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, August 29, 2010

Children at play statue~Sunday stills Challenge 082910

There is a shopping area here in town, on El Paseo, called "The Gardens". It has a garden in the middle and various shops around this area. In the garden is this statue of children playing~~carefree, laughing. I always enjoy stopping by this statue and looking at it and remembering the days of my childhood! Isn't it relaxing? Sunday Stills Challenge for August 29, 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lightning fire in Joshua Tree National Park




I stayed at school all day today (it was a teacher prep day) and I didn't leave for home until about 4:30 p.m. Yes, it was a LONG day!!! Yesterday and this afternoon, thunderheads developed over the Coachella Valley. It rained up in our local mountains yesterday (as I'm sure it did today), and there were also some lightning strikes today. In fact, five fires were started due to lightning. ...sigh...(so sad)! One of the fires is up in Joshua Tree National Park and, while I was driving home, I spotted the smoke. It was pretty easy to spot, even among the afternoon clouds. My heart sank. I thought of all the animals like desert tortoises that are up in Joshua Tree and wondered how they could escape the destruction. The fire continued to rage on all afternoon. I know because I stopped at our son's home in Indio for dinner and I went outside to see its unfortunate progress a few times. By the time I left at dusk, I could see flames leaping up over the tops of the hills and it saddened me. We all gathered around the evening news to learn that there had been HAIL this afternoon in Warner Springs, but 5 lightning fires around the Coachella Valley.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fan palms~ABC Wednesday 082510





I love going to the Living Desert Reserve and walking among the FAN palms there. There's a little trail through some of them and it is much cooler in their shade! It's cool and quiet in there and not many people know about this trail! ABC Wednesday for August 25, 2010.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Living Desert Reserve~Metal~Sunday Stills Challenge 082210





Amid all the plants and animals at the Living Desert Reserve are some interesting pieces of metal, including these. All of these are in or near the garden center. The two sun ones are on the walls there and the bottom one is right outside. If you have a chance to visit the Living Desert, come early in the day before it gets too hot! Sunday Stills Challenge for 082210










Look who's coming to see me! Weekend Reflections 082110


Last weekend I went to the Living Desert Reserve early one morning (7:00 a.m.) and walked out to their pond. There were some ducks there are they all swam over to me. No, I didn't feed them, but they were obviously looking for food! Weekend Reflections for August 21, 2010. For other participants, please visit: http://newtowndailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 20, 2010

Saguaro and blue sky~SkyWatch Friday 082010


One of the saguaros at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA. I went for an early morning walk there one morning last week. The sky was cloudless and the humidity was very low, unlike our last few days here! SkyWatch Friday for August 20, 2010.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two new awards

I would like to thank Jingle (http://itistimetothinkformyself.blogspot.com/ for giving me these two awards: Thank You for Being My Friend and one Lovely Blog Award. While I am deeply honored to receive them, I honestly blog because I LOVE to write and take photographs! In fact, my husband's laptop had so many of my photos on it last weekend that I couldn't upload any more! He spent over 5 hours last night transferring all of them onto an external hard drive and cleaned off the photos folder and desktop, where we had many of them stored. For me, blogging and posting photos is a way to decompress after a day with third graders! Last year I had 20 students. This year I will have 32 AND my district wants to give us teachers a 6% pay cut, which would include 5 furlough days. This is extremely sad. I just spent over $200 of my own money on back to school supplies for my students, including white 3 ring notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, math journals, and spiral notebooks. I bought 4 plants for my classroom and need to stock up on kleenex, hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes (for their desks). And, in return, I'll be getting a 6% pay cut? And, an additional 12 students? (We are going from 20 to 32 students this year in the primary grades.) Gee, thanks! It is sad that the general public supports teachers, but our administration has increased class size and is insisting on a pay cut AND furlough days. NO other district in the state of California is making these demands...sigh...MOST teachers at my school are hard-working and responsible individuals who, like me, spend a lot of their own money on their students and it saddens me to see how we are treated by our district office. But, enough of that! I am so happy to receive these awards! I would like to pass them on to the following people: Barb D of World Lens:
http://worldlensphotography.blogspot.com/, Thank you for being my mentor and giving me photography tips AND for becoming a good friend! Barb and I live in the same town and we get together on some weekends and away we go with our cameras! I'd also like to pass it on to: Carolyn of Ford Family Photos: http://carolyn1209.blogspot.com/ We sometimes photograph the same spots and I'm hoping to meet Carolyn someday!

"E" is for ears~ABC Wednesday 081810


"E" is for ears and this jackrabbit sure has BIG EARS! They have these large ears to help get rid of the heat that builds up in their bodies. Since right now our desert temperatures are over 108 degrees every day, they certainly need those big ears! This fellow greeted me at the Living Desert Reserve early one morning as I was up there taking a walk. ABC Wednesday for August 18, 2010.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thunderheads~That's My World 081710

I went down to school yesterday to begin getting my room ready for the first day of school (...ACK!). On my way home, part of the Coachella Valley was covered by growing thunderheads. There were several over our local mountains. It was HOT and HUMID all day! Another day like yesterday is forecast for today. Ahhh...the monsoon season! The problem with all this humidity is that if you step outside, the humidity almost knocks you down! Our janitors were busy transferring desks into classrooms (we are going from 20 students per classroom to 32!) and I felt so sorry for them! The humidity is forecast for the next few days, then hopefully we will return to a dry heat! 109 on a humid day is a LOT different than 109 on a dry, low humidity one! That's My World for Tuesday, August 17, 2010.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smoke and Fire~Sunday Stills Challenge 081510~Pushawalla Canyon







Yes, even here in the desert, there are fires. I remember one time I was driving down Highway 74 (the Palms to Pines Highway) and I glanced out toward the Salton Sea, only to see a line of smoke on the horizon. Turns out, there was a fire down in Coachella. And, two weeks ago, the same thing happened. This was another brush fire in Thermal. I took these pictures the day I went hiking up Pushawalla Canyon. Yes, palm trees DO burn. These are stark reminders of that fact. They stand tall near the entrance to the canyon. As you can see, a couple of them are burned, but survived, while others did not. "Smoke and Fire"~Sunday Stills Challenge for August 15, 2010.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

SOOC 081410~desert plants











I took my uncle with me a few weeks ago to visit the Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center. He and my aunt recently moved to the desert and they had never been to it before and I wanted to show them where it was. It has easy trails for walking and has a variety of plants, as you can see! All of these pics are straight out of the camera. The top one is an agave blossom, the next one is a desert willow, then a palm tree and its fronds, and a smoke tree is on the bottom. SOOC for August 14, 2010. For more participants, please visit: http://www.murrieta365.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gotcha! One of my geckos!


Last night I was able to snap a couple of pics of our family of geckos. There are three that visit us nightly, just as soon as it gets dark. Unfortunately, my flash scared them off and they soon crawled up the screen to the wall above my kitchen window to catch insects and do gecko things. Aren't their feet cute? I just love them and I'm glad they live in our yard.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My geckos are back! Nature Notes 081210


Last summer I wrote a post about the family of geckos that crawl up our outside wall every evening and this summer they (or new members of their family) are back. They are attracted by the kitchen light and crawl up the outside wall of our house and peer in at me through the kitchen screen. I love watching them. They have tiny suction cups on their feet and they easily crawl up the wall and screen. They seem to appear every evening about 8:00, as soon as it is dark and they disappear by midnight. In fact, if I don't see them as they first appear, then I don't see them that night. They make little chirping noises and feed on the insects that are attracted by the light. I've been outside watering my palo verde tree during the daytime and I've disturbed one of them who seems to enjoy living in the cool grass by the tree. Twice now, as I was watering it, I scared him off and he seems to be a darker color. The three that climb up my wall seem to be lighter, like the one in the photo. I love observing them and hope that they will continue to reside in our yard. I do NOT use any pesticides at all, so that may be one reason why they live and propogate in our yard. Nature Notes for August 12, 2010. ***NOT MY PHOTO***(I got this on Google images)...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Doves~ABC Wednesday 081110











This is a story of two doves. They appear to be doing a little dance! Aren't they darling? And, what a duo! ABC Wednesday for August 11, 2010.

Windmills~That's My World 081010




I had to drive our daughter and son-in-law to the Palm Springs airport last week as they were flying to Alaska to visit their cousins. After I saw their jet fly overhead, I decided to drive out and see the windmills. Aren't they interesting? You can see them from Interstate 10, but if you take Indian Avenue, you can drive right by them. That's My World for Tuesday, August 10, 2010.











Monday, August 9, 2010

Tacoma Stans~Mellow Yellow 080910




Earlier this summer I went for a walk around my neighborhood and saw this beautiful Tacoma Stans. While it is hardly "mellow", it certainly is yellow! I have one is my yard that grows up over our roof and provides a lot of shade for the summer. I also have planted another small one on one of our porch boards, so that eventually it will grow up and through the porch slats and provide us with additional afternoon shade. These plants grow very quickly here in the desert and they aren't expensive to buy! Mellow Yellow for August 9, 2010.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snow and mountains~Scenic Sunday 080810


The dog days of August...sigh...I can't wait for winter to come again! Snow on the mountains, geese in the sky, cooler days. However, it is only 68 degrees here this morning with low humidity, which is very unusual for August! This will be a good morning to get my chores done here at home! But, I yearn for autumn, winter, and spring and scenes like this! Scenic Sunday for August 8, 2010.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Morning silhouette~Sunday Stills Challenge 080810


As I was driving up into our local mountains one morning, I came around a corner on the mountain road and saw this plant silhouetted again the morning sky. Sunday Stills Challenge 080810

The Gardens, El Paseo~~Weekend Reflections 080710

Early one morning last week, I took a stroll through the empty buildings at The Gardens, which is on El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert. It wasn't hot or humid that morning and I wanted to just get out and take some photos. As I was leaving, I glanced over at this window and saw this reflection. I think I'll go back next week and take more photos, especially as our mornings are so nice and cool! It is 68 degrees here this morning, which is unheard of here in the desert, in August! Weekend Reflections for Saturday, August 7, 2010. For other weekenders, please visit: http://newtowndailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 6, 2010

Owl tree and sky~SkyWatch Friday 080610


When I went to my friend Barb's place las weekend, she showed me her owl tree. It is actually a dead palo verde in her yard. She told me an owl likes to come and sit on it. How cool is that? We used to have an owl come sit in our cottonwood tree and I enjoyed hearing it hoot, hoot, hoot! Our sky had patchy clouds that afternoon and I stopped to view them. SkyWatch Friday for August 6, 2010.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"C" is for canopy~ABC Wednesday 080410







I had to take our daughter and son-in-law to the Palm Springs airport early this morning for their flight to Alaska and after I dropped them off, I drove by the Palm Springs Air Museum. It was early morning light, perfect for taking photos of these jet planes and their CANOPIES. A CANOPY on an airplane is the clear part above where the pilot sits. When a pilot ejects from a plane, the CANOPY is blown off and he or she is able to blast out of it and parachute to the ground. I was able to see our daughter's plane take off, on its way to Alaska. ABC Wednesday, August 4, 2010. For other participants, please visit: http://abcwednesdayround3.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bird's Nest in Cholla~Cactus Monday and Macro Monday 080210


I took my uncle with me yesterday morning to the Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center. It was a pleasant morning here in the desert...not too hot! We wandered the trails there and I pointed out some things to him like this cactus wren nest in a prickly cholla cactus. NOBODY is going to bother this nest! Cactus Monday and Macro Monday for August 2, 2010.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Street Art~Sunday Stills Challenge 080110


When hubby and I visited Salinas back in 2008, we stopped at the John Steinbeck center, which was across the street from this mural. I wish I had walked down a little further to get a closer photo of it, since this is the only one I have! The shops in this center were intriguing and we did some window shopping before returning to our car and the long drive home. "Street art"~~Sunday Stills Challenge for August 1, 2010.