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.






Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An early Christmas holiday

We just spent 2 nights up in Idyllwild, CA, which is near the Palm Springs tram.  Idyllwild is the town in our local San Jacinto mountains, at about 5500 feet.  It was the community which was threated by the big fire last summer and was completely evacuated.  In fact, we drove right by the spot where the fire originated.  It was ugly.  Anyway, the grandson (who is 4...) wanted to stay in a "cabin" so we were able to book one night at the Silver Pines Lodge in town (our FAVORITE place!) and another night at the Fern Valley Inn.  Both cabins had a bedroom and either a pullout couch or two futons.  There was still snow on the ground up in Idyllwild from last week's unexpected snowfall and the cars were covered with frost early in the morning.  The blue jays were hungry and were screaming for food, too!  So, the grandson got a kick out of feeding them peanuts.  We ate lunch at the Red Kettle cafe in town (excellent food and service!) and cooked dinner in each of the cabins.  And, of course, we made smores for the little one (I even had one myself!).  A good time was had by all.  We tried to accommodate our son's work schedule and this worked out for all of us.  That's our son and our grandson.  They were at the Idyllwild public library.  Ben now has his FIRST library card!  :-)

A MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family!

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mountain scene~Friday's Fences~122013


Just a peaceful scene up in our local San Bernardino mountains.  We have two 10,000 mountains and different mountain ranges here in the Coachella Valley.  One is the San Jacinto mountain range.  The Palm Springs tram is at the top of that one, and the town of Idyllwild.  On the other side of the valley are the San Bernardino mountains.  Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear are at the top of those mountains.  This is on the way up to Big Bear.  Friday's Fences for December 20, 2013.  To visit FF, please go to:   http://lifeaccordingtojanandjer.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wagon Wheel ~ ABC Wednesday~ December 18, 2013

Don't you love this decorated WAGON WHEEL?  HA!~  A "2-fer"!  ABC Wednesday for December 18, 2013.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to:   http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

Oak Glen

So the son & his family piled into the XTerra Sunday (I was stuffed into the front seat) and off we went to Oak Glen so the grandson, who is 4, could see the apples at one of the big apple ranches there.  It is way past apple time and it was fairly deserted.  But, we did see snow on the ground and the top of their roof was covered with frost.  They also had a smoker outside and they were smoking tri-tip roasts.  They all got to sample apple cider and our son bought a gallon jug of it to take home.  The grandson got to run around and climb over some rocks in their kid-friendly play area.  It was good to get outdoors.  I had been cooped up in the house for 8 days...back to work today, however!  






Monday, December 16, 2013

Fall colors~no snow~


I took these photos yesterday up at the Whitewater Preserve, which is up a canyon in our local San Bernardino mountains.  It was a warm day and I quickly took my sweater off and discarded it!  We went on a family outing and took the grandson and his family along.  The little guy (he's 4...) ran around, examined every leaf there, looked at the fish in the holding ponds (it is also a fish hatchery) and announced, "Where's OUR cabin?"  Huh?  No cabins there.  He was remembering one of the trips up to Idyllwild!  Clever boy! :-)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunset at the beach~Sunset Sunday~ 121613



One night's sunset at the beach, in this case it was at Aliso Creek in Laguna Beach over Thanksgiving vacation last month.  Hubby and I walked all along the beach until the sun finally set.   To visit Sunset Sunday, please go to:   http://www.scottlawphotography.com/2013/12/sunset-sunday-147.html

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Light" ~ A Personal Photo Challenge~ December 14, 2013

This week's challenge for A Personal Photo Challenge is light.  Well, we sure have plenty of light here in the desert!  One afternoon this fall I took my camera and went up to the Living Desert Reserve here in Palm Desert.  I love late afternoon light.  The shadows are long, the colors are yellow...very pretty!  Here are some photos I took that afternoon for this week's challenge...enjoy!  To visit "A Personal Photo Challenge", please go to this link:   http://apersonalphotochallenge.blogspot.com/    I should also include my header photo.  That was taken at the lake on the road by the Superstition Mountains a couple of years ago.  Hubby and I stopped to take photos at a turnout and I glanced back just as the sun was turning the cliffs that golden color.  On our way back, they were gray again...Maybe that was the gold the Spanish were seeking in the southwest?  Cliffs of gold?  HA~That's what dreams are made of, right?   ***UPDATE***The header photo was taken at Canyon Lake, part of the Superstition Mountain wilderness area.





Friday, December 13, 2013

Gulls and sunset~SkyWatch Friday~121313

Sometimes just the simple things in nature are beautiful, like gulls and a sunset.  SkyWatch Friday for December 13, 2013.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:   http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Crow at mission San Juan Capistrano~Wild Bird Wednesday~121113

Nothing exotic here, just a crow, but when you combine the crow with mission San Juan Capistrano, VIOLA!  A beautiful photo (at least I think so)...what do you think?  HA!  Wild Bird Wednesday for December 11, 2013.  To visit Wild Bird Wednesday, please go to:  http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com/  Yes, this is the mission famous for the swallows.  We actually saw several swallow nests up on the wall of one building this time.


Fountain at mission San Juan Capistrano~Water World Wednesday~December 11, 2013


I took these photos at one of the two large fountains at mission San Juan Capistrano when hubby and I were there over my 5 day Thanksgiving break.  It was actually the 300th anniversary celebration of Father Serra that day and there were many festivities going on.  But, by the time we arrived in late afternoon, the mission was mostly cleared out of people.  We always love to see the fountains there.  Water World Wednesday for December 11, 2013.  To visit WWW, please go to:  http://www.kissess4u.com/2013/12/water-world-wednesday_10.html  Yes, this IS the mission famous for the swallows.  We saw several empty nests.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Playing with PicMonkey

So, today, while I am under doctor's orders to STAY HOME and REST and do NO physical activity (from my concussion at school Friday afternoon)...I'm sitting here playing with PicMonkey.  PM is one of the online photo editing programs.  I really haven't explored other ones.  Maybe I should.  Hubby just downloaded Light Room and I suppose I'll have to get familiar with that.  Anyway, I took this one photo at mission San Juan Capistrano and played around with it.  Here are some of the edits I did to it.
This is the original photo...
This is sepia.
This is called "radiance"...
"Frost"...
"Yestercolor"

Which one do YOU like best?  Let me know.  Now I don't have the "premium" membership, so these are all free effects on PicMonkey.  Does anybody have the premium membership?  Is it worth the $30?

More photos of Leo Carrillo ranch

Here are more photos from the Leo Carrillo ranch.  It really is a beautiful place and I'm so glad hubby and I had time a few weeks ago to really walk around it and explore it.  It sits high on a hill near San Marcos, CA, so if you are ever in the area, do stop by.  They ARE closed on Mondays, however...ENJOY!




Restaurant windows~Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors~120913

When we travel to San Juan Capistrano, we like to eat at Sarducci's, which is right at one of the stops of the AMTRAK or coastal trains that go up and down the California coast from San Diego to Santa Barbara.  The stop is right outside the patio of the restaurant.  First we hear the scream of the whistle, then the thundering as the train pulls into the stop.  Sometimes they don't stop for long.  I like to wander back inside the restaurant and check out their windows, like these.  Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors for Monday, December 9, 2013.   To visit WW,DD, please go to:   http://iwishiwereaphotographer.blogspot.com/2013/12/whimsical-windows-delirious-doors-106.html


Home with a concussion!

I collided with one of my 8 year old students Friday afternoon, or rather HE collided with me.  The next thing I knew, I was on my back, looking up at the sky.  Seems he ran into me while playing soccer.  I was able to get up and send the kids home (it was 15 minutes before the end of the day...).  However, 45 minutes later, my neck was stiffening up and my right shoulder, too.  I filled out the appropriate injury form for the school and drove home, rather unsteady.  At least I made it home.  I vomited that night and so the next morning, it was off to immediate care.  Blood tests were ordered, an EKG was done, and they checked my eyesight.  Since they didn't have a CAT scanner there, I was sent to our nearest hospital.  My colleague and good friend Marianne came and sat with me for 6 HOURS!  Fortunately, the CAT scan didn't show any bleeding, but I'm ordered to stay at home and REST and do NO physical activity for several days.  ...sigh...I'm already bored.  I didn't get out all weekend to take photos, but I do have these from the Toro Peak webcam , which is up at 8,000 feet and overlooks the Coachella Valley, so the north, as you can see, in the top photo, and once hubby goes to work and I can get on his laptop, I'll update some from our trip to San Juan Capistrano.