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.






Friday, April 30, 2010

Not amber waves, but green~SkyWatch Friday and Looking at the Sky on Friday 043010




These green waves of grass were spotted last weekend and I had to stop to view them and take this photo. The wind was blowing and the sky was blue...ahhhh...SPRING! SkyWatch Friday 043010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"O" is for owl...ABC Wednesday 942810 and Nature Notes 042910







We have several variety of owls here in the desert, from the tiny burrowing owl to the barn owl and even the eagle owl. I love visiting the owl exhibits at the Living Desert Reserve. One of them there was sitting on her egg, on the ground! We have a huge, mature cottonwood tree in our back yard and every now and then an owl comes and stays overnight in it. It must be a barn owl. I enjoy the owl visits as they clean out our backyard of unwanted critters like mice and tree rats! ABC Wednesday for April 28, 2010.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Desert trees~That's My World 042610






















Some people think the desert doesn't have many trees. That isn't true. The desert actually has many different kinds of trees, from palms to smoke trees to palo verdes to desert willows. I love to stop and admire them and see how they have adapted to desert conditions. Here are some samples of trees that grow in the desert. That's My World for Tuesday, April 26, 2010.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cactus~Palm Desert Visitor's Center~Cactus Monday 042610


The Palm Desert Visitor Center has quite an assortment of cacti and I liked this one! Their grounds are immaculately kept and it is relaxing to wander around them whenever I can. Cactus Monday for April 26, 2010.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pushawalla Canyon~Scenic Sunday 042410


This was my view at the entrance to Pushawalla Canyon. I hiked all the way in, past the bend in the canyon. Beyond that were the palms. Scenic Sunday for April 24, 2010.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Morning light~Looking at the Sky on Friday 042310


As I went walking one morning this week, I was greeted to a new day. Aren't the desert colors pretty? Looking at the Sky on Friday for April 23, 2010.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day


Joshua tree at Joshua Tree National Park. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My family at Joshua Tree National Park~That's My World 042010





We took our daughter and new son-in-law with us Sunday to visit Joshua Tree National Park and of course, had to take some pics of them. And, yes, they each also have their own cameras! They had fun and enjoyed the hike back to Barker Dam. That's My World for Tuesday, April 20, 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cactus blossoms~~Cactus Monday 041910


We found these pretty cactus blossoms on the way through Joshua Tree National Park, by the Cottonwood Springs entrance. Cactus Monday for April 19, 2010.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First view Barker Dam ~Scenic Sunday 041710






















As hubby and I hiked on the Barker Dam loop trail, we had no idea what to expect. We had never hiked in to Barker Dam before. I had only seen one photo of it in the national park brochure. But, it looked so beautiful and calm, I knew I had to go see it. So, off we went on the trail! The trail is well marked and there were many interesting things to stop and photograph on the way, but I was eager to see the pond. Desert ponds are so unusual and I'm always intrigued by them! Just think...a pond in the middle of the desert. From what I understand, if you get to Barker Dam early enough in the morning, you can see wildlife. Birds? Coyotes? I'm not sure! I'll have to read up on this. Since I'm an early riser, I would love to camp overnight at Joshua Tree and hike back to the dam and see it in the early morning light. Anyway, these were my first views of Barker Dam. Scenic Sunday for April 17, 2010. These photos were taken with my Olympus.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tractor clouds~Skywatch Friday and Looking at the Sky on Friday 041610


These interesting clouds followed us on our trip to Joshua Tree last Sunday. The previous Thursday, the sky was cloudless, but Sunday had scattered clouds, which made the sky more interesting! SkyWatch Friday and Looking at the Sky on Friday for April 16, 2010.




Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yucca blossoms~Nature Notes 041510











Along with the joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park, the yuccas have started to bloom. We found these along the road past the Cottonwood Springs entrance. Just LOOK at all those blossoms! And, look at the green spikes! Ouch! We so thoroughly enjoyed our day at Joshua Tree that I can't wait to return! Nature Notes for April 15, 2010.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Petroglyphs Joshua Tree National Park~That's My World and Outdoor Wednesday 041310




When we returned to Joshua Tree National Park on Sunday, with our daughter and son-in-law, we stopped at the Barker Dam area and hiked back to the dam. This time, I took the loop back to the parking lot. Along the way, was a place to stop and admire the Indian petroglyphs. I stood there for a while, admiring them, while the wind whistled through the trees and nearby rocks, before getting back on the trail and back to civilization. That's My World for Tuesday, April 13, 2010 and Outdoor Wednesday for April 14, 2010.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wildflowers in Joshua Tree~Mellow Yellow 041210


All along the roads in Joshua Tree, we saw these beautiful yellow flowers. I believe they are a desert dandelion. Whatever they are, there are fields and fields of them and they line the roads! Aren't they cute? Mellow Yellow Monday for April 12, 2010. Back to school!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back to Joshua Tree~Scenic Sunday 041110
















Earlier this week, on Thursday, hubby and I took a day and drove through Joshua Tree National Park. We started at the Cottonwood Springs entrance,which is 25 miles east of Indio, CA. We had been there...let's see... in 1977 when we got our Volkswagen van and drove to the Tetons and back home, camping in it along the way. I didn't remember Cottonwood Springs, but I love cottonwoods, so I was eager to see it again. We have a huge cottonwood in our back yard and it has been host to a family of orioles for many, many years and an occasional owl. We paid our fee and then visited the springs. I'm always intrigued by oases in the desert. The visitor center has a graphic which shows how the palms get underground water. Because these oases lie on the San Andreas fault, water moves to the surface and the palms' roots (and cottonwoods) can reach the water. So, if you see natural palms (not cultivated ones) in the desert, you know they are growing on a fault line. Our sandy hills are dotted with oases in our Coachella Valley, since the San Andreas fault line runs through those hills! It was a beautiful, clear day on that visit to the park, but clouds are forecast today. Since we paid our fee and our daughter and son-in-law haven't been to the park, and since it is the last day of our spring break, we decided to revisit Joshua Tree and maybe take some of the side roads that we didn't take on Thursday! Scenic Sunday for April 11, 2010.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Water in the desert











I went on a hike up Pushawalla Canyon yesterday, with my cousin. She rode one of her horses in and I walked, since I still haven't been back on a horse after my accident in August of 2008. Yes, nearly two years! When I dismounted off a friend's horse, I tweeked my back. Actually, I suffered two slipped discs and I now have permanent nerve damage along my sciatic nerve. Both of my feet are constantly numb and tingling and I occasionally get leg cramps so bad that I can't walk! But, I've noticed, on my spring break, that walking actually lessens the leg cramps, so I've tried to go out and walk as much as I can! Anyway...she showed me where to park my car and then Valerie rode her horse down into the canyon while I hiked up to it. Pushawalla Canyon is located right ON the San Andreas Fault. There are lots of palms in the canyon, since because of the fault, water flows to the surface. On my way back OUT of the canyon, I spotted these palm trees lying about a mile down from the entrance and about two miles down from the palms in the canyon. Don't take water in the desert for granted! These were HUGE palms lying on their sides. The water carried them about 2 miles downstream! BEWARE and be safe and smart when you see water running over roads! I believe I heard on the news that even a little bit of running water can carry your car away. And, believe me, these palms weigh more than most cars! I thought they told a story, then, and wanted to share it with you! BE CAREFUL of driving through water in the desert (or anywhere else!) Be smart! I know that Arizona has a "stupid driver" law that states if you drive through water and get stuck, and you have to call for help, YOU have to pay for your own rescue! Something to think about... Believe me, I have a lot more respect now for our summer monsoon storms after seeing these palms two miles down from the canyon!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not sure what to post today!


I'm sitting here, not really knowing what to post today. Sometime during the night, our power went off and this morning, when I found out what happened, hubby also noticed that his computer was running WINDOWS updates. And, it had erased EVERYTHING from his desktop! Now, being the "Type A" person that he is, he was extremely annoyed. He just uploaded ALL of his photos from Joshua Tree yesterday and has nice, neat little folders for our pics and they were all gone! The photos were still there, but, honestly, after he explained how to find them, I just walked away. Too much technology for me. I just like to point and click! I have my own photos of Joshua Tree on two cameras and they are all uploaded to the laptop, but I haven't had time to go through them and I'm heading out the door shortly to go to Pushawalla Canyon with my cousin. Maybe tonight I'll post some pics from there!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Coachella Valley Preserve~Nature Notes 040710
















Hubby and I drove out to the Coachella Valley Preserve on Tuesday morning. We didn't get out there until about 10:00 (MUCH too late for me!), and I was hoping if we got there early, we might see more animals, but alas...The CVP is a large area of desert which is undeveloped and preserved as it once was, with palm oases. The CVP is right along the San Andreas fault, near Indio, CA and the palms that line it are an indication of an active fault line. It is very cool inside the palms and a nice wooden walkway was out path for a while. There was plenty of cool water along the walkway, nourishing the palms. There is no charge to visit the preserve and, if you are in the area, it's a great place to learn about the flora and fauna. Nature Notes for April 7, 2010.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Desert oasis~Watery Wednesday 040710


This oasis pool is at the Living Desert Reserve here in Palm Desert, CA. I enjoy walking through it every time I visit because it is so cool inside the palms! Watery Wednesday for April 7, 2010.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grapes~That's My World 040610





























I took a drive out to the vineyards Thursday afternoon right after my spring break started. I like to see them at various times of the year. Spring is an especially delightful time because the grapes are so tiny! Can you see the baby grapes? These are table grapes, growing out in Coachella, along Interstate 10. I also saw fields of 3" high corn and another field of squash. Warm season crops are already planted. I remember that last year, the first crop of corn was harvested in May. With a 365 day growing season, the farmers rotate crops all year! That's My World for Tuesday, April 6, 2010.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yellow flowers and EARTHQUAKE! Mellow Yellow for 040510


I found these pretty yellow flowers at the Palm Desert Visitor's Center. I was out and about early Saturday morning. Today it is windy and cloudy and cool. Go figure. Most spring breaks are fairly warm, with temps in the 90's, but this week, it will only get up to 88 by Tuesday. That's GREAT! And, yes, we felt the rocking and rolling from yesterday's 7.2 earthquake near Mexicali. Our kitten went running down the hallway, our wine glasses, in their rack, were bumping into each other, and it sounded like a freight train rumbling through the valley! I ran to a doorway and held on! Hubby got up from his computer, too, and headed for a doorway! Of course, we drove out to check on our daughter and son-in-law and our son's house, too! We had to make sure everybody was okay (they were fine, but our daughter dove under her countertop!) We've had two 5.1 aftershocks already this morning and will probably get more today. Mellow Yellow for Monday, April 5, 2010.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wildflowers on canyon walls~Scenic Sunday 040410






















Yesterday morning I took a walk on one of our local trails here in the desert. Not far, just for a little way. I was intrigued by the wildflower shrubs which are growing right out of the canyon walls. Aren't they pretty? Scenic Sunday for April 4, 2010.