As I was out walking this morning shortly after sunrise there were a couple of things I noticed that I’d like to share with you. I’m sure the first thing you’re wondering about is why I’d be out walking at sunrise. It’s a beautiful time of day for a walk. There’s no one around, and it’s quiet. It’s just me, my thoughts, and the critters.
Actually I was out a little earlier than usual. I noticed the weather report yesterday, and someone scheduled high winds for today, so I wanted to get my walk in before the breeze picked up. I guess they really didn’t schedule the wind. They forecast it is what they did. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually schedule our weather?
Just imagine. It’s July and hotter than a loaf of bread straight from the oven. It’s something you wouldn’t want to take a bite of at that very minute. At that particular moment, just like the song, a little rain will do. That sure would be nice right about then. But, wait. We’re not in California anymore, Toto. Those folks in that part of the country don’t know what moisture falling from the sky between April and October is all about. We’re in the desert where we get those thunderstorms that drop large amounts of H2O on a semi-regular basis when the temperature is upwards of 100. The lightning and thunder dominate the afternoon, and the heat of the day runs for cover. At least for a little while. But, I’m not going to rub that in. I’m just going to enjoy the excitement of a good storm when a good storm is needed. That’s not going to happen today, though. That adventure is still a few weeks away.
That’s not what I want to mention today. I just settled in here a couple of days ago and already I have to leave. Believe it or not, I’m sitting on the shore of a nice little lake in the desert and I appear to be running low on water. I should have brought beer. But, nooooo. I had to put all of my eggs in one basket and depend on the water I was carrying with me from when I filled up a week and a half ago. I’m probably just drinking too much of that stuff. Yep. From now on I’m bringing beer. That should solve any future problems. But, that doesn’t help me now.
So, tomorrow I’m going to up jacks and head deeper into the hot, dry climate of Southern Nevada. Oh, what an adventure awaits.
Before I go, though, I want to tell you about my walk this morning as the sun was making its way into the beautiful blue sky. I tried to introduce myself to a rabbit. I was walking, and he was sitting looking out over this small body of water. I startled him and he took off like…well, like a rabbit. It seems I can’t run fast enough to keep up with a long eared hare. The little guy took off before I could get a picture. That happened the other day, too. I think they just might be shy. They’re not as large as the rabbits at Sand Mountain, and might be a little slower. Maybe that’s it. Maybe they’re just embarrassed.
I spotted another coyote today. It could have been the same one I saw yesterday, but I can’t be sure. He, too, did not stick around long enough for me to make an introduction, but he left his calling card. I think there’s more than one of those four legged critters, because there sure are quite a few piles of calling cards on the trail. As you know, coyotes like to do their business on a trail where humans have ventured as a way of saying we humans are trespassing. How can I tell it’s coyote scat and not domesticated K9 poop? The hair of digested small animals, seeds, plant vegetation, and, well, it’s just distinctively different. I was thinking maybe I should mark the trail as mine, but I’ve grown accustomed to doing my business from a throne and not in the wild (only if absolutely necessary, that is). So, I just left everything as it was and trekked onward.
I have not seen any pronghorns around here, but I have seen their tracks. They like walking on the same trail I do. I saw a few of those fast guys up around Rachel. They are fewer in number than what I’ve seen in Utah and Wyoming, and a bit more skittish. I can’t get close enough for a good photo. So, I didn’t even try.
Also on the same trail there were prints from a raccoon. I’m pretty sure those markings were from a raccoon. Very distinctive. They led right down to the water’s edge and then back into the thickets.
Every evening since my arrival I’ve watched the bats out catching dinner. I’m amazed at how they can dart around like they do. The other day a bird took off after one of those small flying mammals. That was something to see. The bird gave up rather quickly and flew back home.
I’m not very good at identifying birds, but there are a lot of them around here. Little guys with red heads, little guys with yellow heads, and big black crows. Those I know about. They’re a nuisance. This morning I even watched a hawk soar majestically overhead. I’m pretty sure he was hunting, but he’s not going to find anything he likes over a lake. Maybe he was just sight seeing.
There sure is a lot of wildlife around here. Yesterday I watched a herd of fish…I guess you’d call them a school, but the way there were acting I’d say they were more of a herd than anything else. They appeared to be carp and were playing a game I could not even begin to guess at. They usually don’t run in packs like that, but in the desert there is no telling what will go on when it goes on. Think about it. There’s a lake in the middle of this dry environment.
Speaking of lakes, let me tell you about Walker Lake. There’s no outlet. Only an inlet. Water gushes its way into the depression in the desert only to be trapped there. It has no place to go, but up. It just evaporates.
And, then there’s Pyramid Lake. It is fed by the Truckee River, which takes its water from Lake Tahoe. Then the water flows out of Pyramid Lake via the Carson River. That river just kind of disappears into the desert. The water never finds it’s way to the ocean. Oh, when you go stay long enough to observe the great white pelicans. It’s their nesting grounds. They’re beautiful birds. Not like those brown things along the California Coast.
Enough about all of that. I’m still thinking about the beer I should have brought along. I suppose I could drive the six, or so, miles to the store, but I’m rather lazy in that respect. Plus, I’d have to fight all this traffic. It’s too hot to walk during the day, and I’d probably get lost at night, so I’ll just sit here and bitch about not following the advise I give to anyone who asks. What advise is that? The 6 P’s. My lack of not following my own advise has gotten me into this mess I’m in. So, I’ll just make a note to come back again, with more provisions. Probably more than once over the next few years. This place can get addicting real fast. Next time I think I’ll come back in the fall.
I’ll have to dodge the traffic as I make my way through Lost Wages, but if I leave at the proper time I should miss the rush hour. Once I get settled in Pahrump I might have to meander back towards that city of sin. Yes, thinking about it, I just might have to do that.
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.