Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ice on cholla~Cactus Monday 022811

Sunday morning I headed up Highway 74 to see all the snow left by Saturday's storm. Well, there wasn't much! It was disappointing, especially considering that the previous weekend, snow was delicately balanced on trees, shrubs, and yuccas. I took a drive on a side road early in the morning and found ice on this cholla. You can see all the snow on the mountains in the background. They received quite a bit of snow. I didn't drive to the horse ranch because we had a big family day planned and I needed to get back down the mountain and get ready for the celebration. Cactus Monday for February 28, 2011. To visit Cactus Monday, please go to:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Storm! Blogger's Community Challenge 022611

Today is hubby's birthday, but this morning, while he was reading the Los Angeles Times on his tablet, I hopped in the car and traveled up Deep Canyon to see how low the snow was falling. It was falling about 3,000 feet. This was at 9:30 a.m. There were very few cars on the road and some of them were covered with snow. I'm sure the CalTrans bulldozers and snowplows will be out tomorrow morning, clearing away the snow and rock slides. I saw a few small ones already. I took all of these photos from the comfort of my car (I refused to get out into the sideways-blowing snow!) Bloggers Community Challenge~Storm~February 26, 2011. To visit this week's Blogger Challenge, go to:

"Open", Photo Friday Challenge 022511

While it is fairly common to view all the way across the Coachella Valley, from Deep Canyon to Joshua Tree, it is unusual to be able to do so and see fresh snow on top of Joshua Tree National Park. This was the view from Deep Canyon last weekend across the valley. See how open the valley is? That would be looking down at Palm Desert, all the way to the park, high above. After last weekend's rain storm, the entire valley was crisp, clean, and clear! Photo Friday Challenge for February 25, 2011. To visit Photo Friday, please stop at:

"Red", Brenda Photo Challenge 022611

When we stayed up in Idyllwild a few weekends ago, at the Fireside Inn, I went for an early morning walk and noticed that all their outdoor furniture was painted red. It was very colorful and I can just imagine it with snow all around it! But, on this weekend, the snow was very spotty and mostly leftover. However, today snow is expected in our local mountains down to 2,500 feet. "Red", Brenda Photo Challenge for February 26, 2011. To see other participants, please visit Brenda Photo Challenge at:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow on sign~Thematic Photographic "Letters"~022511

This is the north-facing side of the national forest sign near Deep Canyon last weekend. This is at about 1,500 feet. We have another storm moving in tonight and snow will once again fall down to about 1,500 feet, so I'll have another opportunity to drive up Sunday (hopefully) and take more snow photos! I also took the south-facing side of the same sign so that you can read what it says! Thematic Photographic for February 25, 2011. To visit other participants, please visit:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Salton Sea~SkyWatch Friday 022511

Even though I drive up Highway 74 every weekend, and sometimes mid-week to visit my horses at the boarding ranch, it is very unusual to see a clear view of the Salton Sea from the road. First, there are only a couple of turnouts where you can stop and view it. Second, most of the time it is just too hazy to even bother to take a photo. But, on this morning, last Sunday, after an overnight snowfall, the air was crisp and clean and the sea reflected the light on it. The Salton Sea is the lowest point in Southern California and all of the irrigation water from the Coachella Valley flows into it. It is 226 feet below sea level. It is actually the largest lake in California, larger than Lake Tahoe, but the water is highly salty. There is no outflow and the constant addition of chemicals from the nearby agricultural areas make it extremely salty. If it "belches", we can ALL smell it (which sometimes is NOT a good thing!) Nobody seems to know what to do about it, so it sits and smells and glistens on some mornings like this one. SkyWatch Friday for February 24, 2011. See more at

Snow~Simple Pleasures for February 24, 2011

We desert dwellers, and especially those of us who live on the desert floor, don't experience snowfall. Instead, we have to drive to other places to view snow. And, as a native Californian myself, I just didn't grow up around snow. My husband, who is from Pennsylvania, did, and he's had his fill of snow! (I guess that's why we live in the desert!) But, after last weekend's overnight snow, I was eager to get up and see it and feel it, and squish it on my boots! I loved the way it balanced on these leaves. It was actually quite light! More snow is forecast for Saturday and I'll be up interacting with it Sunday morning, weather permitting! Simple Pleasures for February 24, 2011.

Winter wonderland~Nature Notes 022411

For some of you, snow is a common winter occurance, but for those of us in the low desert (elevation 225 feet!), it is so uncommon that we flock to our local mountains every time there is snowfall. And, that's exactly what I did last weekend~I headed up Highway 74, along Deep Canyon to view the snow! I was fortunate that I left my house early in the morning because the road was pretty much deserted and I could stop and take photos. There were only a few other cars on the road that morning, although I did see some from Idyllwild coming down the road, covered with overnight snow. It was almost a completely different world, covered with the white stuff and I enjoyed seeing my world covered in snow! Nature Notes for February 24, 2011.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

wet wash~Outdoor Wednesday 022211

I've lived in the desert now for over 35 years and I've become fascinated by desert washes. I'm always poking my nose and camera into them, walking through them (carefully), and looking around them to find animal tracks. This wash is up off the road by Deep Canyon and I was interested to see it and the rivers of water which moved down it overnight. Yes, that's snow scattered about! I'm glad I had the opportunity, with a four day weekend, to further explore the area around Deep Canyon. Outdoor Wednesday for February 22, 2011. For other participants, please visit:

Deep Canyon in snow~That's My world 022211

It snowed in our local mountains Saturday night and Sunday morning I drove up through them to see the fresh snow. That's my favorite road in the top one. I parked in a nearby turnout and walked back a way over it, admiring the snow lying on pinyons, yuccas, and other trees and shrubs. It was very quiet, but the wind was blowing and even with 2 sweaters and a jacket, I was freezing. I decided not to stay out too long, since I'm still getting over my bronchitis, and headed back to my car. But, I'm glad I had this opportunity to see Deep Canyon after a snow storm. That's My World for Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Deep Canyon after snowstorm~Macro Monday 022111

I headed out Sunday morning after the snowstorm Saturday to see how much snow Deep Canyon had received overnight. It got a nice dusting of snow, which will probably last a couple of days. The higher elevations, like Toro Peak and Mt. Santa Rosa, will keep their snow longer than the pinyon areas near Deep Canyon. I did find many plants and shrubs covered with fresh snow and ice, including this one. Macro Monday for February 21, 2011. To see other participants, please visit:

"The Dancer" in snow~Creative Exchange 022111

I have found a dead tree up off one of the little dirt roads above Deep Canyon. I frequently stop there now to see what's going on and yesterday morning I was able to drive up there and see it covered with fresh snow. It snowed all night in our mountains and they received an additional 24 inches of snow (not here, but on the higher elevations). Everything was covered with light, fresh snow, and since I was the first person on this side road, I was able to walk it and listen to the snow falling off trees and shrubs. I know this photo isn't perfect. The tree is in the center, I didn't use my manual setting, yada, yada, yada, but I like it the way it is! Creative Exchange for February 21, 2011.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cholla and snow~Cactus Monday 022111

I woke up early Sunday morning to see our valley completely surrounded by snow on all the mountains. So, while hubby was still snoring, I drove up highway 74, which travels above Deep canyon. It snowed all night and, in some patches, it was still snowing. Chains were required and I don't have any for the XTERRA. It was also very icy, so I turned around. But, I did get a couple of photos of cholla with snow, something I've wanated to capture for some time! Cactus monday for February 21, 2011.

Mountain silence~Scenic Sunday 022011 and Sunday Selections

Some afternoons, after school, I have a real need to drive up the road by Deep Canyon and just sit and listen to silence! Wonderful, soft "aloneness" is what I need after having 27 third graders yap at me all day! so, up the mountain I head! Sometimes I hear the wind. Sometimes I hear birds. Sometimes I hear...absolutely golden NOTHING! It's like my ears need a rest! I can't wait to run out this morning and see the snow on these hills! Scenic Sunday for February 20, 2011 and Sunday Selections. This is my first post for Sunday Selections over at: I like her idea of going back through our folders and finding photos that we've forgotten about or neglected to post. I actually took these last December and just forgot about them!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"S" is for sunrise~~~Alphabet Thursday 021911

I haven't been out for my morning walk for over two weeks now because of my relapse of bronchitis, but this was the SUNRISE one morning near Desert Willow golf course here in Palm Desert, CA. I don't care if I'm still sick today...out I go!
Alphabet Thursday for February 19, 2011..."sunrise". To see other participants, please visit:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Clouds over the mountains~SkyWatch Friday 021811

Early one morning, as I was out for my morning walk, I watched the clouds turn pink and orange. I took a few photos of the skies, and also included the one on the bottom for a view of the mountains. That's Mt. San Jacinto near Palm Springs, CA. SkyWatch Friday for February 18, 2011.

Iceland poppy~Macro Friday 021811

I walked over to my neighbor's yard this week. She's a landscaper and always has beautiful flowers. I wish mine were as lovely! I always enjoy viewing her yard. She only works on it on Sundays as she's out working the other days, including Saturday. This Iceland poppy intrigued me and I zoomed in on it for a closer look! Macro Friday for February 18, 2011.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cyclists at Joshua Tree~This Way Thursday 021711

These two cyclists whizzed by us at Joshua Tree National Park when we were there in January. A storm is moving into our valley and snow is forecast down to 4,500 feet this holiday weekend, so hubby and I may head out there over the holiday! This Way Thursday for February 17, 2011.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Desert lupine

The highway along Deep Canyon, Highway 74, is now littered with desert lupines. They first sprang up about 2 weeks ago. They were very faint then, but now they are in full bloom. I stopped last Sunday as I traveled up the mountain and took these photos. I wanted to capture them before they disappeared. They don't last long, only a few weeks, and then they disappear until the next year.

Wood rail fence

I stopped and took a drive through the pinyon community on Sunday. I hadn't been up that way for 6 months and there was an "estate sale" sign! But, when I drove by, the driveway was empty...sigh...maybe they sold everything the previous day? I spotted this wood rail fence and stopped to admire it. I love these old fences. They have such stories to tell!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunflowers~Mellow Yellow Monday 021411

And, yes, it is also my birthday! What? 29 AGAIN? I went out Saturday morning and took these pics of a couple of the sunflowers which are now blooming in my front yard. Last year and the year before, I planted them along our south-facing fence, but this year I moved them to the fence between us and our neighbor on the west. There is a long fence there which gets morning and noontime sun and it needed some brightening! So, here they are! They certainly aren't mellow, but they sure are yellow! Have a great day. Mellow Yellow for February 14, 2011. No, I'm NOT telling you my real age!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Peacock~Color Carnival 021311

This beautiful male peacock is one of the many peacocks at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, CA. I grew up a block away from the back entrance to the arboretum and, growing up, we had many peacocks in our neighborhood. I used to feed them in my parents' driveway. They lived in the area and would sleep in trees and on roofs at night. Sometimes their cries would be frightening, but I miss that sound now. Many ranches down here in the desert do have peacocks. They are excellent "guard dogs" and alert when a trespasser enters property!The males are very colorful and show their beautiful feathers to potential mates. Color Carnival for February 13, 2011.

purple flower~Today's Flowers 021311

I have two of these blooming in my front yard and honestly, I don't remember what they are! Texas bluebonnets? I was just so happy that they grew! I'll try to go out today and get more photos of them. Anyway, I thought this one was pretty and I decided to post it for today. Today's Flowers for Sunday, February 13, 2011. Please let me know what it is if you know! Desert lupine? Texas bluebonnet?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Creative light~Photo Time, Day One~021211

Never shoot a photo toward the sun right? Nah...I do! Do you? In this photo, the sun was behind the photographer and I decided to try it. I took this at the Anza-Borrego photography workshop, down in the park. This was out by Font's Point. "Creative light", Photo Time Day One for February 12, 2011. Enjoy your weekend! To visit other participants, please visit:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baja Fairy Duster~Macro Friday 021111

I stopped up at the Living Desert Reserve one afternoon after school a couple of weeks ago and saw this Baja fairy duster. I was intrigued with it and snapped a couple of photos. Aren't they interesting? Macro Friday for February 11, 2011. Wouldn't this be cute for Valentine's Day (which is also my birthday!)

Smoke~SkyWatch Friday 021011

We had sub-freezing temps down here in the desert last week. It was 17 degrees down in Thermal for a couple of nights, endangering crops such as bell peppers and potatoes, and setting a new record low. As I drove to school a couple of mornings, I noticed fields on fire (or so I thought). The smoke was driving over toward my school and soon everyone was coughing. I went in early the next morning and there it was again. According to the news, growers brought in bales of hay and lit them, in an attempt to save their crops. It didn't work and the crops were ruined, however. But, it made for some interesting photos. SkyWatch Friday for February 10, 2011.