Sunday, February 16, 2014

Boondocking at Borrego Springs, Ca

This is the view from the back of our Lady Blue.  That is the moon in the upper right.  If we were to travel ahead and slightly right, we would come to the Salton Sea.

We had a great visit to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  A nice hike down to Palm Canyon and also around the visitors center .  The picture to the right is of the visitors center.  It looks small because it is built into the hillside.  Some nice rangers and volunteers inside with good videos on the park and a nature and history display.  The bush that looks like a bundle of sticks in the foreground is an ocotillo

There is no fee for entrance to the visitors center.

A wonderful view of the valley from the roof of the visitors center.  Down below is Palm Canyon and the state park camping area.   The rangers and camp hosts indicated that there had been sightings that day of Big Horn sheep on the trails.  But, the chance of seeing them is somewhat hit or miss.

The days are warm, so a bike ride is in order.  There is a nice ride right out from our boondocking area.  Even better, no traffic on this road.

This is how the road looks for a few miles and then, suddenly, we are in a citrus grove and nursery area.

And, of course, in the desert, a nursery would be selling cactus, citrus trees, and palm trees.  We didn't see anyone to ask about the caps on the cactus, but we could guess it was to protect the blossom buds?

The front seem to be a kind of barrel cactus and the back look like saguaro cactus( it takes as much as 50 to 80 years for a saguaro to grow arms).

Some plants are beginning to blossom. This arbor and cactus are in front of the nursery office.

If this saguaro were out in the desert, you would expect that it would be taller with all those arms.  You would also expect to see all kinds of bird nest holes, etc, because the saguaro provides food and lodging for a lot of nature.

We had headed into this grove because they had advertised oranges for sale.  Just going in the driveway, we realized that there were thousands of cirtus trees as well as the nursery plants. Even though it is a little early, we stopped short at one spot because there was a strong scent of lemon blossoms.
"Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is--------SWEET!!"
As you can see, these lemons are also rather large.


These are some of those lemon blossoms.  Pink and then white when opened.

A little closer look at the lemon blossoms. 

In another month you would be overwhelmed by the strong smell of orange and lemon blossoms.

On our bike ride, we can see most of the metal sculptures that are part of Galleta Meadows.  These are part of the property of the late Dennis S. Avery. 

You can see more of these photos by clicking on their site below

The sculptures are spread over many acres just outside of town. 

If you click on the "home" page of the Galleta Meadows website above, you will first see a picture of Dennis Avery and his recent (2012) obituary page with a picture of his friend Stephen Hawkings.

Avery was heir to the Avery(of Avery labels which many of us have used over the years)fortune. He used his fortune for philanthropic ventures which also included the cosmology center for his friend Stephen Hawkings , support of the ChineseAmerican culture in San Diego, and the sculpture garden here.

These sculptures are all super.  This jeep looks great from a distance, but it is also wonderful in its detail up close.

The web address above takes you to a page on Desert USA about Ricardo Breceda, the artist.
There are 129 metal sculptures all around Borrego Springs.

The details for the hair, the clothes, the interior, especially the realistic cracks in the leather are fascinating.

Galleta Meadows is the name of Avery's estate.

The serpent was completed in 2011 and is 350 feet long!  Do you see the person walking behind the middle section?

So realistic, the grasshopper and scorpion.

Just to give you an idea of the size of some of the sculptures.

The sculptures are so lifelike. 

It seems perfect to have these spaced out in the desert with the mountains in the background.

The effect in a museum would be be very much diminished.

What do you think? Mom/Grandma could have worked the Big Top, right?

If this elephant were real, Bruce would be about as far away as those mountains!!!!!

This was the perfect day to bike around. On towards the weekend we were thinking of all the New Englanders still shoveling out from a snow storm and awaiting another one on Saturday.

Here, we had to hunker down on Saturday while the temperatures soared towards 100 degrees(we reached about 97).  It's a dry heat though and still preferable to single digits, snow, and ice. Today, Sunday, is back in the middle to high 80's.

Think the same proportions as the other sculptures.  Jan and I would only come up to about the top part of the nest. Some people think of this eagles' nest as the best of the sculptures. They really love the detail on the feathers.

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