Last week, I had to go to a training at another school, so I took the back roads home. I hadn't been on these roads since last fall. You know, I REALLY should take them more often! I miss seeing the date groves and the fields which are now being harvested with cool season crops such as lettuce and broccoli. I stopped by this date grove and admired the trees. Scenic Sunday for February 28, 2010.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Early last Sunday morning, I drove up the mountain in search of some ocotillos which are getting blossoms on them. It was early enough in the morning that I could actually stop on the roadway and have no traffic behind me! (6:30 a.m.) I took the photos that I'd wanted to take for months now (see them on my Deserts and Beyond blog ~~ http://desertsandbeyond.blogspot.com/). I decided to continue up the mountain, knowing that it was raining and possibly snowing at the higher elevations and that I might not be able to get to my horses. But, I drove on anyway. As I came around the corner where the clouds drift across the top of the Santa Rosa mountains, I spotted a beautiful rainbow! I mean, it was in full splendor! Of course, I had to investigate it further! So, I drove on. I followed it up my favorite road in Pinyon. To the north and east, it was sunny and clear, but to the south and west, it was dark, cloudy, and raining...perfect conditions for a rainbow. In fact, there was not only one rainbow, but another! The only other place I've seen a double rainbow has been Canyon de Chelly, in Arizona. That's why I love these mountains so much! The weather is constantly changing, and it can change in an instant. As the rainbow faded, I headed up the mountain to see my horses and when I returned, about an hour later, the rainbows were gone. Skywatch Friday for February 26, 2010. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both my husband, Art, and our grandson, Benjamin! Little Ben is one year old and I'd better not tell you how old my husband is (he's 60!!!) Ha, ha! I told everybody!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I took a detour to school this morning. Actually, I didn't go to school. I went to another school for training. I took the back roads of Thermal and Indio home, instead of driving home on the freeway. You know, I should do this more often! I miss the date groves. And, I'm sad to report, that many of them are being bulldozed and replaced by housing developments in Indio and Coachella. I used to drive past miles and miles of groves. Now, very few are left. They are being planted on the lower (south) areas of the Coachella Valley, but those in Indio and Thermal and even Coachella are barely hanging on....sigh...what a waste! I specifically drove by my cousin's wife's birth ranch, which now has a tenant. I was pleased to see neat rows of crops growing and it looked in good shape. I didn't have time to take any photos of it, since I would have been facing the sun in the morning. But, I plan on driving home this way now at least once a month, to check up on the ranch, and also to see how the date groves are doing. This particular grove is right down the street, almost across from the Thermal ranch! It seems to be a frequent practice of turning out the cows among the date groves as they do eat the grass and weeds which grow between the trees. And, these cows were VERY curious! Maybe they thought I was coming with food? This Way Thursay and Think Green Thursday for February 25, 2010.
Once again, I have returned to Bodie, CA for a weekly meme theme! I just LOVE that place! We drove by Bodie during the Valentine's Day weekend (I had 4 days off school!), but the road, DUH...was CLOSED due to snow. I mean, who wants to plow 14 miles of road to Bodie? And, 9 miles are dirt road. We did notice that it was partially open, to allow the ranchers access to Highway 395, so that they could get out. So, these photos are from our August 2009 trip to Bodie. Several of the houses there were left intact, with their FURNITURE. And, if you go, be sure to visit the church and school. Bodie is a real "blast to the past" and there are so many different buildings to see! We were there twice and we still didn't see all of the town. ABC Wednesday for February 24, 2010.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Over the weekend, I took hubby out to my "secret" sand dune spot near Bermuda Dunes, CA. It is on the edge of the Coachella Valley Preserve. Hardly anybody travels the road and the sand dunes out there are a world of their own. I love to see the ripples in the sand! He told me that most of Palm Desert looked just like that 40 years ago, when he and his family first moved here from Pennsylvania. That's hard to believe as it is now so overgrown. So, this little area of "yesteryear" is greatly appreciated by me. It's a quiet spot, and we were alone, except for a couple of crows! It is under the path of the Bermuda Dunes airport, so our journey was occassionally interrupted by the roar of jet engines, but that was okay. We enjoyed our afternoon in the sand dunes! That's My World for Tuesday, February 23, 2010.
Monday, February 22, 2010
I was out and about the desert this weekend. Saturday morning I drove up to the Santa Rosa Mountains visitor center, which is at the base of Highway 74 in Palm Desert. I saw this desert shrub blooming, one of the first so far this year. Soon, others like it will dot the desert landscape in a show of wildflowers. We got a light dusting of rain over the weekend and our local mountains got rain, sleet, and snow at the higher elevations over the last two days. When I went to visit our horses, it was raining again. After today's weather front, it looks like we will have sunny days for the rest of the week. Mellow Yellow Monday for February 22, 2010.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I was so excited yesterday morning to wake up to SUNSHINE that I grabbed my camera and went out in the desert looking for photo opportunities. Today is sunny, too, but another storm is headingour way tomorrow. And, guess what I found? GRASS! and GREEN HILLS! All our recent rain has sprouted all kinds of grass, weeds, and wildflowers across the desert. We saw our first verbena yesterday, driving out by the sand dunes. We'll probably head back that way today for more photos. Sunday Stills Challenge for February 22, 2010.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I awoke this morning to rain. It started raining about 4:00 a.m. and by 5:00 a.m., everything was covered with moisture. Our desert typically gets about 4 inches of rain a year. This year, we've already had over 5 inches of rain, and that's only in January and February. We are anticipating a bountiful wildflower show this spring, which isn't too far away. Another storm is already out in the Pacific, due to come in Monday afternoon. I LOVE the smells in the desert after a storm, though, so I'm not complaining! I took a walk up at the Santa Rosa Mountains visitor center. The quail were out, the little yellow finches were out, the doves were out, the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds...aaaahhhh...what a way to start the day! Weekend Reflections for February 20, 2010.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Hubby and I drove to Bridgeport, CA one day during our visit to the Sierras. Talk about snow blindness! The mountains were covered with snow, the entire valley was covered with snow...snow, snow, everywhere! As a desert dweller, I was amazed at the amount of snow...EVERYWHERE! SkyWatch Friday for February 19, 2010.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
On our way home Sunday, hubby and I stopped in Lone Pine for a snack and a break from driving. We took some photos there and then found this dirt road. Since it was a clear and beautiful, bright, sunny day, I pulled off the road to investigate. Here was the view! Just look at that blue sky and snow! After this point, the mountains still had snow, but not as low. When we turned off 395 to go to Kramer Junction, we could see the back side of the San Gabriel mountains, also covered with snow. And, our own mountains were snow-covered as well!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
We love to stop in Lone Pine and eat at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. It is right at the base of the Mt. Whitney portal road and the coffee is hot, the food is great, and it is a welcome break from our travels. We stopped there after leaving Bishop Sunday morning. We didn't drive up the portal road, which we had done earlier in our trip. Instead, we found a pasture of mules and horses to investigate! Here are some pics from Lone Pine.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Our trip to the Sierras was my Valentine's Day and birthday present (one and the same...), so instead of anything cute and pink, how about some pics of Mono Lake and the snow? June Lake was completely covered with snow and ice and the Twin Lakes at Mammoth were too, but Mono Lake, because of its high salt content, was not. All the mountains around it were covered with snow and there was even snow on the islands in the lake! The road to the visitor center, near Lee Vining, was CLOSED. However, we did find where it was plowed and we followed another truck down it to the rear of the visitor center, where we stopped and took some photos. The road to the south tufa was open and plowed, BUT...the road down to the lake was not plowed and we didn't have the 4-wheel drive RAV with us this trip, so we opted to stay on the highway, as did several other cars. I'm sure that whoever hiked down there got some wonderful photos! But, we were content to view the lake from the highway. I have never before visited Mono Lake when there was so much snow. Can you imagine the Tioga Pass? (Nah...it was CLOSED)! Or Bodie? Nah, that road was closed, too!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Yesterday hubby and I left Ridgecrest and drove to the Alabama Hills and Lone Pine. We stopped for breakfast at the Mt. Whitney restaurant (actually, it was lunch!) and drove to Bishop. Since we still had good daylight, we decided to take a drive out on the road to Rovana, which is at the base of the Sierras. Along the way, we saw this field covered with water, reflecting the now-bare cottonwood trees. Weekend Reflections for February 13, 2010.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
We saw this beautiful sunburst one evening when we were visiting friends in Yucca Valley, CA. We all walked outside, after dinner, and we were getting ready to head home. But, when we saw this, we all stood in awe. SkyWatch Friday for February 12, 2010.