Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay, October, 2015. That's Scout in the arena.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Living Desert

Hubby is working this weekend so Saturday morning I decided to drive up to the Living Desert Reserve and walk around before the crowds came.  As a member, I can get in early.  It was so nice and quiet there.  A few people were doing early morning walks and some of the animals were having their enclosures cleaned.  I got to spend some time near the mountain lion exhibit.  I always enjoy seeing her.

By the time I was done, I was sweating!  Phew!  It got hot quite soon yesterday.  I'm glad I got out and walked around for about an hour.  I used to do this after school, but then they changed our dismissal time and now I would have to rush to get there before 4 p.m.  I could do it, but I'd be so tired that I wouldn't enjoy it.

I sure enjoyed it Saturday morning, however!!!

 Mr. Badger was out and not sleeping!

 Brittlebrush are blooming...
Old palo verde tree

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Loki is gone...RIP Loki

He was nearly 21 years old.  I found him up at our local Petsmart back in 1996, the year after we got Maverick, one of our German Shepherds and he was already a year old when I adopted him.  It was our son, who was still in high school, who named him Loki (the Norwegian god of mischief). He outlived both Maverick and Rommel, two of our male German Shepherds and then Lady.  He is the oldest-living cat I've ever owned, or animal, for that matter. I watched him go from a vibrant, energetic cat in his prime to an old -man cat.  He would wander around the front yard and even the birds would make fun of him, but he didn't mind.  I built him a little house right outside the front door, where he could feel the warm air coming out.  We have had some frosty nights, so I put a sheet and then a nice, warm blanket over it and I made sure the sides were covered.  He had two cat beds (so he could choose) and the minute I would step outside, he would come out of his "fort".  Water dribbled down his chin when he drank and sometimes it seemed like he was confused.  But, I didn't wish to take him from the ONLY home he had known for nearly 21 years.  He died peacefully out back, in his own yard, and I buried him right where he fell.

RIP, Loki...I will miss your mischievous soul.

Loki giving me a sniff.  He had the most beautiful sky blue eyes I've ever seen, except for my Viking grandfather, my maternal grandfather.  They both had light blue eyes.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Other critters at the ranch

Besides the horses, there ARE other animals who live in & around the ranch where I board the herd.  First, there is a family of ravens who have lived in one of the oak trees for generations.  Their nest is a complete MESS, but every Spring, the young ones are out with the parents having flying lessons.  It's fun to watch them.  And, the ranch owner throws out dead mice for them every morning.  She captures them in one of her aviaries and the ravens are eagerly awaiting their breakfast each morning!

I've also seen two snake skins and 2 LIVE gopher snakes.  I screamed at the first one and her husband came running and beheaded it, so when the second one came out of the same faucet, I put my hand over my mouth and put on my BIG GIRL PANTS and didn't scream and it got away.  Phew!

Unfortunately, one time the owner DID see the markings of a sidewinder, but never saw the snake.  We certainly don't wish to welcome THEM onto the property.

I also found the skeleton of a snake once.  I should start collecting these things!

There is an owl who lives in the pine tree next to the front gate and one time I accidentally flushed it out.  Then, there is a hawk who lives nearby and who preys upon the baby quail.  Gosh darn!  Out of 24 babies one year, only 6 survived...

Many cottontails live in and around the ranch and Gigondas has a bunny friend to keep her company.
Other than that, there are a couple of loud dogs next door.  There used to be a German Shepherd up at the ranch right above theirs, but I haven't seen or heard it in years.

A family down the street has a cow, which I hear every once in a while, and there are chickens on ranches all around.

I really DO enjoy my visits to the horses.  I'll be going up there this weekend because NO RAIN is in the forecast!  (thank goodness!)


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Metal sculptures, Aguanga

Hubby and I drove to Temecula on Saturday and stayed overnight with our son.  A storm front was moving in and by Sunday, it had rained most of the night and was still raining.  The wind was blowing the rain sideways and I had to run out to the market to buy eggs for breakfast.  Needless to say, I got soaked.  I stayed home yesterday (Monday), nursing my sore throat.  Ugh.

Anyway, we did stop at the metal sculpture place near Highway 371 and Highway 79.  Hubby didn't want to get out of the car, so I took photos of some of the sculptures I hadn't viewed before.  It was windy and cold, so I didn't stay long, but I found these:

 I LOVE these horses!
 Cutie pie!

 Not sure about this one...
HELLO THERE!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A different view



It is only during winter that the sycamore and maple trees are bare.  And, last weekend, they were bare.  They look so stark against the blue sky and clouds, don't you think?  It was still too muddy and wet to take any of the horses down to the arena, but by this next weekend, it should be okay.  We are having an entire WEEK without rain or snow!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fog!

We rarely get fog here in the desert.  I only remember seeing it a couple of times in the 40 years we've been here.  I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles and I remember fog as a kid, but the desert has two 10,000 foot mountains blocking the pass from the coast and a range of 8,000 feet (plus) blocking the western edge.  So, if we get fog, it comes up from the south.

Anyway, I was so excited to see it that I ran out with my camera before breakfast and then hopped in my car after breakfast and I drove around town (Temecula, Old Town).  It was so delightful to see the town enveloped with fog!

 Our son's backyard view...
 Looking down from their back yard...
 Foggy bridge in Old Town, Temecula...
A closeup view...

Monday, January 18, 2016

Aguanga metal sculpture garden

I spent Saturday afternoon, night, and Sunday morning in Temecula with our son and his family.  He enjoys having Mom & Dad come down, buy groceries for Saturday night dinner, and feed them!  Unfortunately, hubby couldn't come as he had to work, so off I went.

Or, so I thought.  I only got a couple of miles up Highway 74 when I noticed cars driving slowly down the hill flashing their lights.  Yup.  A wreck.  A bad one.  Cars were completely stopped and were turning around.  I was able to shout at a couple of drivers and found out that the road was completely closed ahead.  So, I too turned around and went home for an hour.  I passed 2 fire trucks, 3 CHP cars, and an ambulance on my way back down the hill.  An hour later, the road was opened and I was back heading to Temecula.

I have always wanted to stop at the metal sculpture garden in Aguanga, but, with hubby in the car, we never have.  Isn't FREEDOM wonderful?  (hee, hee!)  So, I pulled in and was amazed by the amount of sculptures there.  There were dinosaurs, horses, giraffes, elephants, deer, elk, and a lot of other creatures.  They sell from $800 to $3,000 and upwards.  The artist was there and I talked with him for a few minutes, as the dirt parking lot was filling up with people and cars!  There is even a stagecoach, 4 horses, and 2 drivers!  Further down the road (Highway 79) is an Indian sitting on a horse, but it is up on a hill and I can't located a turnout to stop and take a photo of it...sigh...and cars behind me were too close for me to stop and pull over...maybe next time I'll be able to plan ahead and find a turnout.

Anyway, I wandered around for about 30 minutes.  The grandson would LOVE this place!  There are a lot of dinosaurs to see!

If you want to visit it, it is just about 1/4 mile west of the Highway 74 and 79 junction, on Highway 79, heading toward Temecula.