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Desert Dweller
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65 Responses

  1. Leslie

    Those moon-rise photos are breathtaking! Absolute peace? I often feel it sniffing the nape of my 6- and 7-year-olds’ necks when they give hugs. And I often feel it at night, when those kids are asleep, my pets are snoozing nearby, my husband is getting ready for bed, where I am already lying and holding a book with my knit-tired hands and listening to the sounds of the city outside my windows. When everyone I love most is quiet and healthy and safe and nearby…that is peace.

  2. Breanna

    Thanks for such lovely pictures, as always. As much as I enjoy nature, I (college-campus bound by lack of car) last felt absolute peace walking from one end of campus to the other. It was very warm for up-state NY November and windy and the last leaves were floating. I didn’t have anywhere to go and any work to do, I had just finished working on something I loved and it was a great walk. of course, then I went home and had to clean my room, so it ended fast. but it was good.

  3. Emiko

    Awesome awesome photos! I was looking forward to seeing how you’ll capture your visit to Joshua Tree. My boyfriend grew up running amok in that park (his father was stationed at 29 Palms) and a few years ago, we went on vacation to go back to where he grew up. One of the most peaceful times I’ve experienced was right there too.

    We drove up late one night into the park to see the stars. It was so calm, quiet, serene and peaceful and I have never ever seen as many stars as I did that night! Definitely one of our most memorable vacations ever.

    Thanks for sharing your photos.

  4. sprite

    Happy birthday!

    Thank you for sharing the photos. The moonrise shots were particularly breathtaking.

    I always feel peaceful at the ocean, regardless of the season. My parents say the same thing, so it must run in the family…

  5. Fiona

    Oh Lolly! All the pictures are stunning! Especially the ones of the moon.

    The last time I felt absolute peace is when I went to a Women’s Midsummer retreat and it was one of the most lovely things I have ever experienced. Being inside a sweat lodge was like going back into the womb and I look forward to it next year.

  6. Diane

    Happy Birthday! Looks like a beautiful trip. Your photos are amazing, as always!

    After having my son and finally getting to hold him by myself at night when he was just a few hours old is one of my peaceful moments in my memory. My “happy place” is the memory of lying in a hammock at night on the beach in Maui on my honeymoon. It was relaxing and romantic at the same time. That was 11 years ago, though!

  7. Marissa

    I was in Wolfstein Castle, in Neumarkt Germany. They’re excavating the site, but I remember looking through one of the windows, my hands on the windowsill, and thinking that I was literally leaning against history.

  8. elkbio

    Happy Birthday L! Beautiful pictures! Years ago when I lived on the East Coast I took a trip to visit a friend in Seattle. We ended up driving all the way to Joshua Tree (stopping along the way of course)…it was an incredible trip and your photos brought those memories back. Thanks so much for sharing! I feel at peace whenever I’m outdoors away from civilization/technology. The last time was in September when I was in Yellowstone doing fieldwork. We get dropped off in the back-country via helicopter…it’s amazing to experience that part of the Park that is completely devoid of humans (once the helicopter leaves of course). One morning we were sitting on a hill waiting for our ride and had been quiet and still for about half an hour. I looked up and saw two gray wolves running across the hill about 75 yards above us. That moment I felt, among other things, absolute peace.

  9. madison

    my last peaceful time was at lunch today. my boyfriend took me to wawa (a local convenience store). he’s pretty much the most relaxing person in the universe. to me, anyway. my next peaceful time will be in an hour or two when we are falling asleep together.

    i LOVE your very first moon picture. you are a lucky one to have witnessed that. and it looks like you’re lucky to have the camera you do, too! happy birthday! (mine was four days ago–so many awesome people have november birthdays!)

  10. Mamie

    First, happy birthday. Seeing your photos made me long to hop in the car and head east.
    We live about 2 hours away and it was always the place we went to find that peace, that clarity.

    Once on a camping trip, tim and I encountered a king snake, a Bobcat and big horn sheep. That was exciting. I am so glad you experienced one of my favorite places. Next time spend the night, the sky is breathtaking. Happy travels.

  11. Lisa from NZ

    Happy Birthday Lolly!!

    Hmmm, peace is sometimes hard to find here with the animals, hubby and kids but one true peaceful moment recently was on a weekend away walking on one of our beautiful NZ beaches – just the 4 of us it was pure bliss and I was walking on air!

  12. Alice

    Happy Happy Birthday!

    Your photos are gorgeous! I have been wanting to go to Joshua Tree for some time now and thankfully its a pretty easy trip from Vegas! We got the National Parks Pass this summer and went to so many beautiful places (Yellowstone, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon) but probably the most peaceful was Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. It was off the beaten path, barely anyone around and like nothing I’ve seen before. If you’re ever exploring Utah, definitely put it on your to-do list!

    There are some gorgeous photos people have taken on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=goblin%20valley&w=all) but it’s definitely way cooler in person :)

  13. Linda

    Happy birthday Lolly! Lovely pictures. the last place I was in where I felt so peaceful was at the top of a local hill the other day looking down at the view. It was just so nice to escape from all the stuff at home and work and just to be .

  14. Rose

    Happy birthday! Love, love, love the moon photos. My peaceful place is always the beach. Always.

  15. Shirley

    Happy Birthday! The very last time I felt peaceful? Looking at your desert pictures. I am normally an “ocean” person and these shots have me reconsidering the desert :-) Thank you for your generous sharing of spirit and soul through your blog. Always lifts me up in one way or another.

  16. Leann

    Happy Birthday!!!

    I remember my first time at the beach when I moved to the East Coast – I was so surprised to be looking out onto the water, but the sun was setting behind me. That year was full of turmoil, and even though I was all kinds of confused about the sun not setting over the water, it was peaceful to be back at the beach, feeling so small next to the massiveness that is the ocean.

  17. Word Lily

    Happy birthday!

  18. Amy

    Happy birthday girl!! Love the blog and the amazing photos, just had to grant your wish-

    When I held my baby girl for the very first time and the room went silent. It was just the two of us, the most precious moment in time. I was hooked up to all sorts of stuff, had a c-section, but at the very moment when I finally got her it was the most perfect meeting you could ever ask for.

    enjoy your moments and keep capturing them for you and us who enjoy what you enjoy!!


  19. Siew

    Well happy birthday.

    My last time of utter and complete peace was at Yellow Point Lodge on Vancouver Island. I have a weekend there that I go with my girlfriends. We’ve been going for 7 years now and its familiarity and our “routine” of doing a puzzle (in one evening until we finish it), eating, hiking and knitting and reading just recharges me in a way nothing else can.

    The wind was something fierce when we were in Joshua Tree, driving the daytime temperatures down around 3C. A slight shock from the 34C we left Palm Springs just the day before. Equally beautiful was our sunrise there but I couldn’t capture it as lovely as you did the moonrise.

  20. Michelle

    Lolly, What a dream hike!

  21. mick

    Happy birthday, Lolly! I just can’t get enough of those photos; I’ve never been to a desert, either, but now I’m really dying to go.

    The last place I felt absolute peace? That was probably my own living room, a few months ago. I awoke one morning just at sunrise, which was lovely as our windows face east. I made myself some coffee, settled into my favorite chair, and my sickly old kitty cat jumped into my lap. We just sat there enjoying each other’s company, watching the sunrise, and thinking about the day to come. It was a wonderful moment.

  22. Martha S

    Happy Birthday, Lolly!
    What a beautiful site to spend your birthday. My most peaceful place is at the Grand Canyon all the way out to the end of the south trail, just beyond the Hermit’s Rest stop. My first husband (who died 7 years ago from brain cancer) requested his ashes be flung into the canyon at that point. It is where I can still really feel his spirit and the joy from being close to him brings me great peace. Enjoy your day and enjoy Kris!

  23. Dawn Sparks

    A picture is worth 1000 words! Beautiful!

  24. Bertha

    Happy birthday Lolly! The last time I felt at absolute peace somewhere was in May. My husband and I went away for the weekend to celebrate our 5th anniversary. We were in Chatham (on Cape Cod) and sitting on the beach at 11 PM, in front of a bonfire, listening to the ocean and just talking. No toddler running around screaming (not that we don’t love our screaming toddler, but I wouldn’t call it peaceful!), no other people at the beach…the moon reflecting off the water. It sounds cheesy, but it was great.

  25. Sarah H

    I feel a huge sense of peace every morning as I watch the sun rise over the McDowell Mountains (Arizona) from my bedroom window.

    It gives me a wonderful sense of peace to start every day.

    Love your photos!

  26. Mom

    Moon pictures,…priceless! XXOO

  27. LittleWit

    Happy Birthday. The last place I was where I felt utter peace was on the pacific coast in Washington State. We were just looking out over the ocean with the winds blowing and the fog and the salt water. It was wonderful.

  28. Kathode Ray Tube

    Happy Birthday Lolly! One place I always go to feel some peace is the cottage we rent every August on Saddleback Lake in Rangeley, Maine. There are loons, pine trees, and the mountains all around. It is so quiet and peaceful. It really recharges me every year. I love your photos of Joshua Tree.

  29. mai

    lolly, is your birthday today? happy birthday!!!! i hope you have a fantastic, fantastic day! those photos are stunning, by the way. the sixth one almost looks like a man made of rock! i almost always feel at peace when i’m outside and surrounded by nature. most recently, i’d say my hike in the shenandoah national park was very peaceful.

  30. Jody

    Happy birthday! I am in love with your photos! Especially the ones of the moon. Awesome!

  31. Sandy

    Happy Birthday Lolly! Those pictures are gorgeous.

    The last place I truly felt at peace was 5 years ago. DH and I sat in a small cafe in Jamaica for 3 hours, drinking red stripes and listening to the waves crash into the rocks below. We barely spoke, we didn’t need to. It was perfect.

    I wish for you many more of those peaceful moments.

  32. Josiane

    Happy birthday, Lolly! Thank you for sharing those pictures, they are stunning.
    I’m trying to think of my answer to your question, but there’s only thing that comes to mind, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t feel absolute peace in that situation. It must have been something related, though, some kind of perfection to the moment and of perfectly being in the moment, because I feel like it clearly fits into the realm of peacefulness. It happened this weekend, I was simply sitting in my brother’s living room, knitting, and my 6 year old nephew wanted to knit too. So he sat on me, and I taught him how to knit. His parents wouldn’t believe their eyes – their little boy, the one who regularly comes back from school with a bad behavior note, was so calm and focused! It was really unusual, almost felt unreal to them. To me, it was magical, a beautiful moment with my favorite 6-year-old, and a chance to let him express another truth about him. That’s a memory I’ll cherish for a very long time.

  33. Hanna

    What lush, gorgeous photos! I love J. Tree … went for my first time on a climbing trip last fall, and these photos made me start daydreaming about the next trip.

    Vermont used to be my place of absolute peace. I grew up spending summers on one little lake, and I went to college twenty miles away, and then I married someone who lived in that same little town. Everytime I looked up at the night sky, or walked through snowy forests, or watched the morning mist swirling through the valley, I felt complete peace and resonance with natural world. But now that I live in Phoenix (not by choice), being in Vermont kind of breaks my heart.

    Anyways, I’ve been trying to find a new place that gives me that same feeling of absolute peace but that isn’t tinged with bittersweetness.

  34. Stella


  35. Ingrid

    Happy Birthday Lolly!! The photos are incredible.

    Remember that bakery/café I brought you to in Yarmouth on Saturday morning? That’s the place where I feel at peace. Every Saturday morning I go there to eat a muffin, drink tea and read the paper. There usually aren’t a whole lot of people there really early and it’s so peaceful.

  36. Melissa

    I went to friends’ wedding in Las Vegas at the end of July then to Portland for Sock Summit the next weekend. I had three days to play in Portland before the big event. On the second day, I visited the Rose Test Garden and its surrounds, which were great, but the real treat was the Japanese Garden.

    It’s designed in what I would call “landscape rooms.” If you stop and sit quietly for just a moment, the sound of moving water, the play of the breeze, and the thousand different shades of green create the most incredible tranquility. It isn’t stillness–it’s almost the opposite–but it’s like being at the heart of a living thing. Nature magic.

  37. Steph

    Happy Birthday, lovely Lolly!! You and Kris spent time at one of my favorite places, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I feel at peace every time I go for a hike, but one of the more memorable places that made me feel amazing was Sequoia National Park, where I went last summer. It is a jewel of a park.

  38. k

    so beautiful. i badly want to go to joshua tree and go rock climbing. deserts are so completely opposite of my usual west coast rainforest environment, and i love the peace of them. i spent a few weeks climbing in bishop, ca, which is the high desert on the eastern side of the sierras, and it was so fantastic there. i do love the wet coast, but the alien-ness of the desert always fascinates me. great pictures you guys got, and happy birthday!

  39. Katie

    My peaceful place? The cabin on the lake in northwestern California… only one more week and everyone will gather there for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!

    I was also wondering if you’d ever sell prints of your photographs (I think Imagekind.com has this service). It would be great to hand your last photo above my bed, how awesome to go to sleep under such a big moon every night!?

  40. Kim

    February 2008–sitting at the top of Diamond Head in Hawaii. Looking at Honolulu in one direction and a wide expanse of ocean as far as I could see. That is the most peaceful place I have ever been.

  41. Carol

    Happy birthday! I had to think about your question for awhile. Life has been such a tizzy lately. There’s always those quick moments when you smell a flower or finish a project but I think the best was walking across a glacier in New Zealand in 1991. So breathtaking, quiet and beautiful.

  42. terhi

    Happy Birthday, dear Lolly! I loved these photos – I could feel the silence.

    My happy place is our summer cottage. It’s on an island with no other cottages, so it’s a very quiet and peaceful place. I’ve been there during every summer of my life – I was only three weeks old when my parents took me there for the first time. And now Onni’s been there every summer of his life too. :-)

  43. DoesLizKnit

    We love Joshua Tree. We live about 2 hours west of there (in LA county) and love driving up for hiking. Glad you had such a great day for a visit. Happy Birthday!

  44. Preeti

    Happy Birthday, have a fabulous one! Amazing, awesome, stunning and much, much more! The last place I felt absolute peace was by Pitt Lake (down the road from our house). I decided to lug the camera up there on a whim when it was almost freezing outside and there was no one around, just the mountains and misty clouds and the still water in the Lake. I remember loving it and freaking out by the stillness of it all at the same time. Wierd and lovely!

  45. Katie

    Happy Birthday! This is one of my favorite places in the whole world. A close second, Letchworth State Park in Upstate New York.

  46. Jill

    Stunning photos, Lolly. I, too, find such peace in the desert.

  47. Meg

    Happy Birthday! I do love the colors you get in the desert – that red-ish brown and sage-y green with a blue, blue sky. I think the last time I felt truly at peace was when I was surrounded by those colors on the top of a mountain pass in the Maroon Bells Wilderness area of Colorado. A long, hard hike and unimaginable beauty and nothing but the sound of the wind.

  48. Trisha

    Happy Birthday! Gorgeous pictures! I would have to say Crater Lake, Oregon. It is the most beautiful place. The lake is so blue it looks like they pumped dye into it. It is the deepest lake in the USA and the clearest. It is so beautfiul!

  49. Sewnut

    The photos are amazing. I knew where you were as soon as I saw the first photo. I love it there, and in Arizona. I have Sedona area photos on my blog.

    Thank you!!!

  50. Yoga Witch

    Funnily enough, I just wrote about this on my blog. I remember feeling the most intense peace when I was visiting the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris this past May, after having a big fight with my boyfriend/traveling companion. It was such a crazy day, and then we talked, and walked around the cemetery and the sun came out, and everything smelled so good from the rain, and it was just so…peaceful.


    Anyway, happy birthday!!!!!!!!! And lovely pictures!

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