Bighorn sheep on Highway 74 October 2014

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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

White picket fence, Garner Valley~Friday Fences~030113

There's a little enclave of inexpensive homes on small lots in one part of Garner Valley, which is up in the Ponderosa pines area of our local mountains.  I always enjoy driving through there whenever I can.  In fall, the Virginia creeper is bright red.  Right now, snow is on the ground.  I have certain houses, like this one, that I photograph throughout the year.  I LOVE this picket fence, don't you?  Friday Fences for March 1, 2013. To visit Friday Fences, please go to this link:

Raven and bread~Nature Notes~022813

A lot of people stop by our local park to feed the ducks and pigeons.  On this day, someone had thrown out pieces of bread.  This raven found three of them and was DETERMINED to get all three of them in its beak, so I stopped to watch.  First it got one, then it wanted two.  It got two, then wanted the third piece, but couldn't quite squeeze it in its beak.  Back to square one.  I just stood and watched and snapped away.  Finally, it got all three pieces in its beak and flew away in contentment!   :-)  Nature Notes for February 28, 2013.   To view Nature Notes, please go to this link:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mockingbird and ravens~Wild Bird Wednesday~022713

While I was out doing my 1 1/2 hour walk on Sunday morning, I noticed two ravens circling above me.  And, they were right above me.  I couldn't find what they were buzzing until I looked in a tree and there was a mockingbird.  Hmmm...did the mockingbird bother their nest?  Was he too close to it?  I don't know what the reason was, but they sure kept it up!  It was quite interesting to watch.  Once the mockingbird flew away as I crept closer, the ravens ceased their aerial exhibit and left, too, so I don't know what all the fuss was about!  Wild Bird Wednesday for February 27, 2013.  To visit WBW, please go to:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Signs that SPRING is coming~Our World Tuesday~022613

In spite of the cold and brisk wind up at the ranch yesterday, there ARE signs of spring.  First, the sycamores are getting buds on them.  And, I saw my very first two wildflowers on Highway 74 driving up the mountain!  I saw many, many more, but they haven't opened up quite yet.  But...SPRING is on the way!  Our World Tuesday for February 26, 2013.   To visit OWT, please go to:

A wonderful day to drive to the mountains! :-)

Saturday was clear and warm, but yesterday it was "gusty" here in the desert.  "Gusty" really should have said "windy and cold".  It was much colder than Saturday, but I headed out for my morning walk anyway (and well bundled up!).  While I enjoyed my walk yesterday, I REALLY wanted to get on the road up to the mountains to check on the horses and give them a noontime meal of pellets and some oil.  I also wanted to check on the wildflower progress up on Highway 74 (I spotted two yellow shrubs already blooming!) and the leftover snow from Tuesday night's storm.  Here are some pics from yesterday...enjoy!  Photos of houses and fence are up in Garner Valley.  Last photo shows ice on an automatic waterer up at the ranch.  The horses now have their water in huge tubs so that this doesn't happen!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday morning walk

I went for a LONG walk yesterday over at Desert Willow.  DW is the city-owned golf club/timeshare complex.  It's up on top of a nice little plateau and offers gorgeous views of our local mountains and the desert beyond.  I like to walk up there because it isn't crowded.  Well, USUALLY it isn't crowded, but yesterday I could barely find a parking spot!  So many people were out walking, but, then, WAS 8:00.  I'm usually done by 8:00 and I'll be heading out earlier this morning!  This was the pretty view of a desert willow and some of our early-blooming desert shrubs.  The forecast is for temps in the mid-70's for the next week, so our desert wildflowers should be blooming shortly!   :-)  Enjoy your day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Carrot harvest~Orange you Glad It's Friday~022213

There is a large field right across the street and even next to my school down in Coachella, CA.  And, this week, the agricultural company was harvesting the carrots which they planted there last fall.  The students and I have been keeping an eye on them while they were growing.  Apparently they go to Bolthouse juice because I saw a Bolthouse truck there during the harvesting.  I do believe that Peter Rabbit Farms actually donated the land for the school (and, yes, it is right adjacent to high power electrical lines!), but that's another story!  I stopped to watch the carrot harvest.  It was very interesting!  Look how the carrots hang down the conveyer belt!  The fields are now stripped clean, although a few small carrots remain.  I wonder if they will plant another crop there for the spring?  It's about 60 acres, so it is a large parcel, but this is the first crop they have grown and harvested there.  It's usually just weeds.  Orange You Glad It's Friday for February 22, 2013.   To visit OWGIF, please go to:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fence and afternoon clouds~Friday Fences~022213

I often take an afternoon walk nowadays.  I just don't have time in the school starts 30 minutes earlier this year than last year and it is still dark when I leave.  But, I have all the time in the world in the afternoons and on this day, a storm was moving into the valley.  I caught this fence and a view of the snow storm up in our local Santa Rosa mountains.  Friday Fences for February 22, 2013.  To visit Friday Fences, please go to:

Red clouds in morning~SkyWatch Friday~022213

I awoke the day after our snow storm to this view of our local mountains.  I'd arisen early enough to go for a quick walk before a morning meeting.  I'm glad I did!   :-)  SkyWatch Friday for February 22, 2013.   To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

Our mountains got SNOW!!!

This was the biggest storm we've had here all season, and for quite a while.  ALL of our local mountains surrounding the Coachella Valley were covered with snow, including those at Joshua Tree National Park.  Pinyon had more than a dusting, too.  A friend posted photos on Facebook and it looks like they got several inches of snow...deep, COLD snow!  This is a nice relief for us here in the valley because our mountains need that snow to replenish the aquifer beneath our valley.  According to our local water district (Coachella Valley Water District), this week's snow will take 8 years to filter down beneath the sands.  I'm just hoping we get a decent wildflower years!   :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"F" is for flowers~ABC Wednesday~022013

As I have already mentioned, there aren't any wildflowers blooming yet here in our desert, although I understand some are blooming over at Anza-Borrego.  We drove through Joshua Tree national park this past weekend, and we didn't see any there either.  It's just too early.  I mean, it's mid-February.  I did notice the beginnings of wildflowers up on Highway 74, driving from Palm Desert to Anza yesterday, but honestly, we haven't had much rainfall this year, and I don't think we are going to have a large wildflower season again this year.  However, there are some desert shrubs and plants blooming right now, including these.  ABC Wednesday for February 20, 2013.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pinyons~Our World Tuesday~021913

I find myself more and more attracted to our local mountains' pinyon areas as time goes by.  I think it's because of the scrub jays there.  We had one in our neighborhood until a Cooper's hawk invaded and he became dinner for the hawk who now hangs around constantly.  I really enjoy the jays.  They aren't as loud or obnoxious as blue jays and they aren't as large either.  There is just something quieting about hiking out into the pinyon forest.  I can clear my mind.  This is at about 4,000 feet.  According to our weather forecast, an Alaskan storm is making its way down California and this area will have fresh snow Tuesday night.  I already noticed the clouds sneaking down into the valley, so I'll be taking my camera with me the next few days.  Our World Tuesday for February 19, 2013.   To visit Our World Tuesday, please go to this link:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oak Grove barn~Shadow Shot Sunday~021713

This old, old barn is down by Aguanga, CA, which is at the end of Highway 79, past Anza.  We frequently pass by it on our way to Warner Springs or Julian or Ramona.  I love to stop and take photos of it.  I'm afraid that someday I'll drive by and it won't be there!  One time, when we stopped, several cows and calves were inside the barn mooing quite loudly!  Another time, it was completely deserted.  I wonder what stories it could tell?  Shadow Shot Sunday for February 17, 2013.  To visit SSS, please go to:  If you wish to read more about this barn, it is on one of my other blogs here:

Cottonwood Springs and BLM land

I've been lurking following a few RV websites where people boondock.  It really it quite interesting and, for a longer like me, (and hubby), this would seem to be ideal.  Yeah, except we are both currently working and we have two LARGE dogs and 2 cats...sigh...maybe when we retire.  Anyway, we headed out to the eastern entrance of Joshua Tree national park yesterday morning and I was eager to see how many boondockers were out there.  I only saw two trailers.  I know the land outside the park is BLM land and there was a sign for a campground, but we didn't take that road, so I really don't know how many trailers were in the campground.  But, like I said, I did see two campers parked off road, on well-used dirt roads outside the park.  It really is a gorgeous area with plenty of ocotillos.  I stopped at one point and took a short walk out into the desert.  I always enjoy looking at the animal prints in the sandy washes!  We made it to the Cottonwood Springs visitor center/weather station/ranger station and showed the rangers hubby's Golden Age passport (thank goodness I brought him along)!  It was a BEAUTIFUL day, with high clouds.  I almost spent more time taking photos of the clouds than the scenery!!!