There ARE some good things about my job…

It’s good that I can get outside every once in a while. You know, away from my desk, my computer, my office without a window…

Today I got to hike around Lake Calavera in reviewing the City’s trails program. It was such a nice day out – sunny, not too hot, a nice breeze. There were about ten of us on the hike and about eight of us walked over this poor little guy without realizing that he was even there (and to tell you the truth, there were so many dog and coyote turds all over the trail, my eye probably dismissed this baby rattler as a dog dump. But don’t tell him that!).

Hhhiiiisssssssssssssssss!!! (Translation: don’t tread on me!)

There’s no fish in the desert…

It’s true. There are no fish in the desert, especially here in Southern California. I know this because I’ve looked. Well, there are desert pupfish, but not in the area that I was in.

I have a lot to catch up on! I’ve been very busy, with training in Sacramento and Denver and moving and field work, but back to the desert. In late May, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend three days out in the desert near Palm Springs searching for the endangered Coachella Fringe-Toed Lizard. I didn’t see any of those, but I did see a ton of zebra-tailed lizards, desert iguana, desert horned lizards, and even a long-nosed leopard lizard (which was absolutely gorgeous, by the way). We were surveying in a few areas, including the valley that has hundreds of windmills. There’s a reason why they chose that area for windmills, too. You know why? Because it’s frickin’ windy! I think I saw a few lizards fly by, but I mostly just found abandoned shoes and rubber hoses in those plots. And it was global safety day – I was busted by some workers for not having a hard-hat and safety goggles, who warned me that propellers fall off the windmills all the time (my response: “gee – if one of those huge blades fall off and hit me on the head, do you really think a hard-hat will help me out?”).

I sure do miss the desert – it wasn’t as beautiful as Utah or Arizona, but it was still good being out there in the dry air and hot hot temperatures. Good times! Here are a few pictures I took – there’s the horned lizard and desert iguana, in case you were wondering (alas, the leopard lizard ran away before I could get my camera out – boo hoo!).