Beauty in the Time of Coronavirus, I

We share such a beautiful world. If nothing else, may we always find commonality and conversation on that basis.
Melanie Charlene

What a pickle we find the world in, no? Like most of you, I imagine, I’m a bit lethargic, anxious, and tired. I lose my patience too quickly. I eat too much junk food and drink too much caffeine. I worry about my son and daughter-in-law. I rarely go outside even to walk with Mike and RIley. I yearn to sleep through this and wake up finding things are back to normal.

We all know they are not going to be normal for some time. We keep going, all of us, not only because we have to, but also because we know that the world will eventually right itself. In the meantime, I look at the beauty that this world gives us. Allow me to share some photos that will hopefully inspire you and bring you a little joy.

Located about five-and-a half miles from our house is Red Rock, Canyon, a national conservation area west of Las Vegas. Though the park itself is closed, the road through the area is open, and Mike and I drove through it yesterday. I didn’t bring my good camera, but my iPhone managed to capture some of the area’s majesty.

Calico Basin from Hwy 159

Calico Basin sits between the grey limestone La Madre Mountains, the red sandstone Calico Hills, and the desert. Believe it or not, there are houses and ranches in that area.

Located just beyond Red Rock is Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, a lush, green area born of the many springs that run from the mountains. Once owned by Howard Hughes, the 528-acre site was once a working ranch and a retreat for celebrities. It is on the Register of Historic Places as a historic district, and in addition to being a recreational area, it hosts a variety of shows during its Super Summer Theater.

road through mountains and desert
Driving towards South Oak Creek and Spring Mountain Ranch

Beyond Spring Mountain Ranch is Bonnie Springs Nevada, a ranch first opened in 1840s as a rest stop for travelers going to California. Since the last 1950s, the area has had horseback riding, a zoo, a western town replica, and a motel. It closed in 2019, and there are plans to build luxury homes on the property.

Entrance to Bonnie Springs Nevada; note the ‘closed’ sign

Not far from Bonnie Springs is tiny Blue Diamond, Nevada, population under 300, unless you count the wild horses and burros that populate the hills around it and walk through the town at times. Founded in 1942 by the Blue Diamond Corporation, the town has a park, pool, playground, library, elementary school, restaurant, post office, church, gas station, and general store.

Houses and playground of Blue Diamond in the middle of the photo


The hills across from Blue Diamond are not as high and rocky as the ones on the north and west side of Hwy 159. If you study the photo of the area below, you can see that there are two hikers in the middle of it.

Hills across from Blue Diamond

On our way home, I noticed for the first time that bright, spring green leaves were starting to decorate the trees in Las Vegas.

Road with budding trees
Driving south on Town Center Boulevard

Spring will help get us through this.

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