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, March 31, 2011

Trees and clouds~SkyWatch Friday~and LEM~040111


Just a view of clouds and trees reflected in one of the water courses at the golf resort where I walk in the afternoons. What a way to end the day, eh? SkyWatch Friday for April 1, 2011 and Live Every Moment. To visit LEM, please go to: http://liveeverymom.blogspot.com/2011/04/lem-photo-challenge-different.html

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garden door view~Window Views and Doors, Too~March 31, 2011



I absolutely LOVE this garden door, which is at the Living Desert Reserve, in Palm Desert, CA. Every time I go there, I stop by to admire it and see if it is open or closed (I closed it myself to get this photo!) ("Shhhhh....don't tell!") It's part of their garden center and beyond it is a lovely little water fountain and some water plants like bamboo. I love to just wander around their garden center and see what they have growing at various times throughout the year. Window Views and Doors, Too for March 31, 2011. To visit other participants, please go to: http://windowviews2.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 28, 2011

Afternoon delights~That's My World~March 29, 2011







Since I don't have enough daylight to really enjoy my morning walks anymore, I've switched to afternoon (after school)walks. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy these walks! First, it relaxes me after a hectic day at school ( and 27 8-year olds!). Second, just getting out in nature and seeing all the beautiful sights and sounds...I mean, what could be more enjoyable? The roadrunner was making its clicking noises, the ducks were on the pond, the water was trickling down the little waterfall...Ahhh....!!!! That's My World for Tuesday, March 29, 2011.

Ouch~Cactus Monday 032811

Good thing I didn't back into this cactus! OUCH! I was walking through the cactus garden at the living Desert Reserve and this little fella was out by the walkway. CAREFUL! Look at those thorns! Cactus Monday for March 28, 2011.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A tale of tails~Scenic Sunday~032711





I didn't have time for my morning walk Friday, but I was able to get out and walk in the afternoon. I haven't been walking for some time due to my STUPID bronchitis and I am now starting up again...huff, puff! Phew! I'm OUTTA SHAPE! Anyway...I went about 5:30 p.m. and the cottontails and jackrabbits were out chewing and munching on the lovely, green, growing grass. They weren't even bothered by the golfers! Look at the photos! Ho, hum...people again...back to munching! I must have counted over 100 of them during my walk around the edges of the golf course! Maybe this isn't so scenic, but I thought they were amusing! Scenic Sunday for March 27, 2011.

blue dish~Sunday Stills Challenge~032711


I wandered around the Living Desert Reserve yesterday morning. I took my early morning walk next to the city golf course, then stopped by the civic center park, where a large fundraiser for dogs was going on, and then headed up to the LDR. Today, I'll go there first! On my way out, I stopped by their gift shop and took some pics, including this one of a blue bordered glass...thing...decoration? I'm not really sure what it is, but isn't it pretty in their window? Sunday Stills Challenge for March 27, 2011.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shadows at the Living Desert Reserve~Shadow Shot Sunday 032711

As I was leaving the Living Desert Reserve today, I came upon these palm tree shadows. Aren't they interesting? Shadow Shot Sunday for March 27, 2011. To view other participants, please visit: http://heyharriet.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring in the desert~Cactus blossoms~Live Every Moment and Fabulous Friday 032511



I went for a walk early this morning before school and I spotted these cacti blooming. So, this afternoon, after school, I returned with my camera and stopped to take some photos. During spring and as it warms, various species of cactus (cacti) will begin to bloom. I'm always intrigued by them and they are all very different. These I believe, are a species of prickly pear. Aren't the pink blossoms beautiful? Live Every Moment, "Spring", for March 25, 2011. To visit LEM, please go to: http://liveeverymom.blogspot.com/ To visit Fabulous Friday, please go to: http://mcdougallphotography.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Palms and the wind~SkyWatch Friday 032511


Yesterday afternoon, coming back down from the mountains, the wind picked up in the desert and I looked over and saw these palm trees swaying in the wind. The winds are back today and fronds are everywhere. But, at this instant, I marveled at the palms, the sky, and the wind. SkyWatch Friday for March 25, 2011. To visit SkyWatch Friday, please visit: http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What happens when joshua trees die?~Nature Notes~032411




Let's face it...joshua trees fall over and die. So, what becomes of them? They decay and support all kinds of life, from the decomposers to insects to reptiles. Centipedes, small lizards, snakes, spiders...all use the dead tree as homes. I leaned over and investigated these two that I found and didn't see anything in them, but it was late morning when we visited the park...I would love to get there very early in the morning OR arrive mid-afternoon and stay late in the day. I can't wait to return to the park! Nature Notes for March 24, 2011.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Joshua Trees~Photo Challenge~Trees, 032311






Okay, I admit it. I'm fascinated by joshua trees. These gorgeous ones are up in the Joshua Tree National Park, which is about an hour away from our home. I'd like to get up there next weekend and take some photos of the wildflowers, but I'm not sure if I'll have time. I took these photos last January (YES...January!). One evening, when hubby and I were driving through the Mojave Reserve, we stopped to take a photo of the sunset and I walked out among the joshua trees there. I heard the soft, "hoot, hoot" of an owl in one of the trees. Cactus wrens also frequent these trees. But it is a moth which pollinates them and makes sure they propogate and they, in turn, feed the moth's larvae. Like the saguaro, they frequently remind me of people standing. Pullingmymaskoff photo challenge, "trees" for March 23, 2011. If you want to see joshua trees, head over to the national park, in Joshua Tree. To view other participants in the challenge, please go to: http://pullingmymaskoff.blogspot.com/

Dark skies and...!!!~That's My World Tuesday, March 22, 2011



I dashed home yesterday afternoon right after school because I wanted to drive up into our local mountains to see the snow. I was so busy taking photos of the snow and clouds that I nearly missed the rainbow over the Coachella Valley! It wasn't until I turned around to head back into my warm, dry car that I glanced out over the valley to see the rainbow! That's My World for Tuesday, March 22, 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Signs of spring in my yard




It was so dull and dreary here yesterday, I just stayed in all day! At one point, however, I grabbed my camera and went outside to look for signs of spring in my yard. My fruitless peach tree is starting to bloom and my snail vine is coming back after a harsh winter! We had some severe frosts here in January and February (remember the farmers burning the bales of hay near their fields?), and my other snail vine is barely coming back after getting hit by the frost, but this one is closer to the house and protected, so it's doing pretty well. We have rain forecast today (oh, joy!), but by next weekend, sunny skies will return.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tree and morning walk~SOOC Sunday 032011


I haven't been out for my morning walk for several weeks now. Between the bronchitis and pressing school work, I just haven't had the time. I really miss it and I think I'll head out this morning. I came upon this tree with the sunlight hitting it one morning last December. Although it is cloudy today, as soon as hubby leaves for work, I'll head out! SOOC Sunday for March 20, 2011. To see other participants in SOOC Sunday, please visit: http://www.murrieta365.com/

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gigondas rolling~Live Every Moment 031811




I don't talk about my horses on this blog. But, I do have another one which is devoted to them at http://deserthorses.blogspot.com/. However, I feel it is necessary to post this here. This is Gigondas, a thoroughbred mare who I rescued in 2006. She was listed on a rescue website and was up on a slaughter-bound feedlot in Washington state. A local rescue group would come in, photograph the horses, and briefly evaluate them (VERY BRIEFLY). I actually adopted another horse, along with Gigondas, in 2006 and they both came to California in January 2007. My cousin took the other mare, another beautiful chestnut, named Beauty, and trained her and started her trail training, but unfortunately, Beauty died in a freak accident in her corral. I was heartbroken for...well...I still am and it has been 2 1/2 years. Gigondas was an untrained thoroughbred mare who never raced. I do not know her history, only that she was abused. She was extremely head shy and she didn't like people, except for my husband (go figure!). I haven't had the time to do much with her, but she is now trained to walk calmly, lead, and do some gaits. I can now touch her all over without her flinching or pulling away and sometimes I just go and talk with her (and I sing to her!). Fortunately, she doesn't sing back! But, this horse, who was on a slaughter-bound feedlot, LOVES to RUN! When I take her down to the arena and the boarding ranch, I let her loose and she runs and runs and runs. She pretty much self-exercises and when she's ready to return to her corral, she calmly waits by the gate. You all KNOW there are thousands of other horses like her, on slaughter-bound feedlots in every state and California has MANY, MANY of these feedlots as people lose their jobs and home. I've rescued 6 horses in all now and I currently have 5, but with my salary frozen and with possible furlough days next year, I cannot adopt any more. I wanted to share her story with you because I wanted you to see an animal who LOVES life, who lives to run, and who hated humans, but now gives me back love in her own way. Maybe that's her way of saying, "Thank you"? Here she is enjoying a nice roll in the arena. This mare loves life to its fullest and never backs down from anything. She IS sensible and would make a great trail horse, so I may ask my cousin to start on her this summer. She definitely exhibits the attitude of Live Every Moment. To see other participants, please go to: http://liveeverymom.blogspot.com/ and if you would like to read about my horses, please visit: http://deserthorses.blogspot.com
I know that some of you will wonder about her name. Well, my husband renamed her "Gigondas" after his favorite big, red wine because she is a BIG, red horse...and the name seems to fit her. Gigondas is a wine region in France known for its big wines and we enjoy drinking them! I have tried and tried to find out her pedigree, but nobody knows where she came from. There are several thoroughbred farms in Washington state, but many of the horses on the feedlot are collected from auctions all over the West, and since she doesn't have a lip tattoo, I've hit a dead end. All I know is that this is a mare who loves life and who deserved a second chance. Please, if you can, donate to the horse rescue of your choice. I can personally vouch for TB Friends, which is in Sacramento, CA. Joe, the owner, rescues many, many thoroughbreds from tracks and feedlots. Also, Jill Curtis, of Shiloh Horse Rescue, near Las Vegas, Nevada, does a wonderful job of rescuing horses and then retraining and rehabbing them. I have visited her rescue several times and always enjoy going back to see the horses, donkeys, and dogs! SAFER also is another rescue in California. If you want more info about horse rescues, please email me. ~~Cheryl Ann~~

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Arizona sunset~SkyWatch Friday 031811


Arizona has beautiful sunsets and hubby and I saw this one while driving from Williams to Prescott, so we pulled over and I took this photo. SkyWatch Friday for March 18, 2011.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Red"~Blogger's Community Challenge 031611


Flowers at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA for the Blogger's community challenge, "red". March 16, 2011. Yup. The first one is a Baja fairy duster! To see other participants, please visit: http://communityphotochallenge.blogspot.com/2011/03/community-photo-challenge-red.html

Monday, March 14, 2011

More of the Grand Canyon~






Hubby and I drove to the Grand Canyon yesterday from Prescott. We stopped in Williams and ate breakfast at the Pine Country Restaurant (*****), our favorite place to eat! Then we headed up the road to the G.C. Unfortunately, we arrived there about noon (bad light for photos), so we both concentrated on taking pics of the junipers and I did closeups of the rocks. I did manage to get a couple of shots of the river far, far below. It was very muddy from all the recent rain and snowfall. Every time we visit the Grand Canyon, we see something new in its beauty. On this trip, since the horizon was so hazy, we concentrated on what was close to us.

Grand Canyon


Yesterday was another full day of travel. Fortunately, I woke up early and got hubby going! We left Prescott, drove up to Williams, and then out to the Grand Canyon. Then, out through Cameron, down through Sunset Crater, Flagstaff, back to Williams for dinner, and then Prescott. Phew! What a day! Unfortunately, we arrived at the canyon at noon and even with a polarizing filter, it's difficult to take decent photos in that light. This one, however, came out pretty good. I'll be posting more this week. If you double click on it to enlarge it, you can see the Colorado River. Somebody asked how many hours it is from Palm Desert, CA to the Grand Canyon. Let's see...it's 4 hours to Phoenix, another Prescott is an hour, from Prescott to the Grand Canyon would be another 2 hours, so that's 7 hours. We drove to Prescott and stayed there overnight and the drive from Prescott to Williams, AZ is about an hour and from Williams to the canyon is another hour. KT...yes, we LOVE Canyon de Chelly! Unfortunately, we just didn't have time this trip to go there. Maybe I'll post some of our photos of that canyon this week, too. Yes, it is sacred to the Navajo. Our last visit there, we met a Navajo man very early in the morning (I DRAGGED hubby out of bed at 4:00 a.m. ) We stayed overnight 2 nights in Chinle and met a very nice man who explained the canyon and what it meant to him. But, you know, I have certain places right here in the desert which I find to be very spirtual, including Joshua Tree National Park and Santa Rosa mountain. Thanks for asking questions. I'm glad to answer them!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Rock Canyon State Park~SOOC Sunday and Scenic Sunday 031311




Hubby and I headed over to Arizona this weekend and stopped at the Red Rock Canyon state park, which is right outside Sedona. We'd never stopped there before and we were glad that we did. The park has a beautiful visitor center which is built right into the surrounding red rock. Hubby hiked down to the stream while I went in the opposite direction and then I stayed around the visitor's center. It was high noon and my photos of the rocks didn't come out well, but these of the shadows did! SOOC Sunday for March 13, 2011.

To view other participants in SOOC Sunday, please visit: http://www.murrieta365.com/ To view other participants in Scenic Sunday, please visit: http://scenicsunday.blogspot.com/