When we stopped in Rancho Mirage — on our way to Palm Springs — and saw this big guy, I asked Papa, “What’s that?” He shrugged and said, “Must be a big horned something or other.”
Nona, as usual, had done her research and knew the answer, “Solbit, that’s an imperiled species, called a Desert Bighorn Sheep. Do you know that by 1985, only about 280 of these sheep remained in southern California?” I said, “Quick, Nona, get a picture of me with him, before he goes the way of my iguanodon ancestors!”
Don’t worry, this Desert Bighorn Sheep isn’t real, or, well, it’s real, but it’s a sculpture, not a living breathing mountain beast. (Hey, it’s sort of like me only bigger!) I hope we get to see the real one’s when we go hiking this month in the mountains. Nona says that, thanks to conservation efforts, the Big Horn Sheep population here has grown in recent years, so we have a chance of seeing them this month.
Yeah, we’re here for a month, and wait until you see our AirBnB here in Palm Springs.
Nice, huh. I plan to spend my afternoons poolside snoozing. Nona and Papa’s friends and family back on the east coast are freezing and nearly shoulder deep in snow, but I’m in wonderful Jurassic-appropriate 80F temperatures and clear blue skies!
Why’s it so warm here? Desert. You might think desert means just hot sand, but the desert has a lot of life in it. Look at these beautiful plants. They’re called cactus plants.
Don’t get too close to them though. The spines on them are like needles and they can give a girl reason to yell, “OUCH!”
I overheard this mom tell her little one, “Now, sweetie, look but don’t touch the cactus.”
As soon as she turned her back, the innocent little kid was running over to one of those cactus plants, hand stretched out to feel it. The next thing that mom heard was …you guessed it…screaming. “Ouch!” That’s what I like to call “learning by doing.” Fortunately, no permanent harm was done.
Not all the plants in the desert are prickly. These poppies and flowers are, as Nona told me, “…pleasing to the eye.” Papa said that our world is full of beauty, and we just need to look for it wherever we are. I said, “OK, Papa, but this desert is also full of rocks, gravel, snakes, and spiders, and I’m going to look out for them too.”
I’m your friend.
*New reader? Get oriented below.
- You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
- You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”