November 2, 2012
I do my morning before-breakfast wandering, a kind of meditation. And I see that the other animals, especially the jackrabbits, were also looking cold at 13 degrees. Thick steam rose from the pool. Gradually, the sun warmed the day back to 60 degrees.
Small hoofed tracks cover the camp along with piles of horse-like dung. I assumed these were from burros. Jackrabbits and cottontails are the primary animals seen, along with robins, flickers, starlings, ravens, and quail. An occasional hawk, duck or heron appeared briefly. The jackrabbits here are noticeably smaller in overall size and ear size than their cousins in central California. The ones in CA are huge, like coyotes with small upended canoes for ears. Chris theorized that the Nevada jackrabbits ears are smaller because, with all the wind there, big ears would cause them to sail away. (Later I find out that these are black-tailed jackrabbits and the ones in central CA are white-tailed jackrabbits.)
I have another glorious swim in the warm pool with the small fish darting about and the frogs sitting still on the leaf matter at the edge.
Later, I walk between the sagebrush toward red rock formations jutting out of the nearest hilltop. Trails created by many hooves appear and die out and reappear. The view is vast, across a broad valley bordered by hills and mountains of many shapes and colors. Long, sinuous dirt roads vanish into the distance. The campground is small below.
It is still and silent. An occasional breeze rustled against my ears and through the low shrubs. But that is the only sound. No airplanes overhead. Birds are silent too. (I am working on a short essay about silence that was going to go here but since it isn’t complete, I will post it later.)