Saturday, February 14, 2015

Road trip diary, day 3.

This morning started with bird song. Lots of it.

little bird with a black speckled bib, singing on the rooftop.

After a nice, slow start, we drove into Joshua Tree. Below is an ocotillo tree. Not a cactus. Deciduous, with these beautiful red flowers and also that perfect blue sky.

Not a cactus.

The historian looks good in an ocotillo patch.


(close up. ocotillos are addictive.)

tiny leaves appearing above each thorn.

(also, I apparently can't stop taking pictures of myself in the rear view mirror. vacation hazard, I guess.)

big camera.

We drove from the south exit of Joshua Tree through a crazy canyon down to Mecca, and from there, to the Salton Sea.

I took this picture of the pelicans at the North Shore
Marina and Yacht Club. No yachts in evidence, fyi.

Which was both the same as what I had heard, and different. I didn't realize how much bird life there was. So much!

I had to work to get this tiny yellow flower into focus.
I hope you're happy.

(also, I will never pass up a flower photo opportunity.)

tiny & cute, right?

(or a bird.)

egrets galore at the Salton Sea.

Egret taking off.

But we did finally get to Bombay Beach, which is pretty burnt out.

"abandon all hope ye who enter"

who is this? kind of wolfish, with those
teeth, especially on the boards of
a boarded up house.

And I am not sure what to make of this injunction, either,
posted as it is on a house that's wrecked and abandoned.
There's a sort of an explanation here (and here) for this, but all the explanations in the world can't quite do justice to the state of this town, or how people still live by the Salton Sea.

We kept driving--we drove so far that when we drove back, we had to pass through Border Control (guess what? the historian does not seem like a person who comes from Mexico to the Border Control agent, whoa!). We were aiming for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Preserve. That's right, Sonny Bono.

This place was amazing. Evidently, the Salton Sea is a major bird highway. There are about 600 species of birds in North America, and about 400 or so of them have been spotted in the Refuge. We walked for a mile or so as the sun set. The birds were flying everywhere.

birds flying in the last light. 

And then we found some enchiladas to eat.

happy valentine's day!


  1. I know that road trip rear view self portrait hazard well. Why? I stare at those ones where I delete other self portraits without a thought.
    Good work on the flower focus. I'm pretty happy about it, yeah.

  2. Oh my, this all looks so good. And honestly, the historian looks good period. As do you.

  3. Don and I were there a week or so ago. Lovely.



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