Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One heck of a cold front

Shortly before five this morning, I was rudely awakened by thunder, lightening, a deluge of rain, and winds so strong I felt like the rig was going to roll over. I literally jumped out of bed, and in less than three minutes, I rearranged things and brought the slide-outs in! Then Emma and I sat in the living area and watched the news. What else can you do at five in the morning? Actually, I was surprised that I still had electricity. It seems anywhere I've been that the electric goes out with a storm of this intensity.

Eventually, the front moved through, the rain abated, and the skies cleared. The wind, however, continued to blow at an average of 32mph with gusts much higher. I had to make a decision....do the salinity tests and bird survey today, or try to get it done tomorrow morning before starting to cook for our Christmas Dinner at the RV pads. I decided to get it done today, so off I went.

I have two places that I stop to do the salinity tests, and this is the first one. I hope you notice the muddy conditions. I donned my rubber boots, stuffed the salinity meter into my pockets, grabbed my walking stick for stability, and began the challenge of sloshing through the muck and mire.

This is the view looking back through the mud that is spiced with plenty of cow pies. :) A fragrant and boot sucking trek to say the least. This is where the cattle drive, that I posted pictures of last week, ended up. The cows had moved off to another section, so at least I didn't have to deal with them up close and personal.

Once I got to the culvert that has locks (as in water locks, not combination/key locks) on it for increasing/decreasing water flow, I took out the salinity tester. It measures salinity in parts per million.

My job is to submerge the sensor to several inches above the bottom to get a reading. Today, the reading was 4.4; last time it was 3.3, so things do change.

After I tested in four locations, I drove to the Shoveler Pond Loop to do the bird survey. Since the hurricane, there has generally not been much to see on the loop bird wise. I thought it might be a little different this afternoon because of the high winds. The slightly inland location of the loop would afford some protection from those winds. I was right! While the variety and number of birds was not astronomical, it was probably the best count for this year. It took me two hours to do that 2.5 mile loop.

I'm really glad that I did the tests and survey today so I can just enjoy the holiday tomorrow. The winds are still blasting away close to 40 mph, but they're supposed to subside to around 20 by 9:00. Maybe these conditions will keep the rodents flying past the rig tonight????

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy


  1. It sounds like you have a very interesting job. I am enjoying your blog so much.

  2. Hi Judy,
    Glad you get a slow day tomorrow. I'm planning on being a snow-bound, with a good cup of coffee and a good book. Sounds like a bit of heaven, to me...but I would rather be in my 5ver at a bird refuge! Take care and Happy Holiday!