Carla Brennan's Blog

Reflections and Photos from The Big Trip and Beyond . .

Mercey Hot Springs November 2014

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Last week, Chris and I went for only our second trip together in the camper since returning from The Big Trip a year ago. We visited our favorite R & R spot, Mercey Hot Springs. There was only time for one night away.

I hiked across the surrounding treeless semi-arid hills. Chris mountain biked through nearby BLM land. We soaked, swam, sauna-ed, read and rested. One of the primary treats of Mercey Hot Springs is seeing its colony of long-eared owls that roost in the trees of this warm-water oasis. Photos below.

In addition, fall is the season when male tarantulas of central California come out of their borrows in daylight to search for mates. Luckily, we spotted a handsome auburn-colored gentlemen on the road before running him over. We stopped for a photo shoot. Chris taped his first video on his new GoPro. Here’s the link to this amusing YouTube.

Some corrections and commentary on the video. Chris was “giving him the stick” not just to see him move but to spare him from getting squashed by the next car. The “stingers” that Chris referred to were actually his “spinnerets”, two small appendages that produces the silk for his web. The tarantula doesn’t sting, he bites from the front end. However, his display of his spinnerets did look rather menacing and scorpion-like.

This gallery contains 19 photos