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, September 30, 2012

Meet "Lady"!!!

A colleague of mine announced last week, "Does anybody want a female German Shepherd?  I can't keep her."  to which I responded, "I DO!"  We lost our shepherd in December due to canine lupus.  He really went downhill once he was diagnosed with the disease.  We took him to several vets and they all said there was really no cure...He was happy and playful until the very end when he died during Christmas vacation.  I was so devastated that I didn't want another shepherd, but missed having one terribly.  We DO have Ripley, our black lab, and our son's Weimeraner.  Ripley is "my" dog and follows me around everywhere, but she doesn't display the shepherd qualities that I so missed.  Anyway, "Lady" is a 6 year old female shepherd with beautiful manners.  She knows all the basic commands, is very calm, leads nicely (without tugging), and rides in the car!  My colleague brought her over yesterday morning so that we could meet and I really liked her!  She fits in nicely with our cats (except for Abby, who REFUSES to come out from under the bed!) and was accepted by both our other dogs.  I took her for a walk down at the park yesterday afternoon and she behaved very well!  She did chase a couple of ducks, but that's all she did!  Oh, and yes, she sleeps on the bed!  So, here are some pics of Lady.



My chronic bronchitis, which I discovered is really COPD, is better today.  I've not coughed once yet tonight (...knock on wood...).  I'm drinking LOTS of hot tea with Manuka honey. I'm hoping to get up to see my horses today.  I haven't been up to see them for several weekends because of my coughing.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Feeling better!!! Ready to get outdoors!

Well, the latest antibiotic seems to be taking effect and I don't have as much dang MUCUS and my chest isn't rattling this morning.  It was awful, awful, awful!!!  I would lie down and I could hear these noises in my chest when I was breathing.  Ugh.  Then I'd have a horrible coughing fit and I'd cough and cough and cough...NO FUN!  But, this morning, I don't have the ghastly rattle and I'm not coughing as much!  YIPPIE!  I'm so READY to get OUT of the house!  Unfortunately, we are having a heat wave and it may get up to 110 degrees over the weekend!  Ugh!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Those were the days...

I SO miss this cabin!  We had it for one weekend (2 nights) and I already miss it terribly!  Unfortunately, I've been very sick with bronchitis since that weekend.  I've been to the doctor twice now and 14 days later, I'm still coughing.  I'm on a new routine of antibiotics, this one for 10 days, so I hope I'll get well soon!  Sorry to be AWOL, but I haven't been out much and I haven't had much to blog about!  I miss you all and I hope to get out for a bit this weekend!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The END of summer? Please, please!!!


Teresa and I are both blogging about the end of summer (here's the link to her blog:   http://stvdp.blogspot.com/2012/09/end-of-summer-blues.html).  For us desert dwellers, this is IMPORTANT.  You have NO IDEA how many 100+ degree days we've had this summer.  Summer has just dragged ON and ON and ON.  And, we've had a LOT of humidity, which just saps one's strength and energy.  Plus, I currently have bronchitis and I'm so exhausted from the coughing that I can't think straight!  So, today will be 106 degrees, but then tomorrow, it's down, down, down into the mid 90's!  Whoo, whoo! That means we can turn the air conditioner OFF and open our doors and let the fresh air inside!  I can't wait!!!!We had clouds yesterday and today, but then "cooler" and drier days are forecast!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Desert sunset~SkyWatch Friday~092112

Sometimes I don't have far to walk to see a breathtaking sunset!  This is right outside my front door!  SkyWatch Friday for September 21, 2012.   To visit SWF, please go to:   http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gray squirrels~Nature's Notes~ 092012






As much as the blue jays entertained me last weekend, the gray squirrels were also quite entertaining.  They often charged the blue jays, making them scatter, so that the squirrels could get some food.  I guess they didn't like the jays encroaching on their food supply!  They would also scamper up the trees and chatter away.  One morning I heard both the jays and squirrels chattering and I looked out into the street and saw a gray fox go by!  Amazing!  I didn't have my camera with me, and I'm glad their chatter alerted me to its presence.  The squirrels really enjoyed the large sunflower seeds, as well as the peanuts.  However, they had to compete with the jays for the peanuts and the jays were much more agile and quicker!  Fortunately, the squirrels got plenty to eat.  Another family has rented the cabin for the next 5 days and I hope they will enjoy the jays and squirrels.  Nature's Notes for September 20, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:   http://ramblingwoods.com/

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Funny blue jays!




Really, no words are needed!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hide and Seek

This little guy eluded me nearly all weekend!  I'd see him scamper across the back deck, then I'd RUN to grab my camera, and he would be gone!  (little bugger!)  I FINALLY saw the hole in the deck where he went and I staked it out.  This is as far out as he came.  I had thrown out some seeds, but he was too cautious to come out...sigh...He was a cute little bugger and I enjoyed watching him scamper around the deck.  He did get some seeds, and I'm sure he was well fed!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Idyllwild weekend



We rented a cabin for the weekend up in Idyllwild, CA, which is at 5,300 feet in our San Jacinto mountains. Idyllwild is a small town, with a "rustic" theater, a couple of markets and hardward stores, and LOTS of cabin rentals.  This house is privately owned, but rented out.  It had 3 levels and 3 bedrooms, which was plenty of room for the 3 year old grandson to explore.  It even had a loft library (which he climbed to my HORROR!) and a huge backyard deck.  He followed me up the steep stairs to the upper library and I had to tell him, "Don't do that again...it isn't safe for you!"  and then wondered how I was going to get down!  The steps were tiny and were completely vertical!  It would be great for 10 year olds, but dangerous for 3 year olds!  We did feed the blue jays and squirrels, even though both of us are now sick...I have bronchitis and he has green snot (eewwwww!) So, I'm taking today off and I'm going to urgent care for SOMETHING that will calm down this cough so I can get some REST!!!!  Here are pics of the cabin.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fence, mountains, and clouds~Friday's Fences~091412

A pretty view of the San Jacinto mountains, a fence, and clouds last weekend.  Friday's Fences for September 14, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quail~Nature's Notes~091312






We had a family of quail come visit us twice a day, early morning and late afternoon, last weekend at the cabin up in our local mountains (Idyllwild).  I actually think it was two families.  There were over 20 of them! They came up from Strawberry Creek and its lush growth, which was right below our cabin.  Unfortunately, right as I was taking these pictures, a Cooper's hawk silently flew down and grabbed a blue jay who was also enjoying the seeds I threw out for the quail.  ACK!  I heard a squawk, saw the jay in the hawk's talons, and the hawk took off!  The quail scattered and I didn't see them again that morning.  Nature's Notes for September 13, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:   http://ramblingwoods.com/

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First sign of fall

Finally!  I am SO DONE with summer!  I just heard on the news that a rain cell has stalled over part of the Coachella Valley and that area has received over 2" of rain and is flooding.  And, GUESS where I have to drive this morning for an all-day training?  Yup.  I'll update you tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Idyllwild weekend




Hubby and I booked a cabin up in Idyllwild this past weekend to get OUT of the desert heat.  I was tired and exhausted from the Labor Day weekend because I had to stay with my elderly aunt and make sure she took her meds in a timely manner and she didn't double up on them (which she did TWICE before I got there!)...it was a LONG, exhausting 3 day weekend over Labor Day.  I really needed to get some REST this weekend and since it was another scorcher here in the desert (with humidity), up the hill we went.  Idyllwild is at 5,300 feet, up in the tall pines.  A storm front was moving into Southern California and we sat out on our porch and watched the thunderheads move in. We both sat and fed squirrels, blue jays, and quail.  We watched a small cottontail come up for meals, too.  Unfortunately, Sunday morning a Cooper's hawk spied all the blue jays, swooped down, grabbed one right next to where I was standing, and took off almost before I even knew what was happening!  He was that fast and silent!  Here are some pics from our weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Desert sunrise

We don't always get clouds here in our desert, but when we do, I usually run outside with one of my cameras to take photos, like on this morning.  Sorry about the street light....I couldn't get it out of my frame of focus!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My morning fan club

I put COSTCO birdseed out for the neighborhood birds every morning and these doves were on the phone lines the other morning.  They also line up on my front fence if I'm late getting their food out to them!  There are black-ringed doves and little doves, too.  We also have a scrub jay who lives in our neighborhood.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Palm Desert cross~Our World Tuesday~090412

This is the Palm Desert cross, which is located in our local mountains.  There are a couple of hiking trails up there to it, but I've never been on them.  Instead, I just go outside my front door and look at it every morning!  I took this on the morning of the full moon, while I was waiting for it to set beneath our mountains. OWT for September 4, 2012.  To visit OWT, please go to:   http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/