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.






Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rafting on the Merced River~Nature Notes 072910
















When hubby and I visited Yosemite National Park in June, the Merced River was raging lower in the park, but at this area, it was peaceful. Quite a few rafters were out enjoying the water. Look how calm the river looks. But, don't be deceived. This is a powerful river! Yes, these are pics of the same river, but further downstream! Interesting, eh? Nature Notes for July 29, 2010. Enjoy your day!





Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watery Wednesday 072810


After hubby and I left Merced, we took state route 49 through Mariposa up to Sonora. Along the way, we spotted this reservoir and bridge. I wouldn't recommend you take that route! It is a narrow, winding road which seemed to last forever! But, this view was worth the stop! That's a LOT of water!!! Watery Wednesday for 072810.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some relief from the heat!


I've lived here in our desert now for 35 years. And, yes, I've been here every summer. One summer, when it was 128 degrees (YES!), our air conditioner died. It took 3 days to install a whole new system, including the indoor unit. Air conditioners usually last about 10 years here in the desert and we are crossing our fingers that this condensor gets us through this summer. But, on the other hand, it hasn't been that hot this summer. I'm not sure how many days have been up in the 118 range, but we haven't had ANY days of 120 degree temps. And, for this week, the overnight temps are in the upper 70's,which is unusual for the summer. Our usual nighttime temps are in the 80's. So, it HAS been a relatively "cool" summer here in our desert...at least so far! Like many desert dwellers, I have learned to cope with the summer temps. Sometimes I go to the library and hang out. Sometimes I go visit our daughter and hang out (and take a nap) in her house. Sometimes I just stay indoors and either watch TV or read a book. We desert dwellers avoid the outdoors from about 9:30 a.m. until after 6:00 p.m. And, sometimes I drive up to our local mountains and work with my horses, like today! It's all about learning to cope with the heat. Don't the mountains look inviting?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Julian, CA






Hubby and I took a drive to Julian on Saturday. He wanted to buy an apple pie there and I just went along for the ride and to get out of our stiffling desert heat. July is the hottest month here in the desert and sometimes we will just take a day and drive somewhere else to get out of the heat. Julian is a small community of apple ranches up in our local mountains. It is past Warner Springs and during the fall, when they have their apple harvest, it is packed every weekend. We stopped for lunch at the Julian cafe and bakery and bought an apple pie to take home and enjoy. It was a nice change from the desert heat, even for a day!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thirds~Sunday Stills Challenge 072510


Yesterday I took a friend with me up to our local mountains and valleys. I wanted to show her these large rolls of hay. Farmers in California don't usually do this. Instead, they bale their hay using a baler. But, these bales were on Indian land near Aguanga and it was for their cattle. Other huge bales were stored nearby, ready for next winter when the grass might be covered with snow. I was so surprised to see them that I had to stop and take some photos. I didn't intentionally shoot these pics in thirds, but this one ended up that way! Sunday Stills Challenge for July 25, 2010.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Palm trees and clouds~SkyWatch Friday 072310











All of us in the desert awoke to a cloudy morning a couple of weeks ago. Ahhhh....the monsoon season! I had to drop hubby off at work and I didn't have my big cameras with me, but I did have my little Nikon Coolpix. The clouds were moving into our valley and they looked so pretty against the palm trees of the Marriott! I wasn't the only one noticing the clouds! I saw a couple of other people out early that morning with cameras. We have so many days of clear, blue sky that we all run outside on cloudy days to view the sky! SkyWatch Friday for July 23, 2010.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grass Valley~Window Views and Doors, Too 072210




Hubby and I had never visited Grass Valley before. Grass Valley is an old mining town in northern California. As we drove through town, we parked and walked around and saw this beautifully preserved old hotel. Just look at all those windows! Window View and Doors, Too for July 22, 2010.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"A" is for ash~ABC Wednesday 072110







Hubby and I visited Mt. Lassen during our last vacation. Neither one of us had been there before. We stopped at the museum/bookstore and learned that the most recent eruption, in the early 1900's, was a side blast. We drove by the eruption location, which is right along the main road, and stopped and got out to look at the ASH. I also included a photo of the side blast area. All the trees there are much younger than the rest of the trees in the park. It was an interesting spot and I'm glad we had the opportunity to stop and see Mt. Lassen. ABC Wednesday for July 21, 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Memories of winter~That's My World 072010







These pictures are from last winter. Our mountains had quite a bit of snow from various storms and this was after one of them in January. I'm hoping that looking at these photos will help me to forget just how HOT it is right now! And, more heat is in the forecast. July is our hottest month here in the desert and we've had day after day of temps above 110 degrees! So, I'm going to think back to how my world was in January! That's My World for Tuesday, July 20, 2010.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cactus in snow~Cactus Monday 071910


Ahhhh....I sat here this morning and revisited some of my snow photos from last winter. Maybe that will help me cope with the 111 degrees which are in today's forecast? This little cactus was in the middle of snow. Our local mountains had quite a lot of snow this winter. In fact, the ranch owner where I board my horses up in the mountains, complained about this past winter's record snow and rainfall! Aaaaahhhhh...to revisit those days! Cactus Monday for July 19, 2010.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hungry Cali~Camera Critters 071710 and SOOC Sunday


A friend of mine asked, "Why don't you ever post pictures of your horses on this blog?" Well, I have a separate blog (http://deserthorses.blogspot.com/) which is devoted to them. I've tried to keep this one separate, as sort of a travel blog, but since I have this photo as the header on the desert horses one, I decided to post it here and post it on Camera Critters. Cali is one of my little Wyoming fillies that we adopted two years ago. She is from Salt Wells Creek. Another gal, up in northern California, has Cali's brother, who is a sooty palomino. We have visited him a couple of times. He and Scout's sister have been trained and are used as pack horses going into Yosemite. What a life! I don't usually feed the mustangs with rubber tubs as they have a huge hay feeder and Cali has her own feeder (Scout claims the big feeder!), and she had already had sweet feed and beet pulp. I think she was just curious about the rubber tub! Anyway, she sure had a good time with it. I didn't have my camera handy when she turned it up and was licking the side of it! Horses! They are so funny! Camera Critters for July 17, 2010. If you are interested in visiting my other blogs, they are ALL listed on the sidebar at desert horses. For other participants in Camera Critters, please visit: http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/. For participants in Straight Out of the Camera Sunday, please visit: http://www.murrieta365.com/2010/07/straight-out-of-camera-sunday_17.html

Zichichi Winery~Weekend Reflections 071710




While we were in northern California last week, we stopped at various wineries in the Dry Creek region. Neither one of us had stopped at Zichichi Winery, so hubby went in and tasted their wines and I wandered around the tasting room. I went outside on their porch and looked back and the beautiful reflections. It was very peaceful there. Hubby got to do a couple of barrel sample tastings (wine straight from the barrels) and he enjoyed that very much! As the designated driver, I don't participate! Instead, I get to take photos! Weekend Reflections for July 17, 2010. For other participants, please visit: http://newtowndailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thunderheads~SkyWatch Friday 071610











Thunderheads developed over the desert today. It's our monsoon season, which means that instead of clouds moving in from the west and the Pacific Ocean, they move up from Mexico and from Arizona, bringing moisture with them. July and August are our monsoon months. The sky was cloudless this morning, but by 9:30 a.m., thunderheads were developing over our local mountains. They continued to grow and grow. By 4:00 this afternoon, the entire desert was covered with monsoonal clouds and moisture. I could hear thunder from my house. These clouds were quickly moving and they are already clearing out, but the forecast is for more moisture and thunderstorms for the next two days. Ahhhh...summer! SkyWatch Friday for July 16, 2010.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lower Yosemite Falls~Watery Wednesday 071410







When hubby and I visited Yosemite a couple of weeks ago, we hiked to the bottom of the lower Yosemite Falls. Neither one of us had been there before. We have always driven right by them, but this time, armed with our cameras, we headed toward them. And, what beauty awaited us! There was so much mist from the water hitting the rocks that we had to shield our cameras! I'm glad we stopped and saw the falls. Watery Wednesday for June 14, 2010.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ruby Tuesday~railway car~071210




We stopped by a railroad museum in Jamestown, CA and found this prop railroad car. Yes! Hubby walked behind it and stuck his head out of one of the windows, but by the time I turned around to take his photo, he had moved on to another thing to see! This museum had old railroad engines, one of which was to debut on July 4th. It was an interesting tour and I'm glad we stopped. Ruby Tuesday for July 12, 2010. For other Ruby Tuesday entries, please visit: http://workofthepoet.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Winery shadows~Sunday Stills Challenge 071010




While visiting wineries in northern California, I noticed that many areas of the wineries are covered with shadows. This picnic area not only had tree shadows, but huge patio umbrellas. These steps were in the shadows of some nearby trees. These areas were very inviting to us because here in the desert, our days have been up in the 100's!!! Sunday Stills Challenge for July 10, 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

California Redwoods~SkyWatch Friday 070910


Hubby and I stopped at the Jedidiah Smith Redwoods in northern California a couple of days ago. He wandered off one way and I went off wandering through the redwoods. When I looked up, I saw some fog filtering in through the giant trees. It was a beautiful sight! SkyWatch Friday for July 9, 2010.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jedidiah Smith Redwoods, Northern CA~Outdoor Wednesday 070710







Yesterday, on our way to Santa Rosa, CA, we drove through the Jedidiah Smith Redwoods. The redwood trees are absolutely incredible. They reach for the sky and are very broad around their bases! I wish we had had more time to visit them, but we put in a 13 hour drive and we were extremely fatigued! Today, in Santa Rosa, we took it easy and visited vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. Outdoor Wednesday for July 7, 2010. Happy Birthday, Dad! May you rest in peace!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tree Moss~Macro Monday 070510




Yesterday afternoon hubby and I visited Mt. Lassen National Park. Part of the road into the park was closed due to snow removal (still!). But, most of it was open. We passed many trees with tree moss and both hubby and I got out to investigate the moss. Isn't it interesting? MACRO MONDAY for July 5, 2010.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nevada City doorway~Sunday Stills Challenge 070410



While walking around Nevada City, CA the other day, I came across this doorway and, not wanting to spend any money inside, I just snapped this photo of the shop! The door frames just naturally framed the picture, so I figured this was a good one for this week's Sunday Stills Challenge for July 4, 2010!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Waterfalls, Yosemite~Watery Wednesday 062910











I'm a day late, but we were out at Yosemite taking photos yesterday and I wanted to get these posted. The waterfalls there this year are ***SPECTACULAR***! I've never seen as many as this year or as full of water! There are several smaller waterfalls and many just along the road. That is because of the huge snowfall the Sierras received this winter. I believe, at one point, they had 130% of the snowpack volume for the year. I'm not sure if that was a record (we were up there in February and they were packed with snow!), but it sure was a lot!!! Anyway, here are some pics of some of them from yesterday. Watery Wednesday for June 29, 2010.