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.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Quad and Mom

Quad and mom...These are the last of the pics that hubby took on Sunday when we stopped by the ranch. We might get some rain up there this weekend.  It will be 100 degrees here today, then down into the 80's next week.  The clouds are coming from hurricane Hilary.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cali and Mom~Cali kisses!

Cali is such a people-oriented horse!  I mean, LOOK at this!  I really missed all my horses and I'm glad we'll be home this weekend and I can get some quality horse time!  I need to scrub water troughs and brush every one of them!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunni and MOM

Hubby and I stopped by the horse ranch where I board "The Herd" on Sunday after spending Saturday and Sunday morning in San Diego. Since I had hubby along, I BEGGED him to get out of the car and take some pics of me with the horses, since I can NEVER do this!  I mean, please...try balancing a large DSLR AND handle a horse at the same time!!!!  No way.  Sometimes I hang my Nikon from a tree out by the mustangs, but it's too dusty to set it down anywhere near the other horses!  It costs $40 every time I take it to the camera store to have it blown out, so I can't afford that very often.  The last time I took it in, the guy asked hubby, "Where does she keep this?  In a BARN?"  Oye vei!  So, I was glad to have hubby along on Sunday...Here's me and Sunni.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Signs of fall~maple leaves~Sunday stills Challenge~092411

I always know when fall is coming up at the ranch where I board my horses.  First, they start to get shaggy.  Second, the maple trees develop red leaves, like these.  Finally, the apple farmer next door is out fiddling around with his apple trees.  He sells his organic apples to the Julian Baking Company for apple pies and cider.  Yum, yum!  So, here are the signs of fall I noticed today.  Sunday Stills Challenge for September 24, 2011. To visit Sunday Stills Challenge, please go to:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Barbed wire of the west

At Mike's BBQ, in Lee Vining, CA, there's a wall exhibit of barbed wire of the west.  While we were waiting for our takeout order (steak and baked potato), I wandered over for a look, and hubby did too.  He actually took these photos with his camera, since my hands were full of the food!  For $22.00 EACH we each got a paper-thin, tasteless steak and one tiny baked potato.  Very disappointing food, I must say!  The next evening, we went to Vons, picked out our own steaks and normal sized baked potatoes, had a bottle of red wine, and sat outside to enjoy our dinner and looked at the Milky Way.  Much better than the $45.00 from Mike's BBQ!  Cheaper, and better, too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mono Lake

Mono Lake is one of the unique places in the Sierra Nevada that we love to visit.  It always seems to have a different mood.  We usually head over to the eastern side, to the south tufa.  On this trip, however, we visited the western side of the lake, off the road that wanders by the county park and Cemetery Road.  We got a completely different view of the lake. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hey, Nuzzling Muzzles~Look where we stopped~

Yup.  We stopped at Walker Burger!  We arrived too early in the morning to have a burger, so we each got a gosh!  It brought back memories...thick, cold, and creamy!  Then we headed up the Monitor Pass road to Markleyville.  Then, over to Topaz Lake, and down your valley to catch Highway 395.  We stopped for a late lunch in Bridgeport and then back to Silver Lake.  It was a long day, but we saw a lot of beautiful country.

Not sure where this blog is heading

I'm not sure where this blog is heading.  I'm back in school and I only get to see the horses on weekends now.  I'm not there for their training on Tuesdays, either.  Hubby and I just spent a 3 day weekend up in the Sierra.  We drove up there looking for fall colors on the aspen, but it was too early.  We DID find a few aspen with yellow leaves, but it was just so nice to get up into chilly mornings and cool days! We did find some horses and I met a fellow blogger and a nice young man up at the Silver Lake riding stables.  He showed me some of his photos of the mustangs near Bishop, CA.  He has a long-term job taking dam workers up to a dam they are building up above Silver Lake and I saw him go by early yesterday morning with 4 mules.  He is a budding photographer and hubby and I talked to him for about 1/2 hour on Sunday.  It was good to get out of the desert heat (it's been 103 here lately and all this week the forecast is for more of the same), so experiencing chilly mornings was a real change!  I went for morning walks with my camera, saw alpenglow and mist rising from Silver Lake, and ate hearty breakfasts at the cafe at the Silver Lake resort.  Unfortunately, I also picked up a sore throat on this trip and I'm now fighting a cold. The horses and wild sunflowers were down in Lone Pine, CA and the aspen leaves are at South Lake, above Bishop.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I love traveling the mountain road

What can I say?  With views like these, wouldn't you like to drive a mountain road, get out of the desert heat, and see new and interesting scenery? I took these photos from the top of Highway 74 the day we drove back from Orange County and were stuck behind the motorcycle accident.  A motorcyclist crashed into one of the railings on a corner of Highway 74 and two people in a car scrambled down 100 feet to try to rescue him and they got stuck.  Traffic was tied up for over 2 hours and the motorcyclist was airlifted to a nearby hospital.  The fire crews had to rescue the two people who tried to give him aid as they were stuck on the side of the mountain, too. 

On another note, we're heading up to the Sierra this weekend (June Lake) in search of fall colors.  Temps up in June Lake have been below freezing now for several weeks and we're hoping to find some early aspen leaves.  I'm taking Monday off of school ("sssshhhhhhhh!!!!~~~don't tell~) so that we have an extra day.  I'll be sure to post pics of that trip when we return!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fires from lightning

Yes...sigh...there was more lightning and thunder today.  I don't EVER remember a September this wet!  And, I've lived here now for 34 years.  I should have run out and bought my wildflower seeds and thrown them out front, but I didn't.  The rains always make them sprout, so I guess I've missed my chance.  Anyway, our local paper ran these photos of a lightning strike which caused a fire here in town on Tuesday. *** NOT MY PHOTOS ***

It rained ALL DAY yesterday

I'm not kidding...ALL DAY!  We woke up at 4:30 a.m. to thunder and lightning.  I looked down the valley and it was REALLY. DARK.  The kind of dark that made me think, "Where's the umbrella?"  (No, I never found it!)  And, as I traveled the freeway to my school, it got darker and darker with lots of sideways lightning.  (never a good sign!)...We all had to hustle and get the kids in off the playground as the lightning WAS coming down sideways!  No lunch recess as there was still lightning nearby.  So, we went in and played math games, which was an opportunity for me to get to know the kids in a different setting (a fun one!).  But, by 3:00 p.m., I was tired and they were too and they all lined up...SIT DOWN...quietly!  Lots of hugs went around as they left (they usually stampede out of the room!). So, when I drove home, the storm had settled over Palm Desert and I returned to more rain, thunder, and lightning.  I just sat out on my front porch and watched the show!  It was a nice break from our 113/114 degree temps and I am looking forward to a beautiful day today.  The kidlets get out an hour early today so that we can have a training  :-)  Oh, and according to the news, several fires were started by the lightning hitting palm trees.  ***NOT MY IMAGE, no way!***

Monday, September 12, 2011

horse time

Hubby and I are heading back to the Sierra next weekend.  I'm taking Monday off school, so we will drive up Friday after school, have Saturday and Sunday to go whatever we want, and then drive home Monday.  However, this means I have a serious lack of horse time this week.  I was sick Friday because I got overheated in our daughter's house when the blackout hit Southern California (I had the grandson with me, but I kept giving him water and washing off his face and arms...) (but I neglected to take care of myself!) and Friday I was dizzy and nauseated ALL DAY!  I had to take a day off school (too dizzy to deal with 3rd graders!)...We drove to Costa Mesa for a camera class and I was too worn out Sunday to battle the mountain road again (especially after our 2 hour delay on Saturday night!)...So, unless I get up to the horses midweek, I'll miss a visit with them this weekend. That's Cali during one of her lessons this summer.

Signs of fall here in the desert

There are subtle signs of fall here in the desert.  I noticed that the sun was very low on the horizon yesterday and the shadows were long.  The afternoon had a golden yellow tone.  Leaves were falling from our cottonwood tree in the back yard.  While we were stuck on the mountain Saturday evening, brisk winds came up and they were...COLD!  The mornings are cold now when I drive up to the mountains to see the horses.  Crisp and cold.  The Michael's store in Costa Mesa had scarecrows and pumpkins on sale out front...a LOT of them!  I'm going to dig out my fall decorations soon, but they're out in the garage and I won't have time this week.  Yesterday we actually had the air conditioner OFF for most of the day...that's a real sign of fall!  It's going to be 100 here today, but the rest of the week will be in the high 90's.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hail and another accident on the highway

And, suddenly, overnight, our weather changed.  We drove to Costa Mesa Friday night for a 4 hour camera class on Saturday and I awoke about 6:30 a.m. to...pitter patter, splat!  SPLAT! Splat, splat, splat on the banana tree outside our hotel window.  Eh?  That wasn't rain!  It was..............HAIL!  Yes, hail in Orange County!  HAIL in Southern California, by the ocean!  And, it lasted for quite a while, then a huge thunderstorm rolled in and it rained and rained and rained.  Good thing our class was indoors!  HA~Everything outdoors was fresh and clean and it was almost COLD in Orange County!  I learned how to do a lot of neat things with my camera like change the ISO setting, take night photographs, and I can even shoot movie-quality videos now!  I can't wait to try it out when one of the herd is down in the arena, or I can set it up on a tripod and let 'er roll!  This camera has all kinds of neat settings and the class was just about how to use it.  (Canon EOS 7D)  Unfortunately, on the way down the hill to our home, we were stuck for 2 HOURS due to another motorcyclist going over a curve on Highway 74...sigh...when will they ever learn?  SLOW DOWN!  There were 5 firetrucks, a tow truck, an ambulance, and a helicopter.  Apparently the motorcyclist hit the railing speeding down the mountain.  His motorcycle stayed on the railing, but he flew out and over it, 100 feet down the mountain.  A passing car stopped to see if they could help and that tied up traffic until the CHP, firetrucks, and ambulance and tow truck arrived.  And, the firemen had to climb down the mountain to get the guy and haul him back up.  Cars were backed up for miles.  Several of us got out and watched a massive thunderstorm over Joshua Tree, just to pass the time.  What a weird day...thunder and hail in Orange County and a thunderstorm over Joshua Tree that home here, we have the air conditioner turned OFF and all the windows open.  What a difference 24 hours can make!  It was 113 degrees on Friday.  I don't know what it was here in the desert today, but it's nice to be able to open up the windows and let the air in!

Friday, September 9, 2011

POWER OUTAGE here in Southern California

NO electricity when it was 113 degrees!  That's what it was like here in the desert yesterday afternoon.  I noticed signals out when I went to pick up the grandson, Ben.  And, when I got to the babysitter's house, all power was out.  That isn't unusual for Coachella.  I headed over to our daughter's house as she called me to ask me to stop by and let her little dog out and she didn't have power either.  And, the gates at their complex were each halfway open...hmmmmm.....Our son didn't have power either and his house is a lot hotter than our daughter's, so Ben and I stayed put at her place.  Yes, I had the munchkin with me!  So, he got lots of water (no ice, since the icemaker is all enclosed) and we played with the toys in the toy chest.  We also went out back and played with their decorative rocks and rolled on the grass.  But, it was HOT outside, so inside we wasn't comfortable inside either.  And I was pretty much stuck there...We had nowhere else to go.  Power was out all over Southern California.  I couldn't call out either because the cells were too busy.  So we waited inside and I got hotter and hotter.  I sponged off the baby and he seemed to be okay, but, as an "older citizen", the heat was really affecting me.  I drank water and some apple juice, but I was getting lightheaded.  Finally, the power came on at our son's house (he has gates, too, as his complex) and I headed over to "dada and mommie"'s house and air conditioning.  When you think about it, the gates on their complexes are electric, their garage door needs a clicker (Claudia missed class because she couldn't get her car OUT of the garage!), icemakers are electric, fans are electric...I dropped off the munchkin and headed home (where we DID have electricity) and it was so nice to walk into a cool house!  However, hubby said that, while driving, he had to pull over twice because HE got lightheaded due to the heat.  Yes, apparently there IS school tomorrow (darn!!!) although 3 schools are still without electricity. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What to do?????

Suppose you had a blog and NOBODY ever commented.  Would you close it down?  That's what I'm considering.  Nobody (or very few people) ever leave comments.  This is extremely depressing.  IS ANYBODY THERE?????????????????????????????

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Whatcha' got, Mom?

Guess what I've got for Cali?  Yup.  My grooming box!  Scout usually takes everything out, so I can't set it down anywhere near her, but Cali is such a good girl, she didn't even bother the box!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cali before and after spa day and then it rained...

Top~Cali before
Bottom~Cali after grooming

And then it rained and she rolled in the mud and dirt...sigh... But, you know, it was just so darn nice to have a steady, real RAIN!  I ran out and grabbed a plastic chair and sat in the unenclosed portion of the tack room and just smelled it and listened to it and watched it.  I'd seen the rain on the western side of the valley and soon it was right upon me!  I was hesitant to get in my car and drive down the mountain road to the desert because that road is dangerous when dry and I didn't want to risk driving it when it was raining heavily.  So, I sat and enjoyed the rain.  We had a huge thunderstorm here in the desert last night and grandson Ben learned two new words:  thunder and rain!  Lots of lightning, thunder, and yes, rain!

Monday, September 5, 2011

RAIN!!!! :-)

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. today because hubby had to BE at work by 6 a.m.  And, it was sprinkling in the desert.  Yes, RAIN!!!!  It was wonderful!  (...happy dance...) So, by 6 a.m., I went out with my camera and took some photos of the clouds and took a morning walk up at the Santa Rosa Mountains visitor center.  It was just so refreshing to be out in the desert after a nice rain!  Lots of people were out walking, too.  I had to go up to the horse ranch and spend some quality time with the gang, since all I did on Saturday was throw some pellets at them and head home.  On Saturday, ti was just too darn hot to do anything.  But, this morning, it was actually...COLD!  Yes, COLD!  Once I got to the top of the mountain, I even looked around my car for a sweater (there wasn't one).  It was that chilly!  I decided to see if the feed store was open (it was) as I needed more bermuda pellets for the herd.  I headed over there and across the valley, I could see rain coming down.  By the time I finished talking to the guy who put 4 bags of pellets in my car, it started to rain, so I headed up to the ranch to unload them.  Er, uh, nope!  The skies opened up and it POURED.  I had taken Cali up to the round pen so that I could worm all the horses (I have to separate her from Scout, otherwise Scout gets her wormer, too!)  So, I pulled a chair into the covered part of the tack room and just sat and enjoyed the sound and smell of the rain.  The horses liked it too and they all started rolling in the wet soil!  Finally it stopped and I got everything unloaded and headed home for a nap!  It was a good day!  We've had sprinkles all afternoon here in the desert. *** Don't forget to follow the link from the previous post to sign the anti-slaughter petition which will be presented to breeders and owners***  Thank you!  Here is the link:

Anti-slaughter petition

Folks, if you can, please sign this petition which will be presented to race horse owners.  Too many thoroughbreds go from the track to slaughter and owners and trainers are turning a blind eye. ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!! Thank you.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scout and Cali's new neighbors

Scout and Cali have new neighbors.  The two black horses now live in Murietta.  Their owner saved and saved and scrimped and scrimped and was able to buy a ranch there for her horses.  That's wonderful news!  I hadn't seen her EVER in nearly two years.    Those were wonderful horses and I'm so happy that she is near them 24/7 now....sigh...someday I'll have my own ranch, too.  So, the ranch owner moved two of her very quiet mares next to Scout and Cali.  (Remember, the black gelding was pulling Cali's fly mask off during the summer.)  He was super friendly and I really miss him already.  But, Scout has attached herself to one of the mares and thinks the mare is her momma!  She hangs out at the fence near her.  She reaches her neck over toward her.  Who would have thought Scout wanted a momma?  And, Scout is a lot quieter now (THANK GOODNESS!) Aren't these beautiful Peruvian Paso mares?  Here are some pics from yesterday.  I didn't get up there until about 10:00 and it was HOT, HOT, HOT again.  I just petted everyone and gave them their noon meal, and drove home and stayed inside all afternoon.  I don't know how hot it was here, but it was HUMID, too!  Ugh!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Joshua Tree critters!!!!

We saw more critters on this trip to Joshua Tree National Park than any other.  We saw quail, ravens, lizards, and a chipmunk.  Maybe it was the rain?  Anyway, here are some of the critters I captured last weekend. Yes, that's hubby in the top one, also taking a photo of the lizard in the second one.  We both use CANON cameras now (he has the newest one) and we wanted to try them out last weekend.

new camera!

I have a new camera, a CANON EOS 7D.  Hubby bought it when we were in Tempe, AZ.  He'd had his eye on one of these for months, but due to the earthquake in Japan, many camera stores were out of stock.  He found three in the Tempe store, so he bought one and used it during our trip to the Mogollon Rim.  When we returned, (to my shock...) he bought another CANON (I don't even know what it is...), something another step up from the 7D,so I got it (even he can't use two cameras at the same time!)We are driving to Los Angeles for a camera class in a couple of weeks, so that we both can learn how to use them.  Anyway, for me, using a Canon again is a real learning curve.  I've used my Nikon for over two years now and I'll keep it as my backup camera.  I know how to use most of the settings on it, but am confused by many of the ones on the Canon!!  And, it has a 300 mm (macro) lens!  Whoo, whoo!  I got to try it out when we went to Joshua Tree and used some of the manual settings.  Out at Intersection Rock, I discovered this little guy on one of the rocks.  This was after the area received 1/2 inch of rain in 15 minutes.  He was out checking for bugs and was balanced on the side of a rock.  If you click on the top one, you can see his little feet!  Yes, that's hubby, busy taking his own photos of the little guy!  I would love to take it with me this weekend, up to the horse ranch, but hubby always says I get too much dust on my camera up there, especially when the horses are running around the round pen or arena...any suggestions?