Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm sorry I haven't been around....

I'm sorry I haven't been around much, but my dog died.  No, really.  Our nearly 9-year old German Shepherd died on our living room floor last night.  Hubby and I had been up in Napa for a family after-Christmas dinner (our annual trip up there) and he held on until 5 minutes after we got home.  We sat and patted him and loved on him, but he had just wasted away (canine lupus) and he gave a couple of sighs and that was it.  I literally drove like a bat out of @#%% to get home, as our son had called us and said he wouldn't last much longer.  So, yesterday, I drove from Sonoma to Palm Desert in 11 hours.  We stopped once for lunch at a Denny's off Interstate 5 and once to grab a burrito from Baker's in Yucaipa.  I drove the entire trip, except for the one hour that hubby drove from Mojave to Desert Center. While I'm glad we made it home in time to see Rommel alive, I'm just numb today and don't feel like blogging.  I do wish you have a Happy New Year and I'll be back soon with photos from the trip.
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fog in Buellton, CA

We stayed overnight in Buellton, CA, which is right next to Solvang.  I'd forgotten about the fog up there, and this morning, when I woke up, the mountains were covered with fog.  By the time we drove to Solvang to breakfast, most of it had lifted.  There were still some strands along the tops of the moutains, and on our way out of town, I took these photos.  We don't have fog in the desert very often...maybe twice a year.  It was good to experience it again!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Almost bare trees

The red maples and sycamores are almost bare up at the horse ranch where I board my horses.  We've had quite a few days of Santa Ana winds, which are the winds that come down from the high desert, sweeping into our deserts and mountains.  The red maples are almost bare with just a few leaves still hanging on.  The sycamores are doing a bit better, as you can see.  I took a quick run up the mountain to the horse ranch yesterday while the grandson took a 3 hour nap.  I had 3 bags of pellets to unload for the horses and I wanted to give them a Christmas Day treat!  It was a bit breezy up there, but it wasn't as windy or as cold as it has been.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lake Pleasant, AZ~SkyWatch Friday 122311

Hubby and I drove out to Lake Pleasant while we were in Arizona.  I had no idea it was even there and I certainly had no idea it was so vast!  We had drive over to Canyon Lake one afternoon, but Lake Pleasant is much, much bigger!  Dark clouds were to the north of the lake and there was a sailboat out enjoying the wind.  SkyWatch Friday for December 22, 2011.  We are now home and I am anxious to see my mountains again. _MG_6300

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Live Writer

I’m trying out Live Writer on this blog, since it wouldn’t load to my desert horses one.  So, this is the first post in the new format.  I was finally able to download Live Writer (it took two tries), so I’m anxious to try it out!

Saguaros~Nature Notes~122211

We don't have saguaros in our lower Colorado desert, near Palm Desert.  We have agaves and yuccas, but no saguaros unless they are brought in and transplanted.  Many are, especially in some of the resorts.  However, over here in Arizona, there are many, many saguaros.  Even over here at the Desert Ridge resort, there are a lot and I went out yesterday morning for an early walk.  There was a HUGE one down by the wash and I was eager to see if it was still there.  Yup.  It was.  Last trip, there was a cactus wren with a nest in it.  Yesterday morning, however, it was birds there (see 2nd photo).  And, the huge one up by the lobby was vacant, too, although it has been the home of many birds (see top photo).  I always love to look at the saguaros and see how different they all are.  I took the last photo yesterday afternoon out by Lake Pleasant.  Home today!   :-)  Nature Notes for December 22, 2011.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Superstition Mountains

I've always wanted to get a photo of the Superstition Mountains with snow on them.  I didn't get it this time, but I did get this view of them shrouded in clouds late one afternoon.  It was before we headed out to the golden-colored cliffs.  It was so dark and cloudy here that hubby suggested we drive further down the road, and that's when we saw the cliffs near Canyon Lake.  We drove out to the Cave Creek regional park yesterday and stopped at the visitor center.  I bought a little palomino horse for the grandson (one that looks like Cali) and we took some photos there, but nothing was as dramatic as this.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Golden cliffs~Our World Tuesday~122011

Hubby and I are over in Arizona for a few days.  This afternoon we drove out to the Superstition Mountains.  It was too dark to photograph a lot there, but we drove north on the road to Canyon Lake.  We arrived in late afternoon, just as the sun was hitting the cliffs and they turned a golden color.  It was breathtaking!  We slowed down and got out and took lots of photos, like these.  A while later, the cliffs returned to their normal state, but, for a few minutes, all that glittered was indeed golden!  Our World Tuesday for December 20, 2011.  To visit Our World Tuesday, please go to:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grounded today!!!

It's snowing again up in the mountains, probably above 3,500 feet and the department of transportation has a snow chain requirement right now, so I'm grounded.  I don't know how to put chains on and, since I drive alone, I'm not going to take any chances.  As much as I'd LOVE to drive up to the horse ranch, I'm staying home.  And, hubby is INSISTING.  PERIOD...sigh... I can't even see the mountains right now.  I called the owner of the horse ranch where I board my horses and she said it isn't snowing there, BUT, I have to drive through the areas where it IS snowing to get to the ranch.  I end up at about 5,000 feet and then the road splits down toward Temecula.  It's the 5,000 foot areas that always concern me, as these are the areas closed to all traffic except 4 wheel drive vehicles with snow tires OR cars with chains.  Believe me, I've been up there in the snow and slush and icy roads and it isn't fun.  But, it sure is beautiful!  Just look at these ranches up there! Aren't they pretty in the fresh snow?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fog and snow and fence~Friday Fences~121811

Fog and snow and a fence up at the oak forest of Deep Canyon.  This area is Cahuilla Indian reservation land and is closed to the public.  I enjoy just stopping here and listening to the sounds of the blue jays and forest birds.  It is very peaceful and quiet.  Friday Fences for December 16, 2011.  To see other fences, please go to:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snow and mountains and NEED to get out into nature~Nature Notes~121511

One of the followers of my blog stated that it must be nice to be able to just get in my car and GO!  Well, I don't always have that chance, but I'd been home sick all weekend and yesterday, after sleeping in until 8:00 a.m., I really NEEDED to get outdoors.  I can only sit at home for so long.  I believe that one of the reasons I keep my horses up in the mountains is to have an excuse to drive up along the mountain highway and to have a change of scenery.  And, yes, when I looked out yesterday and saw that it was snowing, I just KNEW that I had to go up in the mountains and see it and smell the wet earth and listen to the silent flakes hit my windshield.  It's just something I HAD TO DO.  PERIOD.  Did you know that, out of the multiple intelligences, there is now a nature one?  I must be an example of that.  (multiple intelligences refers to how people learn...) Yes, I'm visual, but I'm also kinesthetic (using my hands).  I constantly tap my pencil.  I ALWAYS have a pen or pencil in my hand.  I was a pianist and I still have the muscle memory to play pieces I learned 50 years ago!  But, I also have an additional intelligence, and that is the nature one.  I've always LOVED to be outdoors (even if I'm a blonde, with freckles, and fair I have to be careful).  I think the only time I wasn't out with a camera, out exploring nature, was when I was pregnant and then had two small children...I've always rescued dogs, cats, and now horses.  At one time, I had finches, lovebirds, and canaries, much to my husband's distress!  So, for me, nature is de-stressing, but there is also a real NEED there.  What about you?  Do you have a NEED to get out into nature?  Photos are from up and near Deep Canyon yesterday.  It snowed that morning, but by 8:00 a.m., it was clear enough to drive up the mountain road.  I ran into 3 CALTRANS snow plows going up and down the mountain, keeping the road clear.  To visit other nature enthusiasts, please go to:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let it snow~Outdoor Wednesday~121411

I stayed home again today because of an extremely bad headache and dizziness, but by 8:00,  I really needed to go to the store and buy stuff for lunch.  I was out of EVERYTHING (except cat food).  I managed to stop by the park and take some photos of the roses with raindrops on them (we had rain yesterday and last night and snow on our mountains this morning).  I decided to take a quick drive up the mountain to view the newly-fallen snow.  Turns out, I had the road pretty much to myself!  It was very quiet and a couple of CALTRANS snowplows were driving up and down the mountain.  Here are some photos I took today for Outdoor Wednesday, December 14, 2011.  This is the second major snowstorm to reach our local mountains so far this fall and more snow is expected tonight.  In fact, it started snowing again when I turned around to come home! Remember, also, this is at 4,000 feet, NOT on the desert floor!  To visit Outdoor Wednesday, please go to:

Oldest home in Rancho Mirage~Our World Tuesday~121311

I was home sick yesterday after being exhausted all weekend.  SOMETHING is going around and now I have a sore throat and cough.  Not good.  I stayed home all day, except for running out briefly in the morning to buy some cat food.  I stopped by the Rancho Mirage park and wandered over to an old house there.  I stood and read the descriptions and realized that this is the oldest home in the city.  And, I noticed that one of the date palms there had a ladder on it, which is chained to the tree.  Have you ever wondered how the workers got to the top of the date palms?  With ladders, like this one!  I see them all the time down in the lower end of the valley and was surprised to see this one.  I'll let you read about the house.  I looked closely at the tile roof, since we have one, too.  But, this one was 3 layers thick and the tiles are cemented together.  Builders don't do that anymore!  And, look at the rock fireplace...sigh...I wish we had one of those right now!  I have to run out to the store again later, to buy some groceries and soup, so I'll take some pics of our overnight snow.  Our World Tuesday for December 13, 2011.  To visit Our World Tuesday, please go to:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunrise~Creative Exchange and Mellow Yellow Monday~121211

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I left the house early one morning, on my way to school, and stopped to admire the sunrise.  I'm glad I had a few extra minutes to enjoy it!  There should be another good sunrise this morning as the coming storm's clouds are gathering.  Creative Exchange and Mellow Yellow Monday for December 12, 2011.  To visit The Creative Exchange, please go to: To visit Mellow Yellow Monday, please go to:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bright flowers to brighten up your day~Today's Flowers~121111

After a couple of depressing posts about the loss of the valley's pepper crop, I went through my archives from the past couple of weeks and found some COLOR!  Early one morning, I drove up and down El Paseo, which is at the base of Highway 74 and Deep Canyon.  It is Palm Desert's premier shopping center.  The medians there are all full of pansies, snapdragons, and petunias.  And...COLOR!  The sprinklers had just turned off before I drove by and some of the flowers were coated with water.  Please enjoy the color and have a good day!  I'm trying to fight the flu which is going around my school.  Hubby had it about 8 days ago and I'm staying indoors today and I'm going to rest as I have one more week of school before our three week vacation.  To visit Today's Flowers, please go to: