Sunday, May 01, 2011

Greetings from Pancho Villa State Park

If we let ourselves, we could become so afraid of the potential dangers, so safety conscious, we would miss the adventure -- Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Wind and more wind at Pancho Villa State Park

There seems to be crazy weather all over the country – and Columbus, New Mexico is no exception. This spring’s windy season waited until I arrived. I’m not complaining, though. The west wind served to push Jeremiah between Tucson and Deming. Heading south on Highway 11 was another thing! With winds gusting as high as 50 mph, that highway was closed twice this week due to high winds and blowing dust.

Just how windy? One of my tire covers (helps protect from the brutal sun) blew off. If it weren't for a fence that is along the park property line it might have ended up in El Paso! Also two large, tall Century Plants have blown over.

We do have lovely sunshine, and for that I'm thankful because the winds are fairly chilly. Nights get down to the high 40s to mid 50s. Day temps are mostly in the 80s so far.

The winds didn’t surprise me, but the masses of dead cactus did, and there are no weeds in sight. I’ve since learned that there has been no rain since late last summer. And on top of that, the area had an historic freeze in February that killed many drought-stricken plants. One tree that died was what I called the 'owl tree' because a Barn Owl and a Long-ear Owl used to spend their days in it at campsite # 44.

We are in the process of hauling the dead cactus away and watering the thirsty trees. The park will look quite barren.

Birds entertain me

Cat and I were captive in Jeremiah during the very windy times – but we were not bored. The birds kept us amused. It didn’t take them long to find my feeders. The White-wing dove spent time trying to figure out how to get to the seeds in my window feeder. They manage to land on top where they can see the seeds and watch other, smaller birds inside the feeder. House Finch, Cactus Wren, Pyrrhuloxia, and Curve-bill Thrasher get inside just fine for their feasts. Several brightly-colored Bullock’s Orioles are enjoying the orange slices I’ve put out. My hummingbird feeder is out, but so far no hummers. Each morning I toss out a variety of seeds and cracked corn for the Gambel’s Quail and the Lark Bunting. I’ve been told we have a pair of Vermilion Flycatchers, but I’ve yet to see them.

Windy days bring another blessing - good reading time. I finished reading two books. "700 Sundays" by Billy Chrystal and "Gracie, A Love Story" by George Burns. He tells about Gracie's life and their years of vaudeville, radio and TV as Burns and Allen.

Two trips to Palomas

Yep! In less than one week here, I’ve made two trips south of the Mexico Border – and have safely come back both times (duh! If I hadn’t, you would not be reading this.) On Friday I rode the Deming-to-Border town bus ($1 round trip) to get my glasses remade and to have lunch at the famous Pink Store. (tostada trio and free Margarita) Pink Store owner, Evonne, graciously welcomed me back and sincerely thanked me for coming. She sat with me while I waited for my order. Sadly less people are coming to her store/restaurant, but she says she’s hanging in there. On Saturday I joined Sylvia Brenner (former park heritage educator) for lunch, free Margarita and shopping at the Pink Store. The border security has been beefed up, but basically is as quiet as usual.

The May Volunteer schedule

I’m on duty in the Visitor Center/Exhibit Hall all day on Thursdays and Fridays (an hour off for lunch) and there during the lunch hour on Sundays and Mondays. Other than that, I’m busy irrigating our thirsty trees and other odd jobs. Visitors are always welcome so if anyone wants to come down, just let me know.

That’s all for now – I hope to include some bird photos in the next blog posting.

Live Simply,

Love Generously,

Care Deeply,

Speak Kindly,

Leave the rest to GOD