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, February 24, 2014

More signs of spring...YES, SPRING!

While other parts of the country are in a deep freeze, here in California, we are in the middle of the worst drought in 100 years.  Now, I'm not 100 years old, but this is the worst drought that I've seen in my 62 years.  It just goes on and on and on.  I remember some years when the wildflowers along Highway 74 (the "Palms to Pines" highway) were so thick that they were everywhere.  That hasn't happened for over 10 years.  Last year's crop was straggly and thin and this year's crop, if there even is one, will be thinner.  Coyotes are thin because there aren't many rabbits to eat.  There aren't many rabbits because there isn't any grass.

Even up at the horse ranch, where I board my horses, there is NO grass for them to chomp on around the arena.  Up by the round pen, where I also take them, there is NO grass.  I used to graze them under the mesquite trees where there has always been a nice patch of grass.  Nope...not this year.  There is NOTHING there.

Yet, Spring is on her way.  Trees and budding and the almond trees have blossomed.  Birds scoop up shedded horse hair.   Here are some photos I took on Saturday up at the ranch.





Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ranch almond blossoms

The almond trees at the ranch are still blooming this weekend, although they aren't as beautiful as a week ago.  The owners have 5 almond trees.  Two have white blossoms and the other three have pink.  Unfortunately, one of the white ones died this past year and, with California's drought, ALL the other ones are struggling.  They just don't have many blooms.  That's how it is this year.  So, I was fortunate to see these last weekend and take photos.  This weekend, I'd say 90% of the blossoms are already gone.




Friday, February 21, 2014

Enjoying the quiet at Joshua Tree

I wish I could do this~~just climb up on a rock, take out a book, and sit and think...don't you?  This mom was on top of the rocks at Joshua Tree National Park last weekend.  Ahhhh...solitude!  After putting up with 30 rowdy 8 year olds all week, I look forward to my quiet weekends out in nature!  I hope she found the quiet rest she was looking for...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pinyon and sky~SkyWatch Friday~022114

I love pinyons.  I love them and I love the scrub jays that are always around them.  I'm forever taking photos of them up on Highway 74.  I even like the dead ones, like this one!  :-)  SkyWatch Friday for February 21, 2014.  To visit SWF, please go to:  http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Favorite photos from Joshua Tree visit




Just a few of my favorite photos from our visit through Joshua Tree National Park last weekend.  Hubby has to work this weekend, so we won't be going anywhere...Well, at least HE won't!  Who knows where I'll be going!   :-)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Joshua Tree trip~Our World Tuesday~021814

It was nice to have a 3 day weekend when I wasn't SICK!  So, yesterday hubby and I headed out to Joshua Tree National Park so that I could purchase my $10.00 one-time Senior Pass.  We started at the Cottonwood entrance, which is on the eastern side of the park.  We had another objective in mind:  to check out the campgrounds for our son.  A family outing may be in the works, since he has a 6 person tent!  :-)   To visit OWT, please go to:   http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/






Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today's Flowers~Brittlebrush~021614


It's only February.  I've NEVER seen the brittle bush explode here in the desert this early, but they all seem to be blooming right now.  I do love their yellow blossoms, don't you?  Today's Flowers for February 16, 2014.  To visit Today's Flowers, please go to:   http://flowersfromtoday.blogspot.com/

Another week, another weekend

Well, I made it through last week (barely).  After returning to students on Wednesday, I was extremely tired.  I fell asleep at 5:00 p.m. (Remember, I'd had the flu the weekend before...)  My z-pak, however, FINALLY kicked in and I was able to make it through the rest of the week, including Valentine's Day (which is my birthday)!

I went for a LONG walk yesterday morning and had enough energy to be gone 2 hours!  Hubby, of course, stayed at home and slept through the whole thing.  I MAY be able to talk him into going with me this morning, however...we'll see!

I turned 62 on Friday and so today we are driving out to Joshua Tree so that I can get my $10.00 (one time fee) senior pass.  WHERE did the time go?

Here are a few photos from yesterday morning.  I was out the door by 6:15 a.m.

I love to see water here in the desert and this water is all recycled through the golf course water system.



Friday, February 7, 2014

Mt. San Jacinto and clouds~SkyWatch Friday~020714

Mt. San Jacinto and clouds yesterday.  I came home after school, grabbed my camera, and headed out for an afternoon walk. I like how the mountain is peaking out from behind the clouds.  Apparently Idyllwild got a dusting of snow from this storm.  We sure need the water!  SkyWatch Friday for February 7, 2014.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:   http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ducks at the park~ABC Wednesday~020514



I always love to take my camera and go down to our civic center park.  I've written several stories here about the park.  BUT...now one has to put 25 cents into their "duck food" machine for duck food (new city ordinance).  NO MORE bread, crackers, or other "stuff" for these guys, NO SIREEeeeee!  No more bags of bread.  I suppose it IS for the benefit and health of the ducks, but I've seen many parents with kids feeding them bread. The end of an era, I suppose.  There ARE a LOT of mud hens at the park and a LOT of duck poop is on the sidewalks!  ABC Wednesday for February 5, 2014.  To see more entries for ABC Wednesday, please go to:    http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.com/

Yellow headed blackbird~Wild Bird Wednesday~020514

A couple of years ago I headed down to the Coachella Valley Bird Center, in Indio.  I wanted some information about some of the birds I saw in my yard.  This fellow showed up while I was taking a walk with the lady in charge.  Like I said, it's been a couple of years and I need to return...maybe this next weekend?  He was quite interested in us.  I believe she said he was a yellow-headed blackbird.  Can anybody confirm this?  Whatever he is, he sure was colorful!  Wild Bird Wednesday for February 5, 2014.   To see more interesting birds, please go to this link:    http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mountain moods


Our mountains were moody Friday afternoon.  Clouds were rolling in and snow was falling in some parts.  Toro Peak got a fresh dusting of snow, but they sure haven't had the snowfall they've had in some years!  I drove up into them Friday after school and just spent some time listening to the wind rustle through the pinyons.  It was good to get out and go up there.

Desert yellows



I went for my walk at the golf course (of course, not IN IT...), and I spotted these beautiful shrubs, which are already blooming in ... JANUARY!  Yikes!  They usually don't bloom until March.  It's our crazy "non-winter"!

Desert Sunset~Sunday Sunset~020214

Beautiful sunset here in our desert last week.  Sunday Sunset for February 2, 2014.  To visit Sunday Sunset, please go to:   http://www.scottlawphotography.com/2014/02/sunet-sunday-152.html