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That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
That Lump has ears!!!! (written Mar. 28th)
    I’m at the juncture of the road that runs south from Cibola NWR to Imperial Dam NWR, then to Yuma, Ariz. The peaks of the Palo Verde Mountains are to my far left, then working north is the Colorado River, then Lake Cibola, some other mountains in the haze to the north and the Trigo Mountain foothills are a stones throw away to the right. This is the most remote spot of my Adventure XIV (2012), so far. Yeah, I think it outdoes the Everglades where I see panthers and Big Bend NP, Tex., where there’s no airplane noise, bobcats and no people. If I get to Bullfrog at the bottom of southern Utah’s nowhere lands, that may be more remote.
    I’ve brought my laptop outside, disconnected all those wires, and I didn’t even bring a mouse! All I want to do is listen to an Art Blakey C/D playing. It fits the desert scenery. I’ll sit here and watch for wild burros and enjoy. I was going farther when the road started down an incline and kept going down. No, that’s not what I wanted. A view for the afternoon and evening is the ticket, so back up. Once here I found where it looked like a vehicle had driven before, maybe a hiking trail, wide enough to get to the top and that’s my spot for the night.
    There’s no comfort station here (yes, I can dig a hole - I’ve done it before!). The last two nights here at Cibola I’ve been right on the bank of the Colorado River on the Arizona side. There’s a BLM campground (Oxbow) a mile away which was convenient in the morning. As I drove from there to here I saw that Hart Mine Marsh has been reopened, and damned if does have a sanipot. It’s probably left over from the workers, because there’s no camping or any facilities in the Refuge. (http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/CibolaNWR/), except a restroom at the office.
    After a short walk around here I’ll drive to marsh for my morning walk. In the marsh today I saw a big healthy dog-like animal. At first I thought it was a fox, but it was too big. It had a Davey Crocket Hat bushy tail. It was probably a coyote. There were some big fish that were jumping, lots of egrets, blue herons, an eagle, and I got a glimpse of a bobcat along the road as I was leaving. I’ll be spending more time here next year. I’ll park near the marsh, but just outside the refuge border. Along the River is nice, no people, and the view from my picture window of the river water swiftly flowing by and all the stuff it carries is relaxing. There are roads on the tops of the levies. The Corp of Engineers long ago channelized the river and changed the topography to get more water to the farmers downstream faster. A good idea for the environment? No, probably not, but good for the $$$, yeah! So that’s the way it is.
    I rarely see people when I visit here. It’s about twenty miles south of Blythe, Ca. and 70 miles as a crow flies north of Yuma, Ariz., and not on the “tourist route.” My kinda place. I think about taking the road south from Cibola to Imperial Dam and on to Yuma someday, but I was on the beginning when it went down, down, down…  It’ll probably remain a thought! I’ve had enough of washboard-like rough roads, that jar my fillings and kidneys unmercifully.
    As I walked back from the comfort station this morning I could see an unusual lump in a tree about a 100 yards away. I watched it for a while. There was no movement, so I dismissed it. My eyes know to “home in” on movement and the unusual, because that’s where the critters are. I walked past it to do some pictures that I’ll later turn into panoramas of my camper, the River and with the Palo Verde Mts. in the background. As I walked by where the lump was I thought, why not check it out since I’m close. As I got closer, damned if the lump didn’t have ears! Wow, now it piqued my interest. This is what I come to places like this for. I shot a photo before it escaped, then got closer to figure it out.  From where I was the size of the lump with ears could’ve been a bobcat, raccoon, or an owl in the tree. I took another step, shot another photo with my point and shoot camera. I hadn’t seen anything of importance so my big camera was still secured in my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck). I moved closer and it flew, of course, directly away from me, so I couldn’t get an in-flight photo, but I got two “safes.”  It was a Big Horned Owl, which is a rare sighting, one that most people never see in a lifetime!
    I’ve realized as I write this, the news reports of laptops getting 100-plus degrees is true, when they’re on!  I can feel the heat.  Well, I’ve eaten the guacamole dip that I made, drained my Tecate ACB, and it may be safe now to walk in the desert. It had been 95-plus degrees in the intense sun.  I’ve been sitting in the shade of my nest. I have a lot of respect for nature. I spend 4-5 months in it, I take no unreasonable risks, and know not to be stupid! If I get myself into a problem in a place like this, I better have a solution! The critters won’t help me and someone may find my bones someday!
bruthrauff@aol.com  more photos @
http://picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
http://PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz & FaceBook Bob OCfotoguy
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