Saturday, January 31, 2009

February already?!!!

Plain ole side blotched lizard
Resident Great Horned Owl

Hello everybody, I (Louise) have returned after my trip to Ohio and have fully recovered from that nasty virus. I am very glad to leave the cold, snowy weather and am basking in the warm sunshine again. The two pix above aren't anything new, but Duane got a new lens for his camera and the owl and lizards are the only things willing to pose. We have been laying low for the past month, hanging around here working in the Center and taking hikes. We are planning an excursion to Quartzite this week. Hopefully we will find some Class of 06ers there. I also want to check out the rock dealers as I am an avid rockhound. I also need to visit the quilt shops to replenish my fabric stash. These places were all closed for the season when we passed through last Sept. Daughter Stacy will be in San Diego later this month (Feb) and we are looking forward to spending a day or two with her. She hasn't decided yet whether she will drive up here or we will meet her down there, but we will have fun either way. Make us tired, though, just thinking of the activity packed month ahead (he he).
More later.
Louise and Duane

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Louise is back home

Louise arrived back in California on Thursday. She is feeling pretty good now. She still gets a little tired but doing okay. She is baking cookies tonight so I guess she is on the road We have tomorrow off.
Till next time
Duane and Louise

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The latest carving is complete

I carved the blacksmith and anvil some time ago. I decided it was time to finish it. There is a fair near where we are living coming up in February. The carving club that I attend on Mondays has a booth there and there is a woodcarvers class at the fair. I am entering the blacksmith and one other carving in the competition. This is the first I have ever entered any of my carvings in a show. We will see how that goes.
I get my wife back tomorrow night. I can't wait. She seems to be doing alright since she got out of the hospital. She will arrive here at 8:00 tomorrow evening. It will great to have her back, getting tired of sleeping
Till next time
Duane and Louise

Sunday, January 18, 2009

American Kestrel

I went out this morning to see if I could get a good photo of the American Kestrel, I liked this one. They fly when you get close, so I went out and hid in the palms till he came back. The weather here has been in the 80s during the day. We have been really busy here at the preserve. The warm weather brings a lot of hikers out.
I hope to get Louise home some time week. We are waiting to make sure she feels good enough to make the all day flight, maybe Wednesday.
Till next time
Duane and Louise

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The CAT !!!!

First off, Louise is out of the hosiptal. All the test turned out ok. They did not find any heart problem. They think it was all connected to a virus she had picked up somewhere. She will stay in Ohio till the first of next week to make sure that all is ok before she gets on the plane to return to California. I can't wait for her return.
I went out to take some pictures of birds this morning and the bob cat in the pics crossed the trail in front of me. I was able to follow him for a little while and get a few pretty good pictures. This is the first time in all the hiking I have done here that I got to see the cat on the trail. I was really excited about it. Tomorrow I will return to the same area to try and get some better pictures of the Kestrals. They are a rapture in the falcon family. Maybe I will get lucky and find the cat again.
Till next time
Duane and Louise

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Louise goes to Ohio

Louise went to Ohio to visit the kids there. I stayed in California to work at the preserve. The first of the week she got to feeling a little sick. She passed out! Her daughter, Rachel, took her to the hospital emergency room, they kept her. She is still there. They have ran all kinds of test on her and have found nothing wrong with her. That is the good news. The bad news is we still don't know why she passed out. We think she may get out tomorrow. She will wait till she is feeling better before she returns here.
I have a very sore foot so I have slowed down on the hiking for a while. Not sure how, but I seem to have bruised the ball of my foot pretty bad. I had been hiking 2 to 6 miles a day and I can't wait to get back to it. I have been watching an owl for a while now and I miss going to the grove to see him. There was a couple of kestrels in a tree that I can watch from the coach. I think they are nesting in the tree. I hope to be able to get some good pics them soon.

Till next time
Duane and Louise

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Just felt the first earthquake since we arrived here. Louise is in Ohio so she missed it. According to the USGS it was a 5.0 magnitude centered about 60 miles from where we are located. I was sitting at the computer and the whole coach started to shake. It lasted about 45 seconds. I was waiting for another but it didn't
Louise is in Ohio for a week of grandbaby fix, so I am fending for myself. She left me a bunch of meals so I don't have to eat my own cooking. I cheated tonight and went to local hambuger joint, shame on me....hehehehe. When the cat is away.....hehehe. I did a 6 mile hike today and will go on another hike tomorrow with the naturalist here. Should be about a 4 miler. Guess I will walk off some of the french fries.....

Till next time
Duane and Louise

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hiking In The New Year


Trail making machine

Louise at the highest point of the Indio Hills

Canyon view

View of the trail
Happy new year to you all. We celebrated New Year's Eve with our new friends from the Preserve. New Year's Day we stayed home and goofed off. Yesterday (the 2nd) we hiked the new connection between Willis Palms and Moon Country. Our neighbors dropped us at the Willis Palms trailhead (1 1/2 miles down the road from our house). We walked the first part of that loop then took the connector over the ridge. Just short of the ending in Moon Country (about 2 miles from the house) the trail ended. As you can see in the second picture the little trackhoe is the trail making machine. It still has to make the path down the gravel hill a good 300 feet. We started out at Willis Palms at 320 feet above sea level. In the third pic I am standing at the highest point on the trail--1,308 feet. The last pic shows the trail winding in the distance just over the top of the big rock. In the fourth pic the white at the bottom of the canyon is a large sandy wash. This hike took us 3 hours of walking with one 10 rest for a snack break and 4 or so 1-2 minute photo stops. We walked 5.7 miles. Once the trail is finished it will be longer. We were tired but happy after our hike. Today we took a slacker walk of 2 miles to Mc Callum Oasis. Duane took some more pix of the resident Great Horned Owl. We got the really good shot of the mocking bird and saw a Northern Flicker on one of the palms after Duane's camera ran out of battery power (of course he left his spare at home).
Basta por hoy!
Louise and Duane