Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, November 2, 2012

Let’s take a drive

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Hop on in the electric cart and come join me this evening on a drive down the Swamp Island Wildlife Drive.  It seems to me that no matter what time you take this drive, you’re going to see something interesting.

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First up, a six point buck dashes across the road into the pines and palmettos.  It’s kind of like ‘Where’s Waldo’ with these pics.  Can you find him?


Passing the watery ditch on the left where the mama alligator lives, I find her out sunbathing in her usual spot.  But a little further down the ditch, almost hidden on the far side is one of her offspring from this spring.  This little one is only about a foot or so long and is easily missed.


As we continue down the eight mile loop, the evening sun lights up the tall grass plumes.  In the background you can see some of the charred ruins left by the terrible fires of 2011.  Grasses and palmettos are some of the first plant life to return after a fire.


A much larger alligator takes in the late afternoon sun along the ditch on the left.  Yesterday he (?) was out in the road, and two visitors on bicycles weren’t sure about riding past him.  They were happy to see Gracie and me approach in a vehicle.  They rode alongside the vehicle in order to get past him.  Good idea.  Better safe than sorry.


Along this same ditch is the area where all of the pitcher plant photos from my last post were taken.  The setting sun gave them a little different look this evening.


Just before arriving at the Chesser Homestead, I stopped to admire this Eastern phoebe that was hawking insects from one of the burnt out pines.


As I sat on the side of the road, I witnessed literally hundreds of American robins arriving for the evening in the swamp.  This is where many of the robins from up north spend the winter, and was the first large flock I’ve noticed this fall.  Undoubtedly the recent strong northerly winds after hurricane Sandy prompted their arrival.  It was quite an experience to watch them all streaming in.

Before I took this drive this evening, two major items on my list of things to do got taken care of.  I, and several others, have been trying to figure out a way to get my rig attached to the propane gas outlet that is provided at each RV site here.  It has been a frustrating week trying to accomplish this until this afternoon.  Suddenly both Bruce and Barry, fellow volunteers, had the same light bulb go off in their heads, and within minutes I was finally hooked up.  With colder temps coming, that was certainly a relief.

Secondly, after a good deal of time on the phone at the VC (my cell doesn’t get reliable service here) I now have an appointment next Wednesday with a Mayo Clinic orthopedic doctor in Jacksonville, FL.  I don’t know what will result from that appointment, but anything has got to be an improvement.  I’m tired of the pain and hobbling around.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. I cannot believe that shot you got of the gator on your header.

    Here's to some relief for your knee. Say hello to Jax for me.

  2. I know recovery isn't a picnic, but you will get thru it.

  3. Cool stuff! Thanks for taking us with you on your drive.

    Wishing you good luck at your doctor appointment.

  4. Thanks for the tour. Wish I could have seen the robins, I always wondered where they went for the winter.

    Hope everything with your appointement goes well and not hurdles get in your way.

  5. Marvelous tour! I'm reading from my phone. Will have to look at gator pic tomorrow on computer to see the baby. Good luck on the doc appointment.

  6. Great place lots of crocs.
    Hope your appointment goes well.

  7. Great news about the propane.
    WOW...that is wonderful news about getting into the Mayo Clinic so fast. Enjoy your weekend.

  8. I'm glad to hear that the robins made it. They hung around extra long this year. Thanks for the "camo" tour. Happy Weekend!!!

  9. Let the surgery battles begin!! Just kidding, your surgery is much more involved than a few stitches...But we could have a big pitty party!..The hardest for me was my first Doc appt...the rest is a piece of cake..
    I did see "Waldo"..My son is a hunter and I have learned to spot those bucks in the brush...

  10. Great buck photo! Always enjoy your photos, Judy! Good luck with the ortho appointment!

  11. Hope Emma doesn't tangle with any of those alligators! Glad to hear you have an appointment!

  12. I too found the buck but I had to make the pictures larger to do so. I'm sure they were the best you could do but not among your best wildlife pictures.

  13. Good luck at the doctor! Glad you got your propane hooked up. It will certainly make you cozier with colder weather coming.

  14. Living in Wisconsin one sure sign that spring was finally coming was the return of the Robins. I'm glad to see they have such a nice place to spend the winter :)

  15. That's a nice touch having a direct propane hook-up at your site. Still don't like all those gators hanging around.

  16. Judy, someone spotted the first robins yesterday during the fall crane count at Mississippi Sandhill Crane. I haven't seen a robin yet, but the chipping sparrows have joined the yellow-rumped warblers as of this morning.
    I led the first crane tour of the year - only 8 cranes flying at Ben Williams and a pair on Allen road. But the eagles are back and settling into the nest area.
    Good luck with the doctor.

  17. fingers crossed for an easy solution to your ongoing hip issues. . .terrific tour as always! :)

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