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 30, 2014

Cute window, Solvang, CA

I found this cute window while we were in Solvang, CA.  Then I went inside the shop!  Oh, my!  What a delight!


The ranch owner moved the mom and colt next to Sunni this week.  They had rain move in and the corral next to Sir Sunni is covered.  Apparently he is now the "babysitter" and has taken quite a liking to the little guy!  Who would have thought?, not so much!  I'm not sure if I'll be able to go up there today as it is VERY windy, cloudy, and rainy.  I'll have to see what the weaather is like in a couple of hours.  The winds woke me up early this morning...they were so strong!  We have trees out front, along our porch, and the whole porch roof was moving!  That's how bad they were!  They have calmed down now, but I'll have to check the weather forecast before I head up the hill.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Road trip!

Hubby was able to get us 2 nights up in Buellton this week, so off we went.  We left Wednesday morning (early).  The desert was having HORRIBLE winds and blowing sand, so we wanted to get out of it.  We had originally planned to go to Arizona, but who wants to drive through windy, sandy desert to get there?  So, instead, we headed north.

We went up the 101, past Santa Barbara, to Buellton, which is next to Solvang.  If you've never stopped at the Anderson Pea Soup restaurant there in Buellton, I believe it is the original one.  We didn't eat there.  Instead, we headed up to the Firestone Brewery Tasting Room and restaurant for a delicious meal!  I had oriechetta and the hubs had a gigantic burger.  I got to try one of the local Pinot Noir wines and it wasn't bad!  (I'm not a real fan of Pinot Noir...I LOVE big, bold reds and PN isn't one of them!)  We went into town the next two mornings for breakfast and enjoyed both places:  The Solvang Restaurant (we returned there for lunch), then the Belgian Cafe (where we had the best crepes and waffle EVER!)

We drove around for 2 1/2 days, visiting places we've never seen before.  Wednesday afternoon we drove out the 246 to Surf Beach and the inlet where we saw all kinds of water birds.  Surf Beach had HUGE waves from the storm that was coming in that day.  LOTS of crashing waves!

The next day, we drove out the 1 to another road which took us to the Santa Barbara county beach at Jalama.  Boy, that is some drive!  It wanders through wine country and beautiful, green hills, but it's about a 14 mile drive.  The beach there was windy and cold.  We weren't impressed, so we returned back the 14 mile drive.  We ordered take out from the brewery and hubby watched UCLA lose its basketball game... so sad...

We awoke Friday morning, headed to town for our last breakfast, then headed home.  The desert winds had calmed down and it's actually fairly mild here today (mid 70's).

I'm glad we got away for a couple of days, but it sure is good to be home.  Here are some highlights from our trip below:

Sunday, March 23, 2014


The ranch owners were pleasantly surprised today with the arrival of a colt.  Their pinto mare was pregnant, but they didn't know when the foal was due.  She didn't bag up, she didn't wax up, but her appetite sure did increase!  The little bundle appeared about midnight and somehow crawled out of his mother's corral and made his way down to their stallion (NOT the sire!)...The owner heard the dogs barking during the night and made the discovery!  He's a cute little thing, with LONG legs!  Here he is...SURPRISE!  A boy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HELLO from Quad!

Quad just seems to be settling down and getting more handsome as the years go by.  His mane is much lighter now.  His tail is growing.  He lets out loud sighs...:-)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Had the grandson yesterday

We had unexpected plans yesterday.  We had to watch the grandson from 8:30 until 1:00 p.m.  His mom had class and his dad was at work...

So, Mom dropped him off and we took him to the Living Desert.  He got to see the trains there, go to the Discovery Room (where they have lots of stuffed animals), and then to Gecko Gulch (where they have slides and a play area with toys for the sand pile).  He's only 5, so he enjoyed all of this.  Next, he went on the carousel!  By then, he was getting tired (and so were we!), so we headed back out through the garden center and the gift shop.  Grandpa bought him a helicopter.  He climbed into his car seat, opened up his lunch, and proceeded to eat it in the back seat!  Poor little guy!  We stopped and bought some sandwiches for us adults and took him to the park to play on the old fire engine, which has a nice slide on it.  He met a little boy there and the two of them played for an hour!  Then Mom came to pick him up and Grandpa and I went home for a nice, LONG nap!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Smoke trees and sky~SkyWatch Friday~031414

Our desert is full of smoke trees. However, they aren't blooming yet.  Our valley is FULL of blooming palo verde trees, but the smoke trees don't bloom until late May.  When they do, they will have tiny violet flowers.  I always love to look at smoke trees.  They are so stately and graceful, don't you think?  SkyWatch Friday for March 14, 2014.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Palm Springs Indian Canyon shacks

Not exactly "The Love Shack", but I always enjoy driving past it.  It sits alone and abandoned on Indian land and is past the kiosk and entry gate to the Palm Springs Indian canyons.  There's another, smaller shack there too.  Remember, the original white settlers in the desert here had no air conditioning.  My husband grew up in a house in Rancho Mirage which never had a/c and he has told me stories about how, on hot summer nights, he would soak a bath towel in cold water, go and sleep up on the flat roof of his parents' house, and sleep all night, with a wet towel over him (primitive air conditioning).  The Indians would simply leave and head up into our local mountains, where the temperatures are much lower during the summer months.

Beautiful palo verde blossoms

The palo verde trees are all blooming right now.  This is REALLY early!  They normally don't bloom until...MAY!  It's been an unusual spring, for sure!  Anyway, I went for a walk this morning at the Santa Rosa mountain visitor center VERY early, due to the time change.  BOING!  My eyes were open the second it got light.  So, off I went, camera around neck, and hat ON!  I don't think we are going to have a wildflower crop at all this year, but the palo verdes are sure making up for that!  Aren't they beautiful?

Back to Whitewater Preserve

Hubby was off work yesterday, so we headed out to the Whitewater Preserve.  I'd been there Saturday and Sunday last week, by myself, and I had a blast!  That's where I took my tumble off the tree that fell over.  Anyway, he got a call from work and that got him all worked up.  Even on his days off, he's either on the phone or on the computer most of the day.  It's a rare day off when he isn't contacted with some CRISIS at work!   :-(

So, we had grabbed some sandwiches to take along and eat up there, which we did.  Then, a short walk, and VOILA!  He HAS to get back to cell phone range (there is NONE up there), so back down the road we went.  I was pissed.  First of all, it's my day off too.   He was so crabby and jumpy that I drove down the hill without stopping to look and listen to the frogs.  The problem had resolved itself and there was no reason for us to leave...sigh...

I'm going out on my own this morning.

Here are photos from my visit last week.  I hardly had time to take any yesterday.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grapes and sky~SkyWatch Friday ~030714

I drove out to some vineyards last Friday, after school.  Right now there are tiny, tiny grapes on the vines.  I hope they survive this drought.  Some of the vines near here look to be about 75 years old!  SkyWatch Friday for March 7, 2014.   To visit SWF, please go to:


Some afternoons, after school, I'll drive out past the many, many vineyards here in the Coachella Valley.  I love to watch the grapes growing on the vines.  It's very restful.  So, last Friday, I brouht my camera with me to take photos of the sky, but instead I stopped by this vineyard to check on the grapes.  In spite of the drought, there they were!  They are very tiny right now, as you can see...just little things!  Sometimes the lack of water makes grapes struggle and it concentrates their sugar, so this year's crop should be very sweet! (See, I HAVE listened to my husband over the past 40 years!...but that's wine grapes)...These are table grapes.  I don't know if they are seedless, but they are grown in the Coachella Valley, so watch for them in stores later this spring.  I'll update you on their progress.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What I won't do for a photo!

Hubby is working late tonight and I'm here BY MYSELF (with 3 cats and 2 dogs) and I'm bored, so I'm going to catch up on some posts for this blog.

ANYWAY, I was out taking photos Sunday morning up at the Whitewater Preserve.  The Whitewater Preserve is part of the Wetlands Conservancy and is open every day at 8:00 a.m.  Only it wasn't open Saturday because the Whitewater River was running and the road was IMPASSABLE.  I drove up to where the road was closed and took photos of the water pouring down from the canyon.  NO WAY was anybody going to attempt to cross that!  (see photo)...

But, Sunday morning, the rain had stopped and I figured it just MIGHT be possible to get up there, so off I went.  No, I didn't see the horses at all this past was SNOWING up in our mountains and there was no way I was going to drive that way!

As I went up the road to the preserve, I passed a bulldozer coming down, so I knew the road was open...dum de dum...up I went.  Finding the road passable (and open), I went a little further and VOILA!  I found the perfect spot to take a photo looking back down across the river and getting Mt. San Jacinto and some windmills.  And, I found the PERFECT spot to take it from...a downed tree.  I tried supported my weight just fine.  That wasn't the problem.  The problem is that I'm not 14 any more and I don't have the balance I used to have, especially after my fall from my friend's horse 4 years ago.  My leg muscles just don't work right and I do have a tendency to lose my balance, so OOPS!  SPLAT!  KERSPLAT!~ I fell OFF the log, right into the mud!  DAMN IT!  I landed on my PATOOTIE and I even managed to save my camera from any damage.  But, my pants were muddy and wet...sigh...and I wasn't up to the preserve yet.  So, I wrapped a light jacket around my rear end and off I went to the preserve.

Yes, that's my hair flying in the photo...I must have clicked something when I went down!

These are the photos of the water rushing down Whitewater Canyon.  Then, the shot I wanted to get, then the shot of my hair flying as I went KERSPLAT in the mud.  I don't know why the bottom one is out of order, but it should be with the top one and I'm too lazy to fix it.  Bottom photo is looking up the Whitewater River.

The HELL with it...Mud, Mud everywhere and someone tried to drive through it!

I've made up my mind...I'm going to continue to write NON-horse related topics here.  SO THERE!    I'll continue to write about things that interest me here in the desert and up in our local mountains.

So, here's today's topic:  STUPID PEOPLE WHO DRIVE THROUGH WASHES during a rain storm.  Yup.  People do that ALL the time here in the desert  (...slapping hand on forehead...)  Why?  "To get to the other side of the road", "To get to work" (REALLY?  Getting stuck in mud will help you get to work?)  The list of excuses goes on and on and on.  It is ENDLESS.

Last weekend I nearly came to blows with one such IDIOT.  He was stuck in the MUD on a major cross road in Palm Springs.  I was out taking photos of the windmills and took a couple of shots of his car stuck in the mud.  I walked down to get a couple more shots and this IDIOT throws up his hand in front of my camera saying, "DON'T take a photo of my car!"   He didn't threaten me further and, not wishing to be smashed in the face by a hand, I said, "OK"....little did he know I already had 3 or 4 photos of his car.

I believe, in Arizona, that if you get stuck during a thunderstorm or storm and you have to get pulled out, you also get a hefty I right?  Something about an IDIOT DRIVER LAW?  Maybe California needs that, too.

While I was thinking about taking another shot or two of the 2 cars stuck in the much, ANOTHER IDIOT, with 4 wheel drive, had to show what a MAN he was and drive through.  Mud went flying everywhere and the dejected motorist had to put up with this showoff routine!  I ALMOST felt sorry for the guy who got stuck, but then I opened my big mouth and said, "What kind of IDIOT tries to drive through the wash during a storm?"  That was it...Off I went before he could smack me...

Anyway, here are the pics of the cars stuck.  The dark one was there for 2 days.  By the 3rd day, it was gone...You notice that on the top 2 photos, there are 2 vehicles.  On the bottom ones, the truck was gone, but the car was still there...sigh...

Monday, March 3, 2014

Refocusing on the purpose of this blog

When I started blogging on this blog, it was designed for my horses.  Unfortunately, since I only see them on weekends, and sometimes like this past weekend, I haven't been able to get up to them at all.  So, I've been filling in the days (and space) by writing about other topics, but it seems to me that the horse world is a very closed world.  Days and days go without comments...sigh...Nobody here seems to be interested here in "non-horse" posts.

So, from now on, I'll ONLY blog on this one about my horses.  It may be weeks between posts...oh, well.  Nobody comments anyway...

If you want to read up on what I'm doing, then, please go to:

I update this blog DAILY and people do leave comments.  Lots of friendly folks over there!


You can also find me on Facebook:  Quad Dean

~Cheryl Ann~