Saturday, February 28, 2009

One month to go

Wild heliotrope
California Sunflower
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Mocking Bird
We can hardly believe our time here is almost ended. True we have been busy. After we learned our spiel for working in the Visitors' Center, we amused ourselves by hiking all over the preserve and learning more. I have not been hiking as much as Duane. I used to do a job like this so I let him learn this one. He has such fun developing new hobbies like birding and learning all about wildflowers for this area. The birds and flowers are very different from the ones we grew up with in Ohio, and the ones we came to know in Texas. He learned this stuff so he could lead hikes. He led two for The Nature Conservancy on Friday. We have also been busy using the GPS unit to accurately map out the hiking trails here. Duane has been hiking more this week than I have for a couple of other reasons. I injured a small tendon on the top of my foot on Tuesday so I have been resting my foot while sewing quilts for our three new grandchildren due this year. Today I developed a fever from something so now I'm not even interested in sewing. I hope this is just a 24-48 hour virus. We'll see.
We hope you enjoy our pictures. The wildflowers are really beginning to pop up and the animals are starting to move around more after resting this winter. Here in the desert spring is here already and lots of people are out and about enjoying our fine weather before it gets too hot. Today our small lot was full as about 35 vintage and classic car owners showed up for their annual stroll around our grounds. They caused quite a stir. Other visitors forgot they were in a parking lot and strolled around taking pictures as if they were at a car show! The trouble was that today was also the day the local Boy Scouts were here working on part of our most popular trail. It turned out ok. Everyone finally maneuvered themselves back onto the street without a single fender bender. Tomorrow promises to be just as busy, but we don't work this Sunday so we planned to drive around Joshua Tree National Park to see if their wildflowers are better than ours. We'll let you know.
Enough for now,
Louise and Duane

Monday, February 16, 2009

San Diego

Baby Sea Lion
Young Sea Lion

Waves crashing on the rocks



Stacy and Louise getting their feet wet

Here we are combing the beaches of San Diego. We drove down for a couple of days to tour with daughter Stacy. The pix above were all taken at La Jolla. The baby in the first pic was a newborn. That little pink thing across its tail that the gull is so interested in is the umbilical cord--still attached. Stacy and I were on the rocks for different reasons. She was trying for a cool pic. I was looking for interesting stuff. Notice our pants legs. She was smarter and only got kinda splashed. I squished around for the rest of the afternoon! It wasn't bad though. We were rained on earlier in the day, but the rest of the day was only overcast and windy. It was fun being back on the beach again, watching the rollers crash on the rocks and hearing the surf. Tomorrow we leave, but plan on touring the national monument near here first. (I can't remember the name of it, but it has a huge military cemetery and a naval base near it and a lighthouse.) Then back to the desert and hopefully some warmer weather!
Louise and Duane

Friday, February 13, 2009

Catching Up

Prairie Falcon
Great Egret
I entered 2 carvings in the fair at Indio, Ca. The giraffe I entered won first place in the novice animal catagory. The blacksmith won second place in the novice human catagory. Pretty good I think for the first show I have entered anything in. I have my other carvings on display there and sold a bottle stopper today.
Duane is too modest. He thinks anyone can follow instructions in a book and carve. HAH! When I'm quilting I can't even cut a straight line without lining up the grids on the ruler and the cutting mat. I say his carvings are great and deserve the ribbons he won.
Things are very quiet here in the desert now, although we are seeing signs of spring wildflowers popping up here and there. The flowers are very small and close to the ground, but they are there. The weather isn't cooperating, though. It's been very nice and relatively warm, but the last few days have been chilly. I hope we get to see masses of wildflowers before we leave at the end of March. The highlight of our days is walking the mile to the nearest oasis to see the great horned owl, although he's been hiding out against the chill lately. The two birds pictured above we saw at that oasis, so it's worth the trip.
Basta por hoy (enough for now in case you forgot your Spanish)
Louise and Duane