What a wonderful way to start our day!
The crew and I walk in the morning light to a place above the expanse of desert. The fresh, sweet breeze wraps me in gladness. My gaze sweeps the landscape. Gee, I love this life!
The land juts out into the desert, high up where you can see for miles. If I lived in a tent, I would camp here.
I like to stay home for the first few days the crew and I are at a new camp.
It isn’t something I consciously plan. It just happens. Bridget, Spike, and I wander about, taking it all in. I pick up trash and mend the fire pit. I absorb the sights, smells, and sounds, noticing how the sun throws its shadow, where the breezes come from, the type and condition of the plants, the variety of rocks, and the appearance of animals.
After a day or two, critters visit.
The first visitors are jackrabbits at dusk. Coyotes visit at night. I can hear them barking. The next morning the bluebirds and black-throated sparrows show up, flitting from tree to tree. The bluebird song is urgent which I presume has something to do with courtship. The sparrows’ song is cheerful. Maybe courtship is over and they’re on their honeymoon.
I’m pushed back in the lounge chair reading a book when a strange, birdlike clucking draws my attention.
A roadrunner runs (of course, what else?) out from under the scraggly arms of the mesquite tree. It zigzags across our lawn. Spike is asleep under the PTV and oblivious. Bridget watches this scrawny visitor for a brief moment before dropping her head back down in the grass.
It’s pretty quiet for a Saturday.
As solitary campers know, campsite tranquility, if it is to be destroyed, will most likely happen on a weekend. I’m thankful the only man-made noise is the occasional drone of dune buggys/ATVs/OHVs/quads (or whatever the heck they’re called), and someone shooting over by the water trough.
Late in the afternoon the crew and I resume our search for the horses we saw last year.
I want to check another watering hole. As we approach I see some movement through the palo verde and mesquite. What is that? Something is over there! I quickly glance around for the crew. Spike is dawdling.
Oh, darnit! COWS! Actually, they’re heifers. They’ll spend a year here on this leased, BLM land and then off they’ll go to the place where the last generation went.
Two older bulls are among them. Hmm . . . I wonder who’s in charge?