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, August 21, 2016

Idyllwild break

Hubby and I took a 4 day break and drove up to Idyllwild.  We rented our favorite cabin up there for 3 nights and took the dog with us.  The Silver Pines Lodge, near the middle of town, but on a quiet street, is dog friendly and Ripley has been there before.  Besides, it was 115 down here in the desert.  Who wouldn't want to leave town?

We arrived Tuesday afternoon.  It was in the 90's up in the mountains, but we turned on the swamp cooler and awaited the 4 p.m. cool down.  And, yes, it was right on time!  Out we went to the back porch to enjoy some wine, cheese, crackers, and grapes.  The blue jays hadn't shown up yet, or the gray squirrels either.

By morning, however, they were all there.  We were also visited by a family of woodpeckers, 3 rabbits, a cute little chipmunk, and even a flicker!  I brought a peanut butter suet thing and I stuck it in the tree closest to the porch and the birds enjoyed it, so I left it there.

Hubby even saw a meteorite on the last evening!  I saw 3 deer right in the middle of downtown and once, when I was out taking Ripley for a walk, a hawk sailed right by me!  It was close enough I could have reached out and touched it, if I wasn't holding onto the dog!

It was a nice break and I'm glad we got out of the desert those hot, hot days.  Temps are now back into the 107/108 range and nights are FINALLY down into the high 70's here.  Looks like our summer heat wave may be over!  We've had monsoon storms the last couple of days, too.


 This was the buck.  There were 2 does with him.  They crossed the street right in front of me in town!
 Little chippers!

 One of the woodpeckers.  There was a family group of 4...
 What are YOU looking at?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A week's break from the heat and then...

We have had wonderful mornings here all this week (so far).  I even went out this morning and raked up tons of mesquite pods, raked the now-defunct strip of non-grass next to the driveway, and pulled more weeds out of my flower patch out front.  I'm trying to get that area ready for my fall plantings!  I can hardly wait!!!  But, in the meantime, I really do need to clean it out.  I've ordered the following seeds: California poppies, desert lupine, wild sunflowers (for next spring), and a couple of desert and full sun mixtures.

So, the front yard is starting to shape up quickly.

I have 4 hummingbirds (3 males and 1 female) who have managed to weather the summer heat here, so I have to clean out their feeders every other day.  I cleaned and filled them all up this morning.  I make my own mixture of sugar and water.  I don't like to use the commercial ones...too many artificial ingredients.

In the meantime, we have armies of ants in the house!  I found a trail yesterday after the damn dog emptied out the kitchen trash onto our living room floor!  Grrrrrrr!  I vacuumed up ants all afternoon.  I don't like to use pesticides at all.  First, my husband is EXREMELY sensitive to them and also, with all the birds around, I am hesitant to use them.  I did sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the carpet, and then I had to vacuum all of that up, too!  It did seem to do the job.  However, I see ant hills outside and I am going to have to spray those.  Otherwise, I have 10,000 ants INSIDE!  Ugh!

Our daughter is already back at school and our grandson, too.  My old district will start next week.  I'm so thankful I don't work any more!  (...doing the happy dance...)Ugh.  I doubt I would have made it through another year.  30 is long enough, don't you think?


morning clouds coming over from Arizona yesterday morning...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Purging and cleaning

I've been officially retired since April 30th, which now makes it the beginning of my 15th week of retirement this week.  15 WEEKS!  My gosh!  WHERE did the time go?

I've managed to donate about 4 carloads of school stuff to charity.  I have about 1 more carload of stuff.  I got rid of old boxes of crayons, colored pencils, erasers, rubber stamps, books, books, and more books.  Boxes of pencils went, as well as composition books.  It was good to purge all that!

I still have stuff lined up in the hallway, however.  Frankly, it has been TOO DANG HOT here to even venture outside after 9:00 a.m. and by late afternoons, I'm too tired to drag myself out of the house.  This week, however, we have mornings down in the 78 to 79 degree range, so this would be a good week to get my last load of stuff to charity.

THEN, like Carson over at the 7 MSN..., I can start on the house.  Really?  I have 4 different dish sets of 4 plates each.  It's just hubby and I now, so WHY do I need 16 plates? I need to clean out our coffee mugs and donate a BUNCH of them.  Again, why do I have 20 coffee mugs?

I have managed to clean out the pantry.  And, I've made one sweep through my closet.  THAT resulted in 7 big bags for charity.  NO MORE skirts!  Ugh!  I bought skirt after skirt and then I didn't wear them because they didn't have pockets!   (...pulling out hair...)

We tend to hibernate during the summer months here in our desert because of the heat.  Really, WHO wants to go outside when it is 117 degrees?  Or 112?  Even 109 is unbearable.  By Wednesday, this week, however, it should be down to about 103.  I think I can deal with that!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Anza and Aguanga

When hubby and I visit our son and his family in Temecula, we travel through Anza and Aguanga.  Neither one is a large town.  Anza has a post office, a store, a hardware store, a Dairy Queen, and some small businesses.  Aguanga has... a post office and one store.

However, the scenery is absolutely beautiful as one travels down Highway 79.  I can't wait for fall, when the cottonwoods turn yellow.  The road winds through some badlands, but along the way is the metal sculpture garden.  I don't always stop there, but I always enjoy it when I do.  And, now Temecula will have a certified farmers' market every Tuesday, so that sounds like a good day to be in Temecula, eh?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Short visit with the horses

I stopped by the ranch for a short visit with the horses today on my way back from Temecula.  I had driven over to our son's place Friday afternoon to help him with some yard work.  My plan was to stop by the horse ranch Saturday on my way home and exercise the horses, but I forgot I had cleaned out my car and I didn't have my gloves and there is NO WAY I'm taking horses out of their pens without gloves!  Nope, nope!

I did manage to stop and feed them and scoop mosquito larvae out of Scout's water trough.  Ugh.  I'm going to drive back maybe Monday and empty it and scrub it out.  Yuck!  Quad's is pretty bad, too.  Neither one gets any shade and the water is hot.

The farrier is supposed to come sometime next week or the following week and I need the herd to get all their shots.  The owner is going to coordinate all this as she has a filly that will have to be tranqualized before she gets her feet done.  So, the vet and farrier will both have to arrive about the same time, same day.

On my way back down the hill, I spotted a herd of 4 bighorn sheep.  Daddy sheep wasn't too happy about sharing his girls, so off they went!

 One of the females.  Can you see the legs of the other one?  I originally thought there were only 3, but then saw the juvenile.
 Papa didn't like me...
 GO AWAY and STAY AWAY from my girls!
 2 of his girls...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Idyllwild getaway

Hubby and I got away for 3 nights up in our local mountains, in Idyllwild.  We rented one of the cabins that our family loves to visit.  It has a nice east-facing porch, which also has a railing, so we took our dog, Ripley, with us.

We drove up Monday morning and checked in a 2 p.m. and relaxed on the porch.  There were blue jays, woodpeckers, quail, gray squirrels, rabbits, a chipmunk, and even a tiny chipmunk!  I enjoyed watching their antics.  The local market sells peanuts by bulk and I bought some for the blue jays and squirrels.

It got up to 91 degrees up there Thursday, but it is 116 down here in the desert today and will be for the next couple of days.  Ugh.  We drove home Thursday morning and we are hibernating for the next week.

Ripley really enjoyed the cool mornings and evenings.  Of course, she HAD to go for walks at midnight, but at 4 a.m. one morning, I heard a saw-whet owl calling!  I didn't hear any coyotes this trip, but the red tailed hawks were out every morning and afternoon.

It was good to get away from the desert for a few days.

 Ripley enjoying the porch.
 The porch
 Reflection of pine trees in window
 pine trees! :-)
Shady porch

Monday, July 18, 2016

Quick visit to the horses

Hubby and I went to Temecula Saturday night and returned to the hot, hot, hot desert Sunday afternoon.  We stayed with our son and his family.

On the drive home, we stopped by the horse ranch for a quick horse visit.  I needed to buy more pellets for Quad and Gigondas anyway.  It was HOT by the time we got there (about noon)...dry, dusty, and HOT!  Ugh.  And, next weekend, it will be 115/116 here in the desert.  Oh, joy!

Anyway, it was good to get out of the desert for an overnight trip and see the fog roll in down in Temecula!  I miss the fog and the cool mornings.

 From our Saturday evening after-dinner walk
 Another twilight view
 Early morning fog...
 and more fog...
 Fog started to burn off
The year round pond by their house...