In the summer of 2003, Charlotte and I decided to take a trip across the country by rental car (why a rental? Don't ask--it's complicated, dull, and annoying.), stopping at various friends along the way, seeing the sights, and culminating in our annual visit to the Burningman festival in Nevada. This is the diary we kept along the way.
|25-26||Hot Springs AR|
|?||Oklahoma City OK|
|31||Mesa Verde CO|
|?||Grand Canyon AZ|
|11-13||Los Angeles CA|
|16-24||San Francisco CA|
|24-Sept 1||Black Rock City NV|
|2||Salt Lake City UT|
In Santa Fe, we spent two nights in Hyde State park, as previously alluded to--7 1/2 miles and a climate zone away from town. In the cool alpine pine forest, we broke out the hot cocoa and Amaretto. For the first time, there were no insects harasssing us. Stellar's jays and ground squirrels (resembling a very large, unreasonably cute chipmunk rather more than a squirrel)--both far from shy--were virtualy all the wildlife we saw.
The second morning, as we were waking up, there was a deep, rather loud buzz just outside our tent, accompanied by a few twitters.
Lotte looked out the rear window and gasped. "A hummingbird!" It was the first she'd ever seen.
Late that morning, we visited Pueblo San De Ilseleta, home of a distinctive glossy black-on-matte black pottery style Lotte loves.
We arrived a little early, still in our sweaters from the mountain weather, and wandered through the warming, waking dusty town, followed by a little salt-and-pepper pueblo mutt that had taken a fancy to us.
At the far side of the pueblo's public region, we arrived at a closed home/potter's shop with a hummingbird feeder in front with--I kid you not-a full dozen birds darting, jostling, and twittering around the half-dozen feeding spots.
Lotte & I spent the next fifteen minutes or so slowly, slowly walking toward the feeder. Our painstaking care was wasted on those birdbrains, far too occupied with their own rivalries and flirtations to pay us more than the most fleeting attention. Well you live on a diet of pure sugar water and see what happens to your attention span!
By the time we finished, the shop had opened. We went in and tried to look at the pottery, but found ourselves far more interested in talking hummingbird with the goateed, white-haired proprietor, who watched them steadily through the window most of the time we talked. We shared amazement at the notion of such creatures migrating with the seasons.
That evening, on the patio of perhaps the only Tao restaurant without green chile anywhere on the menu, I looked around and saw what at first I thought was a small hummingbird, then realized was a large moth that convergent evolution had shaped into a startlingly hummingbird-like form. I think I've seen pictures of them before, but I can't find it in our Audubon guide to the SW. Anyone know what they're called?
Hey, speaking of bugs, I apologize for the two instances of smooshed-together entries. Apparently, if two messages arrive in the same second (due to having been composed out of cellular range, then automatically sent when a conection was made), they get saved into the same file. Won't happen again.Feel Free