Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Helicopter rescue Saturday afternoon

I heard the "thump, thump, thump" of a helicopter nearby Sunday morning, so I ran inside to grab my camera.  We have a 3,000 foot mountain about 3 blocks away from us which has a hiking trail on it called the "Bump and Grind".  I've never hiked it (too stressful on my bad knees), but many valley residents and visitors enjoy the challenge.  I sometimes see lights on the trail at night (it is CLOSED to vehicles).  The news just reported that a hiker fell 50 feet and had to be airlifted out (since no vehicles can make it up the trail).  Here are some photos that I was able to capture yesterday.  If you click on the 3rd one down, you will see all the other hikers lined up on the trail, watching.  Apparently the hiker wasn't serious injured.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

At the end of Highway 74

At the end or bottom of Highway 74 is the Santa Rosa mountains visitor center.  If you are ever in Palm Desert, please do stop there.  They have trails and gardens and lots of videos and books relating to our local mountains.  They open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 p.m.  I often see lots of cars in their parking lot and I occasionally drop in for a visit.  But, most of the time, I stop there before they open and take a walk through their desert garden.  I see quail, hummingbirds, doves, and even jackrabbits.  It's a nice place to unwind!  So, as I walked through the area this week, this is what I saw.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Rainbow over the mountains~SkyWatch Friday~122812

I drove up into our local mountains Wednesday because I spotted a rainbow high up in the clouds.  It was lightly raining and I had the road all to myself!  :-)  I love it when it is raining and it is quiet!  I took a lot of photos of the rainbows that morning, including this one.  SkyWatch Friday for December 28, 2012.  Happy Birthday, Hal~   To visit SWF, please go to:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The border regions~Nature's Notes~122712

When I drive up into our local mountains, I often see the spot where the mountains' clouds end and hit the warm desert air.  I saw this yesterday afternoon.  The desert was warm and clear in the afternoon, but when I looked up at our local Santa Rosa mountains, they were dark and cloudy.  Hubby was taking a nap in his favorite chair and I was itching to go see if it was snowing up there (it might have been at the mountain tops), so off I went.  It's only a 10 to 15 minute drive from my house to the pinyon forest and that is usually where the border is between mountain clouds and desert heat.  Yup.  You can see it in the top photo.  Then, I took some photos of the mountains (you can see all the clouds) and on my way back down the mountain, I stopped at Vista Point, which overlooks the Coachella Valley, and took photos looking out toward the valley.  No clouds (well, just a few high ones).  The Santa Rosa mountains are to the south of Palm Desert, which means they move up from Mexico, especially in the summer during the monsoon season.  Sometimes the clouds often come in from the west.  That means that, when they are FULL of water, they hit those peaks and drop their water, thus lifting up into the desert valley or moving east.  Of course, by then, they are lighter and don't have water.  So, our local mountains often get the rainfall, like yesterday afternoon, that we in the desert don't get.  We did get a few sprinkles yesterday morning, but nothing like the downpour that the mountains received yesterday. Nature Notes for December 27, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vista Point

I stopped at Vista Point on my way back home to the desert on Monday.  This was the end of the rainbow that I'd been chasing from the top of the mountain.  There was a definite line where the warmer desert air met the cold mountain air!  And, notice that the desert was relatively clear.  That's the road I take when I drive up the mountain...see how winding it is!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas rainbows!

I chased this rainbow yesterday morning while driving up the hill to visit the herd.  They were all wet and soggy.  They got an extra meal, full of calories to help keep them warm through the cold and wet and windy day.  Merry Christmas to all!~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I wonder what I'll see today...

These were some of the things I saw last Sunday morning, driving up Highway 74 from Palm Desert to Anza.  I never know what the mountains will be like.  Yesterday it was clear.  Today it is still too early to tell.  Another storm front is moving in, however.  I'm supposed to help our daughter make sugar cookies today, so I may not be able to drive up there until tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cottonwood and clouds~SkyWatch Friday~122112

Cottonwood and clouds near Little Thomas Mountains.  SkyWatch Friday for December 21, 2012.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

Clouds and mountains

No words needed.

Cary Road ~Friday's Fences~ 122112

I drove out Cary Road last weekend.  Clouds were moving up from Temecula and a storm front was moving in and I wanted to see if there were clouds hanging on the mountains.  There were.  There were LOTS of them!  I spotted this tree and fence on my way back to the highway.  Friday's Fences for December 21, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pelicans over the valley ~Wild Bird Wednesday~121912

While driving home last Sunday after my trip to the feed store, I saw a flash of white out of the corner of my eye.  Knowing that it wasn't an eagle, I pulled over and grabbed my camera for a closer look.  It was three pelicans!  Pelicans over the Anza Valley!  Now, that's an unusual sight!  I don't know if they got blown in from the Salton Sea or from the Pacific Ocean.  They flew in perfect formation, making twists and turns.  I just sat and watched them.  Fortunately, they were circling overhead and I was able to get some decent photos of them.  I drove down another side street, but by then, they decided to move to another spot and I lost them in the clouds.  Wild Bird Wednesday for December 19, 2012.  Does anybody know what species they are?  I have no idea...   To visit Wild Bird Wednesday and see other birds, please go to:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mountain views~Our World Tuesday~ 121812

It rained last week and snowed at the higher elevations of our local Santa Rosa mountains.  I headed up there Sunday to buy pellets for the horses and to see the snow.  It was COLD and another storm front was moving in from Temecula.  But, at this hour, the mountains sparkled with the freshness that one sees after a rain storm.  Our World Tuesday for December 18, 2012.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Storm moving out

These were the last clouds from Wednesday's storm.  They were moving out Friday afternoon, but another storm is heading our way.  Snow was down to about 4,500 feet from Wednesday's storm, so it will be interesting to see how much more snow our mountains will receive from this storm.   Ahhhh....winter in the desert!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Frost on the roof

Frost on the roof up in Idyllwild last weekend.  This weekend, there should be SNOW!  :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blue Jays~Nature Notes~121312

I really enjoyed the antics of the blue jays at the cabin up in Idyllwild this weekend.  They really are problem-solvers!  I'd left the plastic bag of peanuts out on the front porch of the cabin and I could hear them getting inside it and taking out the peanuts!  Little buggers!  They sure enjoyed the peanuts and whenever I would throw some out, they would suddenly appear!  Nature Notes for December 13, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Idyllwild weekend

Hubby and I spent the weekend in one of the cabins up in Idyllwild.  I needed to get away and so did he.  We stopped by the horse ranch Friday afternoon to check on the remaining horses, and to give them 10 days' worth of psyllium to clean out the sand that they might have in their systems.  We also stopped back on Sunday afternoon.  The ranch owner has agreed to make sure they get it for the next 7 days.  Losing Cali was such a shock to us all, including the ranch owners.  She was such a happy, go-lucky little thing!  But, life goes on.  Our son and grandson spent Saturday night with us up at the cabin and our friends from Pinyon drove up for dinner, too.  We had lamb, chicken, and steak, with artichokes stuffed with garlic.  Oh, and plenty of wine.  We made smores after dinner, since the cabin had a free standing fireplace.  The grandson had a blast feeding peanuts to the blue jays and squirrels and collecting rocks. be 3 years old again!  Life is full of wonder!  We took him for a drive to see the beautiful lit trees downtown and all the lights on the shops.

I don't believe I'll ever get over Cali's loss, but this weekend was a beginning.  Not an easy one without her, but a beginning, at least.

That's all for now.

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cali is gone...RIP 12/3/12

My beautiful palomino mare, Cali, is gone.  She colicked over the weekend and her heart rate was extremely high, then she had respiratory problems.  Our vet came out to check her and oil her Sunday.  By Monday afternoon, she was put to sleep.  She was FULL of sand and apparently had a tear in her intestines and there was no way he could save her at that point.  She was in toxic shock.

My husband actually purchased both Scout and Cali at one of the BLM online auctions in 2007.  They both came from a Wyoming herd and were yearlings when we got them.  They were so goofy.  Cali was always goofy.  She was very friendly toward people.  Scout was more standoffish.  Cali behaved well and learned quickly and was very gentle.  She would have been the perfect horse for our grandson to ride.

...sigh...Why do the good ones always go first?  First, Beauty and now Cali...

I won't be posting for a while.  I need to deal with this.

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Here are some pics of Cali from one of her lessons with my trainer this summer.