Adventures in hiking…

Hummingbird, Stars and Hedwig

Part II of the saga in the Borrego Desert.

After our incident on the mountain, our steps were a bit more deliberate.  At this point, we were both tiring from the constant shifting and sliding while stabilizing with the hiking poles.  Remember the old Nordic Track ski machines?  Yep, it was like that.  We descended to an area with a ledge and took a break.  I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and then I thought my mind was playing tricks on me.  In the bush about 30 ft. away was a blinking red light.  I thought about the burning bush but then the light moved.  No, the light flew!  In fact, it flew right at me and I remember saying Woah!

The light landed on another bush and then we saw what it really was.  A hummingbird?  The sun was setting and reflected off the bird’s chest which was an iridescent pink-red.  It shined like a light and appeared to blink as the bird moved about.  We must have been near a nest, because the aggressive little thing swooped at my head several times.  I thought about using my hiking pole as a bat, but he backed off and started blinking on another bush.  The sun and this bird’s reflective feathers created a phenomenon that was amazing.

We came out on the desert floor about a 1/2 mile from the car.  The sun was low and we would make it back in time to see it sink behind the San Ysidro Mts.  After dumping a good portion of the Borrego desert out of our boots, we spread the blanket out and watched as the sky changed colors from Carolina blue to various hues of pink, orange and blue.  Venus and I think Mars were the first objects in view and the rest of the stars came out of hiding ever so gradually.  The warm breeze turned cooler and the surroundings became even more tranquil.

Sunset behind the San Ysidro Mts.

After a few pics, we started to play around with some light photography.  I’m not very good at it, but Mary who is always willing to go along with my silliness, did a few poses like this one:

When you are miles from the nearest town, the night sky is so incredible.   To me it reveals the evidence of a creator.   His intelligent design never ceases to amaze me.  I love the book of Psalm and in 136 it says:  “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” In verse 9 it continues-“the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.”  We could have stayed on that blanket longer, but the 75 mile drive back home over winding roads convinced us otherwise.  We packed up and started down the jeep trail and passed a lone mini-camper on the side.  Hmm, that would be cool to do that sometime.  I imagine the sunrise is a sight to see.  The dirt road out was a bumpy one complete with an occasional boulder.  It was darker than dark so we proceeded slowly.

desert light

We came out on the blacktop, picked up speed and noticed that the critters in the desert  really move around at night, especially the rodents.  A few crossed in front of us and I made a comment – something like, “where there are mice, there are owls.”   Another one darted out and I lifted my foot off the accelerator to avoid hitting him.  Mary was texting our daughter  about our day and within 30 seconds, the left side of the windshield filled with an enormous white creature.  I heard a scream in the car which added to the excitement.  A huge, white barn owl had swooped down and was chasing a mouse that ran in front of us.  Hedwig narrowly missed colliding with our car.  I thought that I had used up my days’ adrenaline on the slopes of the Coyote Mountains, but that event kept me awake for the remainder of the drive home.

We’ve just got to go back into the desert and find that oasis.


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