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, February 28, 2013

Morning in the desert~SkyWatch Friday~030113

Seen on my morning walk last weekend.  SkyWatch Friday for March 1, 2013.

Snow, fence, and a wheel~Friday's Fences~030113

Snow, fence, and a red wheel...what more could you want?  Friday Fences for March 1, 2013.  Photo taken up in our local mountains last weekend.  No snow this weekend...nope, nope, nope!  Temps here in the desert will be in the mid-80's!!!  To visit Friday Fences, please go to:    http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Cedar waxwings~Nature Notes~022813






I was out for my walk one morning a couple of weeks ago and I noticed a whole flock of little birds flittering from tree to tree.  I took a few photos of them and noticed that they had little crests.  Another photographer was out walking and said, "Did you see the cedar waxwings?"  Huh?  Oh, so that it what they are!  I didn't see them for a few mornings, at least until last Sunday, when, once again, they were flying from tree to tree.  This time they let me get fairly close.  However, they suddenly ALL disappeared and I caught the sight of the Cooper's hawk flying by!  Boy, they all disappeared instantly!  Aren't they adorable?  Nature Notes for February 28, 2013.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:  http://ramblingwoods.com/  There must be a food source nearby for them and I'm thinking it's the little date seeds on the trees...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Raven and bread~Wild Bird Wednesday~022713






I have learned to watch and learn from ravens.  They really are quite intelligent and entertaining!  This fellow was at our local park and I saw a mass of ducks eating bread.  He was guarding 3 rather large pieces, so I stopped to observe his antics.  YES, he wanted ALL 3 of them!  I thought, "NO WAY, he's never going to get all those in his beak!"...er...uh...yes, he did!  It took a while and it took several attempts, but he figured it out!  He was quite proud of his accomplishment, too!  Isn't he funny?  The photos tell his story.  Wild Bird Wednesday for February 27, 2013.   To visit WBW, please go to:   http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com/

"G" is for goose~~ABC Wednesday~~022713



Seymore the goose was at the park last weekend.  Actually, I was glad to see him still there.  He CAN be a bit noisy!  And, he tried to run me off!  He came charging at me and I stood my ground and said, "I'm not afraid of you!  I have a chestnut mare!"  He backed down.  I sure hope he doesn't do that to children or he won't be around much longer!!  See his feathers ruffled in the bottom photo?  Right after that, he came at me.  "G" is for goose...ABC Wednesday for February 27, 2013. To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to this link:  http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 25, 2013

A new place to walk~Our World Tuesday~022613




I found a new dirt road on Sunday and I ended up being out walking for 1 1/2 hours!!!  This one is on another portion of the city-owned golf course and it travels WAY OUT to some outlying ponds where there are reeds, ducks, and palms.  LOTS of palms!  It was an amazing walk.  I saw herons, ducks, wood ducks, hummingbirds, ravens, and several mockingbirds.  I can't wait to walk this again!  It's always nice to discover new things, isn't it?  Our World Tuesday for February 26, 2013.  To visit OWT, please go to:  http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/

Beautiful morning for a walk!

Yesterday was a beautiful morning and I walked for 1 1/2 HOURS!  I did the same Saturday morning, too!  It was so good to have the time to get out and walk and explore!  And, look at this beautiful morning light!  During the week, I really don't have time for a long walk, but I sometimes walk in the afternoon.  Do you go for a walk either in the morning or afternoon?  Now is the time to walk in the afternoon, before the temps get too high!  I saw lots of other people out walking during the weekend.  But, alas, it's back to work I go today!   :-(

Friday, February 22, 2013

After the storm~SkyWatch Friday~022213

I went out early Wednesday morning after our snow and rain left the valley and our mountains.  But it didn't really leave and yesterday afternoon it was raining across the mountains and valley again. I don't even know what the weather forecast for today is, but I'll be heading out again this weekend with my camera, for sure!   :-)  SkyWatch Friday for February 22, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:  http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Parking lot fence~Friday's Fences~022213

I frequently drive through this parking lot in the afternoons.  I love to go there after school to destress after a day with 28 third graders (...pulling out hair...)!  It's quiet and peaceful and restful there.  Friday's Fences for February 22, 2013.  To visit Friday Fences, please go to:  http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

A couple of clowns (ravens)~Nature's Notes~022113








I don't often drive to the end of the Desert Willow golf course because the clubhouse is there, but there is a large parking lot that I now often stop and visit.  It provides a good view of our local mountains and, along the drive to it, I often see rabbits, coyotes, and various birds.  I've seen these ravens before but on Tuesday afternoon, I stopped to watch their antics.  They both started on top of a light pole and then they flew over to a nearby dumpster.  Apparently they found treasure there and proceeded to eat it in the parking lot.  Then, another HUGE raven came by to investigate their antics.  Maybe somebody can explain his stance?  Finally they flew off.  I didn't see them yesterday afternoon, but I'm sure they'll hang around their food source (the dumpsters).  Nature's Notes for February 21, 2013.   To visit Nature Notes, please go to:   http://ramblingwoods.com/

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"F" is for feathers...ABC Wednesday 022013



I've started up my daily walks again.  However, I now usually walk in the afternoon, after school, since my school startup time changed this year and now they start 30 minutes earlier.  However, on weekends I still walk in the morning.  I love the morning light and on this day, I was surprised to find two vultures sunning themselves in a mesquite tree.  They had their FEATHERS out, soaking up the sun's warmth, as you can see.  Then, as I approached, they both warily eyed me and finally took off, FLYING right above me!  Look at this vulture's feathers...aren't they beautiful?  ABC Wednesday for FEBRUARY 20, 2013.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to:   http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cottonwood Springs





You know there is water in the desert if you see cottonwoods and palms.  Cottonwoods have large root systems (we have one in our back yard), but they need water.  Palms will often sprout and grow along earthquake faults here in the Coachella Valley.  Cottonwood Springs, at the eastern entrance to Joshua Tree national park, has both cottonwoods and palms.  You can park your car in the parking area and walk down a short walk to the wash where many of the cottonwoods bloom.  At this time of year, they are bare, but I did see some buds peeking out!  There is a ranger station and visitor's center at the turnoff, so be sure to check in and pay your fee.  If you are age 62 or older, you can get a FREE lifetime pass to the national parks.  Hubby has one of the Golden Age passports, so I always bring him along with me !  :-)

Cholla forest, Joshua Tree national park~Our World Tuesday~021913





As you drive through Joshua Tree national park, there is an area called the cholla forest.  It really IS a forest, of cholla.  Don't wear sandals here!  These cacti will actually jump from the vibrations of you walking near them!  I always wear my steel-toed Walmart $40 work boots!  Hehehehe!  I also got a photo of hubby intently focusing on a cholla.  They do have a certain beauty to them, don't you think?  Just be careful if you stop here!  Our World Tuesday for February 19, 2013.   To visit OWT, please go to:   http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/  Somebody asked whether the cholla look like this all year.  YES, they do.  Except now some of them have blossoms on them, but they are there all year.  Great question!  :-)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Desert walk



Hubby and I headed out yesterday morning to the eastern entrance of Joshua Tree national park which is off Interstate 10, about 15 miles east of Indio.  It was a beautiful day, with high clouds.  There is a lot of BLM land outside the park, and I stopped there to take a short walk.  It's always refreshing for me to go out into the desert and listen to the sounds of the birds and look at the animal tracks.  I didn't see much here, but just getting out, into the fresh air, was amazing!  If you do go out into the desert, make sure you take water, a hat, and sturdy hiking boots.  I always wear my WalMart $32 steel-toed work boots when I go out into the desert or go up into our mountains.  They are comfortable for me and I know I can pretty much go anywhere with them!  And, DUH...I didn't bring a hat with me yesterday and the sun was beating down on my skin (I HAVE to be careful, being a survivor of melanoma!)...believe me, I'm putting an extra hat in the car this morning!  More on this trip this week.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Just some odds and ends for the end of the week!






Just some odds and ends from last weekend.  I usually try to take photos on the weekend and then I post them all the next week.  I didn't post any of these last weekend and they really didn't fit into any weekly memes, so here goes!   :-)