For the second day in a row, I had gotten up and dressed at 0420 to attempt a Breeding Bird Census but been rained out. Sighing, I realized that any day in a national park — even with inclement weather or sleep deprivation — is a good day.
We have a saying in my house about each day being a new treasure hunt… and it is. Today’s treasures:
- Copious amounts of broken bottles, bowls, plates, and rusty cans and pans in a wash nobody’s been in for eons. These looked like cowboy artifacts from the mid-20th century.
- A stone tool 97% buried in the wash where I was walking. Its smooth surface and milky texture alerted me that it was something “other,” so I extracted it from the sand and found what resembled a mano (grinding hand stone) with a hole drilled in one end. I have to ask the archeologist what this is.
Cliffrose in full bloom. This is a handsome plant with such an intoxicatingly beautiful aroma that I walk by one and am stopped in my tracks and must bury my face in the blossoms and breathe.
- Finding how fast I can sprint when a lightning storm arises suddenly and I’m 0.6 mile from my truck. I did not let that big backpack slow me down.
- A cottonwood tree outside my window alive with new birds at sunset: Western Tanagers, Wilson’s Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole.
- Discovering that my Columbia rain jacket is designed perfectly and functions superiorly in rainstorms.
- The spinach-zucchini-black-bean enchiladas I improvised for supper for my sweet guests. Vegetarian cooking is a delight.
What did I NOT find? Raptors of any sort. There’s always tomorrow…