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.






Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunny? Not for long!

I went out front yesterday morning about 10:00 and took this photo.  By 2:00 p.m., the entire valley was covered with clouds and it was raining up in the mountains and across the valley at Joshua Tree National Park (even snowing!)  I haven't been outside yet this morning to see all the snow, but I'll be heading out later!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Desert in the mist





These are views looking south toward Palm Desert, except the top photo, which was looking west.  If you click on it, you can see the faint rainbow.  To the north, the clouds were hovering over the Santa Rosa mountains and it was raining.  There's a line where the desert air meets the colder mountain air and the clouds stop there.  It's usually a pretty definite line.  Believe me, the mountains were COLD and WET and windy on this morning, but the desert was not...I took all of these photos at the Santa Rosa mountains visitor center, which is at the end of Highway 74 as you go up or come down the mountains.  It's a great place to visit, if you are ever in town.  There are hiking trails, a nice visitor center with videos and books, and a GORGEOUS side patio.  There are many bird feeders, so you can see quail, hummingbirds, doves, and they even have a rattlesnake warning sign!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ocotillo and rainbow~SkyWatch Friday~122812

We've had a couple of days here in the valley with light rain and I headed out Wednesday to see the rainbows.  It was misting at about 1,000 feet up toward Highway 74 and I stopped to take a picture of the rainbow and ocotillo.  Higher up in the mountains, it was POURING!  SkyWatch Friday for 122812.  To visit SWF, please go to:  http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas




Our family only buys presents for our grandson, who is almost four.  Our daughter is pregnant and due on April 1st, so we'll have another grandchild soon!  :-)  Anyway, we had Christmas morning at our son's house with Ben, our grandson.  Every family is just too worn out and busy to spend money for ALL the family members and besides, we had a huge breakfast and a huge dinner that day.  Frankly, I believe it's better to spend some "family time" together than spend money on presents.  I had helped our daughter make sugar cookies on the 23rd and that's now a family tradition.  Last night, we went to their house again for leftovers.  I am enjoying my time off school (I have 3 weeks off!).  I made two quick trips up to the Santa Rosa mountains, up Highway 74, which is only a 10-15 minute drive from our house.  It was cloudy yesterday and I could see the clouds hanging on the mountains, so I zipped up the mountain road early in the morning.  And, once again, I chased rainbows up and down the mountain!  I also took a walk at the Santa Rosa mountains visitor center, which I haven't done for a LONG time!  It was so good to get out, feel the wind, and smell the mountains!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!   :-)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baking sugar cookies today~ :-)


I'm going over to our daughter's house this afternoon to help her make sugar cookies.  Actually, she doesn't need much help.  I'll put some toppings on them.  We usually do crushed candy canes on some, M&M's on others, lemon curd on some, and then also some kind of jam on others.  Then she wraps them up for her friends.  I'll take some up to the ranch owners where I board my horses.  It will be a fun afternoon.  I think I'll have time to zip up and see the horses this morning!  We went to a Christmas party last night and here were their desserts.  Believe me, I WILL take photos of our cookies today!  :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cottonwood, clouds, and fences ~ Friday's Fences~ 122112

A view of cottonwoods, clouds, and fences from last weekend.  See the clouds hugging the mountains?  Friday's Fences for December 21, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:  http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Just around the mountains





Sometimes I take a drive up in our local mountains, just to get out and see something different.  On this day a storm front was moving in from the Pacific Ocean and clouds were clinging the mountains.  There were still some fall leaves on the cottonwoods.  It was a chilly day, but I didn't mind.  It is so different up here in the mountains that our desert, which was warm and sunny.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ouch~cholla!!!



Cholla has a certain beauty when the morning sunlight hits it, but DON'T be fooled.  It is horrible stuff!  If you walk near it, the chunks on the ground pop up and attach themselves to your shoe or pants!  Don't EVEN think about brushing against it!  Nooooooooo!!!!!  I took these photos from the safety of my car!  I have encountered it many times while walking or hiking, unfortunately.  One time a spur got buried in my heavy duty hiking boots and I had to take a pair of plyers to get it off!  YIKES!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Local mountains




I left the house in the desert early Sunday morning to take a ride up to the horse ranch.  I had to buy pellets for the herd and I had to deliver 2 HUGE containers of psyllium for them, one from a friend.  It was a beautiful, crisp, clear morning.  It had rained just hours before and everything sparkled!  And, it was COLD!  A wind was blowing in from the ocean (this area is just east of the ocean) and another storm front was moving in.  Snow is forecast today down to 3,500 feet, so this area will be getting snow soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snow on ranches in Garner Valley


I woke up early this morning and was out the door before 7:30 a.m.  I wanted to catch the beautiful early morning light, so I headed up to Garner Valley, which is about halfway between Palm Desert and Idyllwild.  It is a huge meadow consisting of 5 acre lots and ranches.  I wanted to see how much snow was there.  And, yes, there was snow there, as you can see.   :-)  I also stopped to check out the horses today.  They were wet and I gave them an extra meal and their psyllium.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

SNOW~Finally~~~

We had our first major snow storm move through the valley and into our local San Jacinto and San Bernardino mountains this past week.  I took this photo Thursday morning, looking up at the Santa Rosa mountains.  The Palm Springs Tram would be an interesting ride this weekend!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Word verification and 100 SPAM messages

Yes, I had too much SPAM without word verification.  I came back last weekend and I had over 100 SPAM comments without word verification, so I turned it back on.  I know, I have a hard time, too, reading the words to type, but, honestly, I don't need LUGGS or something in Russian, and I'm tired of spam.  So, readers, I hope you understand...sigh...any other suggestions?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Goofy blue jays



I absolutely LOVE blue jays!  They are incredible birds.  They can figure out how to get a peanut sometimes faster than the gray squirrels, as I learned last weekend up in Idyllwild.  And, they are persistent!  Finally, they learn and remember.  Here are some pics of some of the blue jays at the cabin up in Idyllwild.  We won't be going up there this weekend because snow is forecast down to 4,000 feet (it is at over 5,000) and I have a 3 week break in 2 weekends anyway...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Am trying to come back ...

I'm trying to come back into the world after losing my palomino mustang mare, Cali.  It hasn't been easy.  I really tried to avoid going into the depression which hit me after the tragic death of my chestnut mare, Beauty, in 2009.  She apparently died in a corral accident and didn't suffer.  Cali, on the other hand, did.  Cali had a ruptured intestine and, well, I don't wish to explain the pain that she was in for over a day..  Our vet kindly, but tearfully, put her down.  It's hard to lose a 6 year old mustang and he is a very sensitive and kind vet.  She had just matured into a beautiful mare and losing her is just devastating.  She would have been my riding horse.  Now I am left to ponder which of my horses I'll ride, if any of them.  Scout, her herd sister, is VERY headstrong and I'm not that good of a rider anymore to handle her should she decide to take off with me on board!  Sunni spooks too much.  Gigondas has moments of calmness, but then suddenly erupts.  She DOES seem to have a calm head, but, being a thoroughbred, it is a LONG way to the ground on her!  Same with Quad...he's the tallest horse I have.  And, hubby and I made an agreement that I would NOT replace any horse that died, so I'm down to 4 horses now and it will stay there until another one passes.

So, life goes on...we had a nice weekend up in our local mountains and our son and grandson came to stay with us overnight.  It's always fun to see the world through the eyes of a nearly 4 year old!  He is so curious about everything (the grandson...).  He got to feed the blue jays and squirrels and squealed with delight when they grabbed one of his peanuts!  :-)  He got to see the huge Christmas tree which was lit in town and all the little shops with bright Christmas lights.  He ate at the dining table with "big people" and ate 1/2 of grandpa's steak!  Ahhh...the joys of being 3 years old!  And, our friends, Barb and Vince, who live in Pinyon, came over to join us for dinner.  Barb has 3 horses of her own and I've ridden one of them a couple of times.  In fact, it was that horse that I fell from nearly 4 years ago and injured (permanently...) my back.  I DID take a couple of riding lessons this summer and believe me, it was SCARY getting back on a horse!  But, I did it...I had to practice getting off a few times because I now have trouble swinging my leg over the back of a horse. I would like to get more lessons in next summer.





And, I have things to do at school.  So, yes, life goes on...All photos are from last weekend in Idyllwild, CA.

Word verification is back on...sigh...

I returned from our weekend trip to the mountains to find over 100 SPAM messages here on this blog, so I have turned on the word verification.  I hate to have to do this, but I could care less about boots or something in Russian...sigh... Please do understand.  100 SPAM messages in one weekend is just too many to have to deal with!   :-(

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm back...sort of...


I'm back, sort of...still reeling from Cali's death.  I notice that I now seek out darker photos...more austere.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cali is gone...RIP...12/3/12

Cali, my palomino BLM mustang, colicked over the weekend and our vet put her down yesterday.  She  had a tear in her intestine from sand.  She was also going into toxic shock. Belive me, he is a vet who doesn't put down horses unless it is absolutely necessary.

I'm taking some time off blogging to deal with this.

Cali was just 6 years old.  She was in training, as are all my other horses.  Here are some photos from one of her lessons in July.

Thank you and I hope you understand...I need to deal with this.






~~Cheryl Ann~~