…feathers, flight, and song. And feathers are the least of these. -Marjorie Allen Seiffert
On the Sunday after our Day o’ Dinos, we walked a bit through downtown Palm Springs to procure some sunblock and a bite to eat before setting off on our birding adventure. Seems now whenever we go somewhere, anywhere, my first question becomes “And where can I see birds?” We initially thought we’d head over to nearby Joshua Tree (we’d had such a lovely time there last year with Brian and Kate). But then I stumbled upon the website for Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, which is designated as one of the United States’ Important Bird Areas by the American Bird Conservancy, the American Birding Association, and the Watchable Wildlife National Program, and is featured in the National Geographic Guide to Birdwatching Sites.
How could we possibly say no to that?!
Driving into the Preserve I knew immediately that we’d struck pay dirt. Of all the places we’ve hiked, this was one of the most lovely and pleasant. The trails and signs were meticulously cared for, the literature (brochures and newsletters) was well stocked and up-to-date, and the folks we met on the trail (very few for such a clear, sunny day) were as friendly as can be. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is the sort of place you know people care about very deeply, and that makes all the difference in the world. I offer many thanks to the Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve for their dedication to this beautiful place.
And then our camera battery died and we decided to head back to the car. Mike walked ahead of me on a narrow, wooded trail, and then suddenly grabbed my arm and said “Oh!” I thought he’d spotted a snake or some other nefarious being. Instead, sitting not two feet away on a limb hanging at eye-level over the trail, was another Western Scrub Jay. He sat there politely as we snapped photos with our cell phones, refusing to be startled away from the comfort of his branch.
I loved him for that.
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