As we lounged by the pool

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A peaceful pool and garden in Palm Springs

This was what we wanted: blue sky, warm sun, and a place to stay with a peaceful garden by the pool. We would spend time in Palm Springs reading, writing, and napping. Then, as we settled into lounges by the pool, we jumped up to observe a hummingbird that flitted by and settled on a branch. Back to relaxation. A few moments later, a yellow-rumped warbler landed on the palo verde tree. We jumped up again. Back to relaxation.

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Mockingbirds made their presence known by their constant calls.

We now spent our time by the pool with binoculars in hand and our bird guide, ready for new sightings. A problem arose: we had trouble identifying so many of the birds. We needed help. Time to leave the pool and reacquaint ourselves with birds in this desert area.

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve offers free bird walks every Wednesday morning.

The group walked through the desertscape, easily spotting regulars, like western bluebirds and house finches.

The group walked through the desertscape, easily spotting regulars, like western bluebirds and house finches.

Careful observing was rewarded, and we picked up a few uncommon bird sightings: sharp-shinned hawk and a western kingbird.

We stopped under a tree where a barn owl had nested in previous years. Bone remnants left from little animals the owl had feasted on littered the ground, like this hip socket.

We stopped under a tree where a barn owl had nested in previous years. Bone remnants left from little animals the owl had feasted on littered the ground, like this hip socket.

The healthy green on the tree is mistletoe, a parasite that grows on the tree and can eventually kill it. How does it get on the tree? After Phainopepla birds feast on mistletoe berries, their droppings can seed and eventually sprout on tree branches.

The healthy green on the tree is mistletoe, a parasite that grows on the tree and can eventually kill it. How does it get on the tree? After Phainopepla birds feast on mistletoe berries, their droppings can seed and eventually sprout on tree branches.

We watched a pair of red-tailed hawks circling. Our guide pointed out this is part of the courtship ritual and that red-tailed hawks are one of the few bird species to mate while in flight.

We watched a pair of red-tailed hawks circling. Our guide pointed out this is part of the courtship ritual and that red-tailed hawks are one of the few bird species to mate while in flight.

After a morning of bird watching at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, we were ready to head back to our lounge chairs by the pool. Thanks to our volunteer bird guides, we’ll identify whatever flies by. No doubt we’ll need a refresher bird walk next Wednesday.

 

February 2015

 

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in US - California and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to As we lounged by the pool

  1. That swimming pool looks very tempting.

  2. Perfect winter weather! (probably why some of those smart birds are there)

  3. Jerry Fingerut says:

    This is the view of our driveway as we lay reading, writing and napping on the day when the car thermometer read minus 11 when I went to the Y at 7 am today.

    Jerry

  4. cindy knoke says:

    One of my favorite places & fab fotos too!

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