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!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shadows~~SkyWatch Friday May 1, 2009

This empty walkway caught my eye at one of the vineyards in Paso Robles. I believe that in the summer it is covered by wisteria, but, during the winter, the wisteria is dormant. SkyWatch Friday for May 1, 2009.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost Hills, CA

We love to travel to Paso Robles and one spring, a couple of years ago, we drove through the Lost Hills. They aren't lost anymore, but they had a beautiful tinge on them! They are west of Interstate 5, north of Bakersfield, and east of Paso Robles.

Monday, April 27, 2009

meadowlark! Mellow Yellow for Monday, April 27, 2009

Up in the mountains, where I board my horses, are many meadows. I like to drive down this road and see the meadowlarks, like this one, who landed on a strand of barbed wire! He let me approach and take his photo. Mellow Yellow for Monday, April 27, 2009.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tiny yellow flowers and poppies~~Mellow Yellow for 042009

We saw a lot of wildflowers on our drive to and from Ramona last week. This hillside was covered with tiny yellow ones (click to enlarge) and California poppies. Isn't it pretty? Mellow Yellow for Monday, April 20, 2009. Back to work today!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our trip to Ramona, CA (road trip!)~~Scenic Sunday for April 19, 2009

Since this is my California blog, I thought I should post some pics about our trip to Ramona, CA on Thursday. Ramona, as you may or may not know, was hard hit by the fires last summer. A few people weren't able to get their horses out in time because the flames moved so quickly, so I wasn't sure what hubby and I were going to see this week on our trip. We didn't see any of the fire-burned areas on this trip. We specifically wanted to visit the Ramona Cafe, which was featured on "Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins" on the Food Network. Their Cordon blue chicken sandwich looked absolutely divine and I liked how they made everything fresh daily. So, EARLY Thursday morning, off we headed to Ramona. The hills along the way are very green right now, thanks to all the rainy and cool weather we've had this spring. There were still wildflowers out...purples and yellows dotted the hills. Cows were contentedly grazing, hawks were flying...it was a joy to get out for a road trip! We arrived in Ramona and found the Ramona Cafe (right on Main Street) and went in for lunch. I ordered a turkey melt and hubby ordered a chicken sandwich. Oh, my! What a delicious sight and aroma greeted us when we got our orders! We settled back to enjoy our lunch and I spotted a farm feed store right across the street! (What luck, since I needed a bunch of supplies for the horses!) So, off we went across the street and then to the hardware store to find a saw for hubby to hack away at the branches of our fallen Chinaberry tree (a very large branch cracked and crashed to the ground with a THUD during our wind storm this week!). We had a couple of other errands to do and ...my goodness! We ended BACK at the Ramona Cafe later in the afternoon for desserts (apple crunch and a chocolate cake) and coffee before heading home. It was a long day, but a beautiful and productive one! Here are some pics from our Ramona trip.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

From 55 to 80 in one day!

Our weather abruptly changed overnight...from 55 to 80 degrees! After our terrific windstorm here Tuesday night (and cleanup Wednesday), it is now climbing up to the 90's here in the desert. Yesterday was in the 80's...clear, bright, and sunny! On Thursday hubby and I took the day and drove to Ramona, CA to check out the Ramona Diner! It was well worth the over-two hour drive! These beautiful cattle were along the way. Can you see how green the hills were? Now the forecast is for the low 100's by next week. Go figure!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snow storm on mountain~~SkyWatch Friday 041709

Hubby and I drove up to our horses yesterday (Wednesday) and noticed the gathering clouds on Santa Rosa Mountain on our way up. It was windy and cold where the horses are and Doc, our vet, was coming out to innoculate them for their yearly shots, so we braved the cold and wind. He commented about the cold, too, and he's a mountain man! In the hour we were there, this storm dropped a dusting of snow on Santa Rosa Mtn! We saw the snow on our way back down the mountain and it was mostly gone today(Friday). It's just one of the features of these mountains, which are over 5,000 feet tall. Snow storms come quickly over the mountains, full of moisture, deposit their snow, and move on! SkyWatch Friday for April 17, 2009.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two sleeping giants (mountains) ABC Wednesday 041509

My local mountains, Mt. San Jacinto, which towers above Palm Springs, and Mt. Gorgonio, which includes the towns of Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, both arise from the desert floor to over 10,000 feet straight up. Especially Mt. San Jacinto, since it is formed from the earthquake activity along the San Andreas fault and rises to its peak very quickly. The Palm Springs tram goes up this mountain, from sea level to over 10,000 feet. I drove out to Sky Valley and got a good view of the two mountains one day on my spring break vacation. They have been covered by clouds for a couple of days, so I was fortunate to get these pics when I did! The bottom ones are Mt. San Jacinto, near Palm Springs. The top ones are Mt. Gorgonio, which includes the towns of Big Bear, Arrowbear, and Lake Arrowhead. Despite their cone shape, these two mountains are NOT volcanic. They were created by two plates of the North American continent moving different directions. The Palm Springs side is moving north at the rate of about 1 inch per year (if I remember correctly)...eventually Palm Springs will move north! Yeah! I'm going to be near San Francisco in about 6 million years! There have been some very large earthquakes along the San Andreas fault and these two mountains. I was up on Mt. San Jacinto when an earthquake hit in the valley, about 8 years ago, and believe me, I could really FEEL that granite moving! And, rumbling! The local Cahuilla Indians have a legend to explain it...there was a giant called Tahquitz (Tahquitz Canyon is named after him...) and he usually slept, but when he moved and stretched out his arms, well, that was an earthquake! So, let's hope he continues to sleep for many more years. We are WAY OVERDUE for a big earthquake here near Palm Springs. So, Tahquitz, SLEEP WELL! ABC Wednesday for April 15, 2009.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Snow in our mountains

An April storm dumped 2-3 inches of fresh snow in our local mountains this weekend. It was an unexpected storm and surprised even the locals. Hubby suggested we drive up there for a hot breakfast at our favorite restaurant and bakery, The Bread Basket, so off we went! And we weren't disappointed by the food or the scenery!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Above our desert, in mountains that rise over 10,000 feet, are some of the most pristine forests in Southern California, the San Jacinto mountains. The little town of Idyllwild is in these mountains. On the other side of the valley, Mt. Gorgonio rises over 11,000 feet and the towns of Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead lie there. I am most familiar with the San Jacinto mountains, since our horses are boarded about halfway up them. I drove up through Garner Valley, near where I took the pics of the little yellow flowers, and drove off road through dirt roads to see the beauty that the mountains offered. And, I wasn't disappointed...enjoy! These beautiful trees are only about 30 minutes up the road from the desert!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tiny yellow flowers~~Mellow Yellow for 040609

While I was out driving around the mountains yesterday, I took someone's advice and looked down and spied these tiny yellow flowers. I was actually taking photos of an old, broken down house when I saw them and decided to focus on them. Aren't they pretty?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fields of mustard~~SkyWatch Friday 040309

About this time last year hubby and I drove to Paso Robles for spring break. The hills were covered with wild mustard, as you can see. Sometimes the wineries will plant mustard between the rows of vines in order to put nutrients back into the soil, but this mustard was growing wild in the hills by Paso Robles. Isn't it beautiful? SkyWatch Friday for April 3, 2009.