Down to the desert-Anza-Borrego
Colours, enchanting colours of the desert mornings. The sound of doves and early a lone coyote cry in the distance. We are always approached and warned by the plethora of paranoid campers about being”careful”, those coyotes, they’ll come and snatch your cats, right off the leash…sigh, yes, thanks for the warning. We have lived in the wilds before:) Maybe they mean well, and no, we don’t let our cats out loose and yes, we are perceptive about wildlife:) The camp host at first came over and said”Hey, dogs need to keep to the paths” then looked, cats? Never mind nothing in the rules about cats;) Funny world:)
The Palm Canyon trail is a beautiful hike up to a grove of, yes, palms:) 3.5 mile loop trail, up about 400′ in elevation. It starts at a small parking lot at the end of the road where the dry camping is located. The creek was running well, so much water! The trail criss-crosses the creek several times as you wind your way up. The path ranges from smooth sand to rocky bits and even a bit of scrambling at the end. I think it is remade each year after the rains wash it out:) It was quiet, a few other hikers but not crowded at all and that blue blue sky to marvel at!
…and the wildflowers are just starting. Mostly small bunches here and there, Western Painted Lady Butterflies are flitting about, landing briefly and moving on in waves. At one point in the path Mike’s eagle astronomer eyes spied a hummingbird on her nest, right next to the path. We sat on a rock and watched her come and go, fascinating, some hikers stopped, others just walked by…
One of nature’s marvels these tiny cuplike nests, made of plant fibers and spider webs, lined with plant down and sometimes feathers. I’m not sure if she is an Anna’s or a Costa’s Hummingbird, I thought I saw a flash of pink as she courted a male so most likely Anna’s:) They associate with males only long enough to copulate. The female constructs the nest, incubates the eggs, and cares for nestlings, lots of work for a single mother! Incubation is 14-19 days, that is quick! I could have stayed for hours…and I did come back the next day and sat for an hour before we had to vacate our campsite.
This was the first chance I had the opportunity to put my new camera strap to work, a BlackRapid Breathe Sport Strap that attaches to the Tamron Lens. It made it much easier crawling over rocks and through boulders, which is all part of the trail carrying the rather heavy lens:) The strap crosses your shoulder and has an additional under arm band to keep things from moving around, yet it is easy to raise the camera for any shot. Impressed:)
We went back the alternative way as that is usually where we see Borregos but none this trip, there is so much to eat right now they don’t need to come down into the canyon to forage. The hummingbird nest made my day!
I ventured out after dark to see if I could image the Winter Milky Way to the West but it was mostly faded from the light pollution coming from the West, LA and Desert Palm Springs I believe. It was still a gorgeous night to watch the stars and listen to the coyotes .
The next day we hopped across the lake, or the Salton Sea, I just want to call it a lake…a short drive from Anza-Borrego to the Western shore. I’d read up on a few of the campgrounds and we wanted to go someplace completely new to us, which it was. Didn’t know what to expect but so glad we did!
Stay tuned for the Salton Sea…coming soon! Saludos amigos!
Amazing pictures of the Humming bird and nest!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
A great adventure. So lucky to be able to sit and enjoy the Anna’s hummingbird in her nest and I loved the picture of the night sky, even if it wasn’t as dark as you’d hoped!
Wonderful always to see a nest and to watch:)