It is with a heavy heart that I write about the last of the desert wildflowers. I understand that it is the story of the desert and the extremes of an arid climate, but it is still a dramatic and incredible feat of nature to witness the super bloom and I am sorry to see it fade. The caterpillars, wind and rising temperatures have been the doom of the blossoms and the seeds and pollen have been dispersed for yet another year. Anza Borrego Desert State Park is returning to normal, the crowds have moved on and the cry of a single Swainson’s Hawk fades in the distance.
The Anza Borrego Desert State Park Super bloom is just too grand for me to ignore. I can’t help myself for wanting to upload more photographs. It will be past its peak by the end of the week because of rising temperatures. Once it is gone, it will be gone…. I have to admit that the past 3 weeks have been a blur of activity and anticipation. To watch the desert bloom into such a profuse amount of wildflowers has been a gift to witness. I will always be grateful for having witnessed it first hand. It made living through the inferno of last summer all worth it.
Callie has a cough that has progressively gotten worse through out the week and I decided to locate a new veterinarian for her that is closer to Borrego Springs. Lara and I took her to Dr. Michael A. LaPorte at the Julian Veterinary Hospital in Julian, California. Julian is a small rural community known for its apple pie and is about an hour drive southwest of BS. It is up in the mountains and 20 degrees cooler than in the desert.
The service was fabulous and Callie was diagnosed with an upper- respiratory infection. She was given two injections and an antibiotic and cough suppressant. She handled herself with good manners and dignity and I was very proud of her. The assistant took a photograph of her on the examination table because she was such a good girl. I will take her back in 10 days for a check-up and will have her microchipped on the next visit. They only had international microchips and recommended the US only.
When we were finished with the doctor’s appointment we headed over to Granny’s Kitchen and I had a scone and coffee and Lara had the egg plate special. The food was delicious and the service very good. I ended up buying Sumatra coffee beans to go because the coffee was so delicious.
Callie is sleepy and thirsty which is a side effect from the medications and she is very happy to be home. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she will start to feel better soon so that we can head out in the RV to Mount Laguna Campgrounds next week.
My daughter Lara is visiting and taking a break from working on her dissertation and PhD program in physiology to play with me for several days. We got up at the crack of dawn and were the first car signing in to hike Borrego Palm Canyon. The sun was just starting to rise as the moon set in the west. You would not believe what a week makes in terms of the brittle brush and other blooming plants. It appears that most every plant is blooming now and I have never seen so many visitors to Anza Borrego Desert State Park. I am proud of where I live. Park Rangers are assisting the crowds of people that have descended on our tiny community and helping them to experience optimal fun while enjoying the desert safely. Lara and I had a wonderful hike and made it to the oasis. The temperature was mild and the lower portion of the hike shaded from the sun. We did not see any sheep on this hike but I know they were all around enjoying the beautiful day.
What a difference a couple of weeks can make with the desert wildflowers. I have posted many photos in the past of this exact same view from the backyard and I am amazed at the profusion of flowers…Onyx, Desert Chicory, Wild Heliotrope, Flowering Creosote, Popcorn and Thistle Sage are the predominant flowers in this view.
I have been busy for the past couple weeks being manic about the wildflowers in Anza Borrego and I thought I would update my readers about Miss Callie. As long as we get home at a decent hour, Callie is fine with sleeping the day away on her roof top Kong Bed. When the activity load exceeds her desire to participate, she runs under my bed to alert me that she would rather not be bothered. It is a treat for her to know that we are hiking under the scorching sun and that she has a day off to take a nap. If we are gone too long and for too many days in a row, she will sit by the door and ask to participate. So today was a day to nap. Callie has once again flattened the roof of her Kong bed to create a hammock type sofa bed and is really enjoying the naughtiness of it all. I have watched her in action when she no longer desires the comforts of a homey condo and would rather sleep on the roof. Callie has to jump up and pound the roof with her front paws much like a fox in snow leaping on top of a mouse hidden under a drift. It takes several attempts before she gets the roof to flatten just so. Then she crawls up on top of the bed and makes herself cozy. She goes back and forth from the round bed to the flattened roof and has a view of the desert from where she sleeps. Coyotes have been howling at the full moon during the night and we saw a silver desert fox this evening while sipping wine and beer in the backyard. Michael, Fred and I are very tired from hiking the Slot and will try to get up early to hike Borrego Palm Canyon one more time before the flower display fades into the heat of the sun. Callie does her best to cooperate by taking lengthy naps and sleeping the day away…..
Michael, Fred and I got up at dawn to hike The Slot, a narrow siltstone canyon hiking trail before the day got too hot. You can locate the marker on Route 78 East if you are driving from Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs and turn left or (north) on a road marked Buttes Pass. It is a well maintained dirt road leading to the parking lot. The winding trail descends into the canyon below and as the trail gets narrower, the cliffs get taller. There are times along the trail where you have to turn sideways in order to squeeze through, hence the name, and it is a lovely, easy hike to the bottom. When we reached the canyon below, we saw wildflowers everywhere because of the recent rains and the Anza Borrego super-bloom and the view of the valley was quite spectacular. Heading back home along the dirt road, we sidetracked to Hawk Canyon and were not disappointed. Wildflowers were everywhere and it is a place that people can camp overnight.