Sunday, March 29 – More flowers…. More restrictions, including mandated “Stay Home” under whatever names various states call it.
Monday – Clifford wakes me up at 3:00 a.m. because there is a mouse in the house and he didn’t know where to find the traps. The mouse is subsequently trapped, and in the morning I thoroughly clean and disinfect the floor before getting on with my morning walk and other projects.
The flowers are so beautiful and I especially enjoy photographing and editing globe mallow.
Although the desert marigolds are past their prime, they are still attractive and grab my attention.
Other blossoms, from the tiny ground-huggers to the tall ocotillo, add to the desert palette.
In the later afternoon, Rollie and Tata come over for dinner and music at a campfire.
Tuesday – Rollie comes to look at our leaking water pump, and later when he and Tata go into Quartzsite, he picks up one for us. In the afternoon, they come over, bearing food for dinner and our new water pump, which Rollie installs. We visit as we eat dinner, but no music tonight, being too late to get out the instruments.
And thus March marches out and we will see where April takes us.
March 22-24: I can’t say how it is for other folks camped here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite , Arizona), but for Clifford and me, we are really enjoying our winter desert home.
I love spending time walking in the desert soaking up the stillness and beauty. The desert here is anything but barren. It is lush and rich with color.
I spend a lot of time taking photos, culling photos, editing photos, and writing blogs of our travels using photos. Of special enjoyment is using the Snapseed app on my cell phone to bring out the best of certain photos, which I then use for the Higher Vibration Series that I post on FB. I am on day 161-163 of this series. The purpose of this editing is to have a greater sense of the feeling of what has been photographed, not just a record of what I’ve seen. I’ve started doing composites using Snapseed, which is a creative use of photography that I’ve not utilized before.
Besides photography and the domestic chores, I edit books and play viola or cello. Clifford works with his ham radio and plays the dulcimer much of the day. We get together with my brother Rollie for music as often as we can. An occasional trip to Quartzsite for errands rounds out our week.
While editing and culling I ran across an image from five years ago: Deschutes River looking toward the Newberry Monument in Central Oregon. That was a great trip!
March 21st– I check the sky as soon as I get up and it looks like a good day for an outing. Clifford and I are camped at LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, and we want to go to Palm Canyon before we leave the deserts of southern Arizona. I make a picnic and tea for the thermoses, and then we meet up with my brother Rollie and his lady friend, Tata, at their camp down the road. They are eager and ready to go when we arrive at their camp.
We head south on highway 95 to the Palm Canyon turn-off, and then we drive another seven miles into the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to the Kofa Mountains, stopping for photos along the way. Desert marigold bushes, globe mallow bushes, and ocotillo in bloom bring much color to the desert.
At the parking lot and trail head, we leave our vehicles and hike the trail up a deep canyon to the viewing point where the palms can be see high up in a side ravine, the last place in the state where California fan palm trees grow in their natural habitat. The half-mile hike is a little rugged, but not difficult, and very scenic with views looking back toward the Chocolate Mountains.
After the hike, we set up a small table by our vehicles and have a picnic, sharing the food that we all brought. We return to camp, refreshed at having had a change of pace and a hike on this beautiful day.
March 19 & 20, 2020 – While it snows in Montana where family and friends live, it is a season of blossoms and more blossoms here in the desert at LaPosa South where Clifford and I are camped, south of Quartzsite, Arizona.
Walking in the desert at sunrise is such a delight and later I get Clifford to walk with me to the largest of the ocotillo, which is beginning to bloom. I also show him my the red bush that the hummers love, but it has mostly finished its job. However, more little flowers hugging the ground join the parade of flowers in the desert.
Our usual activities continue: ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford; editing, blog writing, journaling for me. Since my brother Rollie has moved down the road, the viola is getting neglected somewhat, as playing tunes by myself is not as much fun as playing with him.
One of my daughters has closed her business and taken her kids out of school, even though school is technically still open. One of my sisters is now working from home. And so it goes…..
March 13-17: Desert walks in the morning at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona, where Clifford and I are camped) are such a great way to start the day. Flowers and flowering shrubs blossom more abundantly. The bush with the red trumpet-shaped blossoms is especially striking, as are the huge clusters of desert marigold (which are probably not marigolds at all). A mockingbird chirps, tweets, trills, and calls over a dozen bird songs, sounding like a whole chorus all by himself.
One day we go to Albertson’s in Blythe, California, for groceries, about 20 miles to the west, the nearest grocery store of a decent size. There is plenty of food except for rice, but no toilet paper or paper towels, which fortunately we don’t need anyway. We find out from the cashier that people are coming all the way from Los Angeles, 200 miles away, to buy stuff as shelves in all the cities between here and there are empty.
Clifford is quite sick for a couple of days – an infection that he has been dealing with for some time. Because of his being sick, as well as the increasing issues with the spread of the virus, some of our plans are changed. Calls are made to friends and family to see how everyone is doing. Once Clifford is feeling better, we get together with my brother Rollie and his lady friend Tata for music, but other friends we will not be seeing.
For a couple of days, March 11 and 12, there is rain in the desert here in LaPosa South (South of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I are camped. It is off ‘n on, sometimes heavy, but sometimes with enough of a break that Clifford is able to go outside to play his dulcimer.
My morning walks, rain or no rain, are special times of quiet for me. So many flowers and shrubs are blooming, it is a delight to wander about from one bright spot to another. By afternoon, the wind picks up considerably, causing damage to some folks, and there are flash flood warnings, but we have no problems.
Our activities continue as usual with Clifford on the ham radio or playing dulcimer much of the day, while I edit books and write blogs.
My brother Rollie has decided to move down the road a couple of miles to be nearer to his lady friend. They come to pick up the last of his stuff and we all go for a walk in the desert between rain showers. We will miss having him as a camping buddy, but he has a good reason for making the move.
Covid 19, the coronavirus, is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Italy is shut down and schools in the larger US cities are shut down. What next?
March 8-10, 2020: Clifford and I continue to enjoy our camping spot here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) and our days are full with our projects and activities.
One day I don’t go for my morning walk because jet trails mar the sky and the wind is a bit much, neither of which work for me as photographer. I spend extra time editing photos instead, sending greetings to family and friends as well as posting on Facebook. Other mornings, the desert walks are especially rewarding as I find more and more flowers blooming.
A rainy morning adds a special ambiance to the walk.
One day my brother Rollie, who has been at a bluegrass festival north of Quartzsite, comes back to camp but only to pick up his stuff, as he is moving down the road a couple miles. It has been great having him as a camping buddy here, but he is forming important friendships with others.
Another day we make
a trip to town to the laundromat and run a few errands. We hear of
more and more businesses, parks, and schools closing around the
country, and that has even begun to affect Quartzsite, but the
essential errands are still able to be taken care of.
There is growing awareness and concern due to the virus Covid19, and talk runs the gamut of lethal bio-weapon to mere inconvenience that kids can’t go to school…. and everything in between. For Clifford and me, our natural state here in the desert is one of self-isolation, so we are not impacted as far as our day-to-day activities are concerned. However, there is no doubt that what is going on will have a lasting global ramifications, at least some of which will affect us. In the meantime, we continue doing what we feel called to do, whether that be playing music or walking in the desert, working to improve ham radio contacts, editing books or sending photos to friends & family.
I begin each day with walking in the desert here at La Posa South, the long-term BLM camping area south of Quartzsite, Arizona. Clifford and I, and my brother Rollie, are camped a couple miles in from US highway 95, and there are not nearly so many RV’s out here as compared to the area closer to the highway.
We are camped along a wide wash, and it is an easy matter to cross the wash and walk out into the uninhabited desert or just follow the wash. Most days I head toward the closest mountain, which I call Shale Mountain, since when Clifford and I hiked there, we found that it was just that – a mountain made of shale. The stillness of the desert appeals to me and I find it easy to be there, sometimes finding a place to sit on the trunk of a fallen dead tree.
Some days I make a thermos of coffee to take with me, as well as my journal, and always my cell phone for taking photos. The sky has been mucked up with jet trails almost every day, which is a very grievous environmental issue, but one I won’t go into detail here, other than to say it makes taking photos much more of a challenge.
I am not afraid of getting lost, as I have landmarks on the surrounding mountain ranges, as well as the immediate landmarks of certain saguaros, such as the one I call Grandmother, as it is one of the larger and more stately saguaros in this area.
It is always a delight to me to find wildflowers blooming, most often a clump of desert marigold, but one particular bush has small red buds that look like rose buds, though the plant is definitely not a rose.
As I wander in the desert, I feel connected to the earth and the poems of Mary Oliver, and I am saddened to learn that this great soul has passed on.
the laundromat, we meet a fellow musician, Daniel, who comes out and
camps next to us for a day so we can all play music together. It is
always fun to add another musician to the bluegrass get-togethers
that Rollie and I have almost every day.
is going to the bluegrass festival at Blythe, California, this
weekend, as is Daniel. I watch Ninja, who is quite a good companion
on desert walks, which are more like desert runs. He is patient when
I stop to take photos, and then on we run.
One day Rollie makes a door into the storage compartment under the bench in our RV, allowing access to the portion that was previously out of reach. It is great to have a place for canned good; storage area in RV’s is always a precious commodity. In the evenings after dinner, we play cribbage, which is fun for us.
Clifford’s birthday, he and I go to Parker, partly business and
partly for fun, having lunch at the Blue Water Casino. It might not
have been the most exciting birthday ever, but we are happy to be
well and to spend the day together.