November 3, 2012
The next morning, it is glowing pink outside the camper window; I quickly leave my warm bed to catch the vivid sunrise. It was 31 degrees, 18 degrees warmer than the day before. I looked for burros because during the night we heard them braying, a desperate, wheezy hee-haw along with other strange snorts and yelps. But they are gone.
I am surprised to see a male California quail perched on a nearby picnic table, seemingly surveying the scene while sunning himself. King of the Quail. I take several photo of him and some of his subjects.
For years, I have wanted to get a good photo of a quail. I have seen many of them, always scurrying by in a group on their incredibly fast tiny legs as if late for a very important date. By the time I raise my camera, they are gone or, if photographed, are only a blur in the image. The male quail looks so crisply attire, like a portly well-dressed bon vivant wearing a jaunty plumed cap. The female, also portly, is much more conservatively dressed as is the custom in the bird world. I think evolution has a sense of humor.
Later, when returning to our campsite after washing the breakfast dishes in deliciously warm spring water, Chris urgently pointed for me to look at something. A large bobcat was slowly and silently walking across the small paddock near us, through the corral with three horses. The horses did not seem to notice. Several jack rabbits sunny themselves in the pasture sat stock-still. One, unable to keep its cool any longer, bolted off in the opposite direction. I got a few out-of-focus photos of the bobcat, but you can still see its markings, more spotty and leopard-like than others I’ve seen.
We are so glad we stumbled into this place. We might have known about it ahead of time if I hadn’t left behind our Hot Springs of the West Guidebook. Driving away from there, we passed a road with the intriguing name “Bog Hot”. Later we find out that down that road is Bog Hot Springs, an isolated premier natural hot springs with pools and a hot running stream. We hope to get back someday. Nevada has the most hot springs in the country, numbering 312.