Sunday, May 31, 2009

Joshua tree~Scenic Sunday for May 31, 2009

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day at Joshua Tree with temperatures in the 70's. That's quite a relief from the 90's here on the desert floor. There were thunderheads on the horizon and we tried to capture some photos of them on our trip through the park. This time we came in the JTree west entrance and exited through Sheep Road, to the north. This exit comes out above the Marine base at 29 Palms and you can see the base from the park as you descend into 29 Palms. We rolled down the windows and enjoyed the cooler air!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Joshua Tree today!

Hubby and I are heading out to Joshua Tree today (again)! This time, it is warmer and hopefully we'll get better pics. We went in February and it was cold and rainy and snowing!~brrrrrrrrr! However, today there may be thunderstorms. We have a family function to attend. I was supposed to make potato salad last night (OOPS! I forgot!), so I'm in the doghouse. Well, I have to drive out to see the horses, feed them, work Sunni, my gelding, and be home by 12:00. Er, I don't think I have time to make potato salad. Looks like a stop to Bristol Farms. I promise pics tomorrow and next week! In the meantime, here are some pics of the thunderheads developing over our mountains that I took from my car, driving home yesterday. More thunderstorms are forecast for today. August weather in May...go figure! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

yucca forest~SkyWatch Friday, May 29, 2009

I've driven by these yuccas many, many times on my way to the horses and I've always kept my eye on them. Unfortunately, they are midway up Highway 74, in Palm Desert, where there are posted "No Parking" signs and right next to a bike lane. But, one morning last weekend, I parked my car in the designated parking area and walked down to where they were. It was worth the walk! Aren't they gorgeous? I call them my "yucca forest" because there are so many of them clustered together. Usually yuccas grow off by themselves, but these are growing together. I wanted to get a photo of them before they faded back into oblivion. SkyWatch Friday for May 29, 2009. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"S" is for sea level ~~ ABC Wednesday 052709

I didn't have kids yesterday. Instead, I went to a training. The school district usually provides lunch for these things since we are out in the middle of NOWHERE, but...alas, yesterday "no lunch provided" was the course of the day due to budget cuts. So, during my lunch break, I had to drive 15 miles back into town for a Subway sandwich. On my way, I saw this interesting sign saying 62 feet to sea level. Right at that spot, you are below sea level! The Coachella Valley actually tilts toward the Salton Sea and all the farmers' runoff water, full of insecticides, runs into the SSea. When it "burps" and unleashes smells that you cannot imagine, we all suffer! But, yesterday was a beautiful spring day, and, armed with my lunch, I drove back down the road 15 miles to my training spot. ABC Wednesday for May 27, 2009.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

blooms galore~That's My World for 052609

Sunday morning was a beautiful, clear desert morning and, armed with my camera, I went out exploring. These yuccas and saguaro were in full bloom. That's My World for May 26, 2009.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

hay and hay loader~Sunday Stills for May 24, 2009

I watch this field on its yearly basis. Right now, the farmer is growing some kind of grass that he just bailed and loaded into the hay loader. After this, it will be planted with potatoes. After that, in the fall, it is planted with sudan grass. And, in the winter and early spring, when the winds blow, and the sudan grass is gone and the fields lie fallow, his neighbors all call the county and complain about the dust. It is a cycle that I've seen now for two years. We were surprised to see the bales this weekend as it is a very poor quality hay, mostly weeds, but I guess somebody buys it! It is NOT alfalfa. On our way home from the horses yesterday, the hay bailer was out picking up (scooping up) the bales and we stopped and I hopped out of the car to take some pics. When he came toward me and turned the corner, I got a mouthful of grass from the bailer and I'm sure I got a chuckle out of the gentleman driving it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

cloud reflection~SkyWatch Friday, May 22, 2009

It was just too hot here this week to go out in the early morning and take pics until this morning. When I walked outside to feed the birds, I could feel the difference this morning! The air was actually crisp and cooler. We've been having nighttime temps into the 70's already. During the summer, it is 80 degrees at night, so this is near-summer weather! Until today, that is. So, armed with my reconditioned Nikon and some interesting monsoon-like clouds, I drove through my favorite photo spot, Shadow Ridge, in Palm Desert, CA. It sits up on a plateau and the views are spectacular! However, today I wasn't focusing on the view. Instead, I focused on the near mirror-like lake there and the cloud reflections. Ahhhh....the way to start a day! Skywatch Friday for May 22, 2009.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More from my neighborhood walk~~That's My World for May 19, 2009

As I continued on my morning walk last week, I came across many plants in bloom. Ah....spring! That's My World for Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cacti blossoms~Mellow Yellow, May 18, 2009

Sometimes all I have to do is just walk around my neighborhood to find beauty. These blossoms were in full bloom last week. Bees were busy pollinating them, so I had to take the pics and run! Mellow Yellow for Monday, May 18, 2009.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mockingbird on yucca~~Scenic Sunday for 051709

I looked up last week and saw this mockingbird (click to enlarge) on this yucca. Our desert yuccas are in full bloom right now, while the ones in the mountain are just starting to bloom. I love the yucca blossoms! Scenic Sunday for May 17, 2009.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yucca blooms~SkyWatch Friday for May 15, 2009

While the saguaro are just starting to bloom, it's pretty hard to ignore the beautiful yuccas which are also blooming in our desert southwest right now, at least in Palm Desert and its nearby mountains. These are up in Highway 74 before you begin the ascent to the mountains. I have driven by them so many times that this week I started getting dressed an hour early and have begun an early morning walk just to take some pics of them. Unfortunately, Wednesday night I had food poisoning and I was too shaky this morning to go for my walk! But, believe me, I'll be ready tomorrow morning. These are just too pretty to miss! And, with a beautiful, clear blue desert sky and temps in the low 70's, I HATE to have to go to work! Alas! I NEED a 3 day weekend! Skywatch Friday for May 15, 2009. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Early morning walk~~Watery Wednesday for May 13, 2009

I went for an early morning walk yesterday morning and discovered this quiet pool and a small waterfall in one of the developments up by our mountains! Doesn't it look peaceful? Watery Wednesday for May 13, 2009.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coachella Valley agriculture~That's My World 051209

I took my camera with me last Friday and drove out around the desert near my school. The area is alive with the business of growing crops. Right now, there is a huge shipping company near my school and they are shipping out carrots. Other companies are growing corn, peppers, and watermelon. Alfalfa is growing in fields. Grapes are ripening on the vines. Ahhhh....spring! What a beautiful thing! That's My World for Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Palo verde blossoms~Mellow Yellow for Monday, May 11, 2009

There is a single palo verde tree blooming at my school. My own trees, in my yard, have already bloomed and are past their prime. But, this one, which is in the lower end of the Coachella Valley, is in full bloom. The kids climb it and there are bees in it. I waited until after the kids left on Friday afternoon and took these pics of it. Somebody made this observation to me, "You know, we went from winter to summer this year!" true, as our temperatures are already up into the 100's and air conditioners are running. Mellow Yellow for Monday, May 11, 2009.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Corn in the middle of the desert~~Scenic Sunday for 051009

I like the mountains in the background of this photo. The farmers actually do farm right up to the hillsides in Coachella. This is near Interstate 10, where it leaves Indio and goes to Desert Center. Actually, it is about 10 miles down the road. But, aren't the hills pretty? I believe those are the Mecca Hills or the Chocolate Mountains. The San Andreas Fault runs right through them. If you drive down to Mecca and find Painted Canyon, you will see some beautiful twists in the rocks. Someday I'll have to take my cameras and go down there again. Last time I went, our son was in high school and he went with me, so that would be about 10 years ago. Scenic Sunday for Mother's Day...May 10, 2009.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"Corn as high as an elephant's eye"

That's right! And, it is only MAY!!! I couldn't believe it! Last Sunday, when I walked over to my neighborhood street fair/farmer's market, I saw fresh corn. No, really! FRESH CORN in May! So, I asked the vendor where it was growing and he mentioned a place about 10 miles down the road from my school! So, yesterday afternoon, after school (I had brought my cameras with me...), I hopped in the car and went further south down the Coachella Valley to find the corn. Yup. There it was. Right off the highway. The first field was in a spot that I couldn't make a u-turn and get to, so I continued on down the road. I found a wide, well used paved road and turned off (Avenue 62) and to my delight, there were fields after fields of corn! As high as "an elephant's eye". Others were not as high! But, ahhhhhh.....the greenery! At one field, a manager was out watering the corn and soon he completely disappeared! But, another manager DID stop by to check me out. Between my broken Spanish and his very good English, we communicated and I asked him if I could take some photos of the corn. Pretty soon, we were talking about our grown-up children and I made a new friend! He was a really nice man! And, as you all know, corn LOVES heat and believe me, with temps right now up in the low 100's, this corn is getting plenty of the heat it loves! I asked him how many crops of corn they would get here in the valley and he said 2. Isn't that interesting? So, enjoy the pics of corn growing in the Coachella Valley! On the top photo, you can see where the farmer had harvested the first corn crop. And, next to it, is the second crop, but eventually BOTH of these will be done with and they'll plant another crop on another location (the real second crop)...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Painted skies~SkyWatch Friday May 8, 2009

Don't the clouds look like they were painted with a paintbrush? I stopped one day, with the new Nikon, to take some pics of the manzanita. I need to learn how to back up a little bit...that's why you see the black around the edges of the learning curve. I don't know, I kind of like it on this one. It gives it a frame! SkyWatch Friday for May 6, 2009.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Apple trees

Even though I live in the desert, up in our local mountains, just 30 minutes away, are apple ranches. They are in full bloom now. This apple farmer sells his organic apples to a company in nearby Julian. It is right next to where I board my horses, but the horses never get any of his apples! No, no! But, we do admire the trees from afar.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

P is for...ABC Wednesday, May 6, 2009

palomino!!! Cali, one of our little BLM fillies, is a palomino. She has 3 white stockings and a white blaze. She's always been very people-oriented, unlike her herd-member, Scout, who has up until now, been very people-wary. But, Cali settled right in, followed us around, and nibbled on my hair! She shoved her face into ours and if she could, she would crawl into our pockets! She's very sweet (except for the ferrier!) and everybody who meets her loves her! Our friends and family always enjoy working with her. She stands quietly for the halter and easily leads. She is a joy to work with! Here are some pics of our palomino, Cali!