My timing may be off but the courting pelican is doing just fine

Monday, February 16

The three-day-weekend campers at Corvina Beach on the Salton Sea pack up and head for home.

1-P1020702The sea birds continue doing what sea birds do.

1-P1020703Bridget and I leave the Best Little Trailer behind to ride the Perfect Tow Vehicle south on Route 111.

1-P1020701Our destination?  Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge!

About halfway to Niland I begin having second thoughts about the timing of this excursion.  What looked at first like heavy cloud cover now looks like nuclear winter.  A shroud of grey blankets the southern part of the Salton Sea.  I don’t smell the hydrogen sulfide — the infamous “rotten egg” odor — but morning sunshine cannot break through. The air is cool.

We turn south and go through Niland.

1-P1020735-001Cultivated fields of green lie on both sides of the road.  An avian V-formation passes overhead.

I notice a lone bird high on a wire.  I bring down my window and snap a photo of him even though he’s back-lit.

It’s fun to post it anyway for you birders. What bird has this distinctive silhouette?

I slow down the PTV to park at the Visitor’s Center at the refuge. 

This alerts Bridget to wake up from her snooze so she can throw a frantic, screaming fit.

“Gosh, Bridget.  Take it easy!  I’d like to keep my hearing!”

I buckle her into her black suit.  I grab a poop bag and the end of her leash.  I follow the canine maniac on the sidewalk and then up the ramp that goes to a viewing platform.  I set her loose in order to record this precious event.

1-P1020732As expected, the view from the platform is obliterated by “cloud” cover.

Bridget prances around on the boards, tugging at her leash. 

“Gee, you’re a whirling dervish today.  C’mon.”

We walk around the grounds and I read the plaque on the Sonny Bono time “capsule” to be opened in 2103

“You got your walk-around and now I get to go inside the Visitors’ Center . . . without you.”

Not so.

The Visitors’ Center is closed.  Oh, darn!  I forgot.  It’s Presidents Day!  .

“Okay, Bridge.  Let’s find some birds.”

I start up the PTV and we head for the Sea. 

Geothermal electric-generating plants squat among the fields of green and near the shore.  Their “smokestacks” belch white and grey plumes of steam into the sky.  The refuge’s birds co-exist with these plants.

(I had to edit the following photo into order to remove the darkness of the day enough for you to see the birds in the foreground and the plant in the background.)

1-P1020753I drive along the seawall and come upon a Great Blue Heron, white pelicans, various gulls and terns.  Here is a favorite hang-out of . . .


I don’t move up close to avoid disturbing them.  I zoom in on one cormorant as he attempts to dry his feathers in the elusive sunshine.

1-P1020742Lots of cormorants here!

1-P1020740Bridget continues to act insane!

I park the PTV at a long levee that juts out into the Sea.  Against my better judgement, I bring Little Miss Annoying along with me, on her leash for safety.  Maybe a long walk will use up her energy!

Well, even though the refuge birds are a good distance away, our presence makes them skittish.  While I fumble with the camera on its mono-pod, they fly away.  I hate that we disturbed them. I’m guessing they aren’t accustomed to a terrier trying her damnedest to fling her body over the sea wall.

What IS it with today?  First, nuclear winter.  Then the Visitors’ Center is closed.  And here’s Bridget jumping around like . . . . errggh!

Time out for another bird challenge.

I’ve enlarged a small section of a larger photo.  Can you identify this pretty trio?

1-P1020752I give up on photography at the refuge for today.

We explore the refuge some more and then go back to camp.  By the time I plug in the PTV to the BLT, it’s around one o’clock and the sky has cleared.

After lunch . . . 

I relax while Bridget naps.  (Thank you, Jesus!)

1-P1020716Remember the solitary pelican in the sunset photo of the previous post?

Looks like romance is in the air!



I continue to be delighted that you choose to make your Amazon purchases from my blog.



Readers have identified the bird on the wire as a Belted Kingfisher.

Readers have also identified the trio of birds as Northern Shovelers

Oh my gosh!  You have got to click on this link!  Scroll down to listen to the call of a male Northern Shoveler first.  Then scroll further down to listen to the reaction of the female Northern Shoveler.  Hilarious!  I’ve played it several times and I laughed each time I heard it!

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144 Responses to My timing may be off but the courting pelican is doing just fine

  1. Suzi in MD says:

    Love your pictures 🙂

  2. Bev says:

    What the??? No comments yet?! Love your photos and documentation of your continuing journey.

  3. Christine says:

    I believe that is a Belted King Fisher? I mean the one on the wire 🙂

  4. Chaunte in West TN says:

    Number 4 whoo hooo!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chaunte,

      “whoo hooo”… That’s the call of a flightless bird that commonly follows the migration route of “rvsue and her canine crew.” 🙂

  5. Bob Martel says:

    The first solo bird picture is definitely the Kingfisher as Christine indicated. Probably taking a break from feeding.

  6. Lolalo says:

    The ducks are Northern Shovelers.
    I have thoroughly been enjoying your birding posts the last couple of days. Sorry I didn’t get to comment.
    Also, the bird on the wire is a Kingfisher.
    Keep ’em coming!

  7. rvsueandcrew says:

    Message to you “early birds” to this post. I added a note about the birds at the end of the post. Sue

  8. Page says:

    The birds have been correctly identified at this point so I will just add that Bridget must be sensing a change on the horizon. Most animals are much more perceptive than people think.

  9. Darlene in MN. says:

    I know the feeling of at last the dog is taking a nap. My Yorkie is 11 months and it’s like having a 2 yr. old running around and as much fun as they are it’s nice when nap time comes. Love those pictures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Darlene,

      Yorkies do have a lot of energy… non-stop except when sleeping and I bet they run in their sleep,too!

  10. We have the same kind of day here today. Grey! Uninteresting! Dull! So reading your blog is a very definite highlight! As I started typing this, rain started dancing on the roof of the MotherShip! Yay!
    We see a lot of Kingfishers in Florida. I am excited to be going back to Franklin County! We have a better bald eagle population there than I gave seen anywhere else!
    What’s up with HRH being all antsy and anxious??? Did she calm down after you got back to the BLT????

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Rain on the roof… Enjoy!

      Oh, Bridget calmed down. She was super happy that day. Bridget was being Bridget. (weird)

  11. Shirlene says:

    OMG! I cannot believe you got a picture of the belted kingfisher…They are such skittish little buggers….And isn’t that Comorant tree histerical!..I need to go back and finish reading the post, I just had to comment as soon as I saw the kingfisher.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene,

      Know what the cormorant tree reminds me of? One of those fake trees with no leaves that people put on a table and decorate with miniature ornaments.

      Yeah, that kingfisher photo is the worst of the worse. I couldn’t resist sharing it though!

      • Shirlene says:

        You are so right about that tree looking like a fake tre that someone decorated…I am so glad you saw it and was able to post it here…strange about the weather, I bet it was not like that where you are camped..we noticed a weather change along the fields also…the view of the coast and water plant was minus about 2000 birds….lol.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I think the air quality can be very poor around Brawley and the southern end of the Salton Sea. The first time I drove through Imperial Valley on our way to Anza Borrego, the pollution (I think they were spraying the fields at the time) gave me such nausea and headache that I had to pull off the road and close myself up in the BLT for a nap. I felt slightly weird going through there on our way to this camp this year. Fortunately no negative effects when we went to the refuge.

          I heard lots of different bird sounds when we walked the levee…. orioles and blackbirds, I think.

          • Shirlene says:

            Yes and grackles too I think…lots of great bird sounds around the Refuge Center…They have a barn owel that lives in the Palm trees outside the Refuse Office…I cannot tell you how glad I am that you were not affected by the fumes from spraying……………

        • edlfrey says:

          That is not a water plant.

          It is one of seven geothermal electric generating plants in the Salton Sea area.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thanks, Ed. That’s what Rand says too. I edited the post to make me sound like I know what I’m talking about.

  12. DesertGinger says:

    Wow that was really strange weather. We are having amazing weather in Tucson…70s and blue skies with white puffy clouds. So pretty.

    Got my blood tests today and now at work, doing nothing. Tomorrow I go down to Pima County courthouse to get replacement passport. In the afternoon the housecleaner comes and we are going to unbox and set up my new mattress. I’m hoping i can sleep in a bed again!

    I so desperately wish to get thru my nausea problems. I would like to start going to the gym again and getting active, but I’m too sick. I am getting really sick and tired of being sick and tired! It isn’t like me to not be active and going. And it is hard to be cheerful when you feel crappy, and I’m normally pretty cheerful and positive. Aaarrrrgh!

    Well, guess I’ll work on a case study. Hope every one is doing well!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ginger,

      I think our weather is pretty close to yours except warmer. I think the dark morning was due to some cloud cover holding pollution in place. Once the clouds dissipated or moved away, the air cleared. By the time we were back at camp!

      Sorry you’re still struggling with nausea. No wonder you’re tired of it! I’m glad some help is coming tomorrow so you can sleep on your new mattress.

    • Timber n' me says:

      D G, sounds like Fibermalgina, sorry spell checker, but , I know a lot of folks who were active have this, being sick n’ tired all the time,,, me

      • DesertGinger says:

        Thanks Rusty, and yes I do have that, but that isn’t what’s bothering me. My problems have all been with my heart mainly, and now my stomach surgery. I’m just hoping that with time it will get better.

        • Pamela K. says:

          D G,
          You have Fibro?!
          Oh Girl, I DO hurt for you… I have such bad Fibro for many years. So bad that all 18 pts were off the charts on the pain scale. I spent two plus years in intense physical therapy for three hours every other day. On the off-days I mostly could not move and just cried in pain. I was on a cain full-time and steps away from a wheelchair before conquering most of the acute pain. Now I manage it very well, Amen! I used to be a real active A-type before Fibro…it changes one’s life in every way and often changes relationships with others, loved ones, friends, co-workers. It is an AWFUL disorder! Emotions, even good and happy ones, can trigger an acute attack. I still have to be on guard during holiday times, not to over do or get over emotional. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years are the hardest; some foods trigger it too. So I do relate especially since you just had a major medical procedure on top of it all. Fibro is a wicked disorder to have to deal with but it can be managed…I’m proof of that. Now I even hike beginner and moderate hiking trails. D G, hope you get better and have a full recovery soon!

    • DGinger, you just had lap band surgery, right? I might be remembering wrong…
      I also had lap band surgery! For me, it was pretty much as you describe…. 3 years of nausea and more nausea. I lost 80 lbs the first 2 years, about 5 the last year. Somehow the lap band slipped and I ended up in the ER having it removed! With no band, there was no nausea! So if you did get the band, you might ask doc to loosen it a bit because I found out after it was removed that a too tight lap band will cause nausea!

      • DesertGinger says:

        No, they won’t do lap band here anymore. I had gastric sleeve. They removed 85% of my stomach. No undoing that!

        • Oh, OK. That might work better than my lap band! Good luck with that! For the nausea, the answer is in your name! Ginger! Grate up fresh ginger, add a slice of lemon and honey to taste and pour in a cup of boiling water and let steep! This helped me so much during my bad days!

          • Pamela K. says:

            I trust you are doing fine now, yes?
            Boy the wringers our bodies put us through!
            It’s a wonder really, life is such a journey with so many twists along the way.

  13. weather says:

    Glad you got to see a bird smiling(second photo) among all the other wonderful things that they do.Between errggh parts of life chances to watch them by the water brings one back to center like few other things can.I’m so happy you have that ,too,now.Great job again of making a post so real that one feels right there with you.

    Guess a three day weekend holing up trying to avoid other campers got to Bridget too.Fewer,less free and shorter chances to play(because of the freeze) does the same thing to my pups,just more proof that they share our frustrations,and thankfully,our joys.So,you didn’t know it was President’s day when you got up either,Ha!What a wonderful thing life without being aware of what a calender says right now is!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I think someone here or in real life mentioned Presidents Day was coming and it went right out of my head. When I was teaching, I counted the days to holidays and now every day is a holiday. How fantastic is that!

      Thanks for your words about this post. I decided not to gloss over the disappointing parts of our day… Life is like that. And excursions to view nature don’t always turn out as we hope. I should’ve waited until the afternoon to go.

      That bird in the second photo does look happy to be alive. 🙂

      • weather says:

        Posts or conversations when we don’t gloss things over are the best way to keep it real sometimes,I know that you understand how not having to phony up or dumb down makes this blog/you that much more of a treasure… Ran a google check to be sure no places would be closed and we didn’t miss out on anything else this week.Tomorrow,Wednesday the 18th is national battery day,Friday the 20th is love your pet day.Since those things are well covered for us it looks like the we’re free to go and do what we please again 🙂 Phew!I know I’ll sleep well knowing that,hope you both do ,too

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hahaha! National Battery Day? Love Your Pet Day?

          Every day is Love Your Battery And Your Pet Day around here!

    • weather says:

      Sounds like a lot of us have had chores to do,trips to take and things that needed to be taken care of recently.It’s wonderful to be able to do that.What a difference this blog has from what the headlines and news focus on.No matter what’s gotten in the path of everyone here,which for many has been painful,all report about this hope or that improvement going on…It makes me so proud of you and each one commenting here,and it makes opening the laptop a pleasure.

      The troupe and I had a busy day so I didn’t say Hi earlier.Now we’re all winding down and settling in,my gosh they’re just so cute.Sue,I really think a link on a blog to hear bird song is simply beautiful and suits what you give to a T.Every waking hour in my home has always had things I come here to find and enjoy because they matter so much to me,and bird song is one of those.I just wanted to add my vote for that and tell you why.

      Hope this finds you relaxing and just glad to be where and how you are 🙂

      BTW you are still teaching and getting better at it all the time,that’s what you do,always have…

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, weather,

        I almost closed the laptop and then decided to scroll through the comments one more time. A nice surprise to find your afternoon message here!

        It’s a good feeling to complete our chores, isn’t it. Bridget and I accomplished a lot today and now we are relaxing. It’s a hot day… must be near 90 or more (still haven’t picked up a thermometer!)… and I’m very pleased with the effectiveness of the awning. It keeps the interior of our home comfortable.

        Thank you for appreciating the links to bird calls. It’s fun to learn their songs as well as their identifying marks, habitats, migrations, nests, eggs, etc. One of the greatest rewards of a nomadic lifestyle is the variety of birdsong one encounters.

        I hope you are relaxing with your dear friends, furry and feathered, happily nearby.

        • weather says:


        • weather says:

          Good morning,Sue-it’s a particularly good day to relax with a fur and feather family in the northeast-we’re having the high with wind chill right now(5 below)expected until Saturday.I guess you and Bridget only watch your footing outside to step around things in your path,we’re sliding around every time we go out-it’s hilarious 🙂

  14. Timber n' me says:

    How bout that, I always thought it was the male who quacked, huh, I guess I aint all that cur quacked on the subject of birds, especially on water fowl, but I’m just a dog ,,,,,,, Timber

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Timber,

      You aren’t the type that chases ducks. 🙂

      • Timber n' me says:

        If it wants to be chased, I’ll do the job of giving chase, are you kidding, I’ll chase a fly,,,, it’s all in a Dogs life. ,,,,Timber

  15. Penny in Ark. says:

    We have a bird in Arkansas we call the “uh-oh” bird, and would like for someone to identify that bird for us. When one of my grandsons was about 11 months old, he had just learned how to say uh-oh, and we were camping at Lake DeGray and every time the bird would say it, our grandson would say it, and it was so funny! We hear it all the time now and call it the “uh-oh” bird.

  16. Laurie in NC says:

    Pelicans are so much fun to watch! they can be graceful one moment and then comical the next minute! We stayed at a campground in the Florida Keys a few years ago and there was a resident pelican named “George.” He pranced around the campground docks and would pose whenever my husband was taking pictures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie in NC,

      I saw pelicans like that when I lived in Florida and enjoyed pier fishing. Seems every pier has a resident pelican who has a name and first dibs on the throw-away fish and unused bait.

  17. At the risk that this may already have been mentioned, you DO know how close you are to Slab City…right? If you have never been there, it is worth at least one visit. Or…you can Google Images “Slab City”. LOTs of photo opps. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We camped at Slab City for a few days. I think that was in 2012.

    • JIM PETERSON says:

      Love your tagline! We are eight months away from hitting the road and heading South — full-timing in our 28.5′ fifth wheel. I have described the pending adventure many times as “chasing rainbows”. Neither of us enjoy getting up any earlier than we have to . . . perhaps that will change when we’re no longer working for the man(?) so we don’t get up early enough to see Sunrises. We’re huge fans of Sunsets though — and looking forward to seeing many more of them in the great winters of the South-Western desert.
      JIM & ANNIE — STUCK in Boise, ID for eight. more. months.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Jim and Annie,

        Eight months and counting . . . .

        No shortage of spectacular sunsets in the Southwest and no two are alike! I wonder where you will be watching the sunset this time next year. 🙂

  18. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Birds bird birds! Oh my….amazes me! Love the birds on the tree they look like leaves!

    Ya know maybe Bridge was feeling a bit insecure!

    The factory look a bit ominous! Dreary!

    Can’t imagine what’s in the time capsule! Ummm…guess I’ll never find out!

    Duck why it’s a duck! Two boys and a girl….duck! The courting Pelicans are cute.

    Have a marvelous night! Thanks for the tour!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjuules,

      The link for the time capsule takes you to a list of the contents of various capsules sealed up all over the country. I was surprised that it doesn’t contain more artifacts. Not even one of Cher’s dresses. Darn!

      Yeah, those plants — There are several — aren’t beautifying the refuge any!

      You have a good night, too. Thanks for coming on the tour with us. 🙂

  19. Sondra-SC says:

    Lovely shots of the birds today Sue….here we have an ICE storm! Limbs off the pines litter the yard, big ones, will have to chainsaw these in order to move them…more work for me–grrr.

  20. Rand says:

    The steamy smoke is from geothermal energy production. Very cool/hot Rorshock pics in the sunset.
    Glad you are enjoying the area–it is a sensitive corner of ecology. Wish Sonny Bono was active making it more than political stew.
    One plan is to dam half of the “sea”, import water and somehow mitigate the dry other half.
    The future of “wetlands” may owe a lot to this large break in the levee.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand,

      One of the reasons I feel we are fortunate to be here, especially when there isn’t an odor problem, is this may all be gone soon. I say “may” in an effort to be optimistic about the Sea’s future.

      Good to know you’re still reading my blog, Rand.

      • JIM PETERSON says:

        The Salton Sea is *very* unusual for at least two reasons — one that the water itself came from the failure of a man-made construct to begin with (1905) and — two — that the water still remains after all these years! One would think the water would have evaporated or filtered into the ground long ago. Found this at the wiki link:
        “However, due to changes in water apportionments agreed upon for the Colorado River under the Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003, the overall water level of the Sea is expected to decrease significantly between 2013 and 2021.”
        As the water already gets saltier each year (combination of no outlet and significant agricultural run off) and is already 54% saltier than the Pacific Ocean, such a big decrease in total water volume will increase the salt content high enough that the water life (small fish, bugs, etc.) which attracts all the birds will diminish or disappear completely. Seems to be the nature of the beast when it comes to water “rights” = no consideration of end users; especially when they are flora and fauna. A study of Mono Lake reveals what happens when the “needs” of humans outweigh the needs of Mother Earth and her creatures. She has no highly-paid lobbyists on her side of the debate so guess who wins?
        One need only spend some time at the Great Salt Lake in Utah (which hardly anyone ever does) to see the future.
        JIM ~ BOISE, ID

  21. Betty Shea says:

    Lovely photos,the white tree with the birds on its branches is gorgeous…the birds look like little leaves!!
    You cracked me up several times mentioning what your “canine maniac” was up to.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Betty-Shea,

      That photo is strange. It looks so much better when clicked to put it on a black background. The white is from the geothermal plant that Rand mentioned above your comment.

      As for the canine maniac…I thought I’d include a glimpse of what it is like living with one of the nuttier sides of HRH (Her Royal Hysteric).

  22. Gail Docter says:

    Great bird photos! We are currently in Titusville, Florida, visiting Merritt Island Wildlife Preserve and seeing many of the same birds and ducks you are. Aren’t we nomads a lucky breed? 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      All the years I lived in Florida and I never went there! Yes, we nomads are very fortunate. . . . “birds of a feather” with the birds who migrate…

    • Shirlene says:

      Gail, Hi, I love it there…Blacks Point, Mosquito Lagoon, the Preserve Park, look for Painted Buntings there, ask the rangers inside the office….Eagles, and so many Osprey that it makes your head spin…also we have seen the wild hogs on the side of the road, hit by cars, I think. Enjoy!

  23. So thoughtful of Bridget to add a little excitement to the dreary day 🙂 She’s a giver. Your photo reminds me that somewhere I have one of several buzzards drying their wings in full spread in a large dead tree – yours looks like a commune! The two pelicans are very sweet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Are you sure they were buzzards?

      Funny about the pelicans. They do a lot of “meeting and greeting” at sunset. In the morning the shoreline is very quiet. Plenty of birds but none of the squawking and squealing of late morning and afternoon.

      Well, this morning was different. There was quite a ruckus. I look out the window and two pelicans are splashing around, wings flapping, making a racket. Hmm . . . . Methinks it was a memorable night . . . . 🙂

  24. PookieBoy in houston says:

    Hi Sue…..its been cold and rainy outside so I sit by the computer all day hoping to catch your post early but ya sneaked it in on my while doing my taxes…..HA!
    your posts on the cormorants reminded me several years ago I went fishing for catfish with a friend of mine that told me we were gonna fish the cormorants….what the heck? I found out they spend the nite on tree branches in the lake and deposit their business into the water so we fished under them at daylight and caught boat load of catfish….of course we shoed the birds away so we wouldnt get hit……
    enjoyed this post very much….keep em coming!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, PookieBoy in houston,

      Um…. Are you saying the catfish are eating the cormorant doo-doo?

      Glad you enjoyed this post. I hope you finished your taxes.

      • PookieBoy in houston says:

        yep the catfish eat the do-do….:)
        hope you have a fishing rod with you…..I often go bank fishing
        either on the lake here or down on the coast…even if I dont catch
        anything I enjoy just doing nothing at times….and its good reading time as well….

        • PookieBoy in houston says:

          I meant to add that when I do go fishing its usually during the week and stay home on the weekend when all the idiots are out and about…..I take LuLu with me since she stays by my side most of the time. She is old like me. Pookie stays at home since he likes to wander around….it only takes him about 30 seconds to disappear. He is a bit younger than we are….

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Okay, let me get this straight because I get confused easily. You have two dogs, Lulu and Pookie, right? And you are Chuck, also known as PookieBoy in houston?

  25. Lee J in Northern California says:

    I loved the links to hear the birds…I also thank you for the link in general, wow, so much information!
    I also downloaded the app for identifying birds, free and it is super…just plug in the specifics of the bird you are trying to fine..and like magic you can find out what the bird is! So cool!

    Your blog the last couple of times has been a mini vacation. When we go to Klamath Falls we always visit the lake to see the birds..I am hooked!
    Our favorite local spot is Wood Reservoir for bird watching, especially if we are using our little Sea Eagle boat, we can paddle right up to birds and never disturb them…so cool!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J,

      I saw where you can download a bird ID app. What a handy and fun thing to have when watching birds!

      Thanks for the feedback on the links. I didn’t know if readers were clicking on them nor if they found the sites interesting.

  26. Edie says:

    Hi Sue,
    I just spent the last few weeks reading your blog from the beginning. I did not read the comments on most of the posts (it would have added years to my reading). Congratulations on your successful blog and the amount of loyal readers you have. I am preparing to retire in 581 days and have purchased a T@B in anticipation of that wonderful event. I doubt that we will be living in it full time (but you never know). I intend to keep following your blog as I have learned so much already. Good luck in your quest for a new member of your canine crew.
    Edie in Denver

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Edie,

      Thanks for reading my blog from the beginning and for congratulating me!

      You’re right about the comments. It would take a long time to read them all. If, however, in the future you want to know more about a topic, do a search for the topic and then read the comments below that post. My readers have shared a vast amount of knowledge, most gained from experience, that is helpful for anyone RVing.

      I do hope you’ll keep reading and writing here.

  27. Penny (from Utah was in Baja) says:

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks so much for the links you post. I don’t remember hearing the shoveler before. They do make one chuckle. I have apps on my smart phone and iPad that include the sounds. I particularly like the iBirds. I hadn’t listened to the shoveler. Thanks for the introduction.

    I’m headed off to Baja (by plane) with my new cat to join Rich, who has been camping at Los Frailes for a month. There are lots of interesting birds in the arroyo and on the beach.

    Hasta Luego

    Penny (the one you met in Green River)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Penny, for letting me know which Penny you are.

      Off to Baja! Wow! Have a wonderful time and give my regards to Rich.

  28. Lynn Brooks says:

    Thank you, Sue & Bridget for the beautiful pictures!
    What a fun & memorable day!
    Can’t wait til tomorrow!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      You’re welcome…. Tomorrow may not be as photogenic. We have chores to do…but, hey, you never know what might happen with “rvsue and her canine crew!” 🙂

  29. Fantastic photos! After I pick up my camper in Tucson I was thinking of heading toward Texas but your photos make me think I should head west.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela Hollinde and Maya,

      Welcome here, if I haven’t done so already! I see from your blog that you’ve been to Joshua Tree NP (great blog, top-notch photos, BTW).

      No matter what direction you go from Tucson, there’s plenty of reason to be there. Enjoy!

      Thanks for the compliment on my photos.

  30. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    The tree with the cormorants would make a good, spooky Halloween decoration! I enjoyed watching cormorants fish on the Bogue Sound in Emerald Isle, NC when I was on vacation this past August. It is amazing how the birds have adjusted to having those water treatment plants in their backyard. Thanks for adding the links to the bird calls. The last male shoveler call sounds like he is gargling!

    We got our first big snow of the season last night/this morning….8″. Glad it was less than the 14″ that they were calling for. Tomorrow night will bring another inch or so, and they are calling for another potential big storm over the weekend. With temps below freezing, whatever accumulation we get will not be going anywhere soon. All is good. I have not lost power, have a stocked pantry, and have a small stash of firewood and duraflame fireplace logs for backup if needed. Gracie absolutely loves the snow, hopping like a rabbit and sticking her whole head into drifts. Last night I had her out with me while I was clearing off the steps and making a path for potty breaks. By the time I had finished clearing the area, she had a glistening coating of snow on her fur…so cute!
    Have a great evening, Sue! Hugs to you and Bridget from me and Gracie pup. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting comment, Denise. It’s like a mini-blog post. I can imagine myself being there, shoveling a path in the snow for Bridget, checking to make sure the larder is well stocked before the next wallop of snow and cold. . . .

      Gracie does sound like a cutie. Dogs know how to live well. Have a good night!

  31. K & B in CO says:

    Others have noted, the photo of the tree with the cormorants is wonderful. I love the subject, composition, and the effect of the cloud shade lighting. I see you have found some ducks!! Different species that what I see around Loveland.

    We are home, enjoying the cold and snow (not!). In retrospect, I wish I had decided to spend a week or 3 around the Salton Sea. Cheers!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, K & B in CO,

      One thing I notice about the cormorants in the tree… Everyone has their own personal space. . . not too close and not too far from each other. And then there’s that one weirdo out at the end of his own limb. 🙂

      You would’ve enjoyed a stay at Salton Sea… Live and learn, right? Maybe another year you’ll find this a pleasant place to soak in the sun. I hope so!

  32. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue,
    Really enjoyed the tour. Great pictures. I saved the one of the two ducks reflecting in the water to show my daughter (we are both playing with new DSL cameras.) Just noticed your new cover shot, also beautiful. I followed the link and listened to the calls, the female is hilarious 🙂 Interesting site so I bookmarked it for use later.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val R.,

      I’m surprised you’re the only one who has reacted to the bird calls that I found so funny. The female sounds like she’s laughing at the male’s very obvious and over-used pick-up line.

      Male Pelican: “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
      Female Pelican: “Hahahahahaha!”

      Thanks re my photos. Good luck to you and your daughter with the new cameras. Have fun! 🙂

      • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

        I agree! The ol’ “What’s a nice bird like you doing in a place like this?!”

  33. Rod says:

    I brought up the rotten egg smell and yes we experienced it in 2012, and I remember Al from the Bayfield Bunch explaining the smell when he camped there… But I can’t remember the year….. We were on a day trip from Yuma around the Borrego Springs area and traveled past the Salton Sea, but the smell was strong that year and there was no way we could have lasted in one of the camp grounds…. They have reported the smell all the way up in the Indio area in some years…. Perhaps it isn’t as bad this year…. If you google rotten egg smell and salton sea you will find several hits such as this one…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rod,

      Your comment sounds defensive to me which has me thinking you’ve interpreted my posts and comments to say I don’t believe there ever was a bad odor at the Salton Sea. If you look carefully, you’ll see that I never denied that a bad odor has existed here nor have I ever written that a bad odor will never return.

      I’m aware of what other bloggers have written about smelling rotten eggs and also what has been written by journalists. That’s what THEY (and you) experienced.

      I write about my experiences. What I have experienced both times I’ve visited the Salton Sea is different. That doesn’t mean I’m saying they (or you) weren’t being truthful. It just means that they (and you) smelled something when here and I don’t now.

      The first time we visited there had been a more recent die-off of fish, judging from what I saw on the beach. There was an odor then but nothing as extreme as others have reported. Again, my experience, not a denial of anyone else’s.

      This past week I picked up a trace of the sulphur smell one day for a few minutes when the breeze came from the lake.

      It’s been a lovely week, all in all, with the only smell being the smell of “beach.”

      • Shirlene says:

        Good Morning Sue, I would like to add for the blogorinos benefit, that your “smeller” is NOT off. Having been there for two day last weekend, I hardly could smell anything but the smell of a beach, birds, and if you got closer to the water, a slight fish smell…Once, for maybe a second I may have had a slight fragrance of sulfur slide by my nose, but no really unfavorable smells AT ALL!. I am still having wonderful flashbacks of that trip and the beautiful beach and beautiful lights glistening on the water from the other side of the Sea at Salton City…ahhhhhh.

        Have another beautiful day Sue, I so enjoy following you (not literally)..ha….so just so you know and I don’t want you to follow me, we are going to Red Rock Canyon off the 14 outside of Mojave in March…talk about polar opposites.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Those are the things that I like, too… the beach, the birds, the diamonds on the water, the lights at night on the opposite shore, the sunsets…. and, of course, the trains! 🙂

          I’m pleased you enjoyed the weekend you were here.

          Oh my, if I end up near Mojave in March, don’t think I’m following you!

          You have a beautiful day, too, Shirlene.

          • Shirlene says:

            Raptor nesting season out there, they block of the nesting sites, but we will probably be able to see some Golden Eagles circling…privitive camp ground next to BLM land..should be fun and not too hot yet…

  34. Eddie says:

    Down South, we call them spoonbills or smiling mallards!

  35. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Funny coincidence – when I went out from our camper here at Ft DeSoto in FL this morning, after an all night wind and rainstorm, I spotted two white Pelicans in the lagoon. It’s chilly here today and we have a wind chill advisory for tonight!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      I hope you’re enjoying Ft. DeSoto. I think it’s such a pretty area and now you have two white pelicans, too. I hope the weather clears and the temperatures go back up. You’ve paid your dues…. Time for some warmth!

  36. GB in nor cal says:

    Hi Sue,

    Love your lifestyle & your photos are beautiful. Been following your blog for a few months now. Looks like the mountains in your photos are the back side of Joshua Tree National Monument. The back entrance is only about 15 minutes from where you are. Have you been there? I love to visit there and sometimes camp there when I’m in the Coachella Valley. It’s one of my favorite places. It’s $15 to get in there now for the day/week, but maybe you can get a discount.Also Anza Borrego is very close too, and is beautiful. I travel alone sometimes when taking road trips, (as a woman and love it) although I don’t have an rv, but would like to get one (maybe part time rv) although I don’t have anywhere to park one, otherwise I would. I ‘ve never had a parking space for my car,as it is, in 25 years, living in the bay area. Parking is a real problem here. Glad you are enjoying the Salton Sea. It’s a very special place. Happy Trails!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, GB in nor cal,

      Welcome! My day is always brighter when I meet a reader of my blog! Thanks for introducing yourself and for sharing your favorite camping spots in this part of the world. Also for complimenting me on my photos.

      Yes, we have camped near Borrego Springs and in Joshua Tree (Belle Campground). I do have a senior discount pass so all national parks and monuments are free and federal campgrounds are half-price. We also boondocked along Box Canyon Road.

      The mountains you see in my photos are on the west side of Salton Sea.

      Whoa… You haven’t had a parking space in 25 years! You’ve probably thought of this idea . .. . I’ll share it anyway… Since you can’t park an RV where you live, if you can afford it, you could keep an RV in storage somewhere away from the city in a location convenient to where you want to explore. Then drive there, leave the car, and take off RVing!

      Thank you for reading my blog these past few months. I hope all your RVing dreams come true!

      • GB in nor cal says:

        That’s great that you have been this way before & camped in Joshua Tree. There are so many great places to go in the desert (& everywhere) Glad you are making it happen & sharing it all on here. I have looked into RV storage a little, and there is some close to me & that may be a possibility in the future. It starts around $100 a month & up around here. So that’s always an option. It’d be good to leave my car there, then I’d have a parking space!

  37. Jan says:

    Thank you for taking the time to put the bird calls on your web site, it makes it so real when looks at the pictures and listens. We have a motor home and hope to start traveling in USA later this year, newbies. I cannot imagine myself doing it alone though. The cold grey days are awful, have you ever been to Canada for the winter.
    It is beautiful but oh so depressing. We live in “Sunny” Alberta and it has been a long grey winter, the snow has not been bad, over New Brunswick side they have had a terrible winter and Toronto as well. I am Australian and love the sun, unfortunately my husband burns he is Canadian. We are off to Australia and N.Z. for ten weeks end of March, I love the colourful birds there. Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re wecome, Jan,

      Ten weeks in Australia and New Zealand…. Oh, I would love that! Have a wonderful visit.

      I’ve been to Canada in day trips north of New York state. I remember the greyness you mention and many consecutive rainy days when I lived in NYS. That weather can be difficult for those of us prone to depression. I need sunshine!

      I hope you do travel the U.S. in your motor home. There is so much to see!

      Thanks for the feedback on the bird calls. I’ll continue to put those links along with any future bird sightings.

    • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

      Oh, I’m so envious! Hope you loaded 50 books onto a Kindle, bought at Amazon thru RVSue’s website, of course, for the plane ride!

    • R. (Western Colorado/now in Anza Borrego Desert SP) says:

      In February 2016 I’m planning to go hiking to New Zealand for a month or so. Would love more details of your experiences after you return Jen. Thanks

      • R. (Western Colorado/now in Anza Borrego Desert SP) says:

        That should be Jan (not Jen). Sorry. I still would like to learn about your Australia and New Zealand personal experiences

  38. Susan in Dallas says:

    The description of Bridget’s behavior reminded me of how you describe what she did when you went to adopt her. Just Bridget being Bridget

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Susan. She has mellowed over the years, and you reminded me that she wasn’t just being hyperactive… She was being youthful!

  39. Susan in Dallas says:

    And it left off my cute smiley emoticon 🙂

  40. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, that place is for the birds!!! *laffin at my breathtaking sense of humor*

  41. DesertGinger says:

    Well, I got myself together and went down to passport office. Waited two hours and then found out I have to have a check. Website said nothing about check. Assumed I could pay with debit card. So I had to go home. While home I was poking around in some boxes and found my passport. Yay! Next thing is unpacking my new mattress and swapping beds around. Maybe I can sleep in a bed tonight, oh…,and Chloe went to groomer today and is sporting a new cute haircut! So I’m getting stuff done today, which is awesome.

    Well, I’m off to work on my new bed. Love to all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That is “awesome,” Ginger! I’m happy for you… and your found your passport! That’s the way it goes. Once you stop looking for what you lost, you find it.

  42. Debbie Hearne says:

    Sue, if you can avoid getting gas in California, do so. We had an explosion in one of the major refineries that produces the clean burning gas we are required to burn. Gas went up 10 cents a gallon as soon as the media broke the story. California doesn’t allow us to import gas from other states so we will be short 10 percent of what we need and they will be allowed to raise prices. Arizona will be a much better fuel stop. Love the photos of the birds. We have never camped at the Salton Sea but you have encouraged us to give it a try.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Debbie,

      What is it with me and California! Remember when gas prices went up to $4.00 and higher two summers ago in CA? That’s when I crossed into the state from Oregon. I looked at the gas prices and turned around and went back to Oregon. Thanks for the warning!

      I can’t guarantee the Salton Sea will be pleasant, of course. I hope it will be for you.

      • AZ Jim says:

        $2.15 in Yuma as of an hour ago.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I saw $2.79 in Coachella Wednesday afternoon and I passed it up thinking it was too high. It may have been the lowest I’ll see for a while!

          • R. (Western Colorado/now in Anza Borrego Desert SP) says:

            In Borrego Spring it was $3.19 yesterday. For anyone coming to Borrego from the east get your fuel in Salton City at the corner of routes 86 and 22. If coming from the north on 86 there is a casino 5 miles before Salton City junction and it always has the cheapest gas in the area.

      • PookieBoy in houston says:

        I retired from a company after 30 years of having a company car…6 monts later gas went to $4 a gallon here….talk about a shock! I quickly learned to stay home.
        gas pretty much in the Houston area is under $2 so Im happy with that but still dont go much….HA!

  43. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    Gas in Sacramento at Costco has gone up $.12 in two days to now $2.519 a gallon! Ugh they use any excuse to raise prices even when there is surplus.

  44. Sandy1953 says:

    Hi Sue,

    I am new to the blogosphere, so not sure about the comment etiquette. I apologize if this is the wrong place to post a question about the BLT and PTV.

    I was wondering if there are any issues you’ve found with towing a lightweight trailer, such as excessive sway? The PTV must be fairly light, too. Any issues with pulling the BLT out of difficult situations? If so, what conditions caused issues.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sandy,

      Welcome! You did fine! I’m happy to answer your questions about towing the BLT.

      “Excessive sway?” …. None! I have an anti-sway bar which is easy to attach (two cotter pins).

      Sway is caused by any of several factors such as weight distribution, poor trailer design, tow vehicle or trailer not level. Vans are good tow vehicles because they have a long wheel base along with a relatively short overhang behind the rear axle.

      A quote from timberman. com … “Typically, short-wheelbase sport-utility vehicles, such as the Ford Broncos, Dodge Ramchargers and pre-1992 GM Blazers/Jimmys are not as stable as vans, trucks and Suburbans built by the same manufacturers. It’s possible to tow successfully with sport-utility vehicles, but they are less forgiving of poor trailer balance and/or improper hitching and sway control.”

      You asked: “Any issues with pulling the BLT out of difficult situations?” Nope, no more than any other rig might present. I make that qualification because of two instances. One time we were on a road near Crater Lake and the road was uphill. The PTV was struggling. I found out later that the air filter had come loose which threw off the timing of the engine. The other instance was when I drove into soft sand and the PTV became stuck. Neither of these situations was the fault of the Perfect Tow Vehicle. 🙂

      If that isn’t what you meant by “difficult situations,” let me know. I welcome questions!

    • PookieBoy in houston says:

      yep you got it right Sue….this is Chuck and I have two little dogs…. 🙂

  45. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Good morning, Sue!

    Hope your day is off to a good start! I have been scrolling back over the last few posts, enjoying the desert beauty and warmth that you convey in your photos. It has been bitter cold, single digits morning (below zero tomorrow), with -zero wind chills. Still, not as bad as other folks have it up North…we really have been lucky this season so far. The sun is shining today, so that is good, even if the temps are low. I, too, need my sunshine…too many gray days in a row are not good.. 🙂

    Hope you, Bridget, and all the blogorinos have a great day! Stay warm and safe. Hugs from me and Gracie pup!! 🙂

  46. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Of course I love the bird pictures!!! Interesting group you have there. Glad you are enjoying warm weather….not so much in Mississippi. 16 degrees this morning …ice has not melted from a small storm on Monday night. However, “they” say it will be 54 degrees by Saturday. What a roller coaster this weather has been
    Give Bridget a hug for me
    Love you Dear Sister!

  47. Shirlene says:

    Whooopeee New Post….love it…can’t wait.

  48. I SO love the bare tree with the flock of Cormorants!

    ALL these pics are gorgeous!

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