Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Birds, the Bees, and the Small Animals


Jacob's Tails . . . (Back-to-the-Land)"

has been downloaded 150 times at


Double Click on photos to enlarge

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you meet people and get to know them when you are out on the desert.

Anyway, we met and shared a new card game [Saskatchewan Rummy] with a couple from BC and then got an email and went off to find another couple [Tom & Nancy] we met in Indio, California. They were parked just a couple of roads away. Tom & Nancy are old-time Escapees and were off getting teeth work done in Algodones, Mexico and will probably be down around Ajo and Why after they are finished.

We heard from a couple [Judy & Terry] who are birders and Escapees and we had met a few years ago at Gunsite [the BLM near Why and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Park] to say they were going out there and would we like to join them.

Sure, why not? So on Monday we packed up and drove over here to Gunsite.

Yes, they are real birders and they know their stuff! I think trying to identify birds [without a good birder around] is just as tough as trying to identify different rocks when you have no idea why someone would pick up one particular rock and not another.

Mind boggling!

After three days we saw and identified more birds than we had even seen the past nine years.

Judy and Terry’s List

House Finch Sparrows Northern Cardinals Gila Woodpeckers Phainopela Verdins Oriole(new) (Hummers) Costas, Annas, Rufus Flicker-gilded Mockingbird Canyon Towhee Red Tail Hawk Black Throated Sparrow Gambels QuailChipmunks/Squirrels Rabbits

Our Photos (just some of them)

House Finch

Northern Cardinals




Gambels Quail


Feeder- after the Hummingbird left

Phainopela [we call it the P bird cuz we can never remember its name]



We both sat for hours just watching them all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shopping Malls, Fenced Communities and Fast California Drivers

Jacob's Tails . . . (Back-to-the-Land)"
has been downloaded 150 times at
Double Click on photos to enlarge

We left the desert, peace and quiet and Ogilby Road about the middle of February to venture further into California. I wanted to sit in on a writing workshop led by Alice (a fellow RV writer) near Aguanga, California (up in the hills about 20 miles from Temecula). Mind you, we’d been talking about this for three years now and this is the first time we’ve been this close.

Most Casinos welcome overnight parking so we based ourselves at Casino Spotlight 29 in Indio – the first settlement (community) along the Million Dollar Freeway (my name for it) that leads through to Palm Springs and beyond.

Visitor Information? – We never did find one

, even though we asked and asked and asked. The only map we found was the center-fold in one of the Casino Magazines.

Signage? – What signage? If you are here, you must know where you are going! Getting lost at least twice was the standard we set for ourselves.

Drivers? – Scary! – We may not have known where we were or where we were going, but they did and they took the shortest, fastest route they could find.

We did a dry-run to Aguanga in the car. It turned out that Alice’s park is on the other side of the hills. That meant going through one very big city that extends from Indio to beyond Palm Springs; up the steep, windy road t

o the top and then down the steep, windy road on the other side to get to Aguanga and the Jojoba Hills Park.

Well, we made it and agreed that there was no way we would take the Motor Home over

that road. When we got there, Alice pointed out that there was a far better route so we went back that way. Unfortunately, we were stuck in traffic for almost two hours (there was an accident); they were promising another storm with wind and rain; the drivers were so scaring we decided to put our visit off for another year.

As compensation, we found a Trader Joe’s; did some grocery shopping before we headed back to Ogilby Road for some desert peace and quiet and incredible sunsets.