Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014
This big guy crossed the highway, October 2014.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deep Canyon~That's My World 083110

I stopped at Vista Point last weekend to take these photos of Deep Canyon. Yes, it IS a deep canyon. And, below it, it's an alluvial fan. There are no roads up through Deep Canyon, except one road to the UC Riverside/Boyd bighorn sheep institute, which is on private property and even that road doesn't extend up through the canyon. That's Highway 74 that you see twisting and turning above the canyon. There aren't many turnoffs from which one can take photos of the canyon either! So, it remains elusive and it keeps its secrets. Vista Point is the only overlook above it and sometimes you can see bighorn sheep from it!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cahuilla woman statute~Sunday stills Challenge 082910

Off aways, from the end of Deep Canyon here in Palm Desert, is a shopping center. There used to be a Mervyn's there, but it closed a couple of winters ago. The center is pretty much vacant now, except for a few small shops. Right outside the entrance to the old Mervyn's, is this statue of a Cahuilla woman. I've always admired it and one morning, early, I stopped by to take a few photos. She is so calm and confident that she gives me inspiration. She's just quietly doing what she's doing. She isn't talking to anyone, she isn't distracted. She's just doing her work. Hmmm...something for us all to think about, eh?
Sunday Stills Challenge for August 29, 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Palm tree and clouds~Looking at the Sky on Friday 082710

I took this photo Tuesday afternoon this week. This was the first day that monsoon clouds entered the Coachella Valley. The entire valley was enclosed by clouds Wednesday and it rained up in the mountains, by Deep Canyon. I hear that they got a good soaking! Today the thunderheads were back and there was hail in Warner Springs, which is behind Deep Canyon. Unfortunately, several lightning fires were started also, including one in Joshua Tree National Park, which I spotted burning on my way home from school this afternoon. I stopped at our son's house for dinner and when I left at dusk, that fire was burning so quickly that the flames could be seen coming over the ridges. This is monsoon month here in the desert and more thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow afternoon. I do not know what they will bring, but I'm taking my camera with me to school tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"F" is for finches~ABC Wednesday 082510

These little FINCHES were gathered at the FINCH FEEDERS at the Living Desert Reserve one morning when I was there. The garden center is FILLED with these sock feeders and they were all being devoured! ABC Wednesday for August 25, 2010.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Metal"~Sunday Stills Challenge 082210 and SOOC

I went out yesterday afternoon to photograph some of the metal art sculptures which are around town. There are quite a few of them and these certainly are not all that there are in Palm Desert, but they are a good sample. I, of course, especially like the horse ones (since I have 5 horses myself!). The dragonfly is an interesting one and its wings and body are made of metal. I tapped its head and it seemed to be some kind of durable plastic. Finally, this crop dusting helicopter was up near where I board my horses yesterday and he was zipping back and forth along a field with his pesticides. Unfortunately, when he zigged one time, I got a mouthful of the stuff! YUCK! I'll have to be more mindful of the wind patterns next time! So, enjoy these samplings from Palm Desert and our local mountains! Sunday Stills Challenge ~~"metal"~~ for August 22, 2010. All photos were taken yesterday and are "straight out of the camera". SOOC for August 22, 2010. To view other SSC participants, please visit:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flowers~Living Desert~Today's Flowers

These delightful flowers were blooming at the Living Desert Reserve when I visited it a couple of weeks ago. I have the yellow variety at home and I believe these are Tacoma Stans, but an orange variety. Many of them are blooming right now as they love the desert heat! Today's Flowers for August 22, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yucca and blossoms~SkyWatch Friday 082010

Yucca blossoms against a clear, blue sky here in Deep Canyon. SkyWatch Friday for August 20, 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Garden Gate~Window Views and Doors, Too 081910

I love to view one of the garden gates at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA at various times of the day. This was early one morning (7:00 a.m.). It was open and several people had wandered in to view the smaller garden outside the garden center. I like all the shadows on the door. Window Views and Doors, Too for August 19, 2010. For other views, please visit:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"E" is for eagle~ABC Wednesday 081810

No, this isn't a real eagle. It is a sculpture of one up at the Living Desert Reserve, in Palm Desert. This sculpture is right outside the North American animal exhibit. They do have a female golden eagle on exhibit, but she is behind wires and it was just too dark that morning to be able to take photos of her. If you click on the photos to enlarge them, you can see the talons. I saw a wild eagle ONCE up in our local mountains where I board my horses. It was on a sign and flew off just as I drove by. Apparently there is a pair of them up there, but that was the only time I've seen one of them. I always look for them, but so far, I haven't seen one of them again. ABC Wednesday for August 18, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Geckos! That's My World 081710

We have a family of three geckos that live in our back yard. I'm not sure if it is the same family that was there a couple of summers ago or different ones. They come out at night, about 8:00 p.m. and feed on the insects that gather on our kitchen window and screen. I've heard them make little chirping noises. So, when I went to the Living Desert Reserve, I found these colorful geckos in their garden center. Aren't they cute? That's My World for Tuesday, August 17, 2010.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Burnt Valley Road~Sunday Stills Challenge 081510

As I travel from the desert to the mountains, where I board my 5 horses, I pass by Burnt Valley Road. You can drive on Burnt Valley Road and see ranches there, but right next to it is the stark reminder of why it got its name. There is a deserted, burnt ranch house which is slowly responding to the elements and falling down. I have photos (somewhere) of it from about a year ago and I've noticed that the roof has completely now caved it and vandals have sprayed graffiti all over theoutside of the house. I'm sure that at one time it stood and surveyed its lands, but now it is just an object for local gossip. I don't know the full story myself and I'll have to remember to ask about it and I'll post the results next week. But, in the meantime, it serves as a reminder for me that smoke and fire are indeed life-changing. This was some family's ranch house and home and now it sits empty and forgotten, slowly withering away under the snow and summer heat, year by year. I always look for it as I'm afraid someday it will just crumble and be gone. I've tried to find the road down to it, but haven't yet. The road is long gone. Sunday Stills ~ smoke and fire~~August 15, 2010.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quail family~Living Desert Reserve 081310

I was meeting a friend at 8:30 yesterday morning, so I decided to make a short visit at the Living Desert Reserve while the light was good. I got there about 7:45 (they open to members at 7:00 a.m.) and off I went! I heard quite a few quail and I spotted this quail family and their "teenage" youngsters off one of the maintenance roads. It was interesting to watch the family interactions. Dad crossed the road first, then the teenagers (they weren't quite fully grown) and then mom. The younger ones hesitated at first, then dashed across the dirt road. I followed them up further, up to a concrete walkway, but it was still too dark for decent photos. I hope to return this morning and see if they are out and about!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pinyon tree and clouds~SkyWatch Friday 081310

As I was driving home from Temecula last weekend with my friend Barb, we spotted thunderheads peaking over the Santa Rosa mountains. Unfortunately, that was pretty much all they did. They didn't develop, but instead fell apart. I stopped on the way down the mountain to take a picture of what was left of one of the clouds. The desert was, but cloudless. We haven't had ANY rain at all this summer. None. No monsoon rains, at least...yet.

Madascar Palm~Nature Notes 081210

The Madascar palm is not a palm at all (obviously...look at those thorns!), but a succulent which grows well in the desert. As long as we don't have a severe frost, they will survive out desert winters. They tolerate the heat and don't require much water. They are from the island of Madascar (hence the name...) and can even be grown indoors. Outdoors, however, they grow to 6-8 feet, like these near Deep Canyon. You can also view several of these plants at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert. BEWARE of their thorns, however! They have very large thorns and you wouldn't wish to touch them! They are also drought tolerant, so here in our desert, they would be a great addition to a natural landscape. I'm thinking about redoing my front yard and getting rid of the bermuda grass which is there (and dying out anyway)...and this might be an interesting addition! Nature Notes for August 12, 2010.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rainbow and Sprinklers~Watery Wednesday 081110

You know, we don't have a lot of water in the desert, except for golf course ponds and I don't have access to a lot of those, so finding photos of water in the desert is not an easy task! However, a couple of weeks ago, while walking through Deep Canyon, my friend Barb and I came across these sprinklers and I saw this rainbow! What an opportunity, eh? So, I clicked away! Isn't it pretty? Watery Wednesday for August 11, 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scenes from Deep Canyon "D"~ABC Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday 081110

My friend Barb invited me over one Sunday afternoon to her place, which is at the edge of Deep Canyon. We walked through the wash and the late afternoon shadows played upon the rocks. She told me that this was the route the ancient Cahuilla Indians took from La Quinta to their Santa Rosa mountain summer camp. I enjoyed visiting this section of Deep Canyon. "D" for ABC Wednesday, August 11, 2010. For other participants, please visit:

Farmers' Market~Ruby Tuesday 081010

First, I want to thank everyone who commented on the "Lost Viking Ship of the Desert" story yesterday. I promise to research it further and post an update next week! In the meantime, these delightful veggies were at our local farmers' market last weekend. I bought enough to share with my aunt and uncle, who are very fond of local produce. I'll make another trip up to the market next Saturday and load up for next week! Yum, yum! For other partipants, please visit:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lost Viking ship in the desert?

I recently went to the Rancho Mirage library, looking for information about Deep Canyon, since it was the route that the Cahuilla Indians took from La Quinta up to the Santa Rosa mountains. I checked out an interesting book, "Desert Lore of Southern California" by Choral Pepper. While it did not have any information about Deep Canyon, it did have an interesting story which caught my eye, the legend of a Viking ship. Since my dad's ancestors were Vikings, I wanted to read the story. Turns out, there is a story about a Viking longship near the Agua Caliente County Park. The story begins with a woman whose husband brought home a round shield in the size of a tortilla, but slightly larger than one. He told her he wandered through many canyons and in one he saw an ancient ship that had round discs on its side (like a Viking ship). Part of the ship was sticking out of the sand. There was some kind of strange writing on a wall above the ship, which wasn't English, Spanish, or Indian. It had a curved bow. Fast forward to about 1933, when Myrtle and Louis Botts of Julian were camping in the park. Myrtle encountered an old prospector who came into their camp and told them HE had seen an old ship sticking out of a nearby canyon. So, Myrtle and her husband went with the prospector and soon spotted the ancient ship. It had a curved head and there were marks on its side in the shape of round shields. Unfortunately, as they were leaving the canyon, the 1933 Long Beach earthquake struck, sending down tons of rock and debris into the canyon and on top of the ship. They were both thrown to the ground and their camp was in disarray! Years later, they returned to the spot of the ship, but the damage from the earthquake prevented their entry into the canyon and they could not enter it. This story is supported by a Seri Indian song (story) about men who "Came from Afar" and a red haired woman who was with them on a boat. Sooooo.................????? It is known that the Vikings were superior sailors and they often did bring their wives with them on voyages. It is also known that Vikings did explore portions of North America...

If you want to read more about this account, please visit: There are also those who do not believe this account, such as:, so I leave it up to you to decide if you wish to believe it or not. Personally, I'm open to at least read further about it! Oh, and another note: my school is in Coachella, CA. There are shells in the sand and kids bring them in after recess all the time...something to consider!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Rocks"~Photo Sunday SRMVC 080810

The Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center is locagted at the edge of Deep Canyon, on Highway 74 in Palm Desert, CA. I love to wander the grounds there nearly any day of the year and see the quail, the shrubs and flowers, and these rocks which are incorporated into their visitor center. And, I enjoy seeing the shadows of the trees on the rocks. Photo Sunday for August 8, 2010 "Rocks". For other participants, please visit:

Morning over Deep Canyon~Scenic Sunday 080810

One morning last spring I arose early and headed up the road that parallels Deep Canyon. While it was a Saturday morning, and later in the day the road would have cars on it, at this early hour I was alone. I could just stop in the middle of the road, get out, and take these photos! That would be impossible later on in the day because of the traffic going up and down the mountain. A lone bird shared his morning song with me and I admired the sunrise. Scenic Sunday for August 8, 2010.