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.






Friday, June 28, 2013

Zinnia~Friday Town Shoot Out~062613

This week's challenge was to find dark and light highlights.  I now go out into my garden two or three times a week to take photos, like this zinnia.  There are butterflies, hummingbirds, and little finches out there now enjoying all the wildflowers and zinnias and cosmos.  It's such a relaxing place!  Friday Town Shoot Out for June 26, 2013.  To visit FTSO, please go to:   http://mytownshootout.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Garden update

I ordered a wildflower mixture from American Meadows last spring, prepped the soil, and threw out the seeds.  To my delight, they sprouted and are now blooming!  I have cosmos, zinnias, and some varieties that I can't identify!  They are visited by bees, birds, and butterflies.  I haven't been able to capture a photo of a butterfly yet, but I will!  I love my garden and I'm planning on doing another one in the fall.




Sprinklers




I always enjoy seeing sprinklers in the desert, but these were on up in our local mountains on Tuesday.  Our desert temps are expected close to 120 degrees over the weekend, so I'll be filing up the dog water bowls, pool, and I'll also be watering my garden a LOT!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Forest around the cabin

We spent 8 nights at a rented cabin in the forest between June Lake and Silver Lake, on the eastern Sierra Nevada.  It was very restful up there.  However, it was windy each day. But, the daytime temps were in the mid 60's and it was down into the mid 40's every night, which is a drastic change from the 100+ degree days here in the desert and our nights of 80 degrees!  We sure had to bundle up, too, which was nice for a change!  Our cabin was the last one and it backed up to the forest and a sheer cliff, from which I believe, a raccoon made her nightly visits to our cabin.  Hubby heard her for a couple of nights and then she revealed herself to us on the third.  She had very good manners and was never aggressive toward us, but would show up thereafter each night right after hubby cooked dinner on the BBQ!  We saw a deer one afternoon and I spotted a coyote very early one morning.  Of course, we had the usual squirrels and blue jays, and even a woodpecker came to visit.  It was so relaxing up there that a couple of days we just stayed in the cabin and opened up the door and all the windows and listened to the sounds of the forest.  I find it very quiet here in the desert now and I miss the calls of the blue jays.  On the morning we left, a crow invaded their territory and they were sure upset about that and a couple of them chased the crow away!



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Almost full moon near Grant Lake

Okay, it's not quite the super moon, but this was over Grant Lake a couple of nights ago.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mono Lake and clouds~SkyWatch Friday~062013

As we were driving back from Bodie State Park the other day, we both noticed these clouds over Mono Lake.  The thunderheads over Bodie had blown apart and had settled here.  We always enjoy the weather up in the Sierra and, as some of you know, it can change in a few minutes.  No, it didn't rain, but it made for an interesting sky watch!  SkyWatch Friday for June 20, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:   http://skyley.blogspot.com/

More of Bodie state park

More photos from Bodie state park.  It really is a photographer's dream to go there!





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bodie

Yesterday afternoon hubby and I decided it would be a good day to visit Bodie state park.  Bodie is an old, abandoned mining town, which the inhabitants finally left after the 3rd time it burned down.  There are, however, some remarkable buildings which are still standing, including the church, school, firehouse (ha!), hotel, post office, and lots of homes.  And, yes, their outhouses are still there (covered over with wooden planks).  It was very cold and windy up there yesterday and it wasn't very crowded, so hubby and I were able to get photos without people in the way.  Hooray!  Bodie is 13 miles off Highway 395 and the last 4 miles are a very rough, dusty, and bumpy dirt road, so be prepared!  These are just a few of the photos I took yesterday at Bodie.







Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Had a few visitors yesterday

It all started at 5:30 a.m., right after I put some birdseed with corn kernels out on the porch railing.  I looked out and saw something large and brown moving around.  At first I thought it was a bobcat because of the coloration, but then I saw its snout.  It was a coyote.  The coyote was eating all the corn!  It was too dark to get any photos and it quickly moved on (thank goodness).  There are two large neighborhood dogs near here and they come visiting to our doorstep every morning.  Then a woodpecker showed up.  I finally got some photos of it that afternoon.  Then, my little squirrel friend appeared.  He/she is out there now going through the birdseed.  I already threw out about 15 peanuts for the blue jays, and they were gone in less than 5 minutes!  The raccoon even showed up last night about 8 p.m. while we were watching TV.  She just saunters up onto the porch and scavenges for whatever the birds leave behind.  I was kind of surprised to see her because all the other cabins are occupied down below and there were a few people outside.

This morning, the blue jays are out, the squirrels are out, and the woodpecker has come and gone.  And, yes, the neighborhood dog came by for her morning scratch and some lovin'.  She's a very friendly dog and we saw her here last summer, too.

Anyway, here are some photos of our new-found friends.



Monday, June 17, 2013

The June Lake loop

If you detour off Highway 395 and take the June Lake loop, you are in for a delightful surprise.  June Lake is the small town there.  It's so small that there is only one market and NO bank.  They have a tiny library and a wonderful thrift store, which I discovered on Saturday.  I bought pullovers and jackets for $2.00 and $3.00 each and some head gear for $1.00 each.

There are four lakes along the June Lake loop:  June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.  All of these lakes are stocked with fish in May, at the beginning of the fishing season and people come up here all summer to fish.  Hubby and I don't fish, but we love to take photographs in this area and spend a week here in June or August.

So, while hubby was taking his afternoon nap yesterday, I headed out with the XTerra to take some photos of Silver Lake.  Silver Lake doesn't allow big boats on it and many fishermen rent a boat for the day at the boat rental there.  I found some gentlemen fishing from rubber boats yesterday afternoon.  They were out there just enjoying the sun, the weather, and getting some fish....what a great way to spend the day!  Anyway, here are some photos of June Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunset in the Sierras~Sunday Stills Challenge~061613

There weren't any thunderheads to the west as we drove home from Mono Lake yesterday afternoon.  They were all to the east and had scattered by the time we headed back to the cabin.  However, I did catch the sun setting behind one of the peaks of the Sierras.  Sunday Stills Challenge for June 16, 2013.

Mono Lake

So, we're up in the Sierras for a few days and having a nice break from our 100+ desert temps!  It was 44 degrees up here near June Lake Friday night, but last night was much colder due to the wind moving.  We threw an extra blanket on the bed and were nice and toasty!  Yesterday afternoon we wanted to drive down to Mammoth Lakes and buy gasoline and groceries and when we did, we noticed thunderheads building up over the desert.  So, off we went to Mono Lake.  You really need some clouds in the background (I believe...) to get better pics of the lake.  They just add another whole dimension to the place.  We got there about 5:00 p.m. and stayed for about an hour and a half.  If you drive to Mono Lake, be sure you visit the SOUTH tufa exit.  The north one doesn't have these tall limestone towers.





Monday, June 10, 2013

Garden view this weekend



I know it isn't much, but these are a few views of my garden out in the front corner of our yard.  I now have a mockingbird who comes twice a day to drink water and a hummingbird who visits the cosmos and zinnias. Many doves, sparrows, and finches come to enjoy the bird feeding stations.  Unfortunately, this morning I also heard the Cooper's hawk.  He was high up in one of the nearby trees...sigh...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cosmos and water~Weekend Reflections~060813


I bought 1/4 pound of wildflower seeds from American Meadows and raked an area in the front corner of our yard last spring and sowed them.  Now I have zinnias, cosmos, and some varieties I haven't identified yet.  The cosmos are all doing well and are thriving.  I caught this one near my birdbath last week.  Weekend Reflections for June 8, 2013. To visit Weekend Reflections, please go to:   http://weekendreflection.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 7, 2013

More garden pics




I'm totally fixated with my garden right now.  I often see a hummingbird out there and I recently moved one of my bird feeders over by the bird bath and I actually saw two little sparrows on it yesterday!  I feed the birds in the morning and then again when I get home from school.  I also water it constantly and give it "horse manure tea", since I have PLENTY of horse manure!