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, June 28, 2012

Bridgeport Hotel Friday's Fences 062912

I just love small towns because they always get dressed up for holidays, like Bridgeport, CA.  We stopped here and ate lunch at the Bridgeport Hotel, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You eat in the dining room downstairs and then you have to climb up stairs to use the bathroom.  And, I mean, STAIRS!  They are very narrow and tiny.  Thank goodness there is a handrail, or I'd never make it up to the top!  We love their delicious food here and they are right across the street from a butcher shop with a crusty old butcher who got along with hubby after he revealed that his dad was a butcher in Pennsylvania!  We stopped there to purchase sandwiches to take back to the cabin and returned the next day for some more!  You never know what you are going to find in a small town like Bridgeport and we can't wait to return!  Friday's Fences for June 29, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Squirrel and her babies





Sorry I haven't been around for a couple of days.  Hubby gave my laptop to our son, cleaned off the whole thing, and now Hal has it.  He took it apart and sprayed out ALL the dust and now it runs just fine.  Unfortunately, I don't get it back ~he's glummed onto it...sigh...I have an old desktop which barely has enough memory to do ANYTHING!  I'm thinking about going over to COSTCO today and buying a new laptop as I can't sit here and struggle posting photos!  I have enough saved up to buy one and I just may do that, although hubby has his previous laptop for me.  BUT...it needs to be sent to Chicago because the power plug doesn't fit properly and it falls out!  (...pulling out hair...) Anyway, he took the day off work today and got this one up and running with the external hard drive full of our photos.  I just can't mess up or shut this computer down or I'll NEVER figure out how to post photos again!  Anyway, I was able to take photos of the young squirrels up at the cabin near June Lake.  They mostly spent their time chasing each other around and running up and down the nearby trees!  They were VERY active!  No wonder momma squirrel had to eat so much!  They were cute, but they sure were a handful!  Here they are playing one morning.  I had to take photos from inside the cabin, looking out the kitchen window, and shoot them through the posts of the porch!  They were adorable and I miss them!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It was bound to happen...2 women bitten by coyotes

Yes, that's right.  Two women were bitten by coyotes in the same development, Sun City, where my aunt lives...sigh...
Here's the link to the local story:
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20120625/NEWS08/120625010/Two-women-bitten-by-coyotes-Palm-Desert-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage
The coyotes that I've seen have been curious, but not threatening.  They ARE afraid of me.  If I stand still, I can observe them, but they always take off if I move toward them.  It seems to me that coyotes lose their fear IF/WHEN people feed them.  And, I heard that the coyotes where I walk have scraps thrown out for them to feed on...so I am careful.  While I don't wish to be bitten, I also don't wish harm to come to them, especially if they have pups.
Any ideas/suggestions?

The range of light

Sierra Nevada at sunset yesterday.  Yes, it's all about the light.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bridgeport area and Sonora Pass





One day we drove up to Bridgeport for lunch at the Bridgeport Inn and then drove partway up the Sonora Pass.  It was the second day of my cold and I was pretty miserable, but off we went!





Gosh, for once, I hardly know where to begin!  It's been an incredible week up here in the Sierra Nevada, even though I've had a nasty cold!  We've spent 5 nights in our little cabin near June Lake, but today we leave and stay overnight in Lone Pine, then home.  It was so nice to get OUT of the desert heat!  But, I looked at the forecast and it will only be in the low 100's next week and in the 70's at night, so that isn't too bad.  It's when the nights are in the 80's and the daytime temps are 110+ that I really don't enjoy the desert! We've enjoyed the 40 degree nights here, as well as the blue jays, woodpeckers, and squirrels.  Apparently a raccoon comes along every night (I only saw it once, but hubby saw it again last night).  We drove out to Mono Lake yesterday afternoon, after I took a LONG nap, and then out to the Mono Craters.  There weren't any clouds in the sky to reflect on Mono Lake and hubby had adjusted my ISO setting to "auto" so that I could take photos of the birds on the porch and I forgot to readjust it, so my Mono Lake photos are overexposed.  Anyway, here are a few pics from this past week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

More of the Sierra Nevada~Friday Fences~062212

A view of the Sierra Nevada from a ranch in Bridgeport.  This is typical of the fences in this region.  Lots of cattle were out in the fields.  Friday Fences for June 22, 2012.  To visit Friday Fences, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Yosemite coyote

We drove up through Yosemite yesterday.  We got a late start because hubby was goofing around and we didn't leave the cabin until about 9:30 a.m.  I'm an early bird.  He isn't.  But, he's a night owl and I'm not. We saw a deer next to a pond in the park and we also spotted a coyote in a meadow (no bears sighted...).  We pulled over and I dashed out of the car with my camera and zoom lens.  The coyote was after a mole or something in the grass.  It was more gray than our coyotes here in the desert and was extremely preoccupied with its prey.  Another car stopped too, to investigate, and we talked to a mother and daughter from San Francisco who also spotted the coyote. Several cars stopped, thinking it was a bear, and I told them, "No, it's just a coyote!"  I really was interested in its coloring.  I hope you can see it in the photo...if not, just click on it to enlarge. Okay...I cropped it for the bottom photo so you can see it better!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wouldn't you like to be here?


This is Silver Lake, one of the three lakes in the June Lake loop.  There's June Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.  All of these lakes are back off Highway 395, above Mammoth, CA.  This area has its own microsystem.  It gets a lot of shade, even in summer, and in winter it gets a LOT of snow.  We were here one year about mid-October.  It was the last weekend that the Silver Lake Resort (across from Silver Lake) was open.  The aspen along the lakes were gorgeous, but right after that weekend, the winter storms hit.  This area is pretty much closed down from October 15 through April 15 each year.The roads are impassable.  I honestly don't know how the locals survive!  But, in the summer, THIS is the place to be!  We've had wonderful mid-70 degree days and the nights have been in the low 40's.  Unfortunately, I've come down with a nasty summer cold and we had a "zero" day yesterday (i.e. we didn't go anywhere, except to Mammoth so that I could stock up on zinc and vitamin C!)  We're going to have to get out today, however, cold or not (yes, I STILL have it...)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Horseshoe Lake



Horseshoe Lake has always been an eerie place to me.  First, there are signs all around warning that this is an area of extreme carbon dioxide concentration!  Don't stay too long!  Fortunately yesterday there was a nice breeze!  Second, the dead trees, from a fire, give it a ghost-like look.  The Mammoth Trail goes up to the Pacific Crest Trail here and it was like a moonscape...everything was dead.  It's also bear country and cannisters for food are a requirement.  On another note, our "unwanted" guest showed up after dinner last night and pushed open the cabin door!  We were both inside, eating dinner.  I thought it was a bear.  Nope.  It was only the neighborhood dog (the one without manners), begging for some leftover steak!  Of course, hubby obliged her and she stuck around for about an hour.  I saw her at 5:00 a.m. today, out chasing birds and who-knows-what!  She's a hoot!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June Lake




Sorry I've been AWOL for a few days!  I had to finish school on Friday, get checked out, rush home to do laundry and pack for our trip to the Sierra.  We rented a cabin between June Lake and Silver Lake.  It's back off the road and there are squirrels and blue jays all around it.  I've discovered that they both love the black oil sunflower seeds and peanuts!  There is a neighborhood dog who loves to come bounding up the porch steps after them.  She has no manners.  Her owner came looking for her yesterday and she was out playing with two boys in the cabin below us.  This morning, after scaring away the jays and squirrels, she went bounding up the little stream next to the cabin and returned 2 hours later, totally wet!   I tried to lead her to her house, but she went running after one of the boys who had a bowl of cheerios!  She reminds me of my black lab, Ripley...absolutely carefree and without manners!  It was cold and windy here this morning.  In fact, Silver Lake had whitecaps!  Here are some pics from yesterday.  We're heading down to Mammoth to buy another package of fresh corn.  Last night, for dinner, we had steak, chicken, baked potatoes, and fresh corn.  Everything was delicious!  It's nice to be able to sit outdoors and enjoy the evenings up here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Heron and turtles








One morning last week I was at the park before school and I spotted a heron making a beeline toward three turtles who were sunning themselves at the edge of the lagoon.  Yes, the park calls it a "lagoon".  I was anxious to see what happened next.  Here are the photos.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sprinklers and ducks





More ducks and sprinklers at the park.  I was lucky in that the sprinklers came on while I was there a couple of days ago.  The ducks sure enjoyed them!  And, the goose is hidden somewhere in a couple of the photos!  She appears to be doing okay.  I noticed three geese at one of the resorts in town also, so she isn't the only goose left in the valley.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Date palms~Nature Notes~061412






The open area at my school is lined with palm trees and I've been meaning to bring my camera for some time.  Yesterday I went to the park early before school and took some photos of the ducks, pigeons, and a turtle doing something strange with a floating bottle!  I've been fascinated by the date palms, however, as one day I looked up and spotted a lot of bees.  And, not just honeybees, but the big bumblebees!  So, since I got to school early yesterday, I took these photos.  The bees were all over the blooms and were very busy.  Yes, these are date palms.  A family of orioles also visits them.  In fact, a few years ago they had a nest up in one of these trees, but the gardeners came and chopped it down along with one of the branches.  So sad.  They disappeared for a few years after that, but I saw one of them swoop down yesterday morning after a moth!  Amazing!  I hear them all the time now and I just hope the gardeners will stay away!  However, I have a feeling they will return to cut off these blossoms on the palms, since I'm sure they don't want dates growing on them.  Nature Notes for June 14, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:   http://ramblingwoods.com/

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More smoke trees~Outdoor Wednesday~061312






My dad loved smoke trees.  We used to drive out to Cathedral City when I was growing up because my godparents lived out there and so did my dad's aunt.  He and I used to take long walks in the wash up in the cove in Cathedral City.  He tried for many years to transplant a smoke tree for my godmother.  He finally realized that for every inch above ground, there is a FOOT of roots below ground and he was finally able to successfully transplant one for her.  As to how the smoke tree got its name...I really don't know, but, in a wash, they do look smoky.  Oh, and you know there is water below the ground when you see them clumped in a wash.  Their seeds have to be roughed up, during a storm, in order for their seed coat to be scratched and broken and opened.  They are hardy trees and right now, as I posted earlier, they are blooming.  I love seeing their blossoms along Highway 74 as it leads up to the mountains above Palm Desert.  Here are some examples.  To visit Outdoor Wednesday, please go to:   http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/