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.
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.