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.






Saturday, April 30, 2011

Aspendell Lake~Weekend Reflections~April 30, 2011


While we were having daytime temperatures in the 90's last week, it was still snowing up in the eastern Sierras. In fact, shortly after we visited this lake, Aspendell Lake, north of Bishop, CA, the clouds gathered and it began to snow! So, I'm glad I was able to get this photo before the sun disappeared! See the clouds coming up over the mountains? Yup. By afternoon, it was snowing again in the Sierras! Weekend Reflections for April 30, 2011. To see other participants, please go to: http://newtowndailyphoto.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How many vultures can sit in a tree?


Hubby and I took a drive down the Owens River Gorge Road last week and spotted these vultures sitting on the top of this tree. They were eating something and when I approached, they all took off! I don't know what it was and never figured it out. We drove further down the road and watched them soar over the gorge until they all finally disappeared into the sky.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"O"~ABC Wednesday 042711



The aspen buds are OPENING up at Aspendell Lake, which is in the mountains just north of Bishop, CA. Hubby and I stopped there last weekend to OBSERVE the aspen and I noticed these buds on them! "O" for opening for ABC Wednesday, April 27, 2011. To see other participants, please visit: http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

Cottonwood Charcoal Kilns





Hubby and I spent my spring break up in the Sierras last week. One of the spots we stopped to investigate was the Cottonwood charcoal kilns. These kilns were built in the 1800's to transport the charcoal to the nearby mines in the Owens Valley, since they had stripped the area of all trees. We have driven by them many, many times and never stopped to check them out! They are right off Highway 395, above Olancha, so if you get a chance, stop by and see them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Neighbor's Garden~Sunday Stills Challenge~042411





I was over talking to my neighbor last weekend, before hubby and I headed up to the Sierras. I hardly ever see her anymore as I leave for work early in the morning and so does she. She's lived next to us for nearly 30 years and she's a landscaper. Her yard always looks so clean and well-cared for (unlike ours!) Anyway, her sprinklers had just turned off and I noticed she was out weeding and pulling out flowers, so I asked her if I could take some photos before she decimated it too much! She said yes, so out I went with my camera. She has some beautiful roses (every rose bush I've planted in the last 35 years, I've KILLED!) and I am always so envious of hers! My parents had rows and rows of gorgeous rose bushes, but I can't ever get mine to grow! I'll have to stick with sunflowers, African daisies, and California poppies, I guess! Anyway, enjoy her flowers! Sunday Stills Challenge for April 24, 2011.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alabama Hills, late afternoon~SkyWatch Friday~042210


Hubby and I wandered around the Alabama Hills late this afternoon, just looking at all the various rock formations. The Alabama Hills are just west of Lone Pine, CA. It has been the movie location for many, many movies. In fact, there is a movie museum there and you can go inside and see items and details from movies such as Gunga Din and Tremors! I spotted this cloud above these rocks in the afternoon. SkyWatch Friday for April 22, 2011. It was a mostly clear day today, quite a change from yesterday when it snowed at June Lake and Mammoth! To view other participants, please go to: http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

June Lake~Nature Notes~042111




Hubby and I drove by June Lake and Silver Lake this afternoon. It was snowing in the high elevations of the Sierras (eastern Sierras) and we didn't stop for long. We wanted to get out of the region and back to our hotel in Bishop before the snow really started and the roads were closed!!! But, we enjoyed seeing the Sierras with snow falling on them in late April. We stopped by the Silver Lodge Resort and they weren't even open yet (their opening date was this past weekend), but we'll make reservations in mid-June, once school is over! Believe me, I CAN'T WAIT!!!! In the meantime, the eastern Sierras are still receiving snow, so who knows what they will look like in mid-June! Nature Notes for April 21, 2011. To view other participants, please go to: http://ramblingwoods.com/

Monday, April 18, 2011

eastern Sierras~That's My World~April 19, 2011



Hubby and I are enjoying a few days in the eastern Sierras. If we have a few days off together (our schedules are different), we always head to the Sierras. Who wouldn't...right? Today in Lone Pine it is about 79 degrees, and the wind is blowing. Clouds are over the Sierras. It's actually snowing up in Mammoth and June Lake. Photos of the eastern Sierras down by Lone Pine. That's My World for Tuesday, April 19, 2011. To see other participants, please go to: http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pond reflection~SOOC Sunday~April 17, 2011


I spotted this reflection Saturday morning when I was walking back to my car. SOOC Sunday for April 17, 2011. To see other participants, please go to: http://www.murrieta365.com/

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An unkindness of ravens ...GRAPHIC story

Please don't read this if you are faint of heart. If I were to read it myself, I'd cry. In fact, I've cried and cried already. When I was on my way to my morning walk this morning, I came upon an unkindness of ravens (a group of about 8 of them) next to the road. I stopped to see what they were feeding upon and to my horror, I spotted a LIVE jackrabbit. Yes, he was alive! I walked closer, scared them off, and saw that his back legs were broken. Apparently he had been struck by a car. I cursed the car, I cursed the ravens, but didn't have the means to put it out of its misery. Cars passed by, whizzing along (there usually isn't much traffic on that road, but I did see one speed by, completely obvious...) I looked into the rabbit's face and turned away...I just couldn't kill him. I found a maintenance worker at the golf resort, but he couldn't leave the property to do the deed. I fumed and stormed about, and an hour later, when I was leaving, I spied a car and a man walking nearby. Turns out, the rabbit had hobbled down to the street and when he came up, the ravens were feeding on him again. He had a large rock in his hand and told me he would put him out of his misery and told me to turn away. I tearfully gave him a pat on his arm and turned and walked away. I know that nature has her beauty, but I had a hard time seeing any today...

Whoosh~and then I saw...



There has only been one morning when I haven't had one of my cameras with me and it was this week. I felt naked without it, like a part of me was missing. I didn't want to take my big Nikon with me yesterday morning, so I left it at home, but I had my little Nikon Coolpix in my purse. Yes! The one I thought I'd lost in the school parking lot! I FINALLY really cleaned out my car and I found it and my sunglasses wedged under one of the floor mats. Unfortunately, it spent 10 days in my car and two of those days were 100+ degrees, and even now, after adding new batteries, it is rather s-l-o-w...sigh...So, as I was walking yesterday morning, I hear the WHOOSH! of wings behind me. I thought it was the ravens, but when I looked up, it was hundreds and hundreds of black cormorants heading north! And, since the Coolpix doesn't refresh quickly, I only got a couple of shots of them. It was fascinating to watch them, however. That's one reason that I walk down by the golf course...it seems to be a flyway for birds. I've seen ducks, ravens, Canadian geese, and now the cormorants all flying by! Summer must be around the corner if they're all heading north...right? Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Sorry for the poor quality...my little camera needs some TLC! But, just look how many of them there were! I'm glad I was out walking at that time or I would have missed them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ravens again~SkyWatch Friday~April 15, 2011


I often see ravens on my morning walks, but I don't always have the time to stop and take photos of them. But, on this morning, there were two of them who played tag with me. Wherever I walked, they landed. Unfortunately, because it wasn't very light, and I was using my zoom lens, this was one of the only photos to come out. So, this morning, I left the camera behind and walked for 20 minutes, just without it. I felt really weird...like part of me was missing! But, I only had a 25 minute window to do a 20 minute walk, so I didn't want to lose a minute! However, with the weekend and a full week off school, I'll have plenty of time to walk next week! SkyWatch Friday for April 15, 2011. To see other participants, please visit: http://skyley.blogspot.com/

What went on here last night? Nature Notes~April 14,2011





I've grown to love my morning walks, although I now only get out about 2 mornings a week, and only one of those is during the work week. It's just too dark and I have to get to school. But, on the weekends, I'm out walking. I love to see all the previous night's footprints in the sand. They always tell a story, although I'm still learning to read that story! Here are some tracks from last Saturday. Nature Notes for April 14, 2011. To view other Nature Notes, please go to: http://ramblingwoods.com/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A bit of sunshine for 'ya~


A bit of desert sunshine and flowers for you this morning!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"M" is for mountains~ABC Wednesday~April 13, 2011





The Coachella Valley is surrounded by mountains. They sit to the north (Joshua Tree), south (Santa Rosa mountains), west (San Jacinto Mountains) and east (Chocolate Mountains). So, when I go out for my morning walk, I see them all around me. I'm always fascinated by how the sunlight hits them at different times of the day. "M" is for mountains...ABC Wednesday for April 13, 2011. To see other participants, please go to: http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

What's behind me? That's My World 041211



I was out for one of my morning walks Saturday morning and I was so busy concentrating on what was in front of me, I didn't realize what was behind me. This little guy was busy singing on a bush and when I turned around, there he was. I stepped closer and off he went, but, for a moment, he was frozen in time. That's My World for Tuesday, April 12, 2011. To see other worlds, please go to: http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 11, 2011

White flower~Macro Monday~April 11, 2011


I have no idea what this flower is. I found it at our local community college's agricultural area this weekend. As I was leaving, I glanced over to the bush that had these all over. Any ideas? I call it the "mosquito flower" because it looks like the long legs of a mosquito! Macro Monday for April 11, 2011. To view other participants in Macro Monday, please go to: http://lisaschaos.com/

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Many"~Paper, Heart, Camera challenge 041011


Many flamingos at the Desert Springs Marriott in Palm Desert, CA. I have no idea how many there are there. I do know that there are 3 gray baby flamingos and they are now nearly full grown. Paper, Heart, Camera challenge, "Many" for April 10, 2011. To view the challenge, please visit: http://paperheartcamera.blogspot.com/search/label/show%20and%20tell%20challenge

4 corners~Sunday Stills Challenge~April 10, 2011





Okay, here are my 4 corners of my morning walk. The last two are west and east. West is toward the snow-covered San Jacinto mountains above Palm Springs, the bottom photo. I had a hard time with east because of shooting into the morning sun, so I got behind a large bush. Otherwise, I would have been facing direct sunlight and nothing would have come out, so it is the 2nd from the bottom. Can you see the sunlight on the tree? The top two are north and south. South is toward the buildings, while north faces the mountains of Joshua Tree National Park. Phew! That was harder than I thought, especiall the east-facing shot! Anyway, this is where I do my morning and afternoon walks. Mornings are done on the weekends and afternoons are done after school during the week, when I have time. I enjoy seeing the ravens and rabbits that claim this area as their territory. Sunday Stills Challenge for April 10, 2011.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Raven~SOOC Sunday~April 11, 2011


After yesterday's encounter with the ravens, I figured that my walking area was within their territory and when I went back to walk there this morning, they were already out and about. Two of them were flying and landing near where I was walking and I managed to take this photo of one of them. They were flying so quickly that I had a hard time anticipating their moves. SOOC Sunday for April 11, 2011. To view other participants in SOOC Sunday, please go to: http://www.murrieta365.com/

Gotcha!


I spent about an hour yesterday afternoon with a group of ravens (an "unkindness" of ravens). They had killed a baby gopher and were busy tearing it apart when I came upon them during my now-afternoon walk. I just don't have time to walk in the mornings anymore, so I've switched to the afternoons at my favorite walking spot. I enjoy watching the afternoon light. Anyway, there were about 8 of them and I followed them and they, in turn, kept a wary eye on me. This fellow enjoyed circling above me and then landing in the field and doing it all over again! If you wish to read the full story and see all the photos I took, please head on over to my other blog: http://rav4adventures.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tree and sunset~SkyWatch Friday~April 8, 2011


We don't often have spectacular sunrises here in the Coachella Valley, but one morning this week, as I was driving to school, I saw this gorgeous one. I pulled into a medical office parking lot and shot this photo. SkyWatch Friday for April 8, 2011. To visit SkyWatch Friday, go to: http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"L" is for legs~ABC Wednesday 04611


Not my legs, his legs! And, look at those LONG LEGS! This is one of the flamingos at the Desert Springs Marriott in Rancho Mirage, CA. I love to go there in the morning and take photos of them and that day's sunrise! ABC Wednesday for April 6, 2011. To see other participants, please visit: http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

Ocotillo blooms~Ruby Tuesday, April 5, 2011




Beautiful ocotillo blossoms from last week. Today it will be 90 degrees here (ahhhhhh!), tomorrow 80, then 74, then down to 70 by Friday. Ruby Tuesday for April 5, 2011. To visit Ruby Tuesday, please go to: http://workofthepoet.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yellow flowers~Mellow Yellow Monday~040411


I found these yellow flowers up at the Living Desert Reserve. I believe they are the yellow version of the Mexican Bird of Paradise, but I could be wrong. Any ideas? Mellow Yellow for April 4, 2011. Please visit: http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/

Cameras and equipment~Sunday Stills Challenge 040311


I've written about my cameras on my other blog:
http://rav4adventures.blogspot.com so you can read about them there for this week's Sunday Stills Challenge. I did add this photo here, however! :-) That's my with my Nikon D40x, which I take with me everywhere, especially on my morning and afternoon walks, and up to the horse ranch. If you wish to read the camera post, here's the link:

http://rav4adventures.blogspot.com/2011/04/camera-and-equipmentsunday-stills.html

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Luna moth and butterflies~First of the Month~April 1, 2011







Hubby and I visited the Living Desert Reserve yesterday afternoon and stopped in the butterfly pavilion. It was late afternoon and HOT, so it wasn't crowded (for once...). We were the only two people in the butterfly exhibit, so we had room to move around. One of the docents pointed out the beautiful, green luna moth to me, but it was on the top of the building, hanging there, so I zoomed in. This was the best I could do to get a photo of him. Isn't he gorgeous? I did take some photos of some of the butterflies there, too, and stopped by one of the bird avaries. In spite of the heat (it was 104 degrees!), we enjoyed our visit to the Living Desert as hubby has to go back to work today. First of the Month for April, 2011. To visit First of the Month, please go to: http://www.murrieta365.com/