Friday, February 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday for February 27, 2009

Moon over mountain and palm tree, Palm Desert, CA. Skywatch Friday for February 27, 2009.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rundown farm house

This old, burned out farmhouse lies in the mountains and hubby and I see it on our way to visit our horses. I have often wanted to stop and take photos of it and when it recently snowed in our local mountains, we had the opportunity to do so one afternoon. It looks so beautiful in the snow! We can't drive down to see it unless we take our 4-wheel RAV and we usually drive up the mountain with my Honda CRV, but one day, when we have the RAV, I would love to explore it up close. I wonder what stories it will tell?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watery Wednesday February 25, 2009

Canadian geese and snow on our mountains. Watery Wednesday for February 25, 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

That's My World for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs areas both have these huge wind turbines. They are located by Interstate 10 and Highway 62, which goes to Morongo Valley. On a windy day, they are turning. On a calm day, they are not! On this day, in spite of the weather, most were sitting quietly. Sometimes when we drive by and get off at Whitewater, we can actually hear them going "swoosh, swoosh, swoosh"! That's My World for Tuesday, February 24, 2009.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sweet acacia~~Mellow Yellow for Monday, February 23, 2009

These pretty acacia trees are in my front yard. Their fragrance is almost overwhelming right now! Birds seem to enjoy the blossoms, too! Mellow Yellow for Monday, February 23, 2009.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Scenic Sunday February 22, 2009 old barn

I'm not sure how "scenic" this old barn is, but I have been intrigued by it for some time now and yesterday I finally parked and walked out to see it. There was another slab across from it, and now I'm not even sure it was the barn. Maybe it was the house? I'm also on a quest to photograph as many barns as I can up in the mountains. Here in our desert southwest, however, we don't have many barns. My parents' horse ranch in Vista had a STUNNING old, red barn, which my dad re-roofed. Unfortunately, I only have 1 very faded photograph of it and that was taken in 1975, before digital cameras! I've been thinking about stopping back at that ranch and asking the current owners if I could snap a couple of pics of the barn, since I have many childhood memories of it. So, my quest begins for barns closer to home! I visited a very nice adobe barn in La Quinta last weekend and that has spurred my quest. Anyway, here are the pics from yesterday. Scenic Sunday for February 22, 2009.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Breakfast at the horse ranch 022109

My cousin Valerie and I visited another horse ranch last weekend. This was breakfast at the ranch! Yum, yum!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pink clouds! Skywatch Friday 022009

This afternoon, as I was driving down the road from the mountains back to the desert, I noticed an especially pink sky and clouds! I don't see that very often, so I pulled over and took these photos. The clouds were actually pink! Skywatch Friday for February 20, 2009.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

Last Sunday, hubby and I visited Joshua Tree National Park. It was our first visit in nearly 33 years! I recall that we last visited it about 1977, when we bought our VW van and drove all over the West with it! That was back in the days without digital cameras! (unfortunately!). We drove all the way through the park, starting at the west entrance and ended up at Cottonwood Springs. CS was very cool, even in our desert climate. Anyway, I had a four day weekend last weekend and hubby did, too, so we visited a few areas that we normally don't have the time to see! Joshua Tree is now a national park and you can use your NP pass to enter. We bought one last summer when we visited the Grand Canyon with our son and future daughter-in-law. Again, we entered through the west entrance, which is up by the town of Joshua Tree. NOTE: Make sure you have enough gas to get you through the park. There are NO gas stations inside the park and it is HUGE! I, DUH...only had 1/4 tank of gas and as we headed up the grade into the interior of the park, I began to worry. Fortunately, with my Honda CRV, I could watch the gas mileage gauge and see how many MPG I was getting (about 15) uphill. BUT...I knew I would coast down the grade and get 60 mpg, so I figured I was okay, but I would NOT do that again! Gas up in either Yucca Valley or Joshua Tree BEFORE you enter the park! Also, take water with you. We traveled there on an overcast, cold day, but many people travel in spring or summer. There are various picnic places and restrooms, but, in our desert southwest, it is important to take extra water with you!As we entered the park, hubby decided we should make a beeline to Keys Point, the highest point in the park, and visit the overlook. It is about 15 miles from the park entrance to KP. It is also about 6 miles from the turnoff to the park entrance, so plan your mileage accordingly! As we got closer to Keys Point, the elevation got higher and the temperature got colder. Once there, we noticed that other people were bundled up and when we got out of the car, we found out why! With the dry air and wind, it was about 40 degrees! I quickly wrapped up with mittens, a scarf, and my BIG, heavy, waterproof jacket with a hood! Hubby took a pic of me and I'll have to find it on his laptop! But, Keys Point is one place you should stop and see. From there, you can view the entire Coachella Valley below, from the Salton Sea, to Mt. San Jacinto. The San Andreas fault line runs through the middle of the valley and you can actually see it from KP. They also have an exhibit there which tells about the fault. Here are some pics of our visit to Joshua Tree. The joshua trees only grow in the high desert, at higher elevations, so even though we are less than 60 miles away, they do not grow in the lower desert.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Watery Wednesday Feb. 18, 2009~~Whitewater preserve

This quiet little pond was at the Whitewater Preserve. It was FULL of bullfrogs! We followed their calls and spied it, but didn't see any of them. They were hidden in the reeds. Watery Wednesday for February 18, 2009. For more photos of water, please visit:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Big Morongo Preserve~~That's My World

Hubby and I headed out this weekend for some places that we haven't visited in our 30+ years here in the desert. We still have a couple of places to visit, but this day we stopped at the Big Morongo Preserve, in Morongo Valley. Morongo Valley is about 45 minutes from our home, but it is a completely different world up there. First, it is much higher than our lower desert. Second, it is much cooler. Finally, there are many trees and plants which grow there that we do not see in the lower desert. So, armed with our cameras, we set out to explore this new world! For other worldly photos, please visit That's My World (see link)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Whitewater Preserve February 16, 2009

Hubby and I were delighted to see all the fish ponds at the Whitewater Preserve when we visited it on Saturday. There are ponds full of trout! Fortunately we had a sunny day and I took some photos of the trout. Aren't they pretty? It's a good thing we got out when we did because yesterday was cloudy and rain is on the way today! Aren't the colors spectacular? The Whitewater Preserve is located back into the San Bernardino hills, off the Whitewater exit on I-10 outside of Palm Springs.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Scenic Sunday~~February 15, 2009

Yesterday hubby and I visited the Whitewater preserve, which is up in at the base of the San Bernardino mountains. It is back in the canyon there and has a fish hatchery and picnic tables. The road is seldom traveled, but yesterday there were a few visitors. We parked the car and walked up one of the trails back further into the canyon. Our local mountains still had much of the snow from last week's storm and we wanted to take some photographs of them before it clouded up again today and the very narrow road would be closed up to the preserve. The water from the San Bernardino mountains, as it melts, flows into the Whitewater channel. From there, it flows down into the valley below and replenishes our great underground aquafer. For more Scenic Sunday photos, please do visit:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Snow! February 14, 2009 Happy Valentine's Day!

This last snow storm was a big one, even according to longtime residents of our local mountains. We'll be drinking this water in eight years, since that is how long it takes to percolate into our soil, through all the layers of rock. (My class visits the water district every year...I'm just a fountain of trivia!) We drove up to the mountains to see our horses yesterday. They are at 4,000 feet and there was still quite a bit of snow where they are. These pictures were taken at about 4,500 feet. We like to stop at this little cafe and have breakfast. NOBODY was eating outside yesterday! Hubby and I were bundled up with extra layers, but...after feeding the horses and being outdoors in the cold, I was so cold that I came home and bundled up all afternoon and sat in front of the TV for hours! Brrrrrrrr! For desert dwellers like us, who aren't used to the snow and cold, our bodies just aren't used to having to fight it and stay warm! Today, we may head out to the opposite side of the valley and take some pictures out that way.

Friday, February 13, 2009

SkyWatch Friday, February 13, 2009

Hubby and I saw this cloudburst above Monument Valley on one of our visits there. Instead of looking at the scenery, we were looking at the clouds! Go figure! Skywatch Friday for February 13, 2009. For more beautiful skies, please visit:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clothes: Thursday Challenge for February 12, 2009

Even though we live in the Southern California desert, we are fortunate to be only 2 hours to the ocean, or an hour to the mountains. These mountains are up in Oak Glen, which is "apple country". We drove up there last fall on the first day that the apple orchards opened up for their fall business. We got there early in the morning, before the crowds arrived, and had a delightful time at several of the apple orchards. This one had a pony ride set up for the kids. As a horse owner myself, I'm not really sure how I feel about horses being forced into this, but they all did appear healthy and it was not a hot day for them. Quite a few people did have on their western clothes that day and it was fun to watch all the folks there! Thursday Challenge for February 12, 2009. For other pics, please visit:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Water tower~~That's My World Tuesday Feb. 10, 2009

When I drove home last week through the date orchards, I spotted this water tower along one of the back roads. Since then, I've seen another one. Now water storage tanks are at ground level, especially when people have to dig their own wells, which is up in the mountains. Our desert is lucky to have both Colorado River water AND a huge underground reservoir of water, which our water company, Coachella Valley Water District, pumps.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Snow! February 9, 2009

Yesterday was a cloudy, rainy day even here in the desert. I walked down to the nearby street fair in the morning and it wasn't raining, but we got sprinkles that afternoon. After the street fair, I decided to brave the elements and drive up the mountain to see my horses. I have 5 (all rescues) and they are boarded up in our nearby mountains, out of the heat of the summer. They are all used to cold weather. Our two mustangs were from Wyoming, my gelding was from Michigan, and my two rescued mares were from a feedlot in Washington. They all have long fur to keep them warm and they were actually in snow last winter. I like to give them some extra sweet feed to help their bodies keep warm (the extra calories helps). My German Shepherd was sitting by the front door BEGGING to go with me, so I put an extra blanket in the back of my car for him. By the time I was at the bottom of the mountain, it was misting. The further up I went, the heavier it was raining. I saw a lot of cars coming down the hill with snow on them, so I figured they had either been outside last night or it was snowing. By the time I was halfway to the ranch, the raindrops stopped spattering against my windshield and it was eerily quiet, but SOMETHING was coming down...SNOW! It was beautiful to watch. In the 35 years that we've lived in our desert, this is only the second snow storm that I've driven through and both of them were on the same mountain. I stopped to take some photos, then proceeded to the horse ranch, which is actually at 4,000 feet. The snow was falling at about 4,500 feet in the mountains. There wasn't any snow at the ranch, but the horses were all wet and were nickering for their feed! Here are some pics from yesterday.