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.






Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mission tour~Part 3

Once you go past the vast mission compound, be sure to stop by the ruins of the old church.  In an earthquake of 1812, the church was demolished and 40 people were killed. It was estimated to be about a 6.9 earthquake. The church building was only 6 years old when the earthquake hit.  As you can see, the church wasn't ever rebuilt.  The ruins are fascinating.  I found fossils among the rocks which were used to build it. The mission was left in ruins from 1812-1910 when Father John O'Sullivan restored it.  The only building still left was the chapel, which had been used for storing hay.  Father O'Sullivan worked by himself, restoring many of the buildings, and finally, in 1918, got permission to make it an active church. He rebuilt some of the mission himself and restored his health (he was suffering from tuberculosis).  Isn't that fascinating?  I simply cannot believe that this mission was neglected for many years and left in ruins. Really, this stuff is more interesting than fiction.  Can't you just see Father O'Sullivan working out there on the mission, by himself? He was actually the first priest there since 1886.  Reconstruction of the mission walls continues to this day and I'll post more on that later.  It has such a fascinating history, I can't wait to return!  Honestly, one of the reasons why I enjoy this mission so much is that is isn't whitewashed and you CAN see the original walls...I hope they retain its old charm.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mission San Juan Capistrano Tour, Part 2






San Juan Capistrano is actually a fairly large mission.  There is plenty to see there.  If you go, plan for at least a two hour visit.  It's impossible to get a picture of the whole mission, mainly because there are the ruins at one end and then other parts of the mission in the middle and on the other side.  I'm sure you have seen photos of the mission, so here are a few more photos from last weekend.  Yes, if you get to Southern California, whether by AMTRAK or by car, DO stop by this mission!  You won't regret it! More pics tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mission tour, part 1~Our World Tuesday~022812







It had been over 20 years since I last visited the old mission San Juan Capistrano.  Our kids were about 10 years old at the time (they are in their 30's now).  I dragged them to every mission in Southern California, much to their annoyance!  If you are going to visit any one mission, this would be the one.  Not only is it beautiful (the grounds are well kept), but it also has a real sense of peace.  Father Serra's chapel is located here.  It survived the great earthquake of 1812 which took down the main church.  It is the only mission which is located in Orange County.  If you would like to see a map of the California missions, you can follow this link:   http://missiontour.org/  It was so different spending the weekend near the coast, since the desert has had clear blue skies and near 80 degree temperatures!  I'm always intrigued by the fog which rolls in and doesn't burn off until about 8:30 a.m.  I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and it's good to return to that environment every now and then.  Hubby even remarked that he'd like to visit more missions this summer, so I guess we'll be doing that.  I'll be posting more pics of the mission this week.  Our World Tuesday for February 28, 2012.

Intriguing door~Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors~022712

As I was pulling into Whole Foods, in Laguna Beach, I spotted this intriguing door right across the street.  I don't know what the building was, but I thought it was a beautiful entry!  What do you think?  WWDD for February 27, 2012. Here's a link to the site:  http://iwishiwereaphotographer.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunset at the beach~Sunset Sunday~022612

Sunset at Laguna Beach last night.  The fog was rolling in and we weren't sure what kind of photos we'd get.  It was cold and windy on the beach, so after this, we went to Whole Foods and bought blackened salmon and salads for dinner!  I'm so glad we had a chance to visit San Juan Capistrano this weekend.  It's nice to get out of the desert once in a while and visit other places in Southern California.  Sunset Sunday for February 26, 2012.  To visit Sunset Sunday, please follow this link:   http://www.scottlawphotography.com/2012/02/sunset-sunday-101.html

Mission shadows~Shadow Shot Sunday~022612

I found some interesting shadows among the curves of the arches at Mission San Juan Capistrano yesterday.  I wonder what tales these stones could tell?  Shadow Shot Sunday for February 26, 2012. Here's the link to SSS:   http://shadowshotsunday2.blogspot.com/

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jacaranda trees, Mission San Juan Capistrano~Sunday Stills Challenge~022612

Hubby and I visited Mission San Juan Capistrano today.  The fog lifted about 8:00 a.m. and first we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway.  We stopped by Whole Foods ("whole paycheck") and then drove out to the AMTRAK station in SJC, which is across from the mission.  We strolled through the mission after lunch and we both took a lot of photos there.  If you only visit one mission in Southern California, this would be the one to visit.  There is a lot to see and it is open and comfortable.  They have a lot of trees planted on the property and it, to me, is the most beautiful location.  I could have stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, but I'm recovering from a bout of stomach flu and after about an hour, I was exhausted.  I'm glad, however, that we had a chance to stop and see what we could today.  We would like to return later this spring for another visit.  Sunday Stills Challenge for February 26, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yellow house, red doors~Friday Fences~022412


I love this little house, which is up in our local mountains.  And, after a recent snow storm, it looked so different with snow all around.  Don't you just love the red doors?  Oh, and the fence!  This is actually a new fence.  I talked with the owner last fall as they were getting ready to replace the old one.  Friday Fences for February 24, 2012. To visit Friday Fences, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Home sick today and Thrifty Thursday~022312






Some kind of flu is going around here and I FINALLY got it.  I ache all over.  I fell asleep at 5:00 last night, woke up at 7:30, and watched some taped shows, then fell asleep again at 10:00.  This morning, I feel like somebody hit me in my back with a sledgehammer.  I am camped out on the living room couch with 2 dogs and a cat (Abby)...I have NO appetite, so you know I'm really sick!  I did have some time to walk around the house and take a few photos of some of the things I've found at our local thrift stores.  Actually, the desert has some pretty good finds, although SOME thrift stores are very expensive!  Most of the "snowbirds" clean out their stuff in March or April, and then head home, so some good finds can be made.  Actually, most of our current furniture is from a couple of the higher end thrift stores.  I LOVE to find home made quilts and blankets, so I'll have to take some pics of them sometime, but these are a few items in the living room and kitchen.  I'm just not up to doing much today except sleeping!  Thrifty Thursday for February 23, 2012. I always wanted a china hutch for my grandmother's cups and saucers, and I think this one was $250.00 one spring.  I found the little thing with drawers up in the mountain thrift shop, but it is now closed forever... I found the barn cookie jar here in the desert, for I think $2.99 (Goodwill).  Hubby found this lamp that is next to his chair, which we also found at a thrift shop for I think $65.00. I found the living room console (it's a set of 3 parts).  I love it because it has lots of drawers and a place to put our old cameras. Finally, I found these items (and shelf) at a thrift store (also Goodwill, I believe) and these are next to my desk. If you would like to check out Thrifty Thursday, please go to this link:   http://geogypsy.blogspot.com/2012/02/thrifty-thursday-time-to-gussy-up.html

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ducks in the pond~Watery Wednesday~022212

I found this flock of ducks while out on my afternoon walk last Friday.  They had come onto the golf course, but something scared them and they all went back in a WHOOSH to the lake.  I went out walking there again this morning and they were still there.  I guess they are happy at this location.  Watery Wednesday for February 22, 2012. To visit Watery Wednesday, please go to this link:   http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/

Feeding the ducks (continued)

No, I haven't been to the park since Thursday morning to feed the ducks.  I have 2 brand new 25 pound bags of scratch feed in the back of my car...I thought I'd take the grandson to the park yesterday when I was babysitting him, but it was such a dreary day, we stayed at his house and he played with his trains and then went out back to play in the sand.  We both took an hour's nap!  I AM concerned about the number of ducks there and also the number of mud hens.  I know that during the summer there are white ducks at the park (I've counted 13 of them) and a very few other ducks.  I'm beginning to wonder if I should be contributing to them staying here...The flocks will be heading north soon.  Hubby and I aren't going to be here this weekend...we're driving to Orange County, so I won't be around to feed them then and I figured that with a 3 day weekend, they probably got plenty of food from families.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Afternoon walk~Our world Tuesday~022112





On Friday afternoon, I decided to stop and take an afternoon walk.  I had a 3 day weekend ahead of me and I was eager to get started.  The golf course was deserted except for a flock of ducks.  They were so cute!  They all waddled out of the pond onto the golf course as I went one way and then they flew back into the water as I was walking back, only to waddle off to the course again.  I saw a lot of shrubs blooming.  It was a great way to begin the holiday weekend...just getting out in nature!  :-)  Our World Tuesday for February 21, 2012.  To visit OWT, please go to:   http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Garden gate~Whimsical Windows and Delirious Doors~022012

I've always loved this garden gate at the Living Desert Reserve and I've photographed it many times.  Yesterday it was open and the shade from the trees was evident.  Doesn't this gate just invite you to step into the garden?  I did and bought two desert willows for my front yard!  WWDD for February 20, 2012.  To visit WWDD, please go to this link:   http://iwishiwereaphotographer.blogspot.com/2012/02/whimsical-windows-delirious-doors-12.html

Busted! The CITY doesn't like us feeding the ducks!

Here's the link to the newspaper article:

http://www.mydesert.com/comments/article/20120216/NEWS07/202160305/Ducks-create-issue-Palm-Desert-park

Apparently the CITY thinks we are contributing to the continued presence in the park of ducks which should move on!  Pffffffffftttttttttt!  It's the HUMANS who visit the park who create the most messes!!!  I've seen junk food trash in the parking lots, people pull off the roses and throw them around the park, they leave TRASH all over the kiddie area...Let them solve the human problem first!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Textures for Sunday stills Challenge, February 19, 2012



I was looking around at all the various textures at the park this morning and I noticed the smooth marble of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Palm Desert civic center park.  It was a clear day and the palms were reflected in the dark, quiet marble of the memorial. Sunday stills Challenge for February 19, 2012.

My competitor








There is an old lady who feeds the ducks in the afternoon.  I've come across her a couple of times now.  She feeds them bread and yesterday she also had ground up lettuce and vegetables left overs.  Finally, as she was ready to get into her car, she also fed them some kind of birdseed.  I just happened to stop by the park about 4:15 p.m. while on my way home from school.  I had my camera with me because I wanted to get more photos of our newly-dumped snow on the mountains.  It has actually lasted for two days! So, I pulled into the park and not only was she feeding them, but a man was sitting on a bench feeding the ducks and two Canadian geese.  A father and son were sitting down feeding more of them, and the "duck lady" was throwing bread at them.  I grabbed my camera and went off following her.  That wasn't difficult considering she didn't move very fast.  The ducks apparently all know her and are very comfortable pushy with her.  She actually picked up one duck and put it on a park bench and let it eat out of her bag!  Oye!  And, she had her little dog with her.  The ducks followed her as she made a circle around the park.  I watched her closely (she is, after all, my competitor) and learned where she stopped to feed them.  He, he!  I don't feed them bread as I read up on that and it is basically just junk food for ducks.  Nope.  I give them the "good stuff"...they either get cracked corn or a mixture of cracked corn and other grains.  I stopped by the feed store yesterday afternoon before I headed over to the park  and bought 1 bag of cracked corn (the last bag in the store) and another one of the mixture.  After the duck lady left, I did feed the ducks, too, and the Canadian geese came ambling over to see what was so exciting.  I had no idea they were SO MEAN!  They plucked a few of the ducks and one actually stepped on a duck!  They snapped at them and threatened them.  I wish they would continue on their journey and leave the park's ducks ALONE!  Ugh.  While they are beautiful to see in the sky, they are monsters on the ground!  (in my opinion...) Hubby goes to work early this morning, so I'll go back and check on the ducks and feed them.  I've come to know several of them now.  There's a little mallard with a bag leg, there's a black duck who is hilarious, and there are the 13 white ducks who are quite PUSHY and demand to be hand fed (thanks to the duck lady!)...I do not hand feed any of them!  There's a little tan duck with a cotton ball of feathers on his head (he's quite ADORABLE)...I'm wondering now how many of the ducks will be there all summer.  I know the white ones are as I've seen them previous years...it will be interesting to watch and document.  Here are some photos from yesterday...