The Dancer

The Dancer
Graceful dead tree up above Deep Canyon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clouds and shadows~Straight Out of the Camera Sunday 080110


We've had so many days without clouds that on cloudy days now, I head out with my camera. The desert mountains of Deep Canyon were dotted with these clouds one day and I pulled over to stop and take this photo. If you click on it, you will see the winding road (Highway 74) that I take. Highway 74 runs alongside Deep Canyon and at various spots you can pull over and look down into the canyon. You can't actually drive through it because it is a deep canyon and also there aren't any roads there! The Bighorn Institute of Palm Desert/Indian Wells is located in Deep Canyon and so is the Living Desert Reserve. Sometimes during our monsoon months of July and August, if a tropical storm comes up from Mexico, it starts to rain and it rains and rains and the canyon and low lying areas flood. The desert sands can only soak up so much water at one time and once saturated, the water just runs wherever it can. But, on this day, the clouds were only passing through and they were not threatening. Straight Out of the Camera Sunday for August 1, 2010. For other participants, please visit: http://www.murrieta365.com/2010/07/straight-out-of-camera-sunday_31.html

Scrub jay~Camera Critters 073010




We have a scrub jay in our neighborhood, down in the desert. He shouldn't be here. He SHOULD be up in Deep Canyon, in the pinyon country. But, somehow, he ended up at an elevation of 200 feet, in the desert. He has claimed our neighbhood as his territory. I first noticed him last spring when I was out feeding the birds in my front yard. He was a lot smaller then. I don't know how he ended up here, but he has now settled in and noisily announces his arrival every morning and afternoon! I can hear him all over the neighborhood as he visits his territory. He watches my movements and as soon as I throw out birdseed in the mornings and afternoons, he is the first in line to eat the seeds. I enjoy watching him and I hope that someday he will return to his homeland in Deep Canyon, but for now I enjoy watching his antics. For other critters, please visit: http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 30, 2010

Crooked tree Photo Friday 073010


Yesterday I stopped to view two vultures circling above me over Deep Canyon. Here I had turned off at one of the overlooks and I took a short hike and saw this bare, crooked tree branch. It was so unusual I stopped to admire it. Photo Friday for July 30, 2010. For other participants, please visit Photo Friday at: http://photofriday.com/

Vulture~Looking at the sky on Friday 072910











As I drove up to the horse ranch yesterday, I stopped to take some photos along Deep Canyon and looked up to see two vultures circling overhead. I usually see them while I'm driving my car, so this was an opportunity for me to stop and really take a look at them and take some photos. They effortlessly glided along the thermals rising from the canyon and I snapped these pics. Looking at the Sky on Friday for 072910.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Windows~Window Views and Doors, Too 072910


I love morning light and one morning in May, I went for a walk at the Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center in Palm Desert. This visitor center is at the bottom of Deep Canyon and many people stop here to hike in the mountains or to enjoy its well-marked trails. I haven't been out on a walk yet during my summer vacation as it has been so humid here, but maybe this morning I'll go for one since it isn't humid! Window Views and Doors, Too for July 29, 2010. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yucca blossoms~Outdoor Wednesday 072810




The mountains around Deep Canyon are still covered with yucca blossoms, like these three which I spotted last week. They just haven't completely dried out, although our days are warm in the mountains. Outdoor Wednesday for July 28, 2010.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Deep Canyon~That's My World 072710







I lived in the desert for over 35 years and drove past Deep Canyon for many, many years. It really wasn't until this past year that I stopped to explore the areas around it. I've already explained how you can't drive through the canyon. First, there isn't a road. Second, any road would be washed away in a flash flood as Deep Canyon funnels all the rain from our local mountains down into the desert. There's a reason it has its name! But, I am able to drive out some of the roads that are above the canyon and view the environment above the canyon. Here are some pics from last weekend that I took near Deep Canyon. I've been talking to some locals about where I can go to hike there and I have some spots I want to check out, but I need to get somebody to go with me. Any volunteers? That's My World for Tuesday, July 27, 2010.






Monday, July 26, 2010

Silt~Macro Monday 072610




Saturday a friend and I traveled up the mountain to go see my horse herd. But first we stopped near Deep Canyon. I wanted to show her a side road (dirt) that is an easy drive, but has spectacular views. Instead, I looked down and saw this! I thought it was mud, but a resident and friend was out walking and I asked him what it was and he said it was silt. I included a regular photo of it so that you can see it from a normal perspective. Macro Monday for July 26, 2010.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rule of thirds~Sunday stills Challenge072510


A friend and I drove up by Deep Canyon yesterday and I spotted this blossom among the many that are in the pinyon forest. You can't actually drive through Deep Canyon. There are no roads there for the obvious reason that during a storm, they would be washed away! You can't even get down to it, although there are some hiking trails around it and another friend likes to ride her horse up to the waterfall that is there. I think that is one reason why I love Deep Canyon...the solitude. We ran into an old friend (his daughter and mine went to high school together years ago) and I said, "I come up here for the silence." To which he remarked, "It isn't silent up here!" Huh? Then I shut my mouth and just listened. A fly flew by. A bluejay squawked. Bees were at the flowers collecting nectar. And, he was right. It wasn't silent. I just needed to learn to listen. Sunday Stills Challenge for July 25, 2010.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Agave and clouds~SkyWatch Friday 072310


Monsoon clouds moved into our valley one morning a couple of weeks ago and I saw this cloudburst against an agave plant. More monsoon clouds are forecast for this weekend, so who knows what I'll find! SkyWatch Friday for July 23, 2010.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bird in tree~Outdoor Wednesday 072110


One morning last week, the clouds moved into the valley quickly and soon it was raining in Deep Canyon. I pulled off on my favorite side road and saw a bird in a lone tree (click to enlarge). It started raining and so I continued my drive home to the desert, where I could see rain coming down, but the rain wasn't hitting the desert floor. It is our monsoon season now and the humidity builds almost every day. Deep Canyon usually gets rainfall because of its elevation, unlike the desert floor. Outdoor Wednesday for July 21, 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Summer" ~ Sunday Stills Challenge 071810~Thunderheads over the horse ranch










Summer near Deep Canyon means thunderheads and monsoonal moisture. In the desert, it is too hot now to even venture outside, so most days, I go out very early in the morning and get my chores and errands done before 9:00 a.m.!!! By mid-afternoon yesterday, it was 116 degrees on my shaded front porch. Our dogs don't even want to go outside and the birds all disappear. But, summer also brings gorgeous, big, fluffy thunderheads, like these that I took photos of this past week in the sky above the horse ranch where I board my horses in our local mountains. By late afternoon, they had grown and spread all over our skies. I konked out and fell asleep after working with the mustangs that morning and apparently a huge windstorm came through the desert and when I awoke, the entire sky was dark. It was raining, but the rain was evaporating before it even hit the ground in the desert. Up in our local mountains, however, it was pouring! The ranch owner emailed me to state that the skies opened up just as she was out feeding the horses! Ah....summer in the desert southwest! Sunday Stills Challenge for July 18, 2010. Enjoy your day! For other summer challenges, please visit Sunday Stills at: http://sundaystills.wordpress.com/

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thunderheads~Straight Out of the Camera Sunday 071810


I don't edit my photos. First of all, I don't have Photoshop. Second, I wouldn't even know how to edit them. What you see is what I took, straight out of the camera. I suppose that if I were a better photographer, I would edit them, but, at this stage, I'm not. I usually grab my cameras as I head up Highway 74 (the road that runs parallel to Deep Canyon) as I never know what to expect. In winter, it might be snow. Now, in summer, it might be thunderheads billowing above, as in this photo which I took last week. And, yes, by the end of the day, when the humidity had built up, it rained in the mountains. No rain in the desert, as it evaporated before it hit the ground! Aren't the clouds pretty? SOOC for Sunday, July 18, 2010. For other entries, please visit: http://www.murrieta365.com/2010/07/straight-out-of-camera-sunday_17.html

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Clouds over mountains~Looking at the Sky on Friday 071610




As I drove up the mountain road today, I stopped to notice the shadows of the clouds on them. Thunderheads were developing in the morning and by afternoon, I could hear thunder. Looking at the Sky on Friday for July 16, 2010. For other participants, please visit: http://www.crazyworkingmom.com/

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rain~That's My World and Watery Wednesday 071210






We awoke Sunday morning to tropical moisture in the Coachella Valley. As I drove up the mountains to go work with my horses, I looked back across the valley to see scattered rain. Our monsoon season is during the months of July and August and Sunday was our first day of rainfall. There were scattered downpours in the mountains and Deep Canyon and I opened my car windows to enjoy the scents. That's My World for Tuesday, July 12, 2010.