Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra
Eastern Sierra snow October 2010

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...

Monday, April 16, 2018

We are having such amazing weather I went out front and cleaned off the porch!

The week after this week we will once again have temps in the 90's, but this coming week it will only be in the 80's and here in the desert, that is PERFECT!   We can still leave our windows open and allow the fresh air inside.  When it gets to the mid-90's, however, we close up the house and turn on the air conditioner (we set it to 79 degrees)...being in our mid-60's, both hubby and I feel and react to the higher temperatures much more than we used to...

But, for now, the weather is wonderful!

In fact, it was SO WONDERFUL that I went out this morning and cleaned off the boxes of books and STUFF that were sitting on the front porch!   I even swept it (I did not use the hose due to water restrictions).  And, the birds are all busy.   We have been visited for a week now by 4 grosbeaks who like to appear every afternoon at the feeder right outside my office window.

And, yesterday hubby and I brought in my new chair, threw out the OLD, USED, dog-smelling COUCH, and another chair.   They are awaiting pickup by the trash company today.  So, now hubby and I each have a recliner/rocker in the living room.   He has taken over his "MAN CORNER" and I'm next to the front door.  I like it there.   I can open that window and hear the birds.

I brought back some horse hair for the birds, but they haven't touched it yet.   Hmmmm....I know the birds up at the ranch LOVE IT for their nesting material.  I'll give it a few more days...

My hollyhocks are doing just fine.  I think next fall I will plant them along with my sweet peas all along my chain link fence.

That's all for now.
~~Cheryl Ann~   Well, SOMETHING isn't working so I can't post photos!    :-(

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A hollyhock and a busy bee...

I was out photographing my hollyhocks a couple of mornings ago and I did notice a bee in one of them.  And, it was a VERY BUSY BEE!   It was COVERED with pollen...

No other words necessary...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I went out into my garden and was lost in its beauty~Rambling Woods

Yesterday it was 99 degrees here and I wanted to get out this morning to take some photos before I lost my sweet peas to the heat.   Right now I have hollyhocks, sweet peas, lavender, and sunflowers.   I have sunflowers blooming and some just sprouting, so I hope to have them all summer (as long as I remember to water them!) My three lavender plants all survived last summer's heat and it was DREADFUL here last summer...some days were 120 and 122 degrees!   Ugh.

I am constantly amazed at the hollyhocks.  I tried them last year and only got 3 plants.  This year those 3 (which survived over the summer because I DID remember to water them every day!) are still with me and 4 more!   I have white, light pink, dark pink, and 2 more that haven't opened up yet.

My sweet peas are AMAZING this year.  Last year they got zapped EARLY with triple digit temps, but I just checked them and they all survived yesterday's heat.

The sunflowers just do their thing...grow and smile.

You know, it IS so relaxing just to go outside and marvel at this beauty.  I have finches and sparrows and verdin who now come to visit the sunflowers.  Bees come to the lavender and hollyhocks.  I set up 2 chairs to just sit and watch the birds, bees, and hummingbirds.  I seem to be down to just one male hummingbird right now.  There were 3 that over-summered here and were here, but they seem to have moved on.  This one is content to stay.

We have such a short spring here before the triple digit temperatures hit.  I am really enjoying watching everything right now!

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Linking to Rambling Woods:   

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring in the desert~Rambling Woods~

 One of my daisies...
 Purple salvia from local nursery
 Some cosmos from a wildflower mix
 Bougainvilla next to my front door
 Bougainvilla out front from Lowe's
 One of my many, many sunflowers from seed out back.   This year I just threw out the sunflower seeds from the birdseed and they have sprouted!
I'm not sure what this is...

Spring in the desert is a subtle thing.  We certainly aren't having a super bloom this year!   The lack of rain has been very noticeable.  I hardly saw any lupines last Sunday when we drove from the desert to Temecula.  It is a very dismal year for wildflowers.

However, I do have several things blooming in my yard right now.  I see the light about 7 a.m. is the best, or about 4:30 in the afternoon, so I may try to go out this afternoon or tomorrow morning and take more photos!

Until then, please enjoy these!
Take care.
~~Cheryl Ann~~
Rambling Woods for March 27, 2018
To visit Rambling Woods, please go to this link:     https://ramblingwoods.com/

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I just finished reading the book:   Meet the Frugalwoods


and I must admit it has been one of the most influential books of my life!   (at 66 years young, I might add)...

It's TIME to take CONTROL of our finances!   Sheesh.  We've both been retired now for nearly 2 years and I'm tired of having $35 left over at the end of the month.  ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH!

So, I'm instituting a "NO BUY" month next month (April).   NO extra spending.  NO fabric.  NO Michaels.  NO JoAnn's.  NO Hobby Lobby.  I'll be making journals with the supplies I have on hand.  I need to complete 3 to replace the 3 I've sold this month already.

If you haven't read her book, the link is above.   She also has a blog:   http://www.frugalwoods.com/

I can't WAIT to make homemade bread, but we currently have some from a bakery up in Bishop that we need to finish off.  I'm looking at applesauce bread recipes right now!

Until next time,
Cheryl Ann

Friday, February 23, 2018

Snowy mountains and sand dunes, oh my!

I had to drive to Indio and back yesterday, so on the way home, I took a shortcut through an often-unused road that is right next to the largest sand dunes in our valley (Bermuda Dunes).  Our mountains were getting snow and the sand dunes were covered with ripples!  I made 2 YouTube videos of that road and they are linked below:

snowy mountains:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xyb80iXni0

sand dunes:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUpTFGcgENs

And, if you are interested, I also did a video about my sunflowers in the back yard.  ALL of these were from the bird seed that fell out of the feeders!

Aren't they amazing?  All different sizes and colors!

Take care.  Enjoy your day!
~Cheryl Ann~

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I've been BUSY!

I'm busy making journals at home now that I'm retired.

I have an ETSY store: 


I now devoted one of my blogs JUST to my journals:


Here are some photos of the journals I currently have in my ETSY shop:

Please DO stop by and take a look around!

~~Cheryl Ann~~