Solbit asks, “What, I could be a real Californian?”

Dear Nicalai,

Papa says that Californians and I share a common trait: we don’t feel cold.  “You mean that Nicalai and other Californians are made of plastic, too, like me?” I asked.  Nona chimed in, “Oh, no, Solbit, we would never say that Californians are plastic.  No, they are people like us (she meant like her and Papa; I’m not “people”) but, for some reason, they don’t feel the cold like we do.”

Night in Palm Springs in February is cold, but look at these Californians in shorts, tee shirt, and tank top!

Night in Palm Springs in February is cold, but look at these Californians in shorts, tee shirt, and tank top!

Being a plastic Jurassic, hot, cold, wet, or dry make no difference to me, but what are you California people, some sort of human penguin always in the same outfit?  You walk around in shorts and tank tops or tee shirts in winter.  Nona and Papa bundle up in what they call “layers.”  You Californians walk around as if it’s summer.  Don’t you get cold?

See the difference? Here are tourists, not from California, dressing sensibly for the winter cold.

See the difference? Here are tourists, not from California, dressing sensibly for the winter cold.

Oh, I need to tell you that we moved again.  Yeah, Saturday, we had to say goodbye to our wonderful AirBnB hosts, Jerry and Craig, and to their super friendly three-legged dogs, Cody and Gabe.  Gosh, after we left Palm Springs, the sky got all dark and cloudy, the wind started blowing — real hard — and Papa even had to turn on the windshield wipers.  Then we drove to our next AirBnB in Pasadena.  That’s a pretty city with cute “craftsman” houses and cottages, not far from Hollywood.  Hollywood is where they make movies.

We drove into Pasadena on these beautiful tree lined streets. I like trees, don't you?

We drove into Pasadena on these beautiful tree lined streets. I like trees, don’t you?

Nona and Papa’s Honda Civic is so old that I’m surprised the wipers still worked, but they did the job.  On the road, we were surrounded by big new cars and SUVs, but Nona and Papa say they don’t need a new car and they want to use their money for more important things.  Still, when we park in a lot next to all the fancy new cars, I kind of feel “different” or “odd” or like we’re “failures.”  Nona says, “Solbit, don’t pay so much attention to what others might think of you, and pay more attention to doing what you think is right. We think it’s right to save resources, so be proud of our old car that works so well.”

Nona and Papa's old 1995 Honda. Not! Just kidding. Erwin Wurm, an artist, made this Fat Car.  Fun, huh?

Nona and Papa’s old 1995 Honda. Not! Just kidding. Erwin Wurm, an artist, made this Fat Car. Fun, huh?

OK, I’ll try that, but, when we pass those new car lots here in California, I imagine us zooming down the road in one of those sleek cars.

Not much news here.  We just go for walks and more walks.  Nona and Papa seem to like something called “architecture.”  I don’t get it.  I’ll tell you more about “architecture” later.

Pasadena has all these "craftsman" houses.  Why do I like them so much?

Pasadena has all these “craftsman” houses. Why do I like them so much?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

March 2015

*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.”

Solbit’s reward, a desert palm oasis

Dear Nicalai,

Our reward for a long uphill hike came into view long before we got there: a desert palm oasis.  Have you ever been to a palm oasis before? It has water that bubbles up from under the ground.  These big palm trees grow there and create shade.  The shade makes the place pleasantly cool.  Papa said he’d like to take a nap here.

This oasis is in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.

This oasis is in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.

I think the palm trees here are called California Fan Palms.  I kept looking for the switch to turn their fans on, but Papa explained that I was wasting my time.  Yeah, palm trees aren’t hooked up to electricity.

Remember my last letter to you with the photo of me on a Beaver Tail Cactus?  Don’t waste your time looking for beavers either.  No beavers in this desert.  Well, I said I’d tell you more about our walk in the desert.

DSC02988

Cactus plants conserve water.

You might think the desert is just really dry and hot and full of dusty rocks.  It has all that, but what a lovely place, too.  It has all kinds of flowers.

Anza-Borrego State Park

Desert flowers look delicate but they’re tough to live in a desert.

The flowers have wonderful odors.  Nona said, “Solbit, you might want to use a different word than odors.”  “Like what word, Nona?”  I replied.  She suggested a word that’s new to me, but I’m going to try to use it a lot so I remember it.  Know what she suggested?  “Fragrances.” Yeah, “wonderful fragrances” or “the fragrances of flowers.”  I guess it does sound better than “flower odors.”

Also, Papa very, very carefully put me up on an Ocotillo plant.  It has really sharp stickers, but it gave me a good view — perspective — on the desert around me.

Ocotillo get pretty tall.

Ocotillo get pretty tall.

That’s when I asked, “Hey, what are all those holes in the desert floor, Papa?”  He told me, “Solbit, I’m going to set you down by one of those holes. You wait there until you see something.  OK?”

The desert floor has a lot of these holes.

The desert floor has a lot of these holes.

Next thing you know, I’m making friends with this little girl.  She’s some kind of bug, but I didn’t find out what kind.  Maybe you know?  I think she was giving off a smell that was not a fragrance. Nona said I could use the word odor, but maybe it wasn’t the bug. Maybe it was something rotting on the desert floor nearby.  I don’t know.  I’m still learning about these things.

Anza-Borrego State Park

Papa says I need to ask an entomologist what this bug is. They know all about insects.

We heard that the holes are also used by snakes and rodents, but I didn’t see those.  Given my size, probably it’s better that I didn’t see them when I was on the desert floor.  They could have mistaken me for an appetizer! Maybe next time we’re walking in the desert, I’ll see a snake, from the safety of Nona’s pocket.  That would be cool.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2014

*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.”