Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Days at PVSP

God arranges opportunities to remind us to slow down and think about what’s important in life.

Ten super days here with no park responsibilities. Sunny days with cold nights – woke up today to 25-degrees outside. Been reading, walking, and making new friends. Two Elks' lodges – Silver City and Alamagordo – were here with nearly 30 RVs and lots of nice folks.

Seems like the days flew by. I read two books, had lunch in Palomas at the Pink Store with former park heritage educator (Sylvia) and lunch twice at the Patio Cafe in Columbus. And in keeping with my “once a campground host, always a campground host” I introduced myself to several single campers and then introduced them to each other. Interesting people and fun to visit with.

We were all intrigued when a small red – obviously homemade – trailer pulled by a red truck arrived. That was Ray from Albuquerque. I wandered over to see the trailer and took photos. Ray says it is a work in process – and likes showing it off.

This park is the first one where I volunteered – and consider it 'my park'. And because park staff is behind on yard work, I decided to get rid of all the tumbleweeds in the section where I parked. So, with a long-sleeved shirt, jeans and sturdy leather gloves on, I got busy. They pull up easily and one of these large, ball-shaped and stickery plants covers a large piece of desert. I pulled and piled them, and then park workers hauled them off. A rewarding afternoon.

What's next?
I leave in the morning and drive to Arizona where I'll visit with friend Ann Martin a few days before driving home to Prescott Valley. The traditional Anderson Thanksgiving will be at my brother's home in Tempe (Phoenix area). Life is super! I expect to be back in New Mexico mid December.

Here's food for thought to close this brief blog entry:

Success depends on the degree to which you are at peace with yourself. If you have people around you who love you, and you have peace with what you’re doing, it doesn’t get any better than that. --Og Mandino

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Interesting tidbits from Week 3 at City of Rocks

Part of the adventure of life is not always knowing what’s going to happen next, and the next part may be grander than your original plan. Be open to the unknown.

In between visitor center guests, I spend time learning from the many resource books with a goal of being able to answer questions. Among my lessons this week:
    • Vultures survive in the desert's relentless summer heat by urinating on their legs, which in turn evaporates and cools the bird off! (www.desertusa.com)
    • Baby Black-tailed Jackrabbits are called leverets (not bunnies). The babies are fully furred and with their eyes open. (http://animaldiversity.nmmz.edu/
    • Petrified poop is called coprolite. (we have some on the display table – no idea who/what it came from.)
    • A few blog readers were wondering where the other six known locations of similar rocks are: Rock City, Kansas; City of Rock National Reserve, Idaho; Yarwondutta Rock, South Australia; Colorado Plateau; Thailand; and Texas Canyon (I-10 between NM/AZ border and Benson).
And speaking of “our rocks” – from Jeremiah's vantage, they look like just a line of rocks. From the aerial photo it is obvious that there are many more behind the ones I see. (Sorry for the poor photo – could not eliminate the glare.) The photo shows the park road that encircles the rocks.

 In the visitor center we have
Oscar the large stuffed Western Rattlesnake.

Reportedly he liked hanging around the park, the rangers would relocate him to a different location and each time, he came back. Dead Oscar was sent to the taxidermist. His presence is an opportunity to educate people about what to do if/when they encounter one in nature. (Freeze, figure out where he is, and then slowly move in the opposite direction.)

The House Finches were the first birds to discover my window feeder and show up for their seed meals. The Canyon Towhee and Curve-bill Thrasher have discovered it, but still have not figured out how to get in for the goods!

The sunset a few nights ago was spectacular!

Changing gears – a change in plans
When I first arrived, Park Manager Gabe commented on how it seems to be either 'feast or famine' with volunteers – he will at times (like now) not have enough and then at times they are plentiful. I told him that if he gets offers from a volunteer that can stay longer than I can, I will leave. That has happened, so I will be leaving here two weeks earlier than expected. No specific plan yet. The only thing for certain is I will head for home approx Nov. 23. Stay tuned.

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes: Hugh Downs