second, we have presented a story inspired by deaths or ash spreadings known to occur near the Kwaaymii Overlook. Kwaaymii Mysteries is an entirely fictional tale, inspired by actual events the occur at the Overlook.

We hope you enjoy....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Scary Halloween-style Creatures

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared


BOOOO....Bats are so scary....or at least supposed to be...

What is most scary about bats?

That they hang upside down and have big red eyes?? (Photo taken in public park, Darwin, NWT, Australia)
That they Hide their heads in their wings? (Photo taken in Texas)

Or their big, check that...huge... sets of family jewels? (Photo taken in Texas)
How about some scary tarantulas...What is so scary?  Most species of tarantulas are not even dangerous to humans, and some species have become popular in the exotic pet trade.

(photo Angeles National Forest)

(photo near Niland, CA)

What about some freaky spiders...eww, so scary.

(photo taken in Australia)

 And let us not forget, the evil one...Mr. Tazzzzmanian Devil

(photo taken in Australia)

I saw this freaky animal cut-out at the Taipei Zoo.  Never was sure what it actually was.

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scary Place! Halloween!

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

As part of our Halloween series, I would like to give you the experience of walking through the Catacombs of Paris.  We were lucky enough to visit the Catacombs in 2003.

If you are going to visit the Catacombs, keep in mind that for a long portion of the beginning of the tunnel, there is nothing to see.  After descending a narrow spiral stone stairwell of 19 meters to the darkness and silence broken only by the gurgling of a hidden aqueduct channeling local springs away from the area, and after passing through a long (about 1.5 km) and twisting hallway of mortared stone, thats about all the excitement there was.

I was getting depressed; I was like, "So where are the skulls and bones?"

Well, ask and ye shall receive.  Or, ask and I will show you!

This poorly exposed picture is kind of effective in some kind of way

Hey.  Where is my jaw?  Someone took my jaw!

Just some bodies/buddies?

Kind of gives an alien vibe.

The Latin carved into this cross appears to be a loose translation from The Book of Daniel 12:2:
 "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Some interesting tidbits about the Catacombs:
  • The Catacombs contain the remains of approximately six million Parisians.
  • The first known visitor was France's King Charles X in 1787.
  • The first known public visits only began after the 1814-1815 war.
  • The Catacombs were closed completely from 1833 because of church opposition to exposing 'sacred' human bones to public display.
  • Some of the bone arrangements are almost artistic in nature, such as a heart-shaped outline in one wall formed with skulls embedded in surrounding tibias.
  • The tomb of Philibert Aspairt, lost in the Catacombs in 1793 and found 11 years later, is located in the Catacombs on the spot where his body was found.
  • Because the Catacombs are right under the Paris streets, large foundations cannot be built. For this reason, there are not many tall buildings in this area of Paris.
  • The temperature in the Catacombs is a constant 57F/14C.
  • The perfect acoustics of the Catacombs spurred a 19th-century "underground" concert of Chopin and Beethoven.

If you would like to visit the Catacombs, its official website is here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cast Iron Doors Tend To Survive

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

While roaming around, I have happen to come across a number of iron doors.  Its wild how they tend to outlive the entire building to which they were connected.  

Here are a few examples.

 Ruins in the near ghost town of Hornitos, CA.

 Ruins in the ghost town of Bodie, CA (Bodie State Park)

  Ruins in the near-ghost town of Bear Valley, CA

Maybe I will spot more as I travel...  Feel free to send any photos of cast iron remains to us and we will post! 

Watching Over the Bighorn Sheep Herd at Zzyzx (Part V of Tales of the Bighorns)

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

May 11, 2013

So, lets end this whole Bigsheep watching trip with some views of the bosses.  Here are some of the bighorns standing up on the rocks, in the sun, watching down on the action...

All photos available for purchase or license by special order.  Contact

Doe a Deer...A Tourist Loving Yosemite Deer

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

October 3, 2013, Yosemite National Park: Though the park was officially closed, traffic on the major roads of Yosemite (CA120, CA140, CA41) were open to through traffic. As I mentioned on Facebook:

I was given the following rules to travel by:

In any event, despite the shutdown of Yosemite, the animals of the park seemed to go along with their normal business.  

For example, this buck was spotted outside the Wawona Hotel, almost immediately north of Yosemite's south entrance on CA41.

Buck Outside Wawona Hotel

After traveling north and zooming by the nominally closed Tunnel View, the premier viewing site of the Yosemite Valley, a slow moving southbound car told me something was nearby.  Indeed, this beautiful doe was on the side of the road, basically just looking around. 

I continued north until I could make a U-turn; a not easy task along the winding and often shoulderless Wawona Road.

After making the U-turn, I coasted uphill, until I was near the doe.  Most luckily, the doe was in the area of a pull-out and I was able to pull over, put the truck in park, and shoot away.

I managed to get a near-perfect shot.

They Don't Pose This Nice That Often

This doe must be quite experienced in the way of tourists.  She unflinchingly approached the truck, looked in the open window, and then ducked down.

Doe Ducking Down -- Picture out Truck Window

After some quick shots, she headed downhill towards the drop to the valley.

Down Into The Valley I Go

The Doe Went Off into the Beautiful Valley

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Close-ups of Bighorn Sheep at Zzyzx (Part IV of Tales of the Zzyzx Bighorns)

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

May 11, 2013

How about some close-ups of seriously staring bighorn sheep at Zzyzx...


You call'in me?

I need a break from this photographer guy.

I have such great posture!

So my bite is not exactly straight.

This guy with the camera just will not go away.

 Left- What ya think?  Right- No clue!

Ho Hum.

So, I can use a shave, they tell me.
There is one more post in this series coming up...Ewes and rams looking down on the herd!

All photos available for purchase or license by special order.  Contact

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Prancing Bighorn Sheep at Zzyzx (Part III of Tales of the Zzyzx Bighorns)

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

May 11, 2013...

In our last two posts (lamb slideshow/lamb pictures) of the Zyzzx Bighorns, we focused on the 2 week old lamb that was doing its best to find some shade from the afternoon sun.

This post will focus on the prancing ewes and rams at ground level. 

Bighorn Prancing Across Soda Dry Lake

Bighorn Prancing Across Soda Dry Lake

Bighorns Prancing Across Soda Dry Lake

Bighorns Prancing Across Zzyzx Road

Bighorns Prancing Across Zzyzx Road

Bighorn Prancing Through Salt Marsh
Bighorn Making its Way Down the Rocks

Bighorn Trying to not Slide Down the Rocks

The next post in this series will focus on closeups of the ewes and rams.

The last post in this series will focus on the ewes and rams up on the rocks watching the rest of the herd.

All photos available for purchase or license by special order.  Contact

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We Have Not Forgotten China and Taiwan!!!

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

Don't worry!

Though we have not updated it in a while, don't forget to read about our Chinese and Taiwanese exploits.  Will update that blog eventually...there are some good stories is in progress.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Bobby Brady and the Tiki Gods at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau (Big Island of Hawaii)

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

I admit that growing up, I had a soft-spot for The Brady Bunch.  Pig-tailed Cindy (Susan Olsen) was my favorite. 

I especially liked the three-episode sequence where they went to Hawaii and Bobby found the Tiki statue at the construction site.

Ki'i (tikis) located at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Heck, the episodes even inspired the Presidents of the USA to write Tiki God.  The most awesome lyrics....

Bobby Brady found the idol in the rubble
Had no idea it would cause so much trouble
When Greg tried to throw it back in the ocean
There was a rumble an awful commotion
Don't ask me how but the tiki found Bobby
He thought the idol was some Hawaiian hobby
Turned out the God was mean and vicious
Didn't respond to Bobby's 3 wishes 
 --from "Tiki God" by The Presidents of the USA (1997)

Ki'i (tikis) located at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

Ki'i (tikis) located at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

Ki'i (tikis) located at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
All ki'i (carved wooden images) shown here are located at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.  Conversions to b&w made due to the fact that the weather was awful, making the coloring of the images unacceptable.

Imagine you had just broken the sacred laws, the Kapu, and the only punishment was death.  Your only chance of survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the Pu'uhonua, a place of refuge.  The Pu'uhonua protected the kapu breaker, civilians during the time of war and the defeated warriors.  No harm could come to those who reached the boundaries of the place of refuge. From the National Park Service website.

Prints available by special order at  Contact