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, October 31, 2012

Pinyons in the morning


I love the pinyon trees which are all over our local Santa Rosa mountains.  I drive through a forest of them on my way to the horse ranch every weekend.  I took these early one morning a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More views from the mountain



About halfway up the mountain, near Pinyon, is another small community called Spring Crest.  There are less than 20 homes up there, but they have fantastic views of this area of our local Santa Rosa mountains.  And, on a clear day like Saturday, with a slight breeze, the views were...spectacular!

A view from above



This is a view from about 4,000 feet.  It looks down at the desert floor of the Coachella Valley and the Palm Springs windmills.  Saturday was a clear day, with a brisk wind, so there was NO pollution in the valley and the windmills were clearly visible from Spring Crest, which is a little settlement up on Highway 74.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Finally~fall leaves!


The leaves up at the horse ranch where I board my horses are FINALLY beginning to turn.  It's been a LONG, drawn-out summer.  These trees were all full of green leaves last weekend, so I was delighted to see some yellow ones on Saturday.  For those of you on the east coast, in the path of Sandy, please be safe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hello and goodbye


Somebody up in Pinyon decorates a tree stump with a seasonal theme.  Or, someone used to.  That lady is now gone, but somebody did dress it up with a Cal Trans vest.  I'd love to see a Halloween costume on it,  and I would do it myself, but I'd have to cross privately owned land to do so.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

End of the week photos to share~Saturday catchup







Well, I made it through another week at work and now it's time to PLAY!  We had our Halloween costume parade yesterday at school and believe me, it was a HORRIBLY trying day!  Thank goodness it is OVER!  I need to get out into nature today and lower my blood pressure!  Here are some of the photos I took last week but never had a chance to post.  Enjoy!  And, enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Windmill and cloudy skies~SkyWatch Friday~102612

I also found this windmill out in Lake Riverside Estates last weekend.  The fog was moving in quickly and quietly at the time.  SkyWatch Friday for October 26, 2012.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:    http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Meadowlalk on fence~Friday's Fences~102612

I found this cheeky fellow on a fence last weekend up at Lake Riverside Estates, which is near Cahuilla Mountain.  Usually meadowlarks fly away from me the minute I drive up to them, but this one didn't.  In fact, he turned his head to stare me down!  Nice fence, but it needs some paint!  Friday's Fences for October 26, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fog on Cahuilla Mountain

I often drive by Cahuilla Mountain when I drive through Anza.  I love the way this area has SEASONS...something we don't really have here in the desert.  And, last weekend, the fog drifted up from San Diego to the Anza valley.  The mountain peaks were hidden by the fog and it was cold and misty.  What a difference from the desert!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back to the park


I had enough energy this weekend to go for a walk in the park early one morning.  I was pleased to see 3 geese and numerous ducks.  They all appeared happy and well-fed!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yellow fields~Mellow Yellow Monday~102212

I love the soft, yellow, lazy afternoon light, don't you?  However, I don't often get to see it because I'm so darn tired every afternoon.  However, this past weekend (Saturday), I was able to drive up to the horse ranch and areas beyond.  Hubby was busy at work and I had the whole afternoon to myself!  I took an hour's nap and then headed up to view the fog rolling in and the golden fields.  Mellow Yellow Monday for October 22, 2012.   To visit MYM, please go to:    http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A whole different environment ~ our mountains



Let's face it.  Every time I go visit my horses, I leave the desert environment of the Coachella Valley and drive up to an elevation of 4,000 feet.  I board them up in our local San Jacinto mountains.  It's just TOO HOT here in the summers for them.  Some boarding places have misters, but many down here in the desert do not.  I boarded my gelding, Sunni, down here for one summer and every afternoon the ranch owner would go out with her hose and hose down all the horses!  They all turned their big butts toward the hose, but they sure enjoyed the water!  Plus, I actually LOVE those mountains!  They are my escape, my "alternative reality", I guess.  I love exploring them and seeing the different moods of the mountains.  I've learned the hard way that mountain weather is completely DIFFERENT from desert weather.  Here in the desert, our storms usually come up from Mexico.  Up in the mountains, yes, they come from the south, but storms also come in from the west.  There are no other mountain ranges from the coast to these mountains, so the clouds move right in.  And, they move in QUICKLY, as I discovered yesterday afternoon.  I spotted a fog bank off in the distance and, an hour later, I was right in the middle of it!  And, it was still moving in as I left!  Here are some photos.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Palm tree fire~Friday My Town Shootout~102012





It's been nearly two years now since someone set fire to the palm trees on the Coachella Valley Preserve.  I went out there a few weeks later to hike back and take a look.  It was awful.  These palms provided both food and shelter for animals.  They grow right on the San Andreas Fault, which runs north and south in California and they are only a couple of miles off Interstate 10.  I haven't gone back there...I've been too sick with my bronchitis to make the hike, but I'll return this winter to check on them (when I get my strength back).  I'm posting this to Friday My Town Shootout, which you can visit at:    http://mytownshootout.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunrise~SkyWatch Friday~101912

I love driving to work when I do and seeing views like this.  WOW!  It almost makes going to work worth it!  Photo taken with my little Nikon Coolpix.  SkyWatch Friday for October 19, 2012.  To visit SWF, please go to:    http://desertsandbeyond.blogspot.com/2012/10/sunriseskywatch-friday101912.html

Ocotillo and clouds in the morning~Nature Notes~101812

Doesn't this almost look like a painting?  I spotted the unusual cloud on my way to work one morning last week and I pulled over.  When I did, I spotted the ocotillo and stopped right there to snap a couple of photos before traffic came and ran me over!   We've had clear skies ever since, but this weekend we may get some clouds from hurricane Paul.  I always enjoy the texture of clouds in the desert, don't you?  Nature Notes for October 18, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:   http://ramblingwoods.com/

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Went for a walk yesterday morning

It's been nearly 4 months since I've gone for a morning walk at my favorite place.  First, we had a LONG, hot, humid summer.  Second, I've had this darn bronchitis/COPD thing, which I still have, 9 weeks later.  But, yesterday, since I awoke at 4 a.m., I was out the door by 6:30, ready to walk.  I saw several huge jackrabbits, but didn't see any coyotes.  Somebody has been setting palm trees on fire at the resort, at two corners, and that bothers me.  Animals live in and around these palms.  The person hasn't been caught yet, but I am hoping somebody will come forward with info leading to the arrest of this person.  It's sad to see burned palms.  Fortunately, these palms are still thriving and this was the view yesterday morning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A taste of fall

Yes!  I finally found some fall color up in our local mountains and I'll be returning next weekend.  They have already had some frost up there and this tree was starting to turn.  I can't wait to return!  Why do the weekends go so quickly and the rest of the week DRAGS on and on and on?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Joshua Trees in the late afternoon~Mellow Yellow Monday~101512

Joshua trees in the afternoon light for Mellow Yellow Monday, October 15, 2012.  I took this photo during our Sierra trip in 2009, on our way home in the late afternoon.  This was on  Highway 395.  To visit MYM, please go to:   http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/

Impatient for fall color!





I'm so impatient for fall color that I'm going through my portable hard drive, looking at photos of the Sierra from our 2009 October trip.  It's still too early for yellows up in our local mountains and I'm so envious of those of you who already are seeing beautiful fall leaves!  So, here are some I'm sharing with you.  All of these were up on the road by Bishop Creek.

Saturday morning ride



I took a ride up in our local mountains yesterday.  It was a bright, crisp, clear, and cold autumn morning.  I found several ranch houses that had frost on their roofs, including this one.  The cottonwoods, aspen, and other trees up in the mountains are just starting to turn their fall colors.  This past week has really been the first week up there that they've had cooler temperatures.  We've had a LONG summer!  So, I'm anxious to keep track of the autumn leaf-turning progress up there and I'll be driving around every weekend.  I'm starting to get my energy back (I'm on week 9 of this CRUDDY bronchitis).  I went to my doctor, got a different inhaler, and she put me on steroids (pills) for a week.  They do seem to be drying out my mucus, but now I have a mostly dry cough...sigh...This stuff has been AWFUL!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sprinklers



You all know what a sucker I am for sprinklers, so how could I ignore these last weekend?  Oh, and remember the little burrowing owl who was perched atop a water tower last spring?  The one that was right across the freeway from my school?  Well, he isn't there this year... :-(  I stopped and looked for him one morning last week and ... NADA!  I guess, over the summer, he found a new home?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ready for fall~Friday's Fences~101212

As I was driving around Garner Valley last weekend, I spotted this gate and fall decorations.  Isn't it pretty in the early morning light?  Friday's Fences for October 12, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/