Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra
Eastern Sierra snow October 2010

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Gardens, garden, garden

I actually have 2 gardens at our house now~one in the front yard and one in the back.   Out front I have hollyhocks, sunflowers, zinnias (from last summer) and cosmos coming up from last season's plants.   I have various shrubs, too, for the hummingbirds.   We have a bird bath in the front yard and one in the back, next to the hollyhocks.   I have sunflowers, hollyhocks, and sweet peas in the back and bird feeders too.  My gardens keep me sane, in these uncertain times.   I go out in the front and back every morning and water.   I have spots of bush beans and squash, too.

Here are just some random photos I've been taking:

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Welcome 2020!

A new year, new hope, and the flu!   Yup.   Hubby and I already have the flu and we've now been coughing at each other for 10 days.   It will eventually go away, but until then, we are tired and worn out. Before we both got sick, I did manage a trip over the mountain to see our son and his family.   This was the day after a big snow dump in our local mountains...

 This is the view toward Big Bear and the upper desert
 Our Santa Rosa mountains

 The oak forest in the Santa Rosa mountains
 Looking from Anza up toward Thomas Mountain
 The highway down into Anza
 Community park in Anza
Paradise Corner, at the intersection of Highway 74 and Highway 371.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Welcome autumn!

Autumn is in full swing here in the lower desert.   Our days are in the 80's or low 90's (no air conditioning turned on, thank goodness).   we've had Santa Ana winds and this coming week we will have two days in the high 90's (air conditioning ON...)

Bodie has become a long-legged beauty.   He loves to "help" me feed the birds in the back yard every morning.   He doesn't really help.   He just runs all around the yard and almost knocks me over!   But, that is his idea of helping!

I have planted some hollyhock and sunflower seeds in various isolated spots in the back yard.   He IS leaving them alone.   As soon as we get past this last hot burst, I'll plant my sweet peas along the chain link fence.  I don't want to do it when temps will be that hot.

Not much is going on here.   He and Abby, our indoor cat, have reached a semi-truce, but she does outsmart him EVERY TIME!   If she's on my lap, he gets jealous and tries to knock her off.   If he is on my lap, she jumps up on me anyway.   He is slowly making friends with our 2 outdoor male cats.   The older one just completely ignores him and his shenanigans, but the younger one still doesn't completely trust Bodie (with good reason)...

I'm still working on my hand made journals.   You can find them here:     https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesertsandBeyond?ref=pr_shop_more
I've got quite a few new ones as well as other items now in my shop.

I had lunch with 3 other teachers who retired from my school either the year I did or the year after and we are going to meet again in December after one of them travels through the Middle East and Europe.   We are ALL GLAD we retired!

Until next time...

Cheryl (photos from a trip to the Living Desert Reserve this summer with the grandkids)...

 LOVE these colorful chairs!

 Coyote exhibit
 Pretty blossoms
Granddaughter at the train exhibit

Monday, December 17, 2018

NO garden out back this year...sigh...

Well, I won't be having a garden in the back yard this year and here's why:

 Bodie with a volunteer at the shelter
 Bodie and Mommie
 Bodie with the 2 local grandkids and their dog (he ignores him), but eats his food!
 Hanging out with the 2 year old
 Getting to know the now 4 year old
Bailey LOVES Bodie!!!

We adopted a 6 month old lab mix from the Inyo County shelter in June.   They had just picked him up the previous day.  I walked right past him and couldn't even look at him...he looked too much like our previous dog, my black lab, Ripley.   However, HE was the one hubby picked out. (OF COURSE!)

We were heading up to a cabin that didn't allow pets AT ALL, so we arranged to pay his fees, have him neutered, had him get a rabies shot, a tick bath (he was COVERED with them) and a deworming.  We picked him up on the way home and he rode home for 5 hours on hubby's lap.   I only made one stop in Adelanto to use the restroom.   I took him out on a leash (they even gave us a harness for him), but he didn't do anything.

He has now met all 5 grandkids and loves them!  His mix apparently is Weimeraner.   He "points" and howls at fire trucks, just like our son's Weimeraner, who we had for the 3 years that he was living in an apartment.  He also has the body and long legs of a Weimeraner and he constantly has to be touching us!   In fact, he sleeps between us at night.   He has absolutely NO food aggression, but he is a good watchdog!   In fact, when our son met him, he wanted to take him home...!!!  NO WAY~  He is an excellent rider in the car now and hops right in, eager to go on new adventures!

HOWEVER, like both a lab and Weimeraner, he LOVES TO DIG!   My hollyhocks that I planted from seed are mostly destroyed.   I didn't even bother to plant sweet peas.  FORGETABOUTIT.  So, I've planted sunflowers and hollyhocks (harvested from last year's crop) out in the front yard.   My sunflowers are already 4' tall and the hollyhocks are growing.  I also have a few California poppies out front.   I'm hoping for a really pretty front yard next spring!

Thanks for stopping by!
Cheryl Ann

Friday, December 14, 2018

The quietness of autumn ~Nature Notes

Fall here in the desert and up in our local mountains is a quiet time.   I drove up to visit my horses a couple of weekends ago and it was a dull and cloudy day.   Hmmm.... or was it?   There is a certain beauty in fall.   Frankly, fall is my favorite season.  It's quiet, unlike Spring, when life is bursting out of the trees and ground.   Fall is, to me, when nature is getting ready to sleep.   Here are some photos I took that day:
 A lonely cottonwood tree on an abandoned ranch...
 Chinaberry berries on one of the trees up at the ranch.
 This is Papa Roadrunner.   He has now run off his latest brood and has to hide from the Cooper's hawk up at the ranch.
 Leaves are turning...
 Or not...
As I was driving home, I noticed this sunburst, so I stopped and hopped out of the car to take this photo and then hopped right back inside.   It was cold and the wind was blowing!   BRrrrrr.....!

Thanks for stopping by.
To visit Nature Notes, please go here:     https://ramblingwoods2.com/

Friday, April 27, 2018

Garden delights~Rambling Woods~April 27, 2018

I go out into my back yard now every morning to check out my sunflowers, sweet peas, and hollyhocks.   I have mature sunflowers which are dropping their pollen.   My hollyhocks have tons of buds on them and they are opening up new ones.   They are over 8' tall now.   My sweet peas, however, are on their last legs.   We've had too many days of near-triple digit temperatures and they simply cannot take that kind of heat.  I did have a nice crop of them, however, this year.   I could often just go out back and smell them from afar.   I have enjoyed them this year.

I find it restful to just wander around out back.  I listen to the birds.   I watch the hummingbirds come and go.   There is one female who seems to live year round in our yard and a couple of males.  I have sparrows, finches, and verdin.   The verdin seem to LOVE the pollen on the sunflowers and I catch them every afternoon poking around them.   I am glad to provide both food and shelter for the birds.

But it is my hollyhocks that truly amaze me.   I had a dismal crop of 3 of them last year.   Those 3 survived our brutal summer and I planted more seeds last fall.   Their cheerfulness, their gorgeous colors, and their tenacity delight me.  I often just wander out back with my camera in hand and marvel at them.

Here are some recent photos I took:

Rambling Woods for April 27, 2018.  Here's the link:   https://ramblingwoods.com/

Monday, April 23, 2018

Birds, birds, and more birds!

Here in the desert we do have a lot of different birds.   We don't have the same ones as cooler locations, but the desert DOES maintain a fairly diverse amount of birds.

We have hummingbirds, ravens, finches, sparrows,mockingbirds, and different kinds of doves.   Those all seem to stay here year round.   Ducks and geese fly down for the winter and can be seen in the parks and around golf course waterways.   Our daughter even has a duck couple that come to her neighborhood every spring, which delights the two grandkids.

Here in my yard, because I do feed the birds, I seem to get more species.   We've had about 7 grosbeaks for the last 10 days or so, although I do not see or hear them this morning.   They stop by every year, about this time.   I know this because I have documented their arrival on my blods and now I've done so in my personal journal too.   Alas, this morning, I don't see or HEAR them at all...

We also have attracted a family of Cooper's hawks who prey upon the doves.  Alas, I can often see them swoop through the yard.   I have actually stopped and chatted with one of them several times. 

We once had a hummingbird nest right outside my office window, but that was about 20 years ago and one of my collies ATE the nest!   Ugh.  Once in a while I do see a dove nest.   They are very messy and not well organized.   The verdin make their nests in the acacia trees and there was a nest out front, but during one of our horrible wind storms this spring, it fell apart and they haven't returned to it.  The verdin do, however, enjoy the Niger thistle seed that I put out in a feeder and I now see them devouring the pollen from my sunflowers out back.  I wish I could get a photo of them, but my windows are too dirty for a decent photo!   Alas...

The birds will probably thin out this week when we have temps of 100 degrees for 5 days.   I DID look out (looking for the grosbeaks this morning) and see a WOODPECKER with a beautiful red head on one of the orange, so I will continue to set them outside.  He was enjoying it until I moved...