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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Living Desert Reserve Easter Sunday

Still no granddaughter...sigh...So, again this morning, we went on a two hour walk at the Living Desert.  We did this yesterday morning, too.  Daughter, SIL, hubby, and I...traipsing out along the trails and walkways of the Living Desert.  Both mornings have been pleasant...not too warm, but yesterday there was an Easter egg hunt and the reserve was VERY CROWDED!  Today, it was quiet!  :-)  Here are some pics from our two days.

Shadows at the Living Desert Reserve~Shadow Shot Sunday~033113

So yesterday our daughter and SIL wanted to meet us up at the Living Desert Reserve and walk around.  We both bought our memberships and then walked around for two HOURS!  Turns out, the LDR was also having Easter egg hunts, which explains the hundreds of kids and couples with kids in strollers!  :-)  Still, it was a lovely morning to be there.  The two cheetahs were out, chewing on bones.  It has been so rare in the past to actually SEE them!  We saw the baby giraffe, too, and the mother and father.  Father giraffe was interested in some tall grass on our side of the fence and, with his long tongue, he was able to get it.  By 11:00 a.m., however, we were all tired and hungry, so off to breakfast we went!  I took these photos in the African village section of the park.  I always LOVE the shadows there.  Shadow Shot Sunday for March 31, 2013...MAYBE our granddaughter will arrive today?  If not, our daughter will have her labor induced tomorrow.   Shadow Shot Sunday for March 31, 2013.  Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cactus blossoms and sky~SkyWatch Friday~032913

I stopped by my favorite walking place one afternoon this week.  Honestly, the trip to Joshua Tree last Friday with my class of 24 3rd graders WORE ME OUT!  I'm still sore all over!  And, I've noticed that I've slept a lot this week, while on my spring break.  Well, I guess I needed the rest!  It's a LONG 8 weeks until our next holiday, Memorial Day!  Anyway, I found this yucca which was blooming.  It actually had 3 separate flowers blooming on it!  SkyWatch Friday for March 29, 2013...still no granddaughter :-(   To visit SWF, please go to:

Desert beauty and fence~Friday's Fences~032913

Sometimes I forget that the desert has a stark beauty of its own.  But, driving down one road that constantly has drifting sand, I'm reminded of the harsh reality of life in the desert.  Not only the tree, but the fence is nearly buried.  Friday's Fences for March 29, 2013.   To visit Friday's Fences, please do go to:

Comin' and goin' (Scout)

Coming and going and GONE!  That's Scout for 'ya!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finally~horse lessons

Since I'm off school this week for spring break, I FINALLY got to spend a morning with my trainer up at the horse ranch.  She's been working the horses each week (weather permitting) and I must say, Gigondas has made the most progress!  She now allows us to touch and brush her face and head.  In fact, she really enjoys it!  ALL of the horses were very hairy.  I noticed that when I put my hand on Quad, I was covered with hair!  So, we brushed each one of them (except Sunni...we both forgot!).  She now takes each one down to the arena first to let them roll, run, and get their energy out BEFORE she ties them at the tie rack.  Apparently Quad busted loose again (...sigh...) a couple of weeks ago when tied at the tie rack.  Scout still has her attitude and one reason why Maia takes the horses down to the arena first is Scout.  She's much easier to work with after she's run and released her pent-up energy!  It was a beautiful day up at the ranch yesterday, with a slight breeze.  I'm not returning today because I'm going to the Palm Desert organic farmer's market this morning, but (if my daughter doesn't give birth), I'll return on Thursday or Friday.  ALL the horses got a turnout either in the round pen or arena, so a good day was had by all!
 Look how much extra hair Gigondas had!  No more!  It's GONE!
 Scout's appy spots are now seen.  They are hidding during her winter coat!
 Scout saddled and worked with the saddle.
 Quad can finally WALK!
 Sunni kicking up his heels.  He was a BRAT and didn't want to be caught when down in the arena...

Even Lucille got some "free time" up in the round pen.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Still no baby...

Well, we're still waiting for baby Ellie (my first granddaughter) to appear...I have this week off school, so this would be the perfect week and our daughter's due date is April 1st.  If she isn't here by then, Jennifer is off for a C-section.  We're having PERFECT weather this the mid 80's (it's a DRY heat!).  Hubby and I bought two red Adirondack chairs yesterday for the front yard and I can't wait to go out and sit in one of them, but I have our tax appointment this morning and it already looks pretty depressing.   Our daughter has her last doctor's appointment at the same time and I asked her to call me when she's done.  I may run some errands after that as I need some things in Palm Springs.  Photo is of a joshua tree from our school field trip Friday.  There were a LOT of joshua trees in bloom and I hope to be able to return one day this week with my big camera.  I only took my pocket-sized Nikon Coolpix with me Friday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fence and white dog~Friday's Fences~032213

I was driving around the little community in Garner Valley last weekend, admiring all the blossoms on the trees there.  This white dog was quite upset by my presence and was very vocal.  But, I snapped this photo and went on...isn't he gorgeous?  Nice fence, too!  Friday's Fences for March 22, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Joshua Tree field trip and spring break

We have a field trip scheduled for Joshua Tree national park with another third grade class and a fifth grade class tomorrow.  We'll hike the 1 mile Barker Dam loop and stop to look at the petroglyphs.  Don't worry...I'm taking a jacket, a large hat, and extra water!  My daughter suggested I also take plenty of excedrin!  HA~  I do have 6 parents coming along, so my 28 kids will be split into groups of 5 and I'll be taking my "problem children" with me...oh, joy!  Should be an interesting day!  Our spring break starts the next day, so I'm sure I'll be wiped out by then!  Here are some pics from the last time hubby and I drove through Joshua Tree.  I don't think I'll take my Canon with me, but I may take my old Nikon, which is a lot lighter.  I don't want to miss any photos of scrub jays, like this fellow, who was there at the parking lot last time.  I love the jumbo rocks there, too!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jay in joshua tree~ABC Wednesday and Wild Bird Wednesday~032013

I've told you the story about our neighborhood scrub jay, right?  He lived in our neighborhood for nearly 4 years, until he mysteriously disappeared about the time a Cooper's hawk moved in...sigh...I used to delight in his screeches and calls.  He would sit on the side fence between our yard and our neighbor's to the west and turn his head and eyeball me when I drove in the driveway every afternoon.  And, of course, I fed him.  I not only fed him, I stopped and gathered acorns for the little bugger!  He would chase off the doves and sparrows, preferring that they not intrude in his yard at all, but he was no match for the bigger hawk.  I never found his feathers or body, but I'm sure he was killed by the hawk, as were several doves.  His obvious presence was enough to alert the hawk to another meal.  So, it was with great delight that I found this scrub jay in Joshua Tree national park a few weeks ago.  He landed in the joshua tree and sang a joyous, warbling song much to my delight!  He appeared to be quite tame.  I hope to see him again sometime, but who knows?  ABC Wednesday and Wild Bird Wednesday for March 20, 2013.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to:  And, to visit Wild Bird Wednesday, please go to:

Around the ranch~Our World Tuesday~031913

Ahhhh....SPRING at the ranch!  The almonds trees are all blooming, the trees are getting new leaves, and the mustard is growing!  :-)    To visit Our World Tuesday, please go to:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hot walker is finished!

The hot walker is finished and is up and running (so to speak).  Cathy said they have 1 horse who is trained on it and he will lead or show the other horses how to use it.  This was the mustangs' old corral.  Scout is now down across from Quad, so it was just sitting there empty...sigh... I'm glad they put this there and it will be used.  I went up yesterday to check on the herd, but the wind was blowing and the ranch owners had gone for a ride, so I didn't take any of the horses out.  Too risky, especially when I'm there alone.  So I fed them an extra meal and cleaned out water troughs!  It was the hottest day I've been up there and it makes me wonder about this coming summer.  I'm off on spring break starting Saturday, so I'll have 10 days to myself!  Yippie!  No school!  (See, teachers are as excited as the kids about spring break!)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Anza-Borrego sky~SkyWatch Friday~031513

Pretty sky in Anza-Borrego state park.  Hopefully there are more wildflowers this weekend!  SkyWatch Friday for March 15, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Siesta time at the ranch

Quad has settled into life up at the ranch where I board my horses.  He now takes a morning or afternoon siesta, quickly adapting to the ways of the Peruvian pasos.  They ALL take a nice, long, warm siesta!  Quad figured out that he might as well, too!   :-)  I often drive up to find him taking his nap!  Sunni was also taking a siesta when I drove up last Sunday.  Awww....a warm day, sunshine, and a gorgeous neighbor...what more could Quad want?  It will be warm enough this weekend that I can give Quad a bath!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring at the ranch, almond blossoms~Our World Tuesday~031213

Spring has sprung up at the horse ranch and last weekend, I saw this almond tree's blossoms.  I decided to take a closer look.  You can see a bee in the bottom one and there were a LOT of bees in it!  I remember last year's crop...the entire crop was lost in a couple of windy days.  I sure hope that doesn't happen this year!  Also, one of the almond trees doesn't have any blossoms at all, so that just leaves 3.  And, the other two have pink blossoms.  They will bloom about 2 weeks from now, so I'll have more pics!  Our World Tuesday for March 12, 2013.  To visit OWT, please go to:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday's trip

I don't always like it when hubby has Saturday off.  First of all, sometimes on Saturday I just stay home and vegetate.  After battling 28 third graders all week I'm TIRED.  Or, I go up and spend the morning with my horses.  So, this weekend, when hubby announced that we were going to our daughter's for breakfast on Saturday, I was a little confused.  (I find myself confused a lot of times these days!).  Then, he decided that WE were driving out to Anza-Borrego state park.  Now, that's another 1 1/2 hour drive from Indio, so it's about 2 hours from our house....there went my Saturday plans.  Fortunately, it was a gorgeous weekend here in the desert and I was able to go see them on Sunday, so I'll have plenty to blog about for the rest of the week!  So, off to Anza-Borrego we went.  You have to take Interstate 86, along the EAST side of the Salton Sea and go through West Shores and Salton City to get to the park.  No, we didn't stop anywhere along the way...hubby is too impatient for any of that!  We were on a wildflower discovery tour (there weren't many...).  Here are some pics from Saturday, then.  The top photo shows some of the vast badlands in Anza-Borrego.  Next is hubby out walking after taking a photo.  The clouds were pretty. We stopped at the 3rd spot to take photos of the wildflowers.  If we still had Mellow Yellow Monday, I would post some for that, but it's gone...See the clouds in the next photo?  That's the back road up through Julian, CA and that's where we headed next.  Snow and clouds in Julian.  The town was PACKED!  There were people everywhere and I couldn't find a parking spot, so we left town and bought an apple pie in Santa Ysabel.  More clouds and that's a back view of our Santa Rosa mountains...then home (at last!)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On having a granddaughter

Well, our daughter is ready to pop any day now.  And, she's having a girl, which led me to think back to my own grandmother.  Grandma Parks had red hair and freckles and a mischievous laugh.  She was one grand lady!  My mother, seen here with my dad when they were courting, was a teacher, so I spent many an afternoon with my grandparents, since they were the ones who picked me up from the bus stop and walked me to their house.  EVERY AFTERNOON.  They didn't miss one day from the time I was in first grade through the end of fifth grade.  By sixth grade, my mother decided I could walk to my own neighborhood school, which I did, along with my 3 neighbors (safety in numbers, I guess)...Anyway, I digress.  Grandma used to tell me all kinds of Irish legends.  I couldn't figure out why...her side of the family was German and Swiss.  Turns out, my grandfather's side was...well, I haven't quite figured that out...either Irish or English or both.  Perhaps she got those stories from her mother-in-law?  I knew all about banshees, leprechauns, and wailing dogs...hmmm....Grandma and I spent many afternoons together in her sewing room and she taught me how to sew.  She also taught me how to cook, which I started doing in sixth grade, to spare my father and me from my mother's cooking.  I never knew what "rare" meat was until I met my husband and he showed me!  So, I'm especially excited that a granddaughter is on the way!  She won't need to learn to cook from me (both of her parents are excellent cooks!), but I can show her how to plant sunflower seeds and sew and share my love of animals with her (especially horses).  That might be tough because our daughter is allergic to horses (and practially every other animal on earth!)  I'll be sure and let y'all know when little "Ellie" arrives.  I kind of like the name "Ellie" great-grandmother was "Effie Mae".  I'm sure we won't have an "Ellie Mae" in the family, but they haven't picked a middle name yet.