Friday, October 27, 2017

Leaving New Mexico - Final pics of critters and sunsets

Katie and I sure did enjoy our stay in New Mexico - probably more this year than ever before.  The weather was good, the lakes were high, we met some nice people, and for part of the time we camped with friends.  We snagged some of the best sites, and...  there weren't any bugs!  This has got to be the first time we've camped here and not had mosquitoes.  I don't know where they went, but it sure wasn't here.  Really nice!  Of course, there were SOME bugs, but none that really bothered us.

Two days ago we left Elephant Butte Lake State Park, heading west to San Diego for a family visit and annual medical appointments.  So these are the final photos - not many, but a few...

I saw this little bug again, I've seen these guys before and they always fascinate me.  Little blue dimpled bugs, dimpled like tiny blue half golf balls.  It's a Desert "blue-ball" blister beetle (Cysteodemus wislizeni, Meloidae) - Thanks, heyduke50!  So interesting looking:

Now that I know what he's called, I looked him up on-line, but I couldn't find anything about him other than a photo and the name.  I'm assuming from heyduke50's comment that they bite or sting or something, but I couldn't find any info. 

I don't know if I've posted any photos of Gambel's Quail - I think they are one of the prettiest birds I've seen and they are all over the desert in this area.  You can hear them talking to each other all day long.  This is the male:

And this is the female:

When I was camping here at EBLSP a few weeks ago with Don, we were out walking and saw this snake - Don said he thought it was a Sidewinder and it was definitely winding along going from side to side:

Here are the footprints he left - or should I say, body prints?  Thanks for the pictures, Don!

Then the other day I was back at the park again and when I was walking, I saw this little guy:

Neither snake had rattles, which was the main thing for me, but they seem to be as afraid of me as I was of them.  They really move away fast when they feel our feet on the ground, or see us.  Don't know which come first, but they must feel us coming.  And they scoot!

I haven't put up Katie's fence for a long time.  She doesn't like it and doesn't seem comfortable inside, but she wanted to be outside a lot at Elephant Butte Lake, so I put it up.  She laid down and relaxed and enjoyed looking around the area.  Even the birds walking past didn't bother her.  I could watch her from the dinette window and she could see me, so we were both happy.

Here she is laying in a patch of sun in the doorway:

Last sunset shot I took - isn't it beautiful?  Like a pastel watercolor.

On our last morning I filled the water tank, cleaned the floors, vacuumed the carpet and defrosted the fridge and freezer.  We left the park around 2:00 and stopped at the dump station to empty the tanks.  Then we drove down through Hatch and Lordsburg and stopped at Benson, AZ.  We spent one night at the Benson WalMart, then headed off early in the morning.  As we were driving along traffic suddenly slowed, and this is what we saw:

We slowed, but were still moving.  The east bound lane, however, was backed up for a long distance.  One car was upside down on the center concrete divider and the other car was totally smashed in the front end and also got rear-ended.  Thank goodness for the dividers!  It was a bad accident, but if the cars had come over into the westbound lanes it would have been far worse.  Always sobering to pass something like this.

As we were nearing Viejas Casino in Alpine, CA, the sun was just setting.  We always seem to get here this time of day, I remember snapping similar sunsets on previous trips to San Diego.

Viejas allows people to park in their big rig/RV parking lot for three nights each month.  I always seem to be coming through Alpine the end of a month.  Since the weather is always cooler up here, I stop off for three days on my way to San Diego.  Visit my son and daughter-in-law and grand kids, take care of annual medical appointments, and then sometimes stop again on my way back to Quartzsite.  Since it's then the beginning of a new month, I can stop for another three days in the cooler temps and nice breezes, before going down to the desert again.

So... this always feels like the beginning of the new year to me.  Summer and lakeside camping are done and dry desert camping begins.  All of you RVers out there know the feeling of anticipation I feel when the seasons change and I begin the planning and then start the engine for a new location. Fingers crossed that the medical stuff will be easy and quick with good outcomes, and I'll be on the road again soon.

From me and Katie, have a great weekend, everyone.  😎


  1. No bugs . . . that's for me. I left them all behind in Florida. I never want to see another bug in my life! But I know that is pie in the sky.
    Best of luck with your medical appointments.

    Virtual hugs,


  2. Get those appointments behind you and teavel on to new adventures.

  3. Yahoo, nice to get those medical things out of the way, some more exploring fun. Travel safe. We are looking forward to Elephant Butte State park again soon.

  4. careful of the little bug as it looks like it is a Desert “blue-ball” blister beetle...

    1. heyduke50 - Thanks for the info - I couldn't find anything on this beetle on-line. Using the info you provided, I did a search, and only one picture keep coming up. I've seen these more than once, and am surprised there's not more - at least I couldn't find it. Why did you say "careful" - do they bite or sting, or ??

    2. What an interesting bug! I used this info to track down the scientific name Cysteodemus wislizeni, but there really is very little info on the Web about it. I did find other "desert blister beetles" were listed as secreting a substance that would make your skin blister, and one reference to this one "probably leaks cantharidin containing fluids from it's joints when you mess with it that will make your skin blister, so don't rub up on it." Google found a brief listing for it in "A Field Guide to the Plants and Animals of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque", and here is the scientific classification and several more pictures:

    3. Thanks, Sarah! I couldn't find much either, which surprised me, since I can usually find more info than I need when I research things on-line. Because he is so pretty and different, I would expect to see lots of data about him on various sites. But you found the blister part - very interesting, and thanks for the link.

      Even though this guy is very different looking and really pretty (I can see that some people might pick him up) I wouldn't go too close to any bug. :)

  5. It is always good to get those appointments out of the way and to have good reports. Looking forward to seeing you at Quartzsite

  6. We all the know the feelings about the medical appointments. Hope the reports are very good.

  7. Good Luck with the appointments and looking forward to meeting again this year.
    Kathy just looked up all the Snakes and Insects in Arizona. Those Snakes you pictured are both Rattlers. There are Thirteen different Species in Arizona alone.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  8. Sounds so nice. I always get the travel itch when I read where you've been and where you are going.

  9. Now it's time to head back down where it's going to be warmer for the winter. However, you might be leaving those snakes behind.

  10. No mosquitoes??? How awesome is that!!!!!! I think Katie has a great idea to find that sunshine spot and enjoy the warmth!!
    Wishing you the best with the medical checkups!! I have a big one in January...getting nervous!!

  11. I always stay at Viejas when in the San Diego area. But this summer I joined the Elks so hope to try them out soon while on my way to Yuma. Love your pictures. Good luck with Dr.'s.

  12. I am so ready to get back to the desert southwest. It has rained or spit snow every day here in Western New York. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  13. Hope everything is OK with you. Have not seen a posting from you for quite a while.

    1. Hi Bea! I'm just fine - and busy and lazy. I'll put up a post soon, promise! :)


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