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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Enjoying these days of autumn

I'm loving the soft, autumn light that comes through my craft room window every afternoon.   It has that golden touch. 

Birds are returning to the desert.   I went to COSTCO 2 days ago and bought 5 bags of birdseed for $5.99 each.   They are the 20 pound ones.   Today I'm going to WalMart and buy 2 bags of sunflower seeds for $8.99 each (I think they are 40 pounds?).   Anyway the Cooper's hawk is keeping the birds away pretty much now.   They fly in early in the morning, stuff themselves, and then leave before he/she swoops down from above.

Hottest day this week will be tomorrow (of COURSE...the day I have to go pick up the granddaughter from school at 1 pm).   Then, temps go back down into the low 90's and upper 80's, which are PERFECT DAYS here!

Just a few pics from this summer below: (all photos taken at the Living Desert Reserve here in town)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hummingbird encounter!

Yesterday morning I noticed that my 9 hummingbird feeders ALL needed a cleaning and refill, so I took them all down, scrubbed them, cleaned them, and refilled them with sugar water.   While I was taking one out to the back yard, the female hummingbird who seems to like to stay in our yard all summer came up to the feeder as I was holding it and took several LONG drinks.   She cautiously eyed me, but didn't fly away, content to get a nice, fresh, nourishing breakfast!   And, I got a nice look at her.   What an experience!

I'm sitting here now at my desk and 2 verdin are in the acacia tree right outside the window.   I bought a thistle seed sock at WalMart and yup!   There they go...right to the thistle seed!   I'll have to stock up on it.   They are making the little sounds I heard yesterday morning, I guess, because I hear it again today.  And, the other one is answering back.   It is a male and female.   The male has a LOT of yellow on him!!!

I'm going to meet a friend at the Rancho Mirage library this morning.   They have an Aspen Mills little cafe there where one can buy coffee, bread, or GINORMOUS chocolate chip cookies!   I like to take the 6 year old there, but her mother said "NO MORE SUGAR!", so we definitely won't be going there for cookies!

Oh, wait...there is ANOTHER bird with yellow here this morning...he is in one of the feeders and I can't really see him, but I saw his yellow underbelly!   MORE VISITORS are returning to the desert!   YAY!

I listened to the crows go to sleep last night and they were calling until about 10 p.m.   I was reading one of the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child agent Pendergast novels (Still Life with Crows) and I couldn't put it down, but my eyes got heavy...FINALLY!

Until next time!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

FALL is here!

I love sitting at my tiny desk, with my laptop in the morning watching all the birds come to the feeders for breakfast and there is quite a crowd this morning!    On the mornings when the Cooper's hawk is on the hunt, however, like yesterday, the front yard is quiet and empty.   But, today it is happily full.   I heard the call of a new little bird this morning, so I'm thinking the migratory birds must be back.   Then I heard the soft reply of its mate.   That really perked me up!    Our neighborhood woodpecker was out pecking and cackling in the mesquite yesterday and I need to fill up my hummingbird feeders this morning.   So many chores to do before 7 a.m.!!!

I've got hollyhock seeds planted in the back yard and they have already sprouted in our 95 degree weather last week, but this week will be cooler.   It was 57 degrees on our front porch this morning, the first morning to break 60 degrees overnight.   Even the bees were huddled in their hive up in the cottonwood.   NONE were outside. goes on...

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Not much going on here...

Not much going on here.   I did make a trip up to the horses on Tuesday because our mobile vet was coming by the ranch to give the herd their shots and to check their teeth.   And... SURPRISE!   NONE OF THEM HAD ANY SAND in their gut!    A MIRACLE!   AMAZING!   INCREDIBLE!   The ranch owner has switched them ALL to pellets!!!!  Only Miss Scout didn't need her teeth done.   Sunni got his done and I think it is only the 2nd time ever.   Of course, Quad was a perfect gentleman!    Cathy, the ranch owner, had to give Sunni his shots and his sedative because he wouldn't let the vet (also a woman) get near him.   He was a REAL BRAT!   But, they got the job done!   Gigondas was a GOOD GIRL and stood quietly for her dental drilling.  I'm GLAD that is over for another year!

My garden was doing well out in the front yard until 2 days ago when a huge branch of the damn mesquite came down.   We got some guys to come out and remove it and they completely trampled my flowers, so I'll go out and pull 90% of them out....sigh...The branch landed on one of our bougainvilla shrub, so I'll also have to go out and trim it.   They are returning today to cut 2 more heavy branches which are hanging up over the house.   Better to get it done NOW than risk one or both of them falling on the house!!!!

I'm still working on my journals, but business is SLOW.   One would think with Christmas coming, they would move out of my shop at a quicker pace...sigh...

I've already started planting my hollyhock seeds in the back yard.   I want to put in some sugar snap peas (I have 3 packets of them) and some herbs in the front yard, but the front yard will have to wait until these guys finish today.

So, that's all for now.

Gigondas stood quietly
 Quad stood like the pro he is.
 Sunni had to get sedated by the ranch owner and she also gave him his shots.

Sunni gets his teeth done.   He was SUCH a BRAT.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Just trying to survive the heat!

Not much going on here.   Hubby and I, the dog, and the cats are just trying to survive the summer's heat.   However, this summer has been NOTHING like 2018!   That summer nearly did us in!   We had many days over 118.   So far, this summer, I believe we've only had 3 and one was yesterday.   (okay, it was only 117!)....But today it will be 118...So, we just stay indoors all day. 

I go out in the morning, water my plants, feed the birds, change the hummingbird sugar water, and do about a 15 minute yard cleanup.   We have, however, been able to open up our windows until about 9 am. and then I run around and close them ALL.   Poor Bodie (our dog) is too hot for him to be outside during the day, so he sleeps ALL NIGHT and then naps ALL DAY.  I've never had a dog who slept so much!   Maybe he thinks he is a cat?

My hollyhocks are drying out and probably next week (or when it is a cool morning), I'll go out, rip them all out, and use the weeder.   I've been procrastinating doing this because they DO provide a nice barrier from street noise and views.   I still do have my sunflowers and my zinnias and cosmos, however.

Here's a link to my YouTube video (the most recent one).   I need to do one either this morning or tomorrow...

I need to go out and do a garden update.   I didn't realize the last one was a month ago!

That's all for now!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Monday, July 1, 2019

Just enjoying a few days before the HEAT arrives

All last week we were able to open up our home at night and let the cool 60 degree air inside.   NOT yesterday morning, however.   The remnants of hurricane Alvin came into the valley and it was 78 degrees at 6 a.m. and HUMID!   Ugh.   So, I hibernated all day and finished another journal.

Today, however, it is back to 68 degrees out on the front porch and so all our windows are open.   68 degrees on July 1st!   Incredible.   Northern California is supposed to have a hotter-than-normal summer, while Southern California is expected to have a less hot summer (THANK GOODNESS).   Our last 2 summers have been absolutely HORRIBLE!    We need a break.   Hey, as long as I can open the windows for an hour or two in the mornings, listen to the birds, and feel the somewhat cool air, I'm happy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


KERSPLAT I went Sunday morning.   I had decided to clean off our side porch, sweep it, and hose it down.  I hadn't cleaned it since...last summer or last fall and the dog hair was piling up and there were cobwebs everywhere.   It really needed a good cleaning!

So, after hosing it off 3x, I went to turn OFF the hose, and I even reminded myself to be careful in one muddy spot (I had my flip flops on...)....but, OF COURSE, I went KERSPLAT right down onto the ground.   I didn't even have time to throw up my arms to protect myself.   I landed on my right temple, my glasses went flying (I was able to find them...) and I lay there for a couple of minutes not sure if I could hoist myself up.   Hubby was in the living room, watching TV and I knew he wouldn't hear me if I called to him, so I gingerly got myself up and stumbled into the house.   I must have looked like something out of Predator, the movie, because my entire right side was covered with mud and leaves and I even had mud on my face and in my hair.  I checked and didn't feel anything broken, so off to the shower I went.    After that, however, my right elbow stiffened up and I could barely move that arm.   I put ice packs on it and settled down to watch 5 episodes of "Band of Brothers" and changed the ice every 20 minutes.   That did help.   I took a couple of naps in between.

It is still sore 3 days later, but not as much, and I'm gradually getting back my range of motion.   Like I said, the darn thing happened so fast that I didn't have time to react.

Now, this is 3 years after Gigondas spooked and knocked me down in her corral.  I'm 67 now and I just don't have the reflexes to react to things like I used to, which is why I don't ride my horses.  ANY OF THEM.   PERIOD.   Not going to take that chance, no sir!

So, I'm staying indoors and working on a few journals.   Besides, it will be 115 here tomorrow and it is too dang hot to be outside except very early in the morning.