Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Palm Springs Rocks!

aerial photo: city-data.com
I've been living in Palm Springs for nearly a decade, and yet each day I am pleasantly surprised by the natural beauty of the California desert. In my forty-something years I've lived in New England, New York, San Diego, Chicago and London, but I'm the happiest living here in Palm Springs. I often credit the majestic San Jacinto Mountains as a source of happiness and serenity. I could stare at them for hours and still look forward to the next dawn or sunset, where the sun casts an incredible range of colors across the peaks and foothills. What is it about this huge rock-land mass that holds my fascination? The thought of the sheer force and energy that caused them to rise above the surface from plates shifting angrily deep below the earth's surface some zillions of years ago. I'm fascinated by the seemingly ever-changing range of colors from the position of the sun, the atmosphere, presence of snow, ground cover, etc. How is it that a large brown mass could possess such beauty? After all, it really is just rock and dirt, right? Or is it?

Often times I think about all the people who have lived in and around these mountains. Long before air conditioning, native Indians thrived here, finding water from the natural springs deep in the mountain canyons. I wonder about all the other people who have also stared at these mountains for generations, to find peace in the shadow of this great range. Pardon the pun, but these rocks really ground me and make me feel happy.

Perhaps that is why I decided to add a few boulders to my own yard. My yard has a desert landscape motif, low water consumption with generally a lot of cactus and palm trees. I decided what was missing were a few big rocks. So last Sunday, I journeyed to the tiny town of Whitewater, just outside of Palm Springs to shop for rocks. Yes, you read that right, to shop for rocks.

Rock-shopping is more complex than you might imagine. There is color, size, weight, shape and texture to consider. We drove around their massive land area to find a few good rocks. I took photos of the ones I'm considering. If you have any favorites, I'd like to know which one(s) you like best, and why. It may sound silly but I want my own yard to have a geological connection to the massive San Jacinto Mountain that I spend so much time admiring. Then I can sit on my own rock and spend more time staring at the mountain they came from.

Oh, and please resist any smart remarks about my last name and this post. The irony of this didn't escape my notice. (Yes, I'll have my own Rock-hill when I'm done) but I'll never really own them, I'll just borrow them from the earth for a few more decades and pass them on to someone else to admire.
Rock #1

Rock #2 (center)

Rock #3

Rock #4 (all 3 combined)

Rock #5

OK, so which rock(s) get your vote?


Sharon said...

Rock #1 has really good energy to it. Call me silly if you will but I sense that it belongs with you. A close second would be rock #3. Although it seems a bit boxy in it's cut, it also has a good feel to it. Those would be my two choices for you.

KathyA said...

"Rock-hill"! Cute! :)

They all do! I collect rocks from everyplace we go so I'm with you on this one.

Diane J Standiford said...

Rock #3, they all could be my choice, it is hard to choose from a pic, but I like the flat look and sharp lines. Your post made me call that I once collected rocks as a child. Even had a kit to test them. I understand your love of them. I have found much to love in nature in all the places across America that I have lived.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Rick, I so badly miss Arizona-- my mom had a ranch there that she sold and is now a little further north. I so much want to go down there again!

I like the rock mound trio. They remind me of people!

Please say hello to your sunshine for me!

© Karelian Blonde said...

They all rock so to speak, but Rock#5 gets my vote.

That "brown mass" is simply gorgeous :)

Todd & Darrin said...


I used to work for SouthWest Boulder and Stone in Cat City and sold boulder, granite, etc. The boulders you have selected are statement boulders! Rock #1 has the most character - are you having it installed or just put on top of your existing landscape?


Palm Springs Savant said...

Sharon- I had the same feeling about rock #1!
Diane- you had a test kit for rocks? wow.
Tea- Arizona has those beautiful red rocks, so memorable!
Karelian- It is a toss up between #5 and #1. Maybe I'll get both.
Todd- Mostly an add in, but we're re-doing the landscape slightly...did you have something in mind?

Calvin said...

Rock #2 - come on down!


Todd & Darrin said...


Depending on the color scheme of you yard (yes, folks we do have that, lol) there are many boulders that would make a statement, but my favorite is called a Scholar Stone. Traditionally they are from China and have a vast history in Chinese and Korean stone. They are also know to have influenced Confucius - needless to say they are a very spiritual type of rock, and when I am around one I can sense the calmness they exude. They are not cheap boulders, but are well worth the price if you connect with the right one. Please feel free to contact me tallenfuller@gmail.com, I love to provide some guidance should you need it.


Todd & Darrin said...

I found a link you should view...


jackie100 said...

Palm Springs is definitely a wonderful place. I love the weather, fine dining and like the fact that I'm surrounded by nature and mountains. I lived in Los Angeles for a short stint and didn't like it at all; too much smog and not enough character like Palm Springs

Palm Springs Used Cars


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