Amazing Desert : Oddly delightful. Like Old Age?


Feels like The Last Chance Salon…..It is an 80th Birthday present for the Toy Boy. Friends invited us to stay in Southern California, to explore the Anza Borrego Desert.


And it is desert. An average of 5 ins of rain per year in the winter, with summer temperatures up to 120.

Just look at this!  Badlands! Ah, those Saturday morning film club  Westerns, Roy Rogers, Tonto and John Wayne…….


Aren’t they amazing? Terrain which has survived wind, rain, sun and everything for years. Now showing its history with every inch of its surface. Stunning story.

The tracks are old dry river beds. Wonderful to have the chance to come here at last. Not on a horse named ‘Silver’ though. In a 4 wheel drive.  Exhilarating.

Away from the eroded badlands, the Park has a variety of landscapes.

AD987FCE-4D28-4B06-97AF-3855EFB54597 Ancient palm trees have marked this oasis for travellers for many many years.


The way these plants have adapted to life’s difficulties over time is superb. Tough cookies!

And the desert protects tiny things too. Small flower seeds are hidden in it for years. Cherished until a winter when a decent amount of rain falls. Then the desert nurtures them as they bloom.  The years before last apparently with 7 ins of winter the flower carpet was spectacular. Tourists flocked in. This year was almost a drought, but when you look closely, there they are. Little things which with luck will mature to old age.

That is if the locals dont find them.




Yes. Big horn sheep!   Never saw one of those before.

Rare and competent  survivors in this toughest of worlds.



The other animals who survived here were humans. The original native tribes then the settlers. All adapting lives to the land.

The natives main food was acorns!  Lots of them here on small trees or bushes. Not enough water to grow big. But plenty of nuts to harvest.

The orange fruit like things on the acorn bushes had me puzzled….? Eventually worked out that they were wasp galls. And very pretty too.

But another really intriguing puzzle appeared.

Look at this stone:


In Borrego stones worn like this were used by the local natives for grinding acorns into flour. Until quite recently too. Still many around.

But I had seen many similar stones before. In Scotland!

Look at this:


This is a photo of an exhibit in Stirling museum.

The label says it is a cup marked rock, art from Stone age Scotland! Presumably created by the natives there at that time.

Really?   Could it be that Scotland had acorns and ingenious hungry natives then too….Anyone know?

Felt so lucky having been given the chance to wander in this place, explore be curious at this stage of my life.

 Felt so in tune with it. A mature ancient landscape, tough history, yet surviving.




  1. eremophila
    February 17, 2019 / 10:40 am

    Yes Joyce, not unlike humans, simply on a different time scale. Sending best wishes to you from Down under☺

  2. February 17, 2019 / 12:22 pm

    Great post, wonderful photographs, thank you, when I read the first few lines I it got me thinking about effects of time and experiences on my own body. There is the now, so faded scar on my leg from falling out of a tree when I was about eight and the scar over my right eye from where I walked in front of a swing that my friend, Angela, was on . That scar is hardly visible now but it makes my eye-shadow a bit wonky and my hooded lid hides it. These small marks bring back floods of memories, images and people, some who have vanished. I have luckily so far avoided large , surgical scars so far in my quite long life but these too are the battle scars of living. I struggle to deal with my changing face and body at times but still feel intrinsically ‘me’. My friends are ageing too and most of them seem the same ‘them’ to me despite whiter hair and more wrinkled skin. Some may have been trying a bit more than a good moisturiser. We went out to dinner last night and one person was rather unnerving as they stared blankly during the conversation although speaking quite intelligently. My husband said, “I think they’ve had Botox” and it sort of clicked then There was no movement in the forehead or eyebrows, just a permanently surprised expression which was difficult to read. Another friend opposite over 65 was animated and wonderful with much eye-rolling and expression as she talked and what a delight that was. Freezing one’s face into a plastic mask is like trying to ‘theme park’ the wild environment that you have shown us in your blog. Thank you for getting me thinking this morning x

  3. Jacqui Gauld
    February 17, 2019 / 3:39 pm

    Hello! I’m a new subscriber, came to you via Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper. I live in Dundee, on the east coast of Scotland. Cup stones like this would have been used to grind grains (I think) in Scotland rather than nuts. I’ve not seen the one in Stirling, but have seen other smaller examples, most of which had only one or two “holes”. Perhaps the Stirling one was for a communal grinding session, party time indeed!
    I’ve not had time to read through your archive posts as of yet but am really looking forward to doing just that. Thank-you for your very enjoyable, thought provoking post.

  4. Laura Pigg
    February 20, 2019 / 12:06 am

    Amazing that the same holes in stone were both in the desert in the U.S. and Scotland. Same creativity and will to survive and use what is available to do so. But then again, the Maya were building pyramids as the Egyptians built similar pyramids. Isn’t life grand!

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