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, December 29, 2015

How cold has it been here?

I know some parts of the country are under snow (New Mexico), and other parts have had horrible tornadoes.  Here in our little corner of the world, we just had the lowest overnight temperature EVER.  It was 21 degrees down in Thermal.  Now, Thermal is about 35 miles south of us, at the lower end of the Coachella Valley.  There are date orchards and citrus orchards down there.  There is a LOT of agriculture.  So, 21 degrees can be devastating for crops.  It was 32 degrees on our front porch that morning.

I went over to our local nursery that morning to buy some cauliflower plants (organic, of course!) and 1 more (organic) cabbage.  These were some of the pics I took that morning at 8:30.  They had just watered all of their plants.

Please stay warm, if you can!  Today was a lot warmer.  It was 34 degrees here this morning.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Natural History museum

Yesterday our daughter, son-in-law, 2 year old granddaughter, and our nearly 7 year old grandson and I drove into Los Angeles, to the natural history museum.  Grandpa Art didn't go as he has a back issue right now (severe arthritis).  He elected to stay home and rest.

We left about 7:30 here in the desert and arrived there about 9:45.  We got a convenient parking space and headed into the museum, which had just opened at 9:30 a.m.  Good thing we got there early!  By noon, there was a line out the door to enter!  We had it mostly to ourselves all morning!

The kids had a blast and the grandson was busy READING (yes, he is reading!) nearly every sign there!  They have a lot of hands-on exhibits for kids, and he was busy touching those.  He got to watch a scientist working in the dino lab, he got to touch replicas of fossils, and a coyote skin, and touch crystals.  The two year old just RAN everywhere!  She's high energy, FOR SURE!

I bought him some nice presents in the gift shop and let him take home a dinosaur tooth replica.

It was a fun, but exhausting day!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Beautiful fall colors at the Whitewater Preserve

After Friday afternoon's storm, I knew our local mountains would have snow, and LOTS of it!  And, yup...Saturday morning I awoke to see snow everywhere!  I didn't go up to the horses.  I will do that today.  Instead, hubby and I headed out about 9:30 a.m. the opposite direction, toward Whitewater Canyon, which is at the base of the San Bernardino mountains.  The Whitewater River flows into the Coachella Valley aquifer and replenishes our underground water supplies, so snow on those mountains is important to our valley.  And, there was a lot of fresh snow yesterday!

I was hoping that the trees at the preserve would still have some color and they didn't disappoint me.  What a beautiful place!  I'm thinking that once I retire, I'll be spending a LOT of time up there!

 This was the view from the parking lot.
 I got out and just wandered around.  Hubby went another way...

 I loved the sunlight coming through the trees.

Lots of beautiful leaves!

Friday, December 11, 2015

MORE flower photos to make folks in the east envious!

I know...I'm evil!  (heh, heh!)...Out here in Southern California, our winter growing season is just beginning.  The Peter Rabbit Farms owns the property on 2 sides of our school and they just finished putting in their watering sprinklers for the carrots they grow on two large fields.  One field is north of the school and the other one is right across the street.  Maybe I'll take some photos today with my cell phone...Farmers are growing lettuce, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, and even asparagus right now.  I'll stop after school and TRY to remember to take some photos.  I always enjoy driving out through the fields...

ANYWAY, 6 more days of school (i.e. CHAOS this time of year) and then 3 weeks off!  Whoo, whoo! I CANNOT wait!  I'm SO looking forward to retirement!  However, this little class is so sweet!  I know I'll just be a big pile of tears when they leave...sigh...They really are sweethearts (well, there are a couple of exceptions!)  Yesterday, one of the district teachers on special assignment came by.  She has done some writing lessons with them and they brought EVERY SINGLE KID a beautifully-colored lead pencil and a bubblegum-flavored candy cane!  WOW!  You should have seen their eyes!  I'm one of the very few teachers who actually implements her ideas in the classroom and I've given her some work samples and I've taken photos and shared them with her.  I always enjoy trying new ideas!

Well, time to go...
Enjoy your day!
~Cheryl Ann~

More photos from my garden!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More garden COLOR!

I returned to the neighborhood nursery Sunday morning.  That was my only outing for the day.  I needed a day to rest.

Anyway, I wanted to fill in the now-dead daisy which I bought at Lowe's... :-(  So, I bought 2 more, 3 blue daisies, 1 red verbena, and 2 petunias.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Another weekend

I didn't get up to see the horses this weekend...I just had too many things to do Saturday and Sunday I was exhausted.  I did make it up the street to the local nursery and I bought 9 new plants for my front garden, including one red verbena, which the butterflies and hummingbirds will really enjoy.  I also planted a packet of nasturtiums in the same spot they were last year, since a couple have already come up from that crop.  I watered my sweet peas out back.  They are doing nicely.  I took a couple of naps yesterday and now I'm ready for another week.

 Quad is up in the round pen now, so he can't chew on Sunni's tail any longer!
 This is the ranch a couple of weeks ago.  I love the fall colors!
More of the ranch from a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Winter Wonderland

Our local mountains turned white overnight Thursday night and Friday morning I was itchin' to drive up and see the snow.  I only had to drive 15 minutes.  There was fresh snow in Pinyon Pines, where my friend Barbara lives.  And, at 8:30 a.m, it was still snowing!   :-)  I cruised around her neighborhood.  I didn't wish to intrude on her family or her chores, so I stayed in my nice, warm, comfy car and took photos from the driver's side.  HA!  I know...that's cheating, but, hey, it was COLD!

 The now empty Sugar Loaf Cafe.  I sure hope somebody buys it and turns it into a market!  This is at about 3900 feet.
 Taken from the empty parking lot at the Sawmill Trail...
 I liked the snow on the fallen agave.
 Looking back toward the road toward Palm Desert...
 Again, from the parking lot at the trail head...
 Cold mailboxes!
 Outdoor furniture covered with snow...
 I liked the red truck against the snow...
 Barbara's red barn...
Another view of the mailboxes before I left to drive home...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Just hanging around the yard

I'm really enjoying our 80 degree weather.  However, by tomorrow, a cold front is moving in and there might be SNOW up at the horse ranch!  YES!  Brrrrr.....!!!

So, yesterday I went back to the garden center, bought 4 more snapdragons (since the hummingbirds like them), 2 verbenas, 1 mint, and 3 packages of a miniature sunflower.  These only grow to be 2-3 feet tall, so I planted them next to the railroad ties raised bed, so they won't block the afternoon sun.  I had 7 cabbage plants from school on Friday.  Every 3rd grader got to take home a cabbage plant, and there were about 16 left, so I took 7.  They are now happily planted in the raised bed, along with the mint.  I figured the mint would discourage some of the cabbage moths....???

I'll go out this morning and take some more photos.  I'm really enjoying my front yard garden this year.  I hope the plants do well with all the El Nino storms forecast!

Here are a few photos from yesterday:

 My daisies...
 My 20 year old cat who insists on being in EVERY photo!  Oye!
 Snapdragons and daisies...
More snaps...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nursery visit

I'm slowly buying a few plants every weekend to add to my garden out front.  It was dormant all summer.  I now have daisies, lavender, purple salvia, red salvia, snapdragons, and a couple of things that I don't know their names.  I have yellow, orange, red, and blue and purple flowers.  I like to see some color in the winter because I sit for HOURS every day, at my computer desk, looking out into the front yard, and it would be nice to see some color.  I'm focusing on plants that don't need a lot of water.

So yesterday I went to visit our local nursery, which is just up the street from our house.  It's been there 40 years and is family-run.  It backs into a canyon at the end of the street and there are quail, hummingbirds, finches, sparrows, and even a couple of crows that live there.  There are a LOT of hummingbirds there!  I only wish I could get better photos of them!  They fly so fast!  I love to go up there on a weekend morning and just walk around with my camera.  The staff is pretty indulging.  I've been up there often enough and I buy enough that they don't bother me.  And, yesterday, I saw two vintage WWII planes fly right overhead!

I came home and planted the 5 little plants that I bought, but I'm thinking about returning today to buy more snapdragons.  The hummers really enjoy those!

Here are some photos from yesterday:

 I did manage to get this hummingbird photo!
 Cute johnny jump-ups!
 This is the canyon.  People hike on the trails above the nursery.
 Tacoma stans
 Another hummingbird.  I had my camera set at 1/200th of a second, but that was too slow to capture the movement of its wings.
Vintage WWII planes that flew overhead.  There was some kind of exhibition in Palm Springs yesterday.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I have a big announcement.  At the end of this school year, I'm RETIRING!  YES!  I can hardly wait! 

And, my district MAY be offering a nice financial inducement, too, if enough teachers decide to retire!

After 30 years, I'm completely burned out.  I'm TIRED.  I'm constantly getting colds/viruses/whatever germs the kids bring to school.  I had to go to urgent care last Thursday because I had horrible stomach cramps for the 2nd time.  Fortunately, after 2 days of a Z-pak, I was pain free!  

It's TIME.  The kids, I hate to say, are getting DUMBER and DUMBER.  And, they are so apathetic, too!  They want EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW and they whine and complain if they don't get their iPads on time or some other ridiculous thing.  OYE!  What a spoiled generation.

Additionally, I'll have another grandchild in May, and I need to give my own family some attention. Our daughter is having another child (this will be her 2nd...) and I need to be around to help her.

So, June 11, 2016....I'll be doing the HAPPY DANCE!