Deserts and Beyond

Deserts and beyond...places in and around the southern California deserts and beyond. Photo taken at Canyon Lake, in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, December 2011. A few minutes later, after the sun disappeared, these cliffs were their normal color. They were only golden for a short time and I'm glad we were able to view them in their glory.






Sunday, March 28, 2010

More wildflowers


I like this photo because it's unusual to see any kind of natural wood here in our desert. And, in the background is Mt. San Jacinto, towering above Palm Springs, CA. It was a warm afternoon when I took this photo, but not too warm. Soon our wildflowers will disappear. Apparently this weekend, they are at their peak.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

wildflowers in the desert











I took these photos yesterday afternoon after spending the morning cleaning our daughter's house in preparation for her wedding this afternoon. I wanted to drive out by the Coachella Valley Preserve to see the wildflowers. A couple of weekends ago, they were just starting to come out. Now, they are in full bloom and the desert there is covered with acres of yellow and purple lupine! Aren't they gorgeous?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hikers and blue sky~SkyWatch Friday and Looking at the Sky on Friday 032610




Last weekend was clear and sunny here in our desert and I went for a LONG walk Saturday morning. So did several other people, too. While I gathered up my courage and hiked to the end of the wash trail, a couple of other hikers took the high one, up through the rocky foothills. I'm reluctant to do that trail by myself, since I never know when my leg is going to give out! So, I stay in the wash. But, isn't it beautiful looking up at the hills? Can you see the hikers in the top photo? Skywatch Friday for March 26, 2010 and Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Morning shadows


On my weekend morning walks, I can see shadows on the wall of the visitor center. I don't see this on my weekday walks as the sun isn't up over the mountains yet!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morning light


I took this photo on my morning walk Saturday. I was out and about nearly 15 minutes later than my usual walking time during the week and what a difference those 15 minutes makes! The sun is actually up over the mountains! I came across this little area of sandstone slabs and wildflowers early Saturday morning. Isn't it peaceful?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Desert in Bloom~Mellow Yellow Monday for 032210


I drove home out past some of the areas with wildflowers Friday after school and came across this smoke tree and blooming shrub. The desert is COVERED with little yellow flowers right now and these shrubs are all blooming. This is a great time to visit the desert! My aunt and uncle are moving here next week, leaving their home in San Diego. Fortunately, they will be near our son and his family and only 10 minutes away from us. They also will ge able to see and enjoy the wildflowers show! Mellow Yellow for Monday, March 22, 2010.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another desert morning~Scenic Sunday 032110


I've been going on a short walk every morning before leaving for school. On this morning, the sky was clear and the sunlight was just peeking over the mountains on the horizon. Scenic Sunday for March 21, 2010.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Morning reflection~Weekend Reflections 032010


This was the view at the visitor center yesterday morning. Can you see the dove on the top of the building? I tell you, it is just so refreshing to get out and enjoy the desert's beauty before leaving for work! I'm excited that this morning, I can take a nice, long, leisurely walk, since it is Saturday! I always turn on my Iphone's alarm when I'm out walking during the week, so I won't be late for work. I've pretty much timed my walks for 20 minutes now. If I leave the house by 6:15, it is just barely light and I can catch the early morning sunlight. The quail are out feeding, the finches are feeding, the doves are out...what a way to greet the day! Weekend Reflections for Saturday, March 20, 2010.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Desert sunrise~SkyWatch Friday 031910


Yesterday's sunrise had a nice, soft pink glow. I was out walking early because I got ready to go and was out the door by 6:25 a.m. I LOVE to see each morning's sunrise and really TRY to get out to see one. SkyWatch Friday for March 19, 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

African village in the afternoon









I love to walk through different places at the Living Desert and on this afternoon, I chose the African village. I hadn't been back there for over a year (due to my back injury), but this week I've noticed that since I have started my walking routine, my legs don't hurt in the evenings. YEAH! So, with the time change, I've had to alter my program since I don't have the time to walk very long in the mornings. I switched to walking after school and the Living Desert, with all its trails and walkways, is the perfect spot! Look how shady and restful it is here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Living Desert Reserve, siesta, and horns~Outdoor Wednesday 031710
















I REALLY needed my afternoon walk yesterday! It was a rough day at school and I needed to "depressurize"! When I got to the Living Desert, I headed toward the African village to see what was new there. I always love to walk by the wart hog exhibit. They now have little statues in front of their enclosure and one of them was busy taking a siesta! Who wouldn't? It was about 82 degrees yesterday and the sun felt SO GOOD!!! I opted to not wear my denim long-sleeved shirt and try to stick to shady areas, just to feel the warm sun. I also love to walk by their little railroad exhibit. It's a great place for the kids to stop and look at all the trains. There is even a miniature Grand Canyon as part of the train exhibit! And, now there are tents for overnight camping at the Living Desert! When I was there yesterday, the African cattle were making quite a bit of noise. I guess they wanted their afternoon meal! Look at the horns on this one! It was a great afternoon to be outdoors!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quiet patio~That's My World 031610

I love to walk around the garden patio at the
Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA. It's nice and cool there, amid huge cottonwood trees, and many birds enjoy the feeders. It's a good spot to take a break and wander out around the various plants for sale at the LDR. This is the outside patio area. I'll take some photos of the flowers and plants this afternoon when I return. That's My World for Tuesday, March 16, 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quiet patio


I love to go for my morning walk, but now, alas, with the time change, I HAVE to leave by 7:00 a.m., just as the sun is coming up! ACK! So, until the days get longer and I can venture out by 6:00 a.m., I'll have to walk in the afternoons. I will miss the morning walks that I've had for the last week, and the peaceful scenes like this! I did join the Living Desert yesterday and I can hike their trails in the afternoons, after school. It's a great way to destress!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunrise and mountains~Sunday Stills Challenge 031410


It's always interesting to drive up to the hiking area parking lot at the base of our local mountains. Further down, on the desert floor, the sun is already up. There are no mountains to block it. But, higher up in the foothills, the hills block the sun and from certain points, one can get a view of the sun rising, like this. I love to watch the sun come over these foothills. Sunday Stills Challenge for March 14, 2010.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Morning walk~SkyWatch Friday 031210

I've started a morning walk program. I like to get out and walk for about 30 minutes before heading out to school. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy a morning like this? SkyWatch Friday 031210

Signs of Spring~Nature Notes 031110
















After our seemingly unending days of clouds and rain, signs of spring are popping up around my yard. The flowering peach tree that I bought has beautiful pink blossoms. My sweet peas are growing like weeds and are beginning to bloom. In fact, I just picked my first bunch of them which now sits on my table in the kitchen. Sweet peas bring back such fond memories. My grandfather grew beautiful, thick bunches of them and Grandma always had them on her kitchen table. I missed their smell and my first whiff brought back so many memories! We FINALLY have a warm, clear weekend forecast and I'll be out looking for wildflowers at that time! Signs of spring in the desert!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"H" is for hay~ABC Wednesday 031010




























































































As you know, I live in the desert, near Palm Springs, but I board my herd of 5 horses (all rescues) up in our local mountains. A wonderful, knowledgeable woman, Cathy, boards them at her ranch. She breeds and raises Peruvian Pasos and has over 20 horses on her ranch. Hubby and I are very happy with our horses being in Cathy's experienced hands, as we have only had our horses for 3 years, after our children left home. Cathy always has a huge pile of hay for the horses and one time I asked her when her next hay delivery would be. She said soon and I just happened to be there when the crew showed up! Yes, ALL that hay was for her! She buys hay (alfalfa) 4x a year. I learned she's been buying from the same alfalfa grower for over 30 years! They have a good working relationship and now his son and son-in-law are joining him and helping him deliver they hay. I hadn't seen the little truck at work before. Well, truth be told, I hadn't see a hay delivery before! So, I'm sharing it with you for ABC Wednesday, March 10, 2010.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wildflower Season 2009~That's My world 030910











Wildflower season is upon us! I spotted the first lupine up on Highway 74 on Saturday. In a week or two, the mountain road will be alive with lupine and desert shrubs in bloom. But, it is still early. We had another storm move in this weekend and it sprinkled here on Saturday and rained yesterday. Our mountains got another dusting of snow and it is foggy here in the desert this morning, from all the moisture. I'm going to head out with my Canon and hopefully I'll have time before school to stop and take some photos. I found these pictures of last year's wildflowers in my archives. I took these on March 2nd, 2009, so these were actually about a week before any I've seen here in the desert this season. That's My World for Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Numbers~Sunday Stills 030810~Route 66




Hubby and I love to travel to Williams, AZ, which is on the old Route 66. There are many shops there that are proud of their heritage and I found these items in one of them, but, for the life of me, I can't now remember which one it was! MY BAD! Williams is a cute, friendly town and if you are on your way to the Grand Canyon, you turn north toward the canyon near Williams. Be sure to stop in there and explore the town! We LOVE the Pine Country Cafe. There is a train that goes from Williams to the Grand Canyon, too. Sunday Stills for 030810

Friday, March 5, 2010

Palm Trees in the wind~SkyWatch Friday 030510


We seem to either be having wind or rain here in our desert lately. Yesterday was another windy day, but I took this photo a couple of weekends ago. As I was out driving, I noticed these palm trees bending in the wind. SkyWatch Friday, March 5, 2010.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Flamingos and nests~Nature Notes for 030410


I often walk over to the flamingo pond after dropping hubby off at work. I love to see how their island changes throughout the seasons. Right now, their nests are very noticeable (click on photo to enlarge it and see the nests). Soon, little gray, fuzzy flamingos will be covering the island. Did you know that the flamingos are given a special diet to make them pink? These are at the Desert Springs Marriott in Palm Desert, CA. Hubby works there and I often see tourists out by the flamingo island, taking photos. It is such a beautiful place to visit! This particular Marriott is also designated as a bird sanctuary because so many migrating birds stop there on their way south. I've seen Canadian geese, ducks, egrets (both white and gray) stop there and rest. Because it has so many ponds and waterways, it is a great spot to see different kinds of birds. Nature Notes for March 4, 2010.