It’s funny isn’t it. I’d never seen a coyote until I saw three looking at a bison calf in Kansas but now I am seeing them all the time. The other evening I had something like 10 coyote sightings and I must have seen about 30 or more on this trip.
So having seen wile e coyote I am determined to see roadrunner too.
And I would like to see a roadrunner in the Joshua Tree National Park – as that is where I spent a couple of days trying to see them two years ago. So to that I am going to dedicate the next couple of days or so.
The lady at the motel, who still has a lovely French accent (being French (still)) told me that she had had a family of roadrunners running around her garden until the neighbours got some big dogs. And the young lady in the air-conditioned visitor center said that they were always around and looked outside, just as her male counterpart had done two years ago, as if she expected to be able to point one out immediately and then say ‘There you are you silly Englishman – how did you not see that?’.
This evening I bought a large pepperoni pizza from the New York pizza place in Joshua Tree and ate half of it there and had the rest boxed up. I drove through the National Park at dusk and stopped to see a beautiful sunset spread across the western sky (where else?) behind the mountains. I ate pizza and watched the sunset.
I couldn’t help recalling that as I had walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey a few days ago I had passed the ‘Sunrise Retirement Home’. Now, I can see why you might not want to call your retirement home the ‘Sunset Retirement Home’ but when it nestles into the hills and faces the Pacific to the west, then sure as eggs is eggs, your residents are going to see an awful lot more sunsets than sunrises (well, the lucky ones will).
In the few hours I have been here I have seen some of the Park’s special birds (eg cactus wren, Scott’s oriole, phainopepla) but not all of them (eg ladder-backed woodpecker) and not roadrunner. Yet!
But I have seen Joshua trees, and cacti, and a sunset and there is always tomorrow for roadrunner. I even saw another coyote – so there must be a roadrunner somewhere nearby.