Solbit’s Second Thoughts about the Desert

Dear Nicalai,

“Do I have to go?”  That was my first thought.  I almost said it, too.  Nona and Papa had just said, “Solbit, early buttonholes tomorrow. We’re going to the Anza-Borrego Desert!”  Hey, I don’t wear clothes, so I don’t have to button anything, but who wants to get up early to see a big, hot, dusty, empty expanse of crunched up rocks?

Anza-Borrega Desert State Park is in the Colorado Desert, but it’s not in the State of Colorado. No, it’s in southern California.  That confused me.

Anza-Borrega Desert State Park is in the Colorado Desert, but it’s not in the State of Colorado. No, it’s in southern California.  That confused me.

Then, I remembered our short excursion in the desert gardens at Rancho Mirage.  Wow, I had so much to see, and it was tiny.  So, my second thought was, and I did say this, “Can’t we just leave now? I can’t wait to see the desert again.”  Nona said, “No, we have to get our sleep tonight.”  That’s a problem with humans, you know.  They need their sleep.  We plastic Jurassics don’t sleep.

Our morning drive from Palm Springs to Borrega Springs took about two hours.  I kept saying, “Step on it, Papa!” He’d just say, “Speed limit, Solbit.  Gotta obey the traffic law.”  “Well, what about all those cars and trucks zipping by you?” I asked.  Nona said, “Solbit, remember that you don’t do what everyone else does.  You do what you know is right. Understand?”  I replied, “I guess.”

Anza-Borrego State Park

The outside covering of the cactus plant is tough and waxy to hold in water, so it won’t dry up in the hot sun.

Pretty soon, Nona had me on this rock out in the desert staring a this amazing plant.  Someone said that I could call it a “Beavertail Cactus” because its sections are wide and flat like a beaver’s tail.  By the way, I didn’t see any real beavers here in the desert, I think they need more water and less heat.

Oh, darn, Nona and Papa are going on another of their walks.  I have to close this letter now.  My next letter will be a lot more about our walk in the Colorado Desert, but, remember, we were in California all the time, not in Colorado.  Isn’t that confusing?  Why isn’t it called the California Desert?  That’s question for me to ask Nona.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 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 Horn With A View

Dear Nicalai,

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!”

DSC02611

Can you find me on the tip of the horn? Quite a view up here!

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.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

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.

DSC02615

Watch out, these pretty little things have sharp stickers!

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!”

Anza-Borrego State Park

Girl, take my advice, don’t try this. Take my word for it. My word for it is “ouch.”

I overheard this mom tell her little one, “Now, sweetie, look but don’t touch the cactus.”

Mom's know best, but kids will test.

Mom’s know best, but kids will test.

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.

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These flower have eye popping color, don’t they. I wonder, is that why they’re called poppies?

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.

Love,

Solbit

February 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.”