“Do not get out of your car!” — Birds of the Salton Sea

Saturday, February 14

1-P1020674The ranger comes by our camp at Corvina Beach Campground at the Salton Sea. 

It’s funny how rangers make a big deal about taking down the license plate number on the clipboard they carry.  I assume this is to give the message that one’s days at a camp are numbered.

“Okay, let’s see here.  I’m just going to write down the license number.  South Dakota, eh?  Okay, got it.  Good.  Thank you.  Enjoy your stay!”

Well, that is a lot better than, “Ya’ know there’s a 14-day limit here and we’re keepin’ track of you people!”  (Not that any ranger would ever say that.)

1-P1020675The refrigerator’s new normal.

Ever since I had the refrigerator serviced in Yuma, it has been operating very quietly.  I don’t hear the ignition clicking several times throughout the day and night.  I thought it was supposed to do that.  Apparently it wasn’t running efficiently.  How nice that it is now.

Speaking of running efficiently. . . .

Here are two pelicans who are flying efficiently.

1-P1020678-001I found this tidbit about the Salton Sea on the internet.

“California’s largest lake is also its worst one. As you drive past it, you get to see pristine white beaches with blue waters, but if you climb out of your car and take a closer look (I wouldn’t recommend this), you suddenly realize how horribly depressing the place is.”

That’s from an article written by Sumitra,  “Salton Sea Beach — A Graveyard Made Up of Millions of Fish Bones,” 1/28/14.

Whatever you do, Do Not Get Out of Your Car!!!!  You will be depressed!!!!

Okay, let’s look at something a little more positive about the Salton Sea.

big_map“The Salton Sea is a critical stop for migratory birds on the Pacific and Central Flyways. More than 400 species of birds, including 80 percent of the western population of white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) and 20 species of concern, use the system. Birds banded at the Salton Sea and reported to the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory have been recovered throughout North America. The combination of avian biodiversity and importance as a breeding habitat is unsurpassed by any limited geographic area within the contiguous 48 states and Latin America.” — Harvey Lee Case III, et al, USGS Salton Sea Science Office

Click on the USGS link (above) and scroll down to read more and to see photos of a burrowing owl, two black-necked stilts, and a caspian tern among others.

Okay, all you birders out there, get ready to eat your hearts out!

The photo below is a very small section of a larger photo that I cropped out (sorry about the fuzziness).  I noticed an unusual bird in the background.  Hmm… What is that?  I crop and enlarge the photo and here it is!

1-P1020680Oh my gosh, it’s the black-necked stilt!

I had never seen one before this.  Click here to list to the stilt’s three different calls.

Be kind about the poor focus of these photos.  They were taken from a very long distance and enlarged.  I post them today to show a few of the birds you can see at the Salton Sea, regardless of photo quality or lack of it.  We’re just having fun, right?

Help me out.

What bird is this?

1-P1020651Maybe you don’t give a hoot about the birds at the Salton Sea.

(Did you notice that little nod to the burrowing owl in the preceding sentence?)

Maybe you wish I’d forget about the dadburn birds and get crackin’ on finding the new crew member.  I want you to know that a plan is coming together.  I can’t just roll into the big city with the Best Little Trailer and start running around to shelters, you know.

1-P1020677There’s no need to give me any suggestions.

You don’t need to point me toward a certain dog or shelter.  I’d rather you not do that.  It makes me feel pressured.  I move at a slow pace.

Bridget and I are enjoying this camp.  We will move soon.  I’ll update you on the progress of my search.

Time for a sunset photo to close this post.

1-P1020684That pelican keeps drifting into my pictures!

rvsue

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NOTE:  Readers identified the bird with the “beard.”  Click here to listen to the Great Blue Heron.

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175 Responses to “Do not get out of your car!” — Birds of the Salton Sea

  1. Calvin R (currently in Ohio) says:

    Has its ups and downs, huh? “Keeping an eye on you people” is hostile in its own right.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I made that up. No ranger I’ve ever run into would talk like that. 🙂

      Congratulations on being first, Calvin!

    • Calvin R (currently in Ohio) says:

      Oops! I read too fast. All the same, you’ll remember him coming by and he knows it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        That’s why she said that. Rangers might be instructed to do that when they’re trained. You know, proper ranger etiquette and all..

        I figured you were speed-reading. 🙂

  2. Pam says:

    Interesting bird photos. I know nothing about birds so gotta ask, what on earth is the pelicany-looking dude with what looks like a long gray “beard”?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam,

      I’m asking readers who that “pelicany-looking dude” is. I’m not sticking my neck out on this one. 🙂 Someone will identify him for us.

    • Kathe says:

      Great blue heron, maybe.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        🙂

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I also think it is a Great Blue Heron. Just sitting with its neck “pulled down.” They have such great “beards”

          There are short stocky herons (such as the Black Crowned Night Heron) but they are more like football players: no neck 😉 Actually they are shaped rather like footballs!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Hi, Pen! What part of the world are you in?

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Hiya Sue! I’m a few hours NE of you in AZ, up Parker way. A person could practically complain about the heat up here! Mid-80’s day, high 50’s night, and very sunny. Light wind.

              (Of course I mostly jest, given that I could be shoveling snow.)

              I’ve been sitting relatively still (for me), getting a few projects done. I’m absolutely itching to move, but I’d rather get stuff done now and be more “free” in summer. So even though I’m living on wheels, I’m currently traveling vicariously through you 🙂 Thanks for making that possible!

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              BTW, I, too, just loved that “close up” photo of the gulls in your previous post (nuestro campo under the “February 10th” sub-heading). It looked positively painting-like. Just gorgeous!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks, Pen. A good test for a photo or painting is time. I’ve had that on my desktop since I first posted it and I’m not at all tired of it. Some of my photos that I think are great don’t “wear” as well. I start to see all their faults! Ha!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I understand completely, Pen. I’ve done that, too. Get things done in the winter so you can follow your whims all summer. It’s a great life, isn’t it?

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Absolutely! 🙂

              (And made better with the addition of BLM-style boondocking – at least for me. Thanks!)

    • Great Blue Heron in breeding plumage

  3. Pam says:

    Went back, looked again (enlarged the photo) and I swear that beard looks like it’s fur (or hair)!

  4. Chris B says:

    That last photo looks like a painting!

    Chris B

  5. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    HI Sue!
    What a treat to read your latest post, during a break in my yard work campaign. OH LORDY I am grateful for my downsized life! 🙂 May not be as interesting as some (aka YOU) but I am grateful all the same! To mow and weed in a couple of hours rather than days??? And still feel awake enough to tinker? Very nice.
    NO ADVICE from me… NOPE! I have faith that you and Bridget have this under control!

    Hugs from a sunny and blustery (Winnie the Poo type) day in Hoquiam!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      “hours rather than days”… Oh, yeah, much better! I went through the big yard scenario. I don’t know what I was thinking, wanting a huge lawn. I’m glad you’re happy with what you have.

      A “Winnie the Poo” type day! I love that!

  6. Rob, still in western WA state says:

    I wonder if they run your plates to see if you’re wanted for anything besides staying too long? Just curious…

    Your refridge problem was not enough gas & a new regulator fixed it? That’s good to know, I’ll put that down in my personal hints. I thought with the freezer working & the fridge not it was getting a bad signal from the fridgerator part.

    The Salton Sea looks like a great place to spend a few days and watch the birds. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rob. We are enjoying our stay here.

      The part about the freezer working and the fridge not…. I think when I adjusted the thermistor that was hanging off the fins I corrected that problem. Then the service done on the fridge improved its efficiency.

      There may be other reasons that rangers record plate numbers, like you wrote. I remember way back when I was a newbie full-timer in 2012 there was a guy camping near us who said the rangers were hassling him wherever he went. He had been given a ticket and fined $265 (I think it was) for not respecting the 14-day limit rule. He didn’t pay the fine and was dodging rangers wherever he went.

  7. Shawna says:

    I believe that bird is a great blue heron.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shawna,

      You probably are right. I looked in my Audubon field guide and the great blue heron was the closest match, although I still had my doubts. It’s difficult sometimes to identify from one photo in a guide, especially when not very knowledgeable (moi).

      Thanks. We’ll see if anyone confirms your identification.

      • Sondra-SC says:

        I confirm–its a stunning example of the Great blue Heron–
        I’M jealous of those awesome birds the Black Necked Stilt would be a lifer for me, not often you get to see those! I am enjoying your stay at the Salton Sea!

  8. Bee says:

    I am sure he has a name and will be quickly identified. If not, my vote is for the Bearded Peili Crane. 😉

  9. Betty Shea says:

    Bridget is having a blast out there!!Cute hiney shot in the last photo!!
    You keep taking pix of the birds …I love to see them

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      I appreciate the feedback on the bird pics.

      Nothing like a cute hiney shot of the Bridge to wrap up a post!

  10. FloridaScott says:

    Hi Sue,
    yep, It’s a Bearded Great Blue heron. have them in Florida too.

  11. AJ says:

    That’s a Great Blue Heron. In breeding plumage, I believe.
    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/id

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aha… It’s not a heron in need of a shave then. Thanks for the link, AJ!

      That settles it. He’s a Great Blue Heron!

      LATER…. I clicked on the link. Boy, you can’t beat the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s web pages. Excellent photos and information.

      • Calvin R (currently in Ohio) says:

        Cornell has a great site there. I’ve seen plenty of herons here in Ohio but that “bearded” thing threw me off.

  12. Cinandjules (NYA) says:

    Grandpa heron!

    Glad the fridge is working!

    Nice butt Bridgee babeeeee! She’s gonna get a complex!

  13. AlanOutandAbout says:

    Yes, it is a Blue Heron – Very beautiful in full flight. They have a huge wing span.
    It is truly a shame that the Salton sea is the way it is. Birds, being the opportunists that they are, have moved right in, but because the sea is so new it is hard to make the argument that it is essential. The environmentalists can only get on board so much
    because the lake is not a natural occurrence. And the pure environmentalists are against anything that is not natural, so they want it to just go it’s “natural” course. That and the fact that there just isn’t any water to spare from any other source that isn’t spoken for by federal laws. I would like to see the sea survive but it doesn’t look good.
    Oh, and by the way. Your last photo, one of your best. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Alan, re the photo.

      You make valid points about the Salton Sea. My presentation of the Sea on this blog is superficial, as in “how I see it,” rather than delving deeply into the harsh realities concerning agricultural run-off, pollution, fish die-offs, etc. and the dire and sad predictions for the Sea’s future and for this habitat for birds. Sure, in environmental terms, a few decades isn’t much. But for the birds here now, the ones I see, it’s good that they have this place as a stop-over during migration and breeding.

      • AlanOutandAbout says:

        Agreed, but from your photos what I see is mostly sea birds from the ocean. Sea Gulls, Pelicans and such are not migratory, they just move around between all the water/food sources in their general area. The migratory birds have used the Colorado river for their migratory path for centuries. Mittri lake and its like, which you are so fond of, is part of it. But, as I said, birds are opportunists and of course use the Salton sea as it is a great location.
        I don’t hate the lake or want it to go. But, it is the desert, and you have been there long enough to know that water is everything to the people that live there. Every drop of water that goes into the Salton Sea is a drop of water that won’t come out of a faucet somewhere else. Every drop of water is controlled and regulated to the point of absurdity. When they do the math there isn’t enough water to meet the needs of all the parties involved. I don’t even know if there is a solution to it.

        • weather says:

          wonder if adding Israeli’s ingenuity to their own would help.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That map shows lots of migration that includes the Salton Sea. Is it wrong or am I missing something? The birds that migrated through here and shown on the map are not “sea birds.” Is that what you mean?

          By the way, I’m not necessarily fond of Mittry Lake. I have used it as an in-close location to Yuma. It’s really become quite worn from over-use and I probably won’t camp there again. People on quads were running up and down the dirt road making dust fly and the vegetation suffers from it.

    • Cinandjules (NYA) says:

      There is a blue heron that lives up here at the lake in the summer. His wing span is massive!

  14. Phxkayaker says:

    Love your shot of the pelicans in flight!

  15. DebsJourney says:

    Love seeing all the birds and learning something too! Beautiful sunset I must say.
    thanks for cheering me up so nicely, Deb

  16. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Stay in the car or wear a hat! 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You were traumatized by those gulls over the schoolyard at recess. You’re obsessing on bird droppings. 😉

  17. Dave Davis says:

    We stayed there last week of March last year. We were at the place with full hookups. When we first got there I was wondering why we even came there. Not a very attractive place, and the weather was warm so the stench was terrible. After a couple of days of exploring and learning about the place, we got to see its true beauty. The smell is the dead fish, and the silver lining to it is the birds gathering. Very few places I’ve seen with as many birds.
    The lake is so salty only two types of fish can survive, Tilapia is the most abundant. (They can survive high concentrations of salt and pollution, so think of that the next time you order fish.)
    A very quirky unusual place with its share of eccentric residents. I am looking forward to another visit there!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting, Dave. I’m very glad you shared your experience, especially the change in your view regarding the Salton Sea. What looked like something you’d rather pass up turned into a rewarding experience and a “quirky unusual place” that you look forward to visiting again.

      That’s precisely what I wanted to convey in this post by contrasting the two quotes. One finds the Salton Sea depressing, the other finds its benefits to birds, and the third (me) sees its beauty.. . and you saw its beauty also!

      Slowing down and really looking brings rewards. Thanks, Dave.

  18. Rod says:

    You haven’t said anything about the rotten egg smell that is associated with the Salton Sea…. As the lake drys up and its salinity becomes more and more, more creatures are going to die and the smell will increase…

    Do you find its smell offensive or are you less inclined to let it bother you.. Perhaps you aren’t as sensitive to its smell… So for what ever reason it doesn’t seem to bother, please enjoy your stay…. Rod

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rod,

      I have no way of measuring how acute is my sense of smell. I think it’s average. The “egg smell” has not been readily apparent, nor has it been offensive, since we have been here. In other words, my olfactory experience this week has been the smell of a beach.

      Grant you, there is no evidence of a recent fish die-off. The “beach”… including the part that is covered with bits of fish bones or whatever, is dry. Maybe if there is a period of rain an odor occurs. I don’t know about that. All I know is what I smell now and that amounts to beach smell with a rare whiff of sulphur the day a breeze brought it in from the direction of the Sea.

      Were you here and it smelled like rotten eggs? What time of year was that?

  19. AZ Jim says:

    Your sunset picture called for a desktop pic change Missy. Ignore the negative and I’ll go with the wonder you describe. I haven’t seen Salton Sea since mid 60’s. Bridget seems right at home there. COOL!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I’m not on a campaign to publicize the Salton Sea as having the newest and best beach. Of course that isn’t so. I’m just doing what I always do, reporting what I experience. 🙂

      I still have the close-up of flying gulls on my desktop, the photo from the “Nuestro nuevo campo….” post. I have it in the center surrounded by dark blue. Boy, does that make it pop! I’ll do the sunset next. That’s not one of my favorites, but I’m glad you and Alan like it. 🙂

  20. Bill&Ann-North Carolina says:

    Blue Herons are beautiful but blessed with a really awful honking voice. When the Herons fight over who gets the next available salmon in the lakes of Central Oregon it can get really noisy!

    The rangers take down license plate numbers to help catch those who evade paying campground fees. You are normally asked to write down your license # on you payment envelope. There are many people who make a game out of avoiding campground fee payments. This can be very aggravating for those responsible for keeping track of the payments; ie, many campground hosts. The people who avoid payment of fees have many tricks up their sleeves. It can be infuriating. The rest of us pay the price for the few dishonest ones by increased scrutiny from Rangers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill & Ann,

      Great comment. The ranger did ask me if I turned in the campground fee and where did I put the payment envelope, in the receptacle at the entrance of Corvina Beach or up at the state park headquarters. When I told her I put it at the entrance to this campground, she said another employee must have picked it up.

      Good point about people trying to wiggle out of paying fees and the increased security they cause, plus the cost being transferred to the honest folks. I imagine it is infuriating for those responsible for collecting the fees.

      Speaking of infuriating…. I couldn’t believe my eyes this morning. A jeep came racing up the shoreline along where the birds hang out, made a quick right-hand turn, went up the bank and into the campground, and then raced out of the campground, spraying dust on the RVs, to disappear up the highway. Darn, I wish I had my camera ready. I’d send a photo to the park in a flash! There are no-vehicle signs all over the place…

      Thanks for giving us the perspective of the rangers and camp hosts. Too often we consider only the campers’ point of view.

      • Bill&Ann-North Carolina says:

        Aghhhh! To bad you didn’t get a picture. This is exactly how we feel when we try to chat with a non-payer. We knock on their door, put the pertinent information under their windshield wiper: we walk away and hear spinning tires as they high tail it out of the campground!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I see non-payers,too. They arrive late and leave early. Usually I lean toward cutting a break for people on a tight budget. However, there is plenty of land — as this blog proves — where people can camp for free, so poverty is not an excuse for not paying.

  21. weather says:

    This post reminds me of one when you were reading a book focused on the misery most saw while writing a historical novel. At the time you were seeing and adding to the beauty in life as usual.Love the photos and hearing about your life,getting news that all’s well- that things are running well,falling into place as you move forward.It’s simply beautiful there right now,thank you for letting me see what you do.I’ve looked at it all several times and smiled during each one.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, weather. Bridget and I were sitting outside a short while ago when I had one of those is-this-real moments. More than three years on the road gathering memories of incredibly beautiful locations and I’m still amazed that all of this is my life. Good heavens, I really pulled it off! I’m really here! I laugh out loud. 🙂

      Your memory of former posts astounds me once again. 🙂 I hope this day has unfolded many blessings for you!

  22. K & B in CO says:

    Wonderful pictures the past few days from Salton Sea. I wish we had drove over there last week, instead of coming home. Here, it is snowing outside.

    I would enjoy all the bird watching there, except the pelicans. I have a bit of a problem with the white pelicans who hang out on my favorite fishing pond. Those birds will consume upwards of 8 lbs of fish / day, and stocking the pond is intended for fishing enjoyment rather than pelican feeding. I have paddled my canoe out into the midst of a pelican flock, and felt like I put myself in a Hitchcock movie ;-). Them is big birds, and not at all intimidated. Oh well, I am learning to co-exist.

    Safe travels, thanks for the blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Somebody on the side of the fish! It’s about time! 🙂

      Hi, K &B in CO,

      I can understand your frustration and annoyance with the pelicans fishing out your fishing pond. Sounds like they’ve found the Pelican Hilton and you’re footing the bill!

      • K & B in CO says:

        Right on Sue. The pelicans do not so much chow down on the larger fish, but they do fill up on the minnows that feed the fish we like to catch. Herons also impact the fishing, but not nearly as much. While out fishing, I enjoy spotting herons, ibis, many species of ducks, two kinds of blackbirds, kingfishers, hawks, the usual flocks of sparrows, starlings, and of course, my nemesis, the white pelicans. Fortunately, the members all share the cost of feeding the bass and pelicans. 🙂 Cheers!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You have a nice selection of birds. I like ducks but I see them rarely. I guess I don’t go to the right places.

  23. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Pelicans flying efficiently – ha! That made me laugh! Glad that the fridge fix is even better then you expected. I am loving this camp more and more as you share with us – thank you! The Great Blue Herons are beautiful birds. They are in my neck of the woods, too. The neighborhood behind me has a couple small ponds where they like to hang out. Seeing them fly overhead is a spectacular sight! There are lots of nesting sites along the James River as well. Glad that this camp is your “cup of tea…..” I am immensely enjoying exploring it with you and miss Bridge! 🙂 The black necked stilt…what an appropriate name as he has those long, long legs! I have to agree with Alan and Jim…the sunset photo is spectacular! 🙂

    Sending you wishes for another peaceful evening. Hugs to you and Bridget from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I get the greatest kick out of hearing that my posts bring enjoyment. Thanks for telling me that, Denise.

      And I was wondering if anyone noticed the black-necked stilt. I was quite thrilled to see such an unusual (to me) bird. Whenever I see the great blue herons they are standing or making short hops. I’ll be on the lookout to see them in flight. I’ve referred to gulls several times and now I think some of them are terns.

      Bridget and I are happy here. Sharing this place with appreciative readers like you makes it even more enjoyable. Cuddle Gracie for me!

  24. shirlene says:

    I have not read the comments yet..but it is a great blue heron…I saw him this morning also and his cousin great white heron in front of our site…black necks are cool..wading birds..Quite a weekend for us birders…we ran into clumps of them…birders I mean. ..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, shirlene,

      Is that the great white heron in the photo under the great blue heron photo?

      I admire you for accepting my reclusiveness while you were here. If I came over, then I’d have people driving to my camps and hovering. It’s awkward and weird . . . oh well. Just wanted you to know I think you’re cool! 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed your weekend here. Did you find a burrowing owl?

      • shirlene says:

        Love = respect. ..nuff said. …Pesky owls hiding this trip..but I cannot even describe what we saw at the Salton Sea Wall..but let me try…lined up along the shore of the sea wall were what from far away was a wall of colors. ..black in front about 1/4 mile long. .sticking up white dots that turned out to hundreds of Brown Pelicans right behind the cormorants. .then behind them..hundreds of seagulls. ..black – grey – white. like a flag..a WOW moment. Brown Pelicans in breeding plumage..which means red around long stretch of bill..nature is wonderful. ..I am jealous you are still there.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Sounds beautiful, Shirlene! 🙂

        • shirlene says:

          One last thing..it is not about what birds you see there but the absolute massive number that is seen…ok done gushing now…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Where did you see that? Where is the sea wall? That sounds like an incredible photo op!

          • shirlene says:

            Wow..go down Hwy 111 towards Niland…past Niland about 10 minutes. .look for sign..Sunny Bono Wildlife Refuge. .Turn right on Sinclair. ..refuge at end of the road..get a great map of area…leave refuge and turn immediately right on Lack Road to Lindsay. .turn right…follow dirt road wonderful shots there..follow dirt road until it turns right you can see most of coast from that point..then go farther down it….there is a power plant farther down at power plant. to meet up with Lack road again…road looks like it is going into power plant but it is not..turn left on Lack..road ends back at Sinclair. ..turn right to Hwy 111….Whew!

            One more thing..while driving down Sinclair. .look to the right for those pesky burrowing owls..they have nests on that road…good luck..it will be amazing. …please go into refuge office..great info there a wonderful people.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks, Shirlene. I’ve been meaning to take a look at the refuge. This will make a fun outing!

      • shirlene says:

        Yes. .Great Egret…white tall but not as big a blue heron.

    • shirlene says:

      P.S..yes you did see terns..and Greebs are the little birds that float low in the water and dive down for food…they are little. They are farther out..need your monocular. ..

  25. Barbara (from Nashville) says:

    Hi Sue,
    I hope you didn’t think I was trying to rush you into finding another crew member. I was just trying to be helpful. I was so angry after the post regarding Yuma’s Animal Control, I just thought you might be interested, in the situation of those dogs.
    If I did overstep, I am truly sorry.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no, Barbara… I wasn’t referring to you at all. No apology necessary, except from me for giving you that impression. I’m sorry.

      I appreciate you telling me/us about the 191 dogs rescued from a hoarder in San Bernadino. It gave me hope that finding a new crew member will become easier, what with more dogs available. I followed up on the story. The rescue organizations have taken the dogs.

  26. Maura says:

    Having met a lot of Rangers and the flack they get, lets not forget they serve the purpose of maintaining an area, so RVSue can continue to enjoy it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Absolutely, Maura! I didn’t mean to give the impression that I don’t respect rangers. I appreciate the work they do. If it weren’t for them and the volunteers who assist them, our public lands would be trashed even more than they already are. Rangers have an impossible job, trying to protect vast areas of land, much of it difficult to traverse, and dealing with the public and widespread ignorant behavior.

  27. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    And they are especially helpful when providing documents to prove one’s residency while in SD!

    Hahhhhhh. 😉

  28. weather says:

    Sue as I was reading comments added throughout the afternoon on the last post I noticed Reina had asked a question about your canopy use ,and that reminded me of a question I have.Is it just the appearance in your photo or is your canopy becoming faded and perhaps then a bit worn on the line always exposed when it’s rolled up?I ask because some things I really enjoyed using outside got ruined from the elements before I knew that they make spray on protection products now.I’m sure Amazon carries them in case it turns out that you or others need it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good idea about the spray. I’ll try to remember to get some of that.

      I don’t know of any “line always exposed when it’s rolled up.” The canvas rolls up and is stored inside a metal box the length of the awning’s width. BTW, any lines that show in photos are probably the design.

      Still…. It would be good to spray the canvas periodically. Thanks for the suggestion.

  29. Jenny Waters says:

    I love the bird pictures. It’s funny that some lady thinks the Salton Sea is depressing. It seems quite fascinating to me. Thanks for sharing the migratory bird map, too. What does Bridget think of the birds?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jenny,

      I appreciate the feedback on the map. You’re the only one who has mentioned it. I found it interesting which is why I included it in this post.

      Yeah, that article was typical of how a person can take an experience and twist it into something sensational. . . . calling this a “graveyard.”

      I’m happy you enjoy the bird photos. As for Bridget and the birds, her world seems to be about four feet around her nose. She doesn’t concern herself with anything in the distance. I guess that’s her version of living in the moment. Ha!

      Nice hearing from you, Jenny!

      • edlfrey says:

        It is not just Bridget, all dogs seem to have a visual acuity of only 20/75. This means that a pattern that a dog can barely recognize at 20 feet (6 meters) is actually large enough for a person with normal vision to identify at a distance of 75 feet (23 meters).

        They can see shapes at a distance but not much detail. They can also detect movement at a distance. That is why a cottontail rabbit can sit perfectly still only a few feet away from a dog and will not be seen but if it moves the dog is after it.

  30. PookieBoy in houston says:

    Hi Sue….another great post…….was out transplanting some tomato plants and came in for a cup of coffee and saw your post…..having spent 12 years with the sheriffs dept sometime boredom sets in and I would go sit and watch handicapped parking spaces trying to catch someone parking there that wasnt supposed to so the parks wardens may just be looking for something to do….
    speaking of catching bad guys……High Island is north of Galveston and runs all the way to Pt Arthur so there are miles of lonely beach in which you can camp and fish….last year a guy accused of murder from North Carolina was found sleeping on the beach up there….he was found out because he was looking for food from campers on the beach and someone reported him…..you just never know….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting about catching that guy on the beach. Someone, just recently, was talking to me about camping on the beach of the Texas coast… Oh yeah, it was Bob who camped at Ogilby Road near me.

      Is it just me or does a high percentage of murderers on the run end up in Texas? I guess they’re heading for Mexico. Between the illegals going north and the murderers going south . . . Texas has them comin’ and goin’…

      Good luck with your tomato transplants.

      • PookieBoy in houston says:

        great places to camp on the beach from Matagorda down to Padre Island with whiter sand and greener water…not so much up above that with brown sand and brownish waters…..

  31. Lynn Brooks says:

    Dear Sue,
    I am fascinated by all the info you manage to pack into days worth of blog!
    Fantastic!!! I’ve just learned so much about the Salton Sea!
    In terms of a new crew member – the perfect little guy (offal) is out there. You know it when you see him or her.
    Take your time!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      I’ve been learning a lot about the Salton Sea, too. I was laughing at myself not too long ago. Bridget and I haven’t left this campsite in three days, other than to take walks. I’m fascinated by the changing colors and light on the Sea in front of our camp, one example being the sunset photo in this post. And then, of course, there are the birds….

      That’s great that you find my blog packed with information! And also that you realize that it’s important for me to go at my own pace re a dog. I have to store up all these days of solitude before I blaze my way onto the interstates of southern California.

  32. Reine says:

    Much better to have a ranger stop to say hi and check your license number than have unwanted “guests” drop by. The rangers don’t invade your privacy and I feel just a little bit better about your safety knowing there are rangers in the area. Yes, I know you can take care of yourself and you have a well developed sense of “something’s not right about this place – lets move on”. But I know lots of us care about you and want you safe so hearing about an occasional ranger is welcome.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Reine. I like knowing there are rangers around, too. The ones I’ve met have been very professional and non-intrusive. I didn’t mean to sound like I resented the ranger’s presence . . .

      Thank you for caring about me. 🙂

      • Reine says:

        I didn’t read your comments as resenting the rangers. I just wanted you to know that lots of us are concerned about you (in a good way) and are glad there are folks who’s job it is to keep the area safe so you and others can live the lifestyle you want.

  33. Annie says:

    Cool birds!!! I’d love to go to the Salton Sea!!! Thanks for the post!

  34. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly and Midgy says:

    Sue, when I looked at that last picture I got the most peaceful feeling…don’t know why….I hope you don’t mine that I’ve used it as my desktop picture so I can have a nice moment whenever I look at it. Thanks.

  35. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    It might be fun to take a drive over to see the Slabs. No rangers there. You could enlighten your readers on how other Americans are living out in the desert. I’d like to see if they cleaned up the place?

  36. Karla in Ky. says:

    We have alot of Blue Herons here in Ky. I enjoy seeing them when I am kayaking on Elkhorn Creek. Sometimes they just sit on the bank and watch us float by. A heron rookery is very interesting to see. It is a large tree full of very large nests.

  37. weather says:

    It’s not often that snow drifts come here,when they do they come as a group.The members of the one that stopped by yesterday aren’t big, yet what they lack in size they make up for in number.Settling around by forming new tiny hills everywhere they’d stayed overnight as the winds had left.Not knowing what time it was ,watching them I realized the sun was about to come up- because they were waking each other up to watch it ,too.

    While asleep they’d all been shadowy white,as each awakened their faces lit up- with color- one at a time in rows and circles across the yard.Golden here,Yellow close by,my favorite was bright Apricot, and a bit louder than most, while still sweetly using hushed tones.The Blue quintuplets near them were slow,apparently wanting more rest , came to anyway.When the sun finally topped the horizon the sky caught on- began to turn turquoise in layers.Compared to the rest the lake seemed to be the baby of the group covered in a soft pink blanket.

    Our long term forecaster says that starting on the 21st the temps will began their annual slow climb upward again.That makes this morning’s visit all the more precious to me.Knowing that small difference in the air- when the diamonds in the frost leave twinkling in “Bye for Now” waves- will bring it’s own gifts ,I really won’t mind if it dawdles on the way here.Just one more,Lord-no matter how many times I say it,I’ve always gotten what I asked for.I hear that one more is coming Thursday,I’m glad this one stayed to share dawn with me.That was two hours ago,I know I’ll remember it as clearly years from now as I do this minute.

    Good morning,Sue,as I think of what you said yesterday about what you saw and felt while looking back at amazing things on your journey, I’m smiling and grinning about the reluctance some of us have about gushing over stuff.But ,really,isn’t it almost incredible to get to be in and see so much?Or that it even exists?!One thing I do look forward to with a bit more warmth coming soon is that the pups can stay out longer running and playing then.Hug Bridget for me today along one of your walks with her,those must be simply wonderful …

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      Your descriptions of winter around your home and your enjoyment of what you experience there remind us all to look for the good and the beautiful wherever we happen to be. Colors on snowdrifts… lovely! I bet there are folks who’ve looked at drifts and not seen what you see.

      You receive the gifts of each day with arms open wide, twirling with glee, gushing with delight, and bubbling over with gratitude. That’s your “secret” to living every day to the fullest. 🙂

      I can imagine your pups exploding out the door to run and play. Have fun!

      • weather says:

        “…arms wide open” there are expressions that say so much. And explode out the door -they really do-and back in every time!I’ve never had a home without a pet,I do have friends without any.You know, they’re the ones that marvel most about how easily I have fun.I think that’s part of why you really know my “secret” and they just don’t.It’s no one slice of life that makes joy overflow-it’s feeling all of it,like you can.Thanks,most of my day was fun-and this moment is so nice…Open this page that always has so much to smile,sigh or care about,see what’s up with you and everyone while the troupe settles down after our apple maple smoothie,avocado sandwich meal.I often don’t know when you’re having a move to new camp day.Wherever you are ,I hope right now feels nice for you,too.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Not moving today. . . I’ll try to remember to mention when we will move in case we go where there’s no internet signal.

          I’m glad you found fun in your day. Hmm… an “apple maple smoothie”… How rural New York that sounds!

      • weather says:

        Hi Sue,Hope your coffee and morning is good.Mine,of course,has been going on for hours.A bit more of my plans are falling into place,well,really being put in place may be a better expression-the first way sounds like an accident,Ha!Are you up to anything or simply enjoying kicking back in paradise?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, weather,

          Yes, a good morning and good coffee here! What am I up to? I’m picking out photos for the next post from a huge collection I took recently. I’m preparing them for the next post, putting the frames around them and moving them to files. I have the post half-written. Thought I’d check comments. It’s nice that your planning is moving along. 🙂

          Okay… Back to working on the next post!

  38. Like mosquitos in Florida, and winds on the plains…..it’s all about timing. I imagine that if it stunk there you’d be somewhere else right now 🙂 Your little Stilt is adorable, although clearly not as popular as the big blue guy. I’m sure he gets that a lot……. Wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone could follow the rules without needing enforcers? Rule-breakers just increase the need for more rules that affect all of us – yet they are the biggest complainers and never take responsibility for any of it. Sorry, I clearly have issues :-)))))) So glad you’re enjoying your time at the sea!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      Your comment about the Stilt reminded me of something I had wanted to do and forgot. I edited the post to include a link so readers can also listen to the stilt’s different sounds. I did the same for the Great Blue Heron at the very bottom of the post.

      You’re right about rule-breakers…. the first to complain. That’s because they’re immature which is evidenced by their avoidance of responsibility.

      Yes, timing is important for any full-timer. I hope readers realize that I’m not saying the Salton Sea isn’t going to be stinky. All I know about it is what I am experiencing.

  39. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, I was looking at the map of the area this morning…looks like I may have made it more complicated than it has to be…My map says turn right on Gentry road, right on Lindsay road…so I know you have a great map book…you want to be on Lindsay Road to see the Sea Wall…you know you are on the right road when you see a large dead tree decorated with Comorants..lol. I hope you get to get out there and post pictures like only you can…Now I am going to get my coffee and remember the great cup of coffee I had yesterday, looking at the Salton Sea…heavy sigh!. Enjoy your toast and coffee today Sue, cheers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Shirlene. I went to the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge website and found a map there which illustrated your directions. I appreciate your help!

      • Shirlene says:

        You are so capable, I should have known that.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The map doesn’t give the “inside info” that you shared. I’m following your guide!

          • Shirlene says:

            Okay then, when you come out of the Refuge, the street is Gentry, turn right…go to Lindsay, turn right…those are all agricultural roads, they are aware of birders, no problem for them…Gentry is well paved, Lindsay not so much when you get down towards the Sea Wall…Look for the dead tree with the birds in it, then you know you are on the right road…keep going the road turns to the right….at power plant small road goes right, no road sign on it..but trust me you can go through there..I cannot wait to see the things you will see on Lindsay…take the garmen and map you get at Refuge, you will be fine…

  40. Shirlene says:

    One more thing about moving on…..Don’t go past Moreno Valley…did that yesterday..all I could think of is Sue better not come this way and get in all this mess, she will shoot herself…Riverside is one big traffic snarl…sorry if any Riversiders are here, but it was just crazy..Everything was fine on our way home until then…I would think you should cross California by way of Joshua Tree…not so bad that way..but WHEW!..please stay out of the cities, if at all possible, I would hate to see you cry!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And Riverside is one place I was contemplating because of the dogs there. Thanks for the warning, Shirlene. Of course, you went through there on a Sunday afternoon when folks are rushing home at the close of the weekend. Even so, I’d probably have a meltdown.

      • Judy Johnson...upstate S.C. says:

        So enjoying your sea, birds, comments and Bridget. Isn’t it fun to research anything and everything on the internet?! My phone was “down” for a while; needed a new battery. We were lost without it; totally dependent on it for everything when we’re traveling. Another positive note on the troopers….we were on a trip a few years ago and they found us to deliver a emergency situation in family. Love reading everything from you and all the blogerinos!

  41. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Oh Sue your last shot of the lake there is so beautiful…………….wow oh wow……..worthy of international photographic competition! Loving all your bird shots, fuzzy or not. My favourite photography is doing birds and I have enjoyed seeing your pelicans…..slight differences to ours I think. So looking forward to you having another fur baby, but don’t be pressured…….when the time is right………the waiting will be worth it……….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda in OZ,

      Thanks for the high praise on the sunset photo! Aren’t pelicans fun? Looking out the back window right now and there are seven pelicans at the water’s edge, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in the sunshine.

      My latest plan for a new pup fell through. I’ll keep trying!

  42. AZ Jim says:

    Detta used to say when we were out and about “are we going to have to go though STINKY Riverside?” She and I hated that area (and it sounds so pretty). I hope anyone in Riverside understands. It’s kinda like the old lady said as she kissed her cow, “everyone to their own taste!”

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Cow manure has got to be the most offensive smell on earth!

      Whether it be driving down I-5 Coalinga CA near the Harris beef ranch or Lowville NY. How folks get use to the smell of liquid manure is beyond me!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        That’s why I hate feed lots. Just because it’s your own species’ waste doesn’t mean you like living in it. Poor animals….

      • Lolalo says:

        Cinandjules, you obviously have never smelled chicken manure spread on fields. I hold my breath until I turn blue. It is the worst of the worst!

  43. Millie says:

    Hi Sue, Regular lurker here, decloaking to ask if you keep a life list of birds? I’m an amateur birder and really love seeing all the different birds that you see in your travels. The black-neck stilt is really cool…I was jumping up and down at your question..hand raised “I know, I know”!! felt like a kid in school…pick me, pick me!!

    I love reading your blog and seeing the photos of all the lovely places you’ve been.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Millie,

      No, I don’t keep a list of birds I’ve seen. I do know when I see one for the first time, like the black-necked stilt. I’ve seen Great Blue Herons in Florida but it was quite some time ago. I’ve never been very good at lists. I make grocery lists and lose them before leaving for the store.

      Great to see you here! Thanks for the compliments and kind words.

  44. Timber n' me says:

    The Black- necked Stilt Call is now on my Dad’s Smokeless Signaling Device as a ring tone, I like it and , Bridget say Hi to RV Sue for us, will ya? ,,,,,,,Timber

  45. Libby Nester says:

    I love the Birds and the Salton Sea. They remind me of a Disney Movie. They have so much character. The Salton Sea looks so peaceful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Libby,

      The peacefulness of the birds on the Sea is mesmerizing. They put me into a trance! 🙂

  46. Terri From Texas says:

    “Cow manure has got to be the most offensive smell on earth!”

    Ever smell a pig farm? Much worse! Love your bird pics, RvSue!

  47. CasitaGirl from NY says:

    I may have missed this in the comments, but the great blue heron you photographed is in full breeding plumage – that flowing “beard” is temporary! Also, the great egret and great white heron do look quite similar – the egret has a bright yellow bill with a black tip. Enjoyed this post about birds!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for teaching me about the egret. Yes, the breeding plumage was mentioned. It’s makes him very dapper and I guess more attractive to the ladies!

      • Shirlene says:

        Good Afternoon Sue, I am anxious to hear if you have been exploring the Refuge area, and if you got any great picturees..I also cannot wait to hear if you found the Burrowing Owls…Hope you are having wonder days and beautiful evenings.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, you’ve probably seen the new post by now… alas, no burrowing owls. Sorry I didn’t come up with better photos. When dealing with nature a certain amount of luck is necessary!

  48. laurie says:

    Sue,
    I love your site so much and your style. Just had to say. I’ve followed your adventures on and off for a couple of years and have watched your interest in birding, nature, and photography blossom and grow! We too are traveling, (in a small VW camper van) and love to go to bird refuges to both watch for wildlife and walk the dog. We love the simple, quiet, uncomplex life filled with nature.
    I cried over Spikey (we had a cat by the same name) and laugh at your people observations. We too travel with an older dog, and notice daily her slowing down.
    Just finally wanted to say Hi…I’ve never commented before because you always have so many comments! We are headed to the Salton Sea area and enjoyed your take on the area. Keep on doing your thing. You are a joy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, laurie,

      What a treat for me to see you here today. Thank you for sharing a little about yourself and family and for your kind words. I’m touched that you cried when Spikey passed on. . .

      It doesn’t matter how many comments there are, your presence is valued, too! You’re very considerate…I can take a break when comments become too much.

      Enjoy your stay at the Salton Sea!

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