The Super-bloom has Arrived at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Michael, Fred and I went off-roading to Coyote Canyon and drove past Henderson Canyon today and were not disappointed by the spring bloom. It is most certainly a super bloom and I am so appreciative that I live here to watch it unfurl. The people visiting were in awe of the profusion of color and perfumed air of the desert and roamed around in a daze. It has heated up with temperatures in the 90’s forecasted all week, so the next few days are probably the last of the flowers. Soon the insects will arrive to feast on the floral bonanza and the Swainson’s Hawks will be close behind. What a display of nature and all its bounty. 

A Blanket Full of Feathers

Now why didn’t I think of this sooner? I have had trouble locating blankets that Callie finds appealing and have actually known her to leap away from a blanket she doesn’t like. The wonderful fleece, lap blankets sold in most stores, Callie finds appalling. It is almost like she thinks a cat was skinned and made a blanket out of. Attempts at getting her to sleep on one are met with contempt and all four paws spread out with such aversion that her feet hardly touch the blanket before she is airborne in disgust. When traveling in the RV, I need to know that she can find a safe and warm place to rest if she is kicked out of our bed. Yesterday I chanced upon a dirty and torn goose down comforter that was buried deep inside the linen closet and decided to wash and repair it. I no sooner had the blanket laid out on the floor to sew and patch up the tear, that Callie claimed it for herself. She took one sniff at it, swatted at a few feathers and rolled and tossed and turned and snuggled up and took a nap. I had trouble repairing it because she thought it was a game of finders keepers. It is perfect for the RV because it is “feather lite” and will be easy to store. She will be toasty warm if we head up to the mountains and into the snow. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. A blanket full of feathers for a cat… purrfect!

A Visual Update on Anza Borrego Spring Bloom

My sister Gayle and brother in law David came to visit on Sunday and we drove out to Coyote Canyon and Henderson Canyon to check out the wildflowers. Every day brings a few more blooms. It was cold and windy last night which is not good for the fragile flowers so I am keeping fingers crossed the bloom will continue to develop throughout the week.

Bedroom Etiquette 

Lately I have been focusing all of my attention on the desert wildflowers and Callie wants another story about her. I have described in past blog posts that Callie has preferred preferences on which bed she likes depending on her mood. Sometimes she likes to sleep curled up by my side and if I toss and turn too much, she jumps up on the bedroom hutch and either sleeps on the flattened roof of her Kong bed, inside her bed or on her round bed that goes to Holiday Pet Hotel when she is boarded. The round bed becomes her least favorite bed after a lengthy stay at HPH, but given enough time in between, she will crawl up into it and curl up in a ball. I looked for her last night in the middle of the night because I could hear her snoring and reached inside the Kong bed assuming she was in there. When I didn’t find her there, I gave up and didn’t even consider looking in the round bed. I kept hearing her on and off throughout the night and thought maybe she was under the covers or under the bed. I didn’t find her until this morning after I had gone out to shoot my dawn photographs of the foothills behind the house and I called and whistled for her and she finally popped her head up to let me know where she was. She couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about but was pleased with herself for causing trouble. Sometimes I think she purposefully likes to view me frantically looking for her. It gives her personal satisfaction to watch me become more and more agitated. Cats are such a trip. She will yawn and stretch and reach out to me and give me a little pat as if to say, “Chill out woman, what is all the fuss about?”…. 

The Borrego of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

I am fortunate to live among the Bighorn Sheep of Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The population of sheep has been growing steadily and appear to be healthy. It is interesting when hiking Borrego Palm Canyon, you will come across bands of young males hoping to become the next breeding dominate ram. These young males hang around each other a safe distance from the main herd and practice butting heads and improving their skills. It is the dominant female that shows the young where to graze and search for water. The herd that hangs out at De Anza Country Club have quite a few lambs and at least two collared females. The ram has a broken right horn and snakes his head and stretches his neck in and out while nipping at the flanks of his family to drive them forward. When frightened, they can dash up the mountain and are almost soundless as they scramble up the steep cliffs. They are amazingly agile animals and disappear into the background once they stand still. 

Coyote Canyon

Michael and I took a quick 5 mile drive off road to Coyote Canyon to check out the wildflowers and were surprised to see as many flowers as we did. It was apparent that flash flooding and a fair amount of water passed through the area recently and flowers were quite abundant. I think that the peak bloom will still be a week away though. We did see more Primrose and Verbena and several Desert Lilies and Desert Dandelions. It was a fabulous day and the sun was out and the temperature was a mild 74 degrees. Henderson Canyon had more Primroses then yesterday and Indian Head Ranch was filled with Dandelions. I can’t wait for the yellow and orange from the desert Sunflowers and Poppies to paint the desert a profusion of color.

Dune Evening Primrose

Now isn’t that a great name for a desert dwelling flower that appears almost over night in the harshest, driest, sandiest, locations…. Henderson Canyon in Anza Borrego Desert State Park is filled with these robust low lying, large showy flowers. It is still too early for the Verbena and Desert Sunflowers, but I am pretty sure this weekend will not disappoint all the people that will flock to the desert to see the wildflowers. The sunshine was abundant today and there was no wind to dry out the fragile blooms. Good weather is predicted all week and into the next with temperatures continuing to rise. 

We spent all day in Palm Springs and Indio doing errands and Callie had to stay home by herself for the day. She does not enjoy staying by herself and actually threw up by the kitchen window while we were gone. When we retuned home, I made sure to groom her and give her extra attention and she made sure to return the favor back to me. She likes to lie up on Michael’s large B&W speakers while we watch TV if she isn’t already in her red basket on the table. Michael mentioned that she has been ignoring him for several days and I assured him that it wouldn’t last. He has had his friend Fred visiting and she has chosen to spend more time with me. As soon as I left the room tonight to work on my blog, who should I catch snuggled up in her beloved’s lap when I came back in to say goodnight!?  I Caught Callie once again in the act of rampant betrayal. I quickly left the room to continue to write so that I didn’t disturb the lovebirds. They both look so guilty when I catch them sleeping together and I can’t understand why. She leaps out of his arms if I walk into the room.  I need a good night’s rest so that I can take photographs tomorrow and will be going to bed early. Let them hang out all they want in front of the TV! May the Dune Evening Primrose continue to bloom all week and the other wildflowers make their debut soon. Can’t wait to see what the morning will bring. Every day will have a different flower competing for their special day under the sun.

Jumping across the Grand Canyon

Something jared my memory today about a dream that I had many years ago. It was a dream that stayed with me for a long time and I am a bit surprised to have it return to me at this time in my life. Is it because I have started writing? I have discovered that writing is a powerful tool for clarifying life’s experiences and it is healing in so many ways. So it is very puzzling to me that dreams are starting to come back to me after many years of silence.

I am standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon contemplating whether I will be able to jump across safely to the other side. Of course in dreams one can do the impossible, but I did try to determine whether it was a good idea to leap before I made the attempt. After some hesitation, I decided to jump….

When I made the effort to leap across the Grand Canyon I had indeed miscalculated and knew that I would fall short of my goal. When I realized my mistake and as I tumbled and fell toward the bottom, I went through a series of emotions that are similar to that of accepting one’s death. There are stages that you go through. Denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance. As I fell, I remember looking at the layers of time imbedded in the sandstone and rock formations of the cliff and marveled at how old the earth was. I felt anger and a sense of denial that this couldn’t be happening to me and tried to figure a way out of my predicament. Right before my body slammed into the ground I accepted my death as inevitable and a sense of peace and calm came over me. Right as I hit,  I opened my eyes while laying in bed and I looked at myself looking up at me falling from above. I noticed the wallpaper pattern in my bedroom of pale white and blue flowers zooming downwards and watched myself falling into me. When my body connected with the body falling from the sky, I lurched from the impact and it forced me up into a sitting position. I looked around in shock at what I had experienced and understood that I had returned from traveling outside my body. It was so real and powerful that I can see it clearly after 25 years.  I haven’t thought about this dream in years, yet it feels like yesterday that I dreamed it and I am appreciative that I recalled it. I have other dreams that I am remembering once again and will start to write them down. It is an interesting time to be recalling these dreams. I have gone so long not remembering any of them and they are starting to flood my consciousness. Life is such a journey….