Southwest — All The Rest

If I may say so, you should prepare yourself for a visual feast!  I didn’t think I did a lot of shooting on our trip to the Southwest in February but this collection of images would prove otherwise.  These photos were taken in the Mojave Desert of Arizona and California, the foothills of Ramona, California and San Diego.  When Robert and I set out to plan our February adventure we hoped to make it over to Texas to raft a portion of the Rio Grande after meandering through New Mexico but had to axe a huge portion of our journey in order to make it to a family fiesta in San Diego and then home to a wedding in Idaho (in which we played roles of bridesmaid, groomsman, wedding official and hip hop dancers…more on that at a later date).  So, while this trip did not turn out how we planned, not at all, it was still a very, very fabulous time — we made some memories together which is, in essence, all I really wanted from this trip.

Thanks to all our friends and family who opened their homes to us, and special thanks to one of my favorite little boys who gave up his bunk beds in his man cave for us — you’re the best, Roo.  We sure appreciated it.

Without further delay, please enjoy!


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  1. Elizabeth Waggoner says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!! Holy Smokes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!
    When I think of places that sing to my soul – I rarely think of deserts, or desert landscapes. But then I see photos like yours and I am reminded that EVERY square inch of this earth has a story to tell and beauty to offer!

    • Absolutely.
      Everywhere is beautiful.
      But I must say this: The Mojave Desert in the month of February is EXTREMELY beautiful…heartbreakingly beautiful…a truly soulful scrap of earth.

  2. werekitty says:

    I miss the desert <3

  3. I try to take a high desert, playa exploring trip every September, but this is inspiring me to think about a SW desert trip in February. Gorgeous, warming winter bones.

  4. Oh Jillian! I do hope you stopped off for some Dudley’s bread in Ramona. I grew up in neighboring Poway and I remember the smell of walking into Dudley’s so well. What a beautiful trip.

  5. So many great options for a new postcard pack…perhaps? Lovely, lovely photos! Your talent knows no bounds!

  6. I’m glad for you. That you could go see, do, play, love, laugh, absorb.

  7. These remaining images are stirring up something in me…a longing so SO badly for the sweet, sweet desert. I want to kiss an ocotillo and lie down on the warm ground with the lizards.
    Oh yeah…I’m still reeling from the horse pictures. Those I keep close to my heart.
    I don’t have to tell you that.

  8. So beautiful! You photograph even the simplest things so well. Not being blessed with this gift, I’m always in awe of those who are.

  9. holy coyote.
    beautiful captures, such sweet memories made.


  10. Feast, indeed. I feel visually sated. What a beautiful chain of memories! and Happy Birthday, too, by the way.

  11. That donkey looks as if he is about to speak! I kept going back to that photo. All of them – beautiful, a feast for these winter-weary eyes (as much as I love winter… craving the green).

    • I’m starting to crave the green too…did four hours of yard work yesterday and less than 1/4 of the gardens and lawns here are ready for spring! It’s so much work. But it’s worth it. X

  12. No doubt- this was a soul- nourishing trip and I so appreciate your sharing the beautiful sights you got to be a part of!! Thank you- so very grateful for the way you view the world and share it with us here. 🙂 xo

  13. What a feast of colour!

  14. Simone Turner says:

    WoW!! Thank you for sharing lady Plume! It takes me there.

  15. Ivana Trifunovic says:

    Hello, Noisy Plume, I’ve been reading your posts for a while now and I really can’t tell which I like more – your jewelry or your photos. I love how you match colours and shapes so that in the end there is a perfect composition.Imagination put in action!
    Ivana, Serbia

  16. Danièle says:

    B e a u t i f u l! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  17. Wow Jillian, thanks for the Friday morning vacation right at my desk! How did you ever catch that owl photo, and the wise donkey?! Gorgeous, so glad you had a great trip and shared it with us!

    • Well, the owl and owl nest we came across while we were out bushwhacking/hiking. There were two owls sitting that nest (which was really a tiny cave in the side of a cliff), but I only managed to get a photo of the one! Better luck next time! The wild burros are pretty easy to find in the evenings along the Colorado River where we used to live. But this specific burro was standing on a cliff looking down at us as we hiked into an oasis…he stood long enough for me to snap a few shots of him. A pleasant fellow!

  18. These pictures are absolutely beautiful! Such rich, saturated color. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so with all our customary gray this time of year, it is truly delightful to see such warmth.

  19. Eye feast indeed, why I have always loved the more western lands….bluer and less subdued…the kittie got the gold star xo

  20. That cat!!!

    • That cat is Clementine! He was our cat when we lived on station at Achii Hanyo Native Fish Facility on the reservation outside of Parker Arizona. I got him from the pound in Lake Havasu in the hopes he would help with the mouse issue in and around our house (the single wide trailer with the palm tree and cottonwood trees also photographed in this blog post), which would then help with the rattlesnake issue AROUND our house. And he did. He was a wonderful hunter and used to swim out into the fish ponds to catch mud hens for breakfast! So handsome too. A true gentleman of a marmalade cat! You should have seen him as a kitten. Pure sweetness.

      I love him and miss him but he really belongs to that US Fish and Wildlife station. He belongs to the desert.

  21. SO MUCH BEAUTY. I just love the contrast that the sun creates when it is its full glory. I’m so happy you two went adventuring! What a great time to get some R&R. The pups look happy, too 😀

    • I know! I went through a phase wherein I hated middle of the day photographs but I’m coming around and finding I am LOVING middle of the day photographs again! So much light power!


  22. Caitlin says:

    life well lived

  23. Holy fantastic, Jillian!!!
    So happy to see your wonderful photos, keep ’em coming (they are always a feast for the soul and ever-inspiring!!!)

  24. beautifully awesome images as always. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  25. My brittle winter bones are just soaking up your virtual vitamin D!!!!! I just love that donkey, JUST LOVE HIM!

  26. yesyes&YES. we have decided we are back to the desert for spring break. i had half a mind to do some nyc time with a split in between for a few desert days. but my heart said, you need desert, not pavement – so we will gooooooo & be filled. yes we will.

  27. Gorgeous – the colour & light is magical

  28. Thanks Jillian for the eye-feast. My body kinda relaxed a bit more as “mes yeux” took in the images and Sophie, my calico, slid right into my lap to share the warmth of your desert experiences. Nice to catch up on your blog!

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