Update from Borrego Springs: Just in time for going home…..

Buena Vista: the beautiful view

My friend Sheri has taken up painting. She’s quite good at it in my opinion. She invited me to give it a try. I’d never done anything like this. When I was a kid the teacher told me that my drawing was lousy. Whatever I did in art class I got a bad grade. It was frustrating and humiliating. So I stuck with the things that I was good at: reading, memorizing poems, writing essays. This is my second effort at painting. I like seeing what happens when I stick the brush in the paint and then put it on the paper. And I like just looking at something and noticing what’s there. This is the view from Sheri’s backyard in Borrego Springs. I love the mountains that surround this valley. I love the foothills. I love the desert bajada, the sky, the clouds. I don’t even care if the teacher gives me a “C”. Thank you, Sheri, for letting me have a chance to paint a picture.

The Year of the Rodent

Even without the pandemic it’s been a different year. I’d call this the “Year of the Rodent”. And it just so happens that this is the Chinese Year of the Rat.

When I first started thinking about this it was because we’ve enjoyed watching the rabbits from our backyard. We’ve always had some, but they were pretty rare. Not this year. They are so darned cute–little cottontails chasing around in the desert. Then there were the White-tailed Antelope Squirrels. They dash back and forth from the shelter of the cheesbush behind our trailer, picking up dropped bird seed and then dashing back to shelter. And then, if that wasn’t enough I was sitting out back and noticed a huge pile of dirt being spit up from below. As I watched, a small head emerged and another cute critter popped out, emerging little by little, finally showing itself to be a gopher. I know I’m not supposed to like these guys but this one, a gal, I think, finally went out, grabbed a batch of dried oleander and pulled it down into her burrow. Next morning there were two more piles of dirt with adjacent holes, one of them right on the edge of Jonathan’s bocce court. I can follow the piles of dirt for a ways, she’s got quite a long tunnel going. I hope there’s some greenery left when we return next year.

But where are the coyotes? I guess it’s not too surprising with all those rabbits that something must have happened to the coyotes. If the park were open I’d probably get the lowdown on this, but I haven’t seen a coyote all season. And lately I haven’t even heard them. Back in January, yes. Now it’s pretty rare. But, alas, the state park, along with pretty much everything is closed.

Flowers? Yes, but no Superbloom.

March was cool and windy–pretty heavy rain too–monsoonal rain, it drenched the desert and filled the low places (vados), blocking the roads with sand. The rain came too late to provide the moisture for a “superbloom”. Still, the cactus blooms have been impressive. The Ocotillo blooms are bright red.

Blooming Beavertail
Bikes and Bouganvilla at the market
It may not be a superbloom but look at this field of Fremont’s Pincushion as far as you can see.
Blooming Barrel

You might get the impression that we haven’t been doing anything this past year. Not true! I’ve been checking out some new activities here in Borrego, learning lots. But honestly, some mornings I just sit out in the desert and before I know it the whole morning is gone. It’s just such a show: the birds! The aforementioned rodents! Lizards! I’ll miss that part of it.

And this was before the Governor’s order to “shelter in place”. Now it’s easier to just sit and watch the desert go by. We’ve been ordered to just sit here and watch.

We start for home tomorrow. Upcoming: Birding in Borrego. More about Mexico. California History Weekend. Hawk Canyon Concert. Community and Coronavirus.

14 thoughts on “Update from Borrego Springs: Just in time for going home…..

  1. Rick Ebert

    Hope your journey home is a safe one. Stay healthy – Rick

    *From:* Where to, Johnny? [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:38 PM *To:* rick@alpsmgmt.com *Subject:* [New post] Update from Borrego Springs: Just in time for going home…..

    nancykeeley7030 posted: ” Buena Vista: the beautiful view My friend Sheri has taken up painting. She’s quite good at it in my opinion. She invited me to give it a try. I’d never done anything like this. When I was a kid the teacher told me that my drawing was lousy. Whatev”


  2. Martha

    So glad you are continuing with your painting. The first one was good, this one is so much better. Keep at it! You were fortunate to be able to stay so long in the desert. One of the cute Antelope Squirrels ate a hole in a bag of birdseed left behind our motorhome. They had a great time until Gene put it away. Miss watching all the activity. Thanks for including the flowers. Safe travels. Martha


  3. russ rickert

    Starting to hear the coyotes again. We have seen several out here passing through as well.
    Now that most of the visitors are gone, I expect they ( coyotes) will have the run of the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sheri

    I give it an “A”! I miss that view already and enjoyed all the playful little cottontails from that same vantage point. Safe and uneventful trip home – after the first day’s events, I mean .


  5. Laurel

    I love your painting!! I’ve been thinking to drag out my ‘art box’ now that we’re stranded here in Apalachicola for an undetermined length of time. I never seem to have the time to draw and paint when we’re traveling, and now I do. So thanks for the inspiration!


    1. nancykeeley7030 Post author

      Ah, Laurel, So good to hear from you. I have some catching up to do with your beautiful writing and photography. Once we get home and get sequestered that will be a lovely thing to do. I’m looking forward to it. Happy painting. May you both be blessed with health.



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