Thursday – December 31, 2015
Imperial Dam BLM LTVA
As another year draws to a close, we find ourselves celebrating Christmas and the New Year in the desert, at the Imperial Dam LTVA, just as we did in 2014.
This year, there are fewer snowbirds wintering here, probably about 25% less from last year. Also, it has been much cooler, with daytime temperatures in the low sixties compared to the middle sixties last year. One constant is the wind and the sun. Days are sunny, which makes it feel warmer than it actually is and the wind speeds vary by the day. Some days will be calm with wind speeds around 5 mph or less, other days may have wind speeds of 10 mph with wind gusts to 15+ mph. Then there are those rare days when there will be sustained winds of 20+ mph with wind gusts to 50+ mph. Fortunately, we only had one of those days this year and one in 2014.
We enjoyed watching the evening parade of several vehicles decorated with Christmas scenes. This event took place every night during the week leading up to Christmas. Such a fun time!
Once we had our campsite set up we put out our hummingbird feeder. Other campers also put feeders out. There are numerous hummingbirds in the desert, and they sail through the air like miniature, jet-propelled drones as they go from feeder to feeder, sampling the homemade nectar. We often hear the fluttering of their wings before we see them. They are so fast… now you see them, now you don’t!
As sunset approaches, we often hear the braying of wild burrows off in the distance. On occasion we will see them, individually and in a group of three or more. From what we have observed, they appear to be more active at night than during the daytime. We have seen them stand in one place, seemingly without moving, throughout the day. Then at sunset they start to roam and graze, making their way to areas containing water.
On occasion, we will spot a coyote off in the distance from our campsite or trotting along side of the road when we are driving into Yuma. But more often than not, we hear the raising chorus of their yelping as darkness settles over the desert.
We spend our days going for walks, reading, playing board games or cards, watching some of our favorite television programs and sight seeing.
Sunsets in the desert present a kaleidoscope of brilliant color and variation as cloud formations form a spectacular display of varying geometric shapes against the backdrop of the darkening sky.
Such is life in the desert during our winter sojourn!
Tomorrow another adventure begins.