Sunday, March 28, 2010

Desert wildflowers~Scenic Sunday 032810

Our desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA is ALIVE with wildflowers this year. We've had over 5 inches of rain already (our normal yearly total is only 4 inches) and the wildflowers are SPECTACULAR! I don't ever remember so many of them! There are fields and acres covered with yellow desert dandelions and purple lupines. In fact, yesterday, I heard of a new place to explore! I'll have to drive out there next week! I took these photos Friday afternoon. Apparently this weekend is the peak of the wildflower season and I have parent conferences one night this week, but I'll take more photos after school every afternoon. Scenic Sunday for March 28, 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Desert willow and blue sky~SkyWatch Friday and Looking at the Sky on Friday 032610

Here in our desert southwest, we have many desert willows. I have two in my own yard and many dot the washes. Right now, they are getting little green leaves. During the winter months, they look dead, but they are actually just dormant. Soon they will have little pink/purple flowers on them. They really are quite graceful and I always enjoy seeing them. This one was in the wash where I went walking last Saturday. I like how it appeared to be reaching for the blue sky. SkyWatch Friday and Looking at the Sky on Friday for March 26, 2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wildflowers along the road~This Way Thursday 032510

I finally got around to taking some pics of our desert wildflowers last weekend. It looks like these will only be around for another week, since we are now having daily temperatures in the 80's. The lupine won't last in those temps! This Way Thursday for March 25, 2010.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bird in ocotillo

On Saturday, I went for my morning walk and I was able to take my time! I didn't have to rush off to school. It was interesting to see how a difference of just 15 minutes made. The sunlight was different as the sun had actually come up over the nearby hills. I came upon this dove in an ocotillo and he spotted me and took off! It looks like I caught him with one wing up. Can you see his little feet?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Desert wildflowers~Today's Flowers and Mellow Yellow 032210

These little yellow flowers are popping up all over the desert. I don't know what they are, but there are fields and fields of them! There are also a few of them growing along the road up to our local mountains. Whatever they are, they sure do provide a nice cover for our desert sand! Today's Flowers for March 21, 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Garden path~This Way Thursday 031810

I love all the pathways in the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA. While I always take my sunscreen jacket, there are plenty of spots, like this one, to rest in the shade. With temperatures up in the 80's this week, it is quite warm right now, but that doesn't seem to stop visitors, who are out enjoying the warm weather and beautiful scenery! This Way Thursday for March 18, 2010.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oasis pond~Watery Wednesday 031710

Over the years that I've been a member at the living Desert Reserve, I've always enjoyed stopping by their oasis pond. It is so quiet and tranquil! Sometimes ducks are on the pond. I have even seen turtles splash into the pond. There are quite a few reeds in the pond now and it seems to be shrinking, but that's a natural occurrance. I hadn't seen it for a year or so, and I was surprised how many reeds were taking it over. But, it is still a great spot to stop on my afternoon walks! Watery Wednesday for March 17, 2010.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Palms~That's My World 031610

I went for a walk yesterday afternoon at the Living Desert and came upon these palms. I love to walk among them. It was over 80 degrees outside this cluster, but inside, the temperature was much lower. I love the shade they give and their majesty. I plan on walking in the afternoon now, after school, since my morning routine has been altered due to the time change! That's My World for Tuesday, March 16, 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yellow flowers on patio~Mellow Yellow 031510

The time change has really messed up my morning walk ritual! I didn't get started yesterday until 7:45 (old time 6:45) and while the morning light was great, those 15 minutes really made a difference. The sun was already up higher in the sky and I couldn't get my silhouette pics! But, the soft morning light made for an interesting opportunity. I found these yellow flowers next to the patio of the visitor center. Aren't they pretty? Mellow Yellow for March 15, 2010.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Desert morning~ocotillo and jet~Sunday Stills Challenge 031410

As I went for my early morning walk yesterday, I looked up and saw a jet trail next to this ocotillo. We didn't have any clouds here in the desert, but I liked how I could see the jet trail in the early morning sky. Sunday Stills Challenge for March 14, 2010. A fellow early-morning hiker pointed out a couple of new trails near where I've been walking and I am anxious to try one of them out early this morning.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Smoke trees and sky~SkyWatch Friday 031210

As I take my morning walk, I have been noticing the smoke trees. By May, they will have tiny purple flowers on them, giving them that smoky look. But, now they are gray and barren of flowers. Still, they have a certain beauty about them, don't you think? SkyWatch Friday for March 12, 2010.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"H" is for house (Bodie, CA)~ABC Wednesday 031010

Back to Bodie, CA for this week's ABC letter, "H". And, here at Bodie, "h" is for house. There are plenty of houses still standing in Bodie. In fact, some of them are now lived in by the park's rangers! These photos are from our visit to Bodie last August. When we return to the Sierras in June, we will head back to Bodie along the 14 mile road (9 of which are unpaved)! I better have new tires on the car by then! Bodie is such a place of wonder and is a photographer's dream! So, here are some HOUSES from Bodie, CA. ABC Wednesday for March 10, 2010.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Desert morning~That's My World 030910

With all the rain and clouds lately, we've had some beautiful mornings. I took this photo a couple of weekends ago, since that is when I can get out and about to take photos. Look at the low clouds on the hills! With all the rain we've had, the desert is saturated with water. Right? Well, as I drove home yesterday afternoon from school, I looked toward the mountains near Rancho Mirage and I was surprised to see smoke! Yes, SMOKE! As I got closer, I could see that it was way back in the canyon (not this canyon). According to the news this morning, several people were seen running from the canyon shortly before the fire started. Residents called 911 and the fire crews arrived. It turns out that some palm trees were on fire. Now, this particular canyon is hard to reach for fire trucks and crews. And, the fire chief said that in spite of all the rain we've had, palm trees are still dry. But our wildflowers are ready to bloom and we should have a spectacular wildflower season, hopefully by next weekend! That's My World for March 9, 2010.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Numbers~Sunday stills challenge 030810

Hubby and I love to travel to Flagstaff and its surrounding areas, including Sunset Crater. With the dark lava against a blue sky, it is a wonderful opportunity for photos. I'd love to visit it during autumn, when the aspen are yellow, but, unfortunately, I'm back in school at that time. I have just started to document some of the elevations we encounter during our travels, including this sign at Sunset Crater. YES, it IS that high!!! Hard to believe, huh? Sunday Stills Challenge for March 8, 2010.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wupatki sunset~SkyWatch Friday 030510

This is another photo from our visit to Wupatki. Wupatki is a series of ruins near the Painted Desert and is below the Sunset Crater area. The native Americans there raised corn, squash, and beans and you can see a model of a garden. Of course, they depended on the rainfall to sustain their crops. Minerals from the nearby Sunset Crater improved the soil, but a volcanic eruption also drove the people away. So, now it sits, alone and empty. If you stop there, remember that it is very hot during the summer, so take sunscreen and extra water. The visitor's center has interesting exhibits and you will learn a lot about the people and the nearby volcanic craters. This area always seems to have thunderstorms during the monsoon season, so also be aware of that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wupatki window and door~Window Views & Doors 030310

Hubby and I arrived at Wupatki late one afternoon last summer. We had driven out to the Sunset Crater while we were staying in Flagstaff one afternoon and the time just got away from us. Then, at the last minute, we decided to head out to Wupatki. I'm glad now that we arrived so late because the sunlight was beautiful...that late afternoon orange glow! Even the visitor center there had closed, so we walked around on our own, thinking about the people that had once lived there. Now, only ghosts remain. The sky treated us to a beautiful sunset that evening. This was a visit I certainly won't forget! As you can see from the two photos, they were taken at different times in the afternoon. I took the first one when we first arrived and the top one as we were leaving. What a difference a few minutes makes! Window Views & Doors Too for March 3, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gateway and mountains~That's My World 030210

I took a different way home last week and travelled through Indio's date groves. I also missed a turn and ended up at Lake Cahuilla (the new one). There is an old lakebed also in the area and one can see the water line on the hills in La Quinta. This is the new, man-made Lake Cahuilla. I didn't have time to drive through it, but I stopped across from it and got out and took this photo. Someday I'll have to drive back and investigate it! That's My World for Tuesday, March 2, 2010.