Header photo

I took this photo in the eastern Sierras, off Highway 395, at the Owens Gorge Road. I love those mailboxes and every time we travel to the Sierras, we drive by them just to see them!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fall leaves in December, Watery Wednesday, Dec 31, 2008

We were all amazed to still see beautiful fall leaves on the trees in Northern California. Many of the trees still had their yellow, orange, and red leaves on them! Aren't the colors pretty even though they were in the water on the street? For other beautiful pics, please visit Watery Wednesday at http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/. If you wish to read more about our trip, please visit my other blog: http://deserthorses.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Autumn colors in San Anselmo

After we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge, we stopped in San Anselmo, CA. Hubby wanted to find a wine store there that carried his favorite sparking Alsatian wine. We found it and I let them wander around the store while I wandered around town. Aren't the colors pretty?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Scenic Sunday December 28, 2008

Every trip to Napa and Sonoma is a different experience for us. Sometimes we drive up in the autumn, but winter was upon us this trip. It rained steadily the day I took this photo. The vines need the rain, but I was freezing! I liked the lone oak tree beside the vineyard. For more Scenic Sunday pics, please visit: http://scenicsunday.blogspot.com/

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Path December 25, 2008

We crossed this road after a very long, narrow bridge near Sonoma, CA when we visited family during the Christmas break. It was very foggy that day. The fog hung along the tops of the mountains, sometimes disappearing, then reappearing in the valleys of Sonoma. I liked this view looking back on the road we had just traveled.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


As we drove up into our local mountains to check out our horses yesterday, we were amazed to see all the snow that accumulated during Wednesday's storm. It was down to about 2,000 feet, which is very low, especially three days after the storm! There were a few cars that had stopped along the roadside, but, unfortunately, most of the turnouts weren't cleared of the snow, so cars had to pull off on the few roads that had been cleared. It was a beautiful, clear, crisp day...the calm before the next storm!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Light December 18,2008

I drove out to the Indian canyons in Palm Springs, CA one November day. The desert was cloudy and the clouds were moving quickly. Shadows were changing and the sunlight was poking through at various times and angles. I snapped a few photos like this one out by the entrance to the Indian canyons. There was a very light mist that afternoon. Hubby and I actually hiked down Palm Canyon the next afternoon, Thanksgiving Day. For more Thursday Challenge photos, please visit:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Salton Sea, CA

Once in a while, on a really crisp, clear day, one can see all the way to the Salton Sea. Do you see it sticking out on the right hand side of the picture? From this point, it is about 50 miles away. My previous school used to be about 25 miles away from it. You can only get a glimpse of it from this highway, but I always look out to see it. The Coachella Valley is pockmarked by various green belts of agricultural land. I wish there were more vantage points from this highway, but there aren't. If you drive up Interstate 10 to Blythe, you get a good view of the valley looking back, so I'll have to drive out there someday and take some photos. I like the late afternoon shadows in this photo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Camera Critters: giraffes at the Living Desert, CA

I love how their necks seem to make a big X! Aren't they beautiful? The Living Desert Reserve is located in Palm Desert, CA.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scenic Sunday December 7, 2008

A glimpse into the past? Or is it the present? Andreas Canyon outside of Palm Springs, CA.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Skywatch Friday, December 5, 2008

I took this photo in Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, on the day before Thanksgiving last week. I was in Palm Springs, helping our daughter prepare for the feast, and I really wanted to drive out to the Indian canyons as the clouds were moving across the mountains and were so pretty! If you click on the photo, you can see the shaft of light poking through the clouds. I know it's dark, but that's how it was that day. Now we've had several clear days, but clouds are forecast again for the weekend. For other Skywatch photos, please visit: http://skyley.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

That's My World for Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We don't get storms very often here in the lower desert of Southern California, so when we do, it is always interesting to look at the clouds and landscape. We did have a day of rain a couple of weeks ago, before the Thanksgiving Day storms, and I went outside with my camera. The streets were wet, the sand was wet, the plants were wet, and everything smelled so fresh and good! I liked the way the clouds hovered around our desert mountains. Next time it rains, I'll be sure to also venture outside with my camera!
For other amazing photos, please visit: That's My World.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Camera Critters: African cattle, Living Desert Reserve 113008

We went up to the Living Desert Reserve yesterday afternoon, when the afternoon shadows were long. Our last part of the visit was to their African village. It was feeding time and the African cattle were demanding their hay! They were VERY demanding! And, with those horns, when they want their dinner, they GET their dinner! Just look at them! For more critters, please visit: http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Palm Canyon Scenic Sunday November 30, 2008

If you take Highway 111 in Palm Springs, CA out to where it curves around and then heads out toward Indio and Palm Desert, you can drive out to the Indian canyons. There are three canyons there: Palm Canyon, Murray Canyon, and Andreas Canyon. Hubby and I drove out to Palm Canyon on Thanksgiving Day and were rewarded with this view from the parking lot. This canyon extends 15 miles up to the Cahuilla Indians' oak groves up on Highway 74.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Snowy day and Indian canyons

When we have a snowy or cloudy or rainy day here in the desert, it is an excellent opportunity to get out and take some photos. The rain washes away any "haze" (pollution) and the desert plants give off wonderful odors! The contrast of sky and clouds is amazing! I took these pics on our way out to the Indian canyons at the end of Palm Canyon Drive (Highway 111) in Palm Springs on Thanksgiving Day. It was snowing at the top of the San Jacinto mountains and it was sprinkling a bit on the valley floor, but it was a great day to get outside.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Palm Canyon

If you drive out to the curve of Palm Canyon Drive and go toward the Indian canyons, a whole new world opens up. I forgot that hubby and I actually did visit the Indian canyons once when we were first married, about 33 years ago! He used to hang out in them during his high school days, when there were no entrance kiosks and you didn't have to pay to enter the canyons. Now there is a booth where you pay $8.00 per adult and the canyons close at 5:00 p.m. daily. But, they are open every day of the year and when we got the turkey in the oven, we drove out to see the canyons yesterday. There are several canyons there: Palm Canyon, Murry Canyon, and Andreas Canyon. We didn't go to Murray Canyon, but we did walk down the trail to Palm Canyon. I haven't uploaded my photos yet, but I did take these on Wednesday, when I stopped by for a few minutes. The clouds were moving quickly across the sky and the sunlight was peeking out from behind the clouds.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Thanksgiving Day, 2008! I hope each and every one of you has a great day with family and friends!

We are spending the day in Palm Springs, CA with our daughter, son, future daughter-in-law, future son-in-law, his parents, and his two brothers! 10 people in all. It will be our daughter's turn to cook the turkey (a first!). I am thankful that we are all here to celebrate this holiday together and bring our two families together.

I want to tell you about Chris. Chris is 27 years old, an Iraqi war veteran. He enlisted in the Army. When his unit unfortunately activated an IED, several of his buddies were killed. Chris was wounded, sent to the hospital with a leg wound, and sent back into battle the next day. Another IED exploded. Two more of his buddies were killed. Chris lost an eye because shrapnel went through his goggles. He was sent home. He is strangly quiet a lot of the time, but I did see a few glimpses of humor when I met him yesterday. He also has 4 stars of his arm and numerous other tattoos. I asked my daughter what the 4 stars were for. She replied, "Those are for his buddies who died in the explosions. That's how he remembers them." I was unusually quite while I digested that news. He is also the recipient of two Purple Hearts for saving other members of his squad. 27 years old and to have been through so much... I am thankful that Chris is here with us today to celebrate Thanksgiving and I'm thankful for all the other young men and women who have put their lives in harms' way to protect our country. May God bless them all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Watery Wednesday November 26, 2008

Back in the time when hubby and I used to go to Hollywood Park race track, I took this photo of the ponds in the infield. HP maintains their ponds and flowers. I always worried about the birds that flew into the ponds, but apparently the horses get used to them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scenic Sunday Nov 23, 2008 Norman Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA

During our trip to Paso Robles two years ago, we stopped at Norman Vineyards. It was a lot of fun and the people there were very friendly! We tried some of their wines and brought some home. We love their "Monster Zin" and the Norman Conquest. I saw the shadow that this tree on their patio made and I liked the way it looked, so while everybody else was still enjoying sipping their wines, I slipped outside for a stroll around their tasting room.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Desert cactus

This picture was taken at the Living Desert Reserve one spring. Can you see the blossoms on the cactus?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Watery Wednesday for November 19, 2008

Even the desert has ponds, usually called an oasis. This pond is at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA. I used to love to go there and just sit and smell their pond (and watch the ducks)! It was very relaxing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That's My World for Tuesday, Nov 18 2008

My local park on an early morning, about 6:30 a.m. Even the ducks were still asleep! For other photos, check out That's My World Tuesday at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scenic Sunday Nov 16 2008

When I drove up the hill this morning to visit the horses, I pulled off and went out a dirt road that had several homes on it. I haven't been on this particular road for over 15 years, when my friend Barbara used to live on it. It was a cool, crisp, clear morning and from this point, I was looking down into the Coachella Valley. The Santa Ana winds cleared out all haze and dust from the valley below and it was a beautiful view. For more terrific views, please stop by:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ABC Wednesday 111208 Q is for

Quail! We found this little quail in a tree at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, CA several years ago. We used to have quail in our neighborhood 30 years ago. Just a couple of years ago, there actually was one pair that were STILL in our area! They have moved away due to all the housing developments, but up at the LDR and in the mountains, they are plentiful. This is one of the few photos I actually have of one of our desert quail!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Camera Critters #31 Mexican wolf, Living Desert Reserve

I have always loved wolves. Well, next to horses, that is. Horses were ALWAYS my first love, but wolves came next. Interesting huh? A prey species and a hunter/killer species. Hmmm....Before I had my first horse, my students shared my interest in Mexican wolves. California doesn't have any wolves any longer (they are all extinct, like the Grizzly bear on our flag), but Arizona is home to the wolf release program and the Living Desert participates in this release area. Hubby and I were fortunate, several years ago, to spend a week up in the Mogollon Rim and one day we drove out to the wolf release area in Arizona. We followed a dirt road and found signs that indicated this, indeed, was the correct area. I scouted the low lying rocks, but of course, saw NOTHING. But, I'm glad we did visit it.

So, after that, I became quite interested in the Mexican wolves at the Living Desert. I would stop by after school to observe them (always with camera in hand). I'd heard that they would howl when firetrucks went by, so I'd sit by their enclosure (just in case a fire truck or ambulance was in the neighborhood), but I never heard them howl. My class became "The Wolf Pack" and when they visited the LDR, they asked ALL kinds of questions about the Mexican wolves. I became quite attached to Cisco, the male Mexican wolf. I was saddened to hear of his passing a couple of years ago. I don't visit the Living Desert much now (I'm still a member), but with 5 horses to train....

Anyway, I was fortunate one visit to see Cisco and another wolf. Usually the wolves are sacked out, sleeping in the afternoon, but I believe this was one morning when the LDR had just released them (yes...I used to get there right at "wolf release time"!) on Saturdays!

So, enjoy Cisco's photo. Wasn't he beautiful?
To enjoy more animal photos, be sure to visit Camera Critters@

Friday, November 7, 2008

Please sign the wolf petition

I haven't posted a political post yet, BUT...

This is just OUTRAGEOUS! The purposeful murder of a wolf pack and its pups is abhorent. There are places that would have taken the pups and raised them and re-released them. This is just MURDER and I am OUTRAGED! Please, if you have any compassion for wild wolves, go to this website and sign the petition!

My thanks to this website for their wolf pup photo:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ABC Wednesday 110508 P is for peacock

I grew up in Arcadia, CA, which is home of the LA County Arboretum. My parents' house was only 1 block away from the arboretum, in "The Rancho" area. We were one of the areas inhabited by the arboretum's peacocks. Everybody thought they were a nuisance, but I always loved them! To this day, if I hear a peacock, I think of my family home. Many ranches do have peacocks. They are great watchdogs! This handsome fellow was at the arboretum in 2005 when hubby and I went back for a visit. Isn't he gorgeous? If you want to see more beautiful photos, please visit ABC Wednesday at http://abcwednesdayround3.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scenic Sunday November 2, 2008

The little town of Idyllwild, CA is always decorated so pretty for Halloween! Hubby and I decided to visit it yesterday afternoon and grab some lunch. It is located 10,834 feet above sea level, on the second highest mountain range in Southern California. Mt. San Jacinto was formed not from a volcano, but from the pressure of two earthquake faults moving against each other. I was actually up there once during a fairly sizeable earthquake (many years ago) and I could hear the rumble coming before I felt the earthquake. Believe me, when you are up 10,000 on solid granite, you can HEAR earthquakes coming before they hit. And, when it hit, instead of the usual soft movement of sand, it was a sharp JOLT of granite! Anyway, we enjoyed our lunch and the pretty scenery!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reflections: Watery Wed 10/29/08

When we went to Canyon de Chelly this summer, in August, we were surprised to see so much standing water! There was water everywhere! This little pool was right on the walkway to Canyon de Chelly, Spider Rock overview. I liked the reflection in the water.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Canyon de Chelly on an August afternoon

We stopped by Canyon de Chelly on our long vacation to the 4 corners states this summer. We arrived in the afternoon during a monsoon storm. The clouds were very pretty! There was a terrific thunderstorm that night and it knocked out the power to our hotel! The next morning we arose at 4:30 a.m. and went out to the canyon, but this picture was taken the afternoon we arrived.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

photo for Watery Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I took this photo in 2006 at the Monterey Aquarium, in Monterey, CA. I liked it because the sunlight was shining down through the kelp, sending rays of light through the water. You can also see a school of small fish in the back.

Fire in the desert

As I was driving down the mountain road Saturday, I saw a plume of smoke drifting across the desert valley floor. I stopped and took these photos. It was a fire at a green waste plant in Mecca, CA.