Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chimney smoke~SkyWatch Friday~113012

Hubby made a fire the last morning we were in our Idyllwild cabin.  He'd bought firewood and he wanted to use it all up, so he fired away.  Getting bored with this whole thing, I went for a walk and this is what I saw when I returned.  SkyWatch Friday for November 30, 2012.   To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

White fence and yellow trees~Friday's Fences~113012

I found this stark white fence and some yellow trees set back behind it up in Garner Valley last week.  A winter storm has moved into that area and it was all socked in with clouds today.  I'll drive by this place on Saturday and see what it's like.  Friday's Fences for November 30, 2012.   To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Tree branch~Nature Notes~112912

I spotted this dead pinyon branch one morning as I was out walking around in Pinyon Flats, near the campground.  I have two friends who live up there.  It's a quick 10 minute ride down the hill from Pinyon to the desert.  Our son's best friend just bought a house up there and he's already moved there from the desert.  I always enjoy Pinyon Flats because it is cooler up there in the summer.  And, they DO get snow about 3 or 4 times a year...not a lot, but enough to last a day.  It is pinyon forest up there, with some oaks, and there are a lot of scrub jays.  I believe that our scrub jay, who has now been in our neighborhood for nearly 4 years, came from this area.  Quail are numerous and so are coyotes.  My friend Barbara recently lost her two chickens to a couple of coyotes who dug into her yard, under her electrified fence...:-(  I drive through this area every weekend when I drive up to my horses, who are boarded nearby.  It's quite a change from our desert habitat!  Nature Notes for November 29, 2012.  To view Nature Notes, please go to:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Golden eagle~Wild Bird Wednesday~112812

There are golden eagles in the Anza Valley and this is the second time I've seen one.  The first time, I saw one take off from their "Welcome to Anza Valley" signpost.  I was driving by early in the morning, on my way to the feed store, when I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye.  The eagle was just taking off from the sign.  I was so shocked I nearly drove my car into the sand!  By the time I fumbled around and got my camera out, it was long gone.  That was about 5 years ago.  I had not seen an eagle since then, until Sunday, when I was once again driving to the feed store.  I saw something BIG on top of a telephone pole and, being older, wiser, and more experienced, I slowed down, got the camera out and ready, and stopped my car.  I stayed in it and slowly drove forward because I didn't wish to scare it off.  I knew it was an eagle because of its size and also look at the feathers on its legs.  I mean, this guy was HUGE!!!  He did take off and I got a few photos of him before he drifted over to another empty field, looking for his breakfast.  I am pleased that I was here, at the right time, and was able to get a few pictures of this beautiful bird.  Wild Bird Wednesday for November 28, 2012. To visit WBW, please go to:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lady and Loki

Lady is the German Shepherd I rehomed two months ago.  A co-worker announced she was looking for a home for her because (1) she'd never had a shepherd before and (2) she didn't like having a big dog...sigh...what can I say?  I immediately said I'd take her.  We've had three other shepherds (all males), so Lady is our first female.  She's at least 6 years old (I think she is older than that), but she lived with her breeder for 6 years until that lady had to move out of her house and into a condo where she couldn't keep her.  So, my co-worker, who lives alone, rehomed her and all her dishes and toys!  Unfortunately, she wasn't used to having a big dog and she left her alone at home for 12 hours a day!  So, Lady came to us.  She is beautifully trained and has wonderful manners.  We took her with us up to the Idyllwild cabin and she behaved perfectly.  She whined when she had to go outside to do her business.  Then, there's Loki.  I adopted him at PETCO during one of their adoptions back in 1996.  I remember the year because we got our 2nd shepherd, Maverick, in 1995.  Loki was already a year old then, so he must be 17 years old now.  He's outlived two of our shepherds and he's still going...although yesterday morning, he got up on our porch roof and was chasing one of our other cats up and down it and they sounded like a herd of elephants!  Then, he couldn't remember how to get down, so I had to take the ladder and grab him by the scruff of the neck and haul his sorry BUTT down off the porch!  I only got one small scratch, so I'm thankful for that. It could have been a LOT worse!!! He really is a nice cat...he can be mean to the dogs, however.  Lady steers away from him, although sometimes I catch them taking a sun nap together out in the front yard, cuddled together!  I'll have to have the camera ready for that!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Silver Pines Lodge koi pool~Weekend Reflections~112412

There is a koi pond up at the Silver Pines Lodge, where we stayed for three nights this week.  It runs day and night and provides a nice place to stop and admire the koi.  Even Lady was slightly interested when I walked her by the pond!  :-)  Weekend Reflections for November 24, 2012.   To visit Weekend Reflections, please go to:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Taquitz Peak~SkyWatch Friday~112312

While we were in Idyllwild for 3 nights, I frequently had to take our German Shepherd, Lady, out to do her business.  I kept walking by this view of Tahquitz Peak and I finally went out one time without her and with my camera.  I wanted to get a photo of it before we left.  And, this is what I got!  SkyWatch Friday for November 23, 2012.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Norman gate~Friday's Fences~112312

I drove by this beautiful gate while we were up in Idyllwild for three nights.  I've seen it before, but I didn't get a good photo of it because of the light.  I finally just stopped this time and took this photo.  Wouldn't you LOVE to have this gate?  I surely would!!!  :-)  Friday's Fences for November 23, 2012.   To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Idyllwild trip

Hubby and I spent 3 nights up in Idyllwild and are now back home for the holiday.  We were there Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights at the Silver Pines Lodge and cabins.  We rented one of the individual cabins with a rock fireplace.  Not so good.  The fireplace let cold air drop down into the cabin and we finally got a fire going ($80 for firewood was spent) and kept it going for the entire 3 days!  Our friends even donated some of the pine cuttings (which were FULL of sap!) to help us keep warm.  But, it was nice for a change from the desert!  I had to take Lady, our shepherd, out for early morning bathroom breaks and I could clearly see the stars like the Orion constellation.  WOW!  I also heard a pack of coyotes howling up on the hill (the cabins back up to national forest land) one morning when I took her for a potty break.  They apparently had just caught something and were whooping it up. We took Lady with us because we've only had her 2 months (she is a rehomed PUREBRED German Shepherd, age 6 or older...), but she is so well mannered I knew she'd be fine.  She was REAL interested in the gray squirrels out back behind the porch!  I looked out yesterday morning and there were 30 quail, 3 young ravens (they were hilarious!), several blue jays, and about 6 squirrels, and 1 rabbit hopping its way down the ravine next door!  I had thrown out some birdseed with corn and they were all enjoying it.  Oh, and 3 flickers!  We love going to Idyllwild and since it is only one hour away, we save on gasoline.  Hubby cooked dinner each night on the BBQ behind the lodge.  Here are some pics from our trip.  Enjoy your holiday today!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mountain moods

I'm trying to get up to date here on this blog because we're spending a couple of nights up in Idyllwild.  We rented a cabin and the kids and grandson might drive up and join us.  It will be nice to be up with the bluejays and squirrels again.  We are taking Lady with us.  Did I tell you about Lady?  She is a 6 year old PERFECTLY MANNERED purebred German Shepherd that a co-worker wanted to rehome.  The gal just didn't have time for her, she was too big, she shed too much, yadda, yadda, yadda.  She asked if anybody wanted her and I yelled, "I DO!".  We lost our previous German Shepherd in December of last year when he died because of complications from canine lupus.  So, we have been without a shepherd for almost a year.  And, we missed having one.  So, Lady came to us.  Like I said, she has impecable manners, she's quiet, she eats well...she whines to go outside and do her "business", we are taking her with us.  They do allow dogs at the cabins and I didn't want to leave her at home.  Ripley is okay staying at home because she's done it before, but Lady hasn't...

So, these were some of the moods of the mountains yesterday.  Beautiful, eh?  I LOVE IT when the clouds move in and start falling off the mountain!

Turn around

I went to a photography class once and the instructor told us, "Be sure, when you take a photo, that you turn around and look at what's behind you!".  So, yesterday I did and you can see the two photos below.  Look at the difference between the desert side and the mountain side!


Yesterday was one of those breathtaking days when I just couldn't WAIT to get out of the house and get going up the mountain.  And, I was rewarded with scenes like this!  WOW!  The clouds were moving in, it was a crisp, cold day...what more could I want for my first day of my 9 days' vacation?  (We have 9 days off for the Thanksgiving break...a whole week, with two weekends!)  As I traveled further up the road, it began to cool down and mist.  More photos coming!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Just a couple of things...

I've had a few people write that they are having trouble viewing this blog with Internet Explorer.  Frankly, I don't use Explorer anymore.  I use Google Chrome and I NEVER have trouble viewing other blogs.  So, I don't know what to tell you. Try viewing it with Chrome.

Also, I don't publish anonymous comments.  I realize that some people don't have a name, but if you don't, you won't see your comment published.  PERIOD.  I just delete anonymous comments, no matter how tasteful they are.  I had 7 anonymous comments on a post I did back in May and I can't figure out for the life of me why 7 people would do that.

Finally, please don't leave a comment regarding your business.  If you do, I'll just delete it. I don't care about your business and I don't think others do either.

Thank you for your cooperation.

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fobes Road fence~Friday's Fences~111612

There's a fairly well maintained dirt road up in Garner Valley called Fobes Road.  I often take it and stop and TRY to get a photo of the meadowlarks which seem to enjoy sitting on this fence, but they are too skittish and fly away!  A lot of people take this road, too, because it leads up to the PCT.  Hubby and I drive almost to the top one time, until the road got so narrow that it would have scratched the X-Terra.  So, I am content to drive down the well-used part, watch the meadowlarks, and enjoy this view!  Friday's Fences for November 16, 2012.  I have the next 9 days off and we will be spending a few days and nights up in Idyllwild!  :-)  Please come visit Friday's Fences at :

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Desert mornings

I love our mornings here in the desert.  Unfortunately, I have to drive to work on 5 of them every week...sigh...but I often take my camera with me, especially if there are clouds in the sky.  Clouds just add such a different perspective!  However, on this morning (a weekend), the sky was clear.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Small vineyard

I found this small vineyard up in Anza.  I was driving around last weekend, looking for some fall color.  I love to see vineyards.  They are so peaceful~the vines just growing and changing.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sunrise yesterday~SkyWatch Friday~110912

As I was driving to work yesterday morning, I pulled over at this spot to take a photo of the sunrise.  Just as I clicked my Nikon (I had it with me), a crow flew into the frame.  I kind of like it!  It adds an interesting perspective, don't you think?  (Click on it to enlarge...)  SkyWatch Friday for November 9, 2012.  Our first winter storm has moved in today and snow is expected down to 4,000 feet in our local mountains.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Halloween fence~Friday's Fences~110912

I know Halloween was a while ago, but who can resist these cute decorations?  The fence needs some paint, but who cares, right?  Friday's Fences for November 9, 2012. To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Fall trees~Orange You Glad It's Friday~110912

I found these trees up in Garner Valley last weekend and drove back to take another look at them.  Timeless, these are over by the Pathfinder side.  OYGIF for November 9, 2012.  To visit Orange You Glad It's Friday, please go to:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oak forest and cottonwood~Nature's Notes~110812

There is an oak forest on Highway 74.  I drive through it every time I go visit my horses.  It is on Cahuilla Indian land and they don't encourage trespassers.  In fact, they don't encourage people to stop there at all.  However, this is one of my favorite spots to stop (there are turnouts) and roll down the windows and just LISTEN.  I can hear woodpeckers and noisy scrub jays!  One time I saw 2 deer near this spot.  I've seen coyotes cross the road in this area and a vulture in one of the oak trees.  I am glad they are preserving this area because it would be a terrible thing to be developed.  So, I thank the Cahuilla Indians for allowing me to stop there and breathe in the air and listen to the sounds!  :-)  Nature Notes for November 8, 2012.   To visit Nature Notes, please go to:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunrise yesterday~SkyWatch Friday~110212

I grabbed my camera as I drove to work yesterday because I had about 15 extra minutes.  Instead of taking the freeway, I drove down Varner Road, out past the sand dunes.  Not only did I see a beautiful sky, but I also saw a coyote run across the road.  I love the dunes down there and they are unspoiled by tire tracks because they are part of the Coachella Valley Preserve.  Who knows what I'll find this morning!  SkyWatch Friday for November 2, 2012.   To visit SkyWatch Friday, please visit:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Virginia Creeper~Nature Notes~110112

Last weekend, the Virginia Creeper was in its full glory.  There is a little enclave of houses up in Garner Valley.  They aren't the large ranches there, but rather small cottages right off the main highway.  I love to drive through that area and look at their fences and yards.  In the fall, I enjoy looking at the Virginia Creeper change from green to red.  Nature Notes for November 1, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:  I hope you all made it through the storm okay and you and your families are safe.