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!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Stills Challenge, Textures at Bodie, CA, January 31, 2010

I swear that I could do each week's Sunday Stills Challenge with photos just from Bodie, CA. Bodie is such an interesting place to visit and it is a photographer's DREAM! Okay, maybe not one for flowers, since most of Bodie sits high up on a wind-swept plateau. It was such an intriguing place to visit that hubby and I stopped by one afternoon and then returned the next morning. And, it is a 13 mile drive from Highway 395 back to Bodie and the last 4 are on a very uneven dirt road! But, Bodie is definitely worth the time and the drive, don't you think? Sunday Stills Challenge for January 31, 2010.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mountain scene and snow~SkyWatch Friday, January 29, 2010

As hubby and I were driving down from our local mountains on Saturday, we pulled over in one of the turnouts to let some cars go by. We decided to stop and explore this area, since there were oak trees in it and I wanted to get some photos of them with the snow still on them. There was a blue sky background and the snow was falling off the trees. In fact, I got hit on the head by some of it! Since then, we've had a week of warm weather, so we aren't sure how much snow is left. SkyWatch Friday for January 29, 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!! ABC Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hubby and I took a ride up in our local mountains Saturday, after our 5 days of rain and snow. Some of the ranches up there still hadn't cleared their driveways! Some owners, however, were out with their little trackers, busy clearing away the snow. It was a delightful morning, but this morning, it is raining again. I'm not sure if it is cold enough for the mountains to get snow...I don't think it is. There were quite a few families from the desert valley up in the mountains and we saw many of them building snowmen! We don't get big snows like this often. I was trying to remember the last big snowfall on our mountains and I think it was about 8 years ago. So, we will be drinking this snowfall in 8 years, since that is how long it takes to percolate into our desert soils and become part of our underground aquafer. ABC Wednesday for January 27, 2010.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Desert morning after the rain~Weekend Reflections 012310

Yesterday I took a short walk up at the Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center, in Palm Desert. I tell you, there is nothing like the smell of the desert after a rain! The palm trees, the cheesebush, the creosote....aaaahhhhhhh!!! About an hour after I took these pics, it was raining again and rained on and off for the rest of the day! Weekend Reflections for January 23, 2010.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Desert clouds and fog~SkyWatch Friday 012210

Our desert and mountains have had 5 days of rain this week and are now completely saturated. It is so unusual to see low clouds on our local mountains that I headed out with my camera to see them. While this may be a common occurrance in some areas, it is, like I said, it is not a common occurrance in the desert southwest! Here are some pics from yesterday. SkyWatch Friday for January 22, 2010.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Red berries~Ruby Tuesday for 011910

I wandered out and around the horse ranch this weekend and spied these red berries. I don't know what they are (any ideas?), but they sure were interesting! Ruby Tuesday for January 19, 2010.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mountains and snow~That's My World for 011910

I took these photos about a year ago, in January, 2009. I did not get up to the mountains today and over the weekend, there weren't any clouds up there. There were lots of clouds today, but I was too busy down here in the desert. By the end of the week, the forecast is for snow down to 1,500 feet. That's very far down. Idyllwild, at the top of Mt. San Jacinto, is at about 6,000 feet. I board my horses at a ranch which is at 4,000 feet. I live at 220 feet above sea level. These photos were taken at about 3,500 feet and the mountains are much higher. Sometimes the road to the horses has snow on the sides of it, but CALTRANS does a really good job doing snow removal. That is, when the road is open! Sometimes during these winter storms, the road is open only to residents and snow tires or chains are required. And enforced. So, for now, I am in the desert looking up and our mountains are slowly being covered with snow. That's My World for Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday drive~Scenic Sunday 011710

Not far from where I board my horses is the western border of the Anza-Borrego desert preserve. Since hubby and I knew a series of storms is heading toward our local mountains, and since yesterday it was clear and sunny in the mountains, we decided to take a drive out that way and see what was up. The sun was up. The cows were out. The crows were out. And, several yuccas were enjoying the sunshine. Scenic Sunday for January 17, 2010.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekend reflections~Desert~January 16, 2010

I often take my camera and go visit the Palm Desert Visitor Center, which is near my home in Palm Desert, CA. On this weekend, the sky was blue, unlike today, when we are covered by clouds. A storm front is moving in and rain is forecast pretty much for the next 5 days. But, on this day, the palms were reflected in the small designer pools at the visitor center. Weekend Reflections for January 16, 2010. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Morning clouds~SkyWatch Friday 011510

One morning, on my drive to school, I followed an approaching storm. By the time I arrived at school, the clouds had spread all over the sky. I pulled over and stopped to take this photo, then continued on my way. I was lucky that we didn't have a staff meeting this morning, so I had a few minutes to enjoy the clouds. By afternoon, the winds had pushed all the clouds out of the sky and we have had two more days of clear, blu skies, but on this day, the clouds provided an interesting relief. SkyWatch Friday for January 15, 2010. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Z" is for...ABC Wednesday 011310 Sausal Zinfandel

Sausal Vineyard is in Northern California and we love to stop and enjoy a sampling of their old-vine ZINFANDEL. They have some very old vines and their wines have a rich, robust flavor! We stopped there with our daughter and her fiance in December, 2008. The winery was decorated for the holidays when we arrived early one morning for a visit and tasting. I was the designated driver, so I didn't sample any wines, so I wandered around and took photos. Their ZINFANDEL wines are very good and we have since bought some of them at outlets down here in the desert. ABC Wednesday for January 13, 2010.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Stills Challenge~Favorite Photos from 2009

This week's Sunday Stills Challenge was to pick our two favorite photos from 2009 and post them. Wow! What a challenge. I went through and looked at a few other posts and folks have some very unique photos! This IS a challenge! My problem is that most of my photos are on my desktop, which, as some of you know, crashed recently. But, fortunately, hubby did back up SOME of them onto Picasa, so I went through the ones which were on there and picked these two. Both of these are locations in California. The bottom on was one afternoon at Mono Lake, at the South Tufa. Storms were brewing off in the distance, toward Bodie. The top on was taken in the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine, CA. Hubby and I awoke very early one morning and were there when the sun appeared over some of the rocks there. I hope you enjoy these photos and I can't wait to see more from Sunday Stills Challenge!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Y" is for yucca...ABC Wednesday 010710

"Y" is for yucca and these are from last spring. They stood through last summer's heat and are still standing in our local mountains. I'm not sure what will happen to them over the winter when Pinyon gets snow. I'll have to watch and see! ABC Wednesday for January 6, 2010. I zoned yesterday morning and forgot to post something! DUH!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In and Around the Desert~That's My World 010510

Our desert has so many various land forms, I decided to head out early one morning during vacation to see them. The first photos show the results of the San Andreas Fault, which runs along the base of the hills in our valley. Yes, those rocks are jutting right out of the ground, right along the fault line. My school is less than 10 miles from the fault, at the lower end of the Coachella Valley. Our daughter and son can see the palms from their houses. The location of palm trees indicates ground water seeping up from beneath the sand. It is interesting to see how the pressure of the earth can actually mold the rocks so that they are no longer straight, but curved! There is a spot near Mecca, which is lower in the valley, called Painted Canyon, where the rocks are standing curved and twisted from the fault. It is a popular hiking spot and sometimes hikers get stranded there in both summer and winter. Always remember to bring extra water with you when you are out in the desert and warm clothes in winter as we are frequently having mornings down into freezing! In the desert, on a clear night, because there are no clouds to retain the day's heat, temperature will plunge overnight during the winter months. And, of course, in summer, daytime temperatures are WELL over 100 degrees! That's My World for Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Desert sunset~SkyWatch Friday 010110

We were treated to a beautiful sunset last night, the last one of 2009. That's our local mountains and Mt. San Jacinto, which towers above Palm Springs, California. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! SkyWatch Friday for January 1, 2010.