The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you.  Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.

Desert California -- This year's desert run

Continued below the orange coprolite

We try to get down to the desert in our 19 foot travel trailer (and before that, various tents) every year. This year we made it. The general idea is that this is a running narrative of this years' desert run, Where we spent multiple days at one locale, generally only new information will be presented on days subsequent to the first.  Overall, there were some of the highest winds I recall for the Indio-Borrego area in decades of visits, with many successive wind warning to wind alert days. This kept us from making a lot of our regular hikes, day trips and related observations.

On 3/22 we went to an RV park at Edison Rd and Hwy 58, via Hwy 580 to I-5 to Hwy 119 to Edison Rd. This is pretty much the start of the grade up and over Tehachipi Pass. We stayed at an RV park with Killdeer, Mockers, Robins, Brewers Blackbirds, Mourning Doves, and Band Tailed Pigeons,. The immediate vicinity was generally green. From Castro Valley down it was mostly green even in the median for about 100 miles or so until down around the Westlands Irrigation District/Panoche Road Area, and then green once again beyond that down around Hwy 119, with Cedar Waxwings at Panama, CA.

On 3/23 we crossed Tehachipi pass, with possibly one or two Joshua Trees starting to bloom, and a lot of green on the eastern slope, but no bloom until East of Mojave. Eventually patches of bloom, unknown little yellowflowers, possibly aster/daisy family, ditto little white flowers, unknown purple flowers, goldfields, mallow, brittlebush, creosote bush, all sporadic. Took Hwy 247 south at Barstow and it was pretty much the same plus mustard and lupine. English Sparrows were thriving at rest stops and a huge roadrunner maybe 50 miles south of Barstow. At Indio we stayed at an RV park with mockers up wazoo fighting over turf and carrying nesting materials. A couple of Great Tailed Grackle and some mourning doves were around too.

3/24 & 25 at Indio, blooming Ocotillo nearby. Mallard pair overflight, High winds in the morning on 25th.

On 3/26, despite major winds, we drove to Tamarisk Grove via Hwys 86S and 78. Visibility down to a couple of car lengths on Hwy 78 near the State Vehicle Recreation Area due to the complete destruction of everything except blowable sand. Along HWY 78 near the Narrows Earth Trail barrels had red spines are were ready to bloom, ocotillo were blooming something fierce, some century plants were nearly ready. Palo Verde were blooming all the way from Palm Desert to Tamarisk, creasote bush was starting to bloom at at Tamarisk, as was bladderpod. Saw a Turkey (first ever here), Butterbutts, House Finches, White Crowns, Gambels Quail, Turkey Vultures, a Black Throated Grey Warbler, RedTail, Oak Titmouse, a Scott's Oriole, and a Raven pair. High winds overnight.

On 3/27 we went to Yaqui Welland saw Phainopepla, Verdin, Ravens, Rufous Hummingbirds, Orange Crowned Warbler, Black Throated Grey Warbler, Scott's Oriole and a cabbage white butterfly. Wind blew our grill off of the table. A Red Tailed Hawk pair is nesting at Tamarisk per camp host.

3/29 Bat at Copley House near Borrego Springs

3/30 moved to Palm Canyon, high winds. Gambels Quail, White Crowns, White Winged Doves, Cactus Wren, black tailed hare, Kestrel pair. Black Throated Sparrows, Roadrunner

3/31 Ash Throated Flycatcher, Hooded Oriole, Butterbutts, Verdin, Ravens, House Finches. There were blooming Datura along DiGiorgio Rd.

4/3 headed for Santee via Yaqui Pass, Scissors Crossing & S-2 north to Hwy 79. Shortly after Scissors Crossing there were blooming Yucca, so presumably those Yucca fields further south on S-2 toward Bair Valley would've been doing nicely too.

Indio sunset:

Indio dawn:


Palo Verde:



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