Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Just Another Beautiful Day in the Desert

I began this morning like every morning, with a walk around the desert, checking out the new arrivals and seeing what there is to see. You would think that after a few weeks of wandering about every morning it would get old, but it doesn't. I never take exactly the same route so although you might see the same stuff it is usually from a different angle or with different light on it. The last day or two have been pretty active with rigs coming and going, here is a bunch that are familar, they must have got tired of shivering up near Quartzsite and decided to wander a little farther south.
After my walkabout I jumped in the truck and ran into Yuma to pick up a couple of Amazon packages that had been delivered to a locker in there. Yuma is obviously a "remote" outpost on the Amazon planet as even with Prime it is about 6 days to get things delivered here and often the Lockers are full and that delays things even more, waiting on folks to get out and pick up their stuff to make room for more folks and "their" stuff. Oh well it is not like we are in a rush or anything. While I was in town I stopped by the Uhaul shop and filled a propane tank, and picked up a couple of things for Brenda at the grocery store as well. And of course got rid of some rubbish along the way as well. The rest of the day was spent chillin' and watching our little buddies buzzing around.
This fellow above came and sat in a tree about 2 feet away from me, obviously wanted his portrait done. And a few seconds later he jumped up and headed for the feeder for this action shot. They are not bugged at all by having me and my cell phone sitting almost on top of their feed source, and I can get within a foot or two of them while they are eating. All todays shots were taken with my iPhone.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Lazy Desert Days

We are not doing much out here along the American Girl, just chillin' in the desert.
I was out for my morning walkabout before the sun came up as usual. So peaceful here just wandering up the wash, the only sound my own footsteps and the lonely train horn down the road a bit. We are far enough away that the train doesn't bother us, just adds a little reminder that civilization is racing by just a mile or two down the road.
Once I am back from my daily wanderings, and the sun is up over the mountains to the East of us, the rest of the day I spend just watching the light change over there and poking around in the wash beside us looking for something new or a different angle to shoot it at. Might be a little time spent checking my eyelids for holes when the sun is high in the sky. And our "flock" of hummingbirds keep us entertained most of the day, buzzing back and forth, sometimes just inches away from my recliner.
We had one of Brenda's Potato Salads and some burgers on the BBQ for dinner tonight before heading out to watch another spectacular sunset. I swear that she makes the best potato salad on the planet and there is always enough for two days, and like a lot of special dishes the flavours meld together so tomorrow's salad will be even better than today's. My Aunt Hazel made a great potato salad and for many, many, many years it was what I considered the gold standard, but I am thinking Brenda's is every bit as good and maybe a touch better. Sure would be a toss up anyway I am sure. I wasn't going to inundate you with hummer pictures again today, but I sat down a couple of feet away from the feeder to see if I could catch the light refracting through the glass as the sunset and this little critter decided it was time for his final meal of the day and me and my iPhone be damned he was going to hit the feed pail.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Back in the Desert

As I said the other day we are back from the seashore, and after rescuing our rig from the Park we abandoned her in for a short trip, we headed back out into the desert. The Park wasn't crowded but it was NOISY, and that is not what we are used to. We are happy to be back out alongside the American Girl Wash again, in fact within inches of being in the same spot we were in earlier. Good thing we pulled out here yesterday, today there have been a few more rigs joining us along the Wash, so for sure this great location would have been taken. I am back to my old desert walkabouts early in the day so I will bore you with a few sunrise pictures.
It is great walking along the wash early in the morning, not a sound out there except the crunching of my boots in the sand.
And soon after the sun is up in the sky the hummingbirds come to feed. Today it was a lot like rush hour, guess they were happy to see us back or at least our feeder back in the neighbourhood.
I probably need to apologize to folks who also hang out on the Facebook site as most of these pictures show up on both sites. I have said before but these little buzz bombers are aggressive protectors of their food sources so it is a constant air war going on here daily.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

We're Back

It was nice while it lasted, and we had a great getaway to the sea, but we have come back to the desert and will be heading back out into the boonies tomorrow bright and early. We thought we needed a little ocean time and our trucked needed some brake and AC work so the time was ripe for a salt water escape. We came in out of the desert last Sunday, spent Monday catching up on our laundry and picked up a rental car while dropping off the 450 for it's spa treatment. Then it was off to the coast and Pacific Beach for a two night visit. It was different walking on the "boardwalk", really a cement sidewalk instead of meandering through the desert, but interesting nevertheless.
The two shots above were from last nights sunset, as I have said before it is worth staying for the whole event as things change rapidly as the sun goes down. In the first shot sharp eyes will see what I think is a Marine V-22 out for a sunset cruise. Both nights as I watched the sunset this aircraft came by, the first night doing a lot of dipping and circling, not sure what he was up to, but maybe he spotted a whale or something offshore and was just having a look, or just maybe he was just entertaining the looky-loo's shoreside.
These two shots above were taken from or off the Crystal Pier just down the beach from our hotel, those old planks creaked as I walked across them but I saw a pickup truck drive out there so they must be OK. There are cottages out on the pier that I guess you can stay in.
This great mural was in the alley behind our hotel. Pretty nice alleyway art. But sometimes an alley is just an alley, but we don't discrimate we wander in the plain ones as well as the fancy ones.
And a couple of shots of the local flora, around the hotel and throughout the area. Pacific Beach is for the most part a clean friendly place, lots of folks walking the beachfront and all pretty friendly, and dogs, man there are a lot of dogs, and everyone well behaved with and keeping their owners close at hand.
Below are a couple more shots of the beach I took yesterday. I can only imagine how many folks are on this beach on a nice summer weekend, cause here in what they call winter, in mid-week it was a busy place and hard to get a picture without a bunch of folks wandering through it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Change Up

I thought it was getting a little tedious for our readers, a few pictures of sunrise, a couple of hummers blowing by, and then a few words of prose so we decided to change things up a little. We had been in our spot on the American Girl for two weeks and that is a good time to move on in this boondocking world. We had a couple of things that needed doing, like dumping tanks, laundry, and getting the AC in the 450 looked after. So I made an appointment for the truck, but first we hauled the rig into a park where we could abandon it for a road trip of our own.
A shot of the moon as I headed out on my walkabout a couple of mornings ago, and below some Ocotillo's and the sunrise along the wander in the desert.
Then we decided it had been 25 or so years since we had ventured into the San Diego area so we made some reservations and headed west, without the Solitude or the truck. They are staying back in the desert for this trip. It is some interesting country to the west of El Centro going over that coastal range of hills. I would call them mountains but they look like nothing more than huge, 4000 foot high piles of boulders, dumped there by some behemoth rock truck. One of the things I saw that kind of bothered me was the mammoth solar installations on the edge of the Imperial Valley, while I have no issue with solar power, we have it on our RV, somehow it seems that land like that in the Imperial Valley, North America's green grocers homeland, is not the place to sterilize so much of it with those installations. I have seen a lot more likely places on land that probably doesn't feed a continent. But enough said about that.
I found this fellow standing on the sidewalk when I wandered down to the local Amazon locker to pick up something, and his buddy was watching over the beach go'ers just behind him.
We had an early dinner at a rooftop place down the road from our hotel called the Pacific Beach Ale House, good food, great staff, and a pretty decent view as well. Then it was back to beachfront walk by our hotel to see the sun sink into the sea. That speck, kind of bug like is a Boeing V-22, maybe some Marines out for their own version of a sunset cruise. I suspect they were combining a sunset cruise/whale watching session with probably some training as they seem to do a lot of circling and swooping out there while we watched.
And in the tradition of Lorne over there on the A Place called Away blog here is a view from my window this evening.
Till next time, life is good here down the road from Dogpound.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Another Desert Day

Once again we didn't do anything worth writing about, a wander about the desert, a couple of great meals, and a picture or two of my friends the hummingbirds. Over the last couple of days there has been a few more rigs showing up in our neighbourhood, but none within our comfort zone, which is great.
Above is a look at our spot here. Although we have to share it with two or three hummingbirds and a coyote that comes by in the night, it is a pretty great spot to hide out from the winter weather back home.
Other than a picture or two of this little rooster that posed for my camera, I pretty much let the little speedsters come and go unbothered today, even hummingbirds get tired of being pictured all the time I bet. But they did gobble up a bunch of food on their visits here to see us.
We think this is an Anna's hummingbird but whatever he is he is a pretty little critter.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Camp Day

It is Thanksgiving Day for all our American friends, but us Canadians had our turkey day back in October, just before we left to come south. I enjoyed Thanksgiving at my son Paul's place, and they always have a big spread of to much food that tastes to good to not eat, so I have already done my overeating for the fall season.
Here is my looking back at my window shot for this morning, taken as I was heading out to make sure the desert was all good since I was last out there yesterday morning. I like to get a little exercise in the morning as for the rest of the day I do a pretty fine imitation of a sloth and don't do much of anything.
Someone was working overtime this morning colouring up the skies for us desert rats. Once I get done my wander about the countryside I usually just come back and chill around camp, unless there is some burning desire to go to town, but today is a camp day, and tomorrow probably as well, as the Black Friday horde will be out in full force I can imagine. So it was basically a listen to tunes, and shoot some hummingbirds type of day. I caught this one showing off her flying skills and coming in for her Thanksgiving feast on full instruments, she has done it so often she can do it with her eyes closed.
The shot below shows some nice colour but really shows how fast these little critters move, my shutter speed is taking this image at 1/8000 of a second and that can't even freeze the wing action on this little desert speedster.