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, January 31, 2013

Fog and Fence for Friday's Fences~020113

When I drove through our local foothills last weekend, the entire desert and mountain area was covered with low clouds, like these.  I thought the fog made the fence appear more interesting...what do you think?  Kinda neat, huh?  We don't often get fog like this in our desert. Conditions have to be just right.  It has to be a tropical storm, coming up from Mexico, not one coming from the Pacific Ocean to the west.  The clouds just don't make it up and over our 10,000 foot mountains!  Friday's Fences for February 1, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:    http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Canadian geese~Wild Bird Wednesday~013013




For many of you fellow bloggers, Canadian geese aren't something rare.  But, for those of us living in the desert, they are unusual.  They only visit us during the winter months, and then they head back to their homes in the north.  They frequently are sighted now on golf courses, ponds, and even have been seen in town at a water feature of a local outdoor shopping center ("The River" in Rancho Mirage).  Our local park attracts quite a few of them every year, like this group.  Last spring there was a wounded Canadian goose who stayed here during the summer as she could not fly and return with her flock.  Apparently several kind-hearted people kept an eye on her and fed her throughout the summer and she is still here with us.  Many people visit our local park and feed the birds and geese.  You can see that this group has a container of feed, which they are devouring!  :-)  I always love to see the geese at the park and on the golf courses, although they can leave quite a mess.  Wild Brd Wednesday for January 30, 2013.  No, that's not a real fisherman!  That a statue in the park!  To visit WBW, please go to:   http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fog in the desert

I woke up Saturday morning to find our desert shrouded in low clouds, so I headed out to the park first, then up into an area of houses in our local mountains called Cahuilla Hills.  I hadn't been up there for some time and the clouds were hanging onto the mountains.  This is one of the views I saw...isn't it different than a normal desert view?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ducks and geese Part 2...




I find it very relaxing at our local park, especially when I watch the ducks.  Apparently other people do too, and some even feed the ducks and geese.  It was so foggy Saturday morning!  It stayed foggy and even drizzled during the day.  Yesterday morning, it was so foggy that I couldn't even see our mountains at all!!!  By noon, some of the clouds had burned off and patches of blue sky were peeking through, but not many. Today, however, we should have clear skies...whoo, whoo!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A tale of ducks and a white goose...Part I





Yesterday I grabbed my camera and headed out as soon as hubby left for work.  I didn't really have any agenda, so I ended up driving down to our local civic center and park.  Two gentlemen were already there feeding the ducks.  Then I heard it..."HOOOOOOONNNNNNNKKKKKKKKK!"  Yes, it was a goose!  At first I thought it might be one of the Canadian geese, but they were actually behaving themselves (for once)!  No, this was a white goose.  Intrigued, I wandered over for a closer look.  A gentleman was feeding the ducks and the goose Cheerios.  I stood and watched and took photos.  The goose wasn't aggressive at all (fortunately).  We had 3 geese here at our house (in the city) when our children were young.  I "borrowed" them from my cousin's wife's family, who had a 40 acre alfalfa ranch down in Thermal.  They ended up chasing me all over the yard, so back to the ranch they went!  You can see how many ducks are at the park's ponds this time of year~ A LOT!  And, I'm sure the city doesn't appreciate the daily, er, uh..."cleanup".

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rain and more rain!


We are getting some badly-needed rain here yesterday and all last night.  I don't know what it is like yet this morning because it's still dark.  The forecast was for scattered clouds until about noon.  GOOD!  I previously scattered my African daisy and California poppy seeds out back and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM sprouted!  Eh?  But, my daisy seed was leftover from a couple of years ago, so this week I bought another package of each at Home Depot and threw them out back where I plant them every year.  I'm hoping   praying that, with this rain, they will germinate and sprout.  I've noticed that our seeds don't like our desert (alkaline) water and seem to do better with the acid rain rain from nature.  All it takes is one nice rain storm and VIOLA~!  Everything in the desert sprouts!   :-)  I've always had a gorgeous plot of African daisies and it would be a shame to be without them this year!  It was foggy and cloudy here in the desert yesterday after school, so I stopped home, grabbed my camera, and headed out.  Here are some pics. Enjoy your day!  :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Desert fence and palm~Friday's Fences~012513

Desert fences aren't usually made of wood.  The heat just dries them out and they disintegrate over time.  This fence, which contains a herd of cattle, is in Indio, CA, off Dillon Road.  It does a good job because I never see the cattle outside of it.  Instead, they enjoy the shade of the palms and their water trough.  Friday's Fences for January 25, 2013.  Temperature here today~72 degrees!   :-)   To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:    http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Mountain view~SkyWatch Friday~012413

Beautiful mountain view of Mt. San Jacinto, California and the Indio HIlls from Thousand Palms canyon.  SkyWatch Friday for January 25, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:   http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Table grapes, Dillon Road, Indio, CA~Nature's Notes~012413





I live in the Coachella Valley and it has a 365 day growing season.  Yes, even in the middle of summer, when temps can be over 120 degrees, this valley grows crops.  Right now, in winter, the farmers are growing cool season crops like artichokes (which I posted about a week ago...), lettuce, cabbage, carrots, peppers, and broccoli.  I wanted to drive home last Friday out by Dillon Road (which is out of my way) to take some photos of the vineyards there.  The valley also grows table grapes, like these in the photos.  There aren't any grapes now.  The vines are dormant.  But, they were being watered last Friday.  I like to keep track of the grapes throughout the year and see the progress of the grapes.  There is something peaceful about them, don't you think?  I boosted the 4th photo with PicMonkey. I'm experimenting with some of the effects there and since the other ones were pretty washed out, I decided to boost this one. Nature's Notes for January 24, 2013.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

San Andreas Fault~Our World Tuesday~012213


The mighty San Andreas fault runs north and south through the Coachella Valley.  In fact, the Indio Hills are right where it runs and they are only 10 miles or so from our home of 35 years.  Our children both live within a few miles of the Indio Hills.  Thousand Palms Road travels through the fault, but one doesn't see good examples of it from there unless you park your car and go hiking.  You can really see the faulting action when you take Interstate 15 up through the Cajon Pass.  There are jeep tours which go right up to the fault, but since I don't have a 4 wheel drive vehicle any longer (I used to have our son's old Toyota Rav4 and she would take me on many adventures), I don't venture too far off heavily traveled dirt roads.  I did take this road down almost to the end of it, until I spotted soft sand, and I wasn't about to chance getting stuck in the sand.  I've only done that once while living here in the desert and that was over in Sky Valley.  $200 later, my car was towed out.  NO THANK YOU~I'm not doing that again!  Also, if you are traveling desert roads, ALWAYS keep your driver's side wheels ON pavement.  Don't pull completely off the road or you are likely to get stuck!  I'm thinking about taking one of the jeep tours that goes through the faulting areas, but it's $139.00 and I'm going to have to save up for that.  In the meantime, this is what I saw over the weekend.  Our World Tuesday for January 22, 2013.  To visit OWT, please go to:    http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 21, 2013

Old homestead~Whimsical Windows and Delirious Doors~012113


Like other desert rats, I LOVE finding old homesteads here in the desert.  Unfortunately, there aren't that many left!   :-(  I found this one on Dillon Road, near Sky Valley yesterday while I was out driving through that area.  Don't you wonder what stories this old house and buildings could tell?  Whimsical Windows and Delirious Doors for January 21, 2013.  It is supposed to be 79 delightful degrees here today!   :-)   To visit WWDD, please go to:    http://iwishiwereaphotographer.blogspot.com/2013/01/whimsical-windows-delirious-doors-60.html

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More effects

After my last post, I decided to head over to PicMonkey and try some of their edits.  I actually like theirs better!  Here are some examples.  The top one is my original photo...Next is "dusk",  and the third one down is "boost". Next is "dark edges" while still on "boost"...then "orton".  "Orton" seems to make the colors more vivid.  After that is "frost", and "soften".  Finally, there is "yestercolor".  Thank you for advising me to also try "PicMonkey".  I really like some of their effects and I think next week I'll try some on another photo!

Experimenting with effects

Okay, I admit it.  I'm not very good with applying effects to my photos.  In fact, I rarely do it.  I do crop some of them, but basically I'm a purist.  WYSIWYG ~ what you see is what you get.  PERIOD.  Some other photographers, however, do a very good job with applying effects.  I guess I'll just have to try doing it more often.  I used Befunky for these and I'll try to write the effects.  So, here goes...The top one is the old grapevine from the previous post, cropped.  I didn't like all the junky cars and trucks in the background and this really lets the viewer see how old the trunk of the grape is.  Then I choose one of the other photos.  This was the "overhead" view of the grapes.  I did it in black and white...eh?  I'm not really liking that one.  Next, is sepia....kinda boring, if you ask me...Next is gouache.  I wasn't an art major, so I don't even know what gouache is...could somebody PLEASE explain it?  I kinda like this one!   :-)  Finally, the last one is called "underpainting".  Again, I have no idea what that is, but I like it, too!  I think I'll start experimenting with some of these!  Can anybody else recommend an editing website (free)?  I am comfortable with BeFunky, but are there others?  Thanks!~:-)

Grapes





There are MANY fields of grapes in the Coachella Valley.  These aren't wine grapes.  These are table grapes.  During winter, they stand dormant.  I found these while I was driving around after school on Friday. Soon the branches will be trimmed.  These are fairly young grapes.  I didn't realize that there were older ones further east on the ranch, but look at these old guys (bottom photo)!  They have to be 50 years old! (or more...)  I know that wine grapes usually last about 50 years, but I have no idea how long table grape stock lasts.  Does anybody know?  Look how thick the trunks are!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The park



You know, I haven't posted many photos of our local park because, well, I just haven't been going there.  I was feeding the ducks there last year, but park officials "FROWNED" on that and put articles in our local paper complaining about "THE LOCALS" feeding the ducks.  They even culled some of the mud hens.  There was a wounded Canadian goose still there in July, but I lost track of her because I didn't go to the park once last summer.  I was determined to stay away.  But, it beckoned me the other day, and I was out with my camera.  As you can see, it was very windy that day.  And, LOOK at all the ducks, geese, and mud hens!  Hehehehehe!  I frequently see flocks of ducks and geese now overhead in the mornings when I drive to school.  I actually stopped one day, hopped out of my car, grabbed my little Nikon Coolpix, and shot away!  I haven't uploaded the photos yet...maybe tomorrow!  Have a great weekend, everyone!  I intend to enjoy every minute of my 3 day weekend!   :-)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Desert scene~SkyWatch Friday~011813

Yesterday it was...GASP!...77 degrees here in the desert!  Yes, FOR REAL!  And, the temps will be going up over the weekend and next Monday and Tuesday!  After our freezing nights and mornings, this morning I haven't even had to turn on the furnace.  And, we've had clear skies for nearly a week now!  I took this photo out in Thousand Palms Canyon last Monday.  Fortunately, I have this coming Monday off, too!  SkyWatch Friday for January 18, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:   http://skyley.blogspot.com/