The southern tip of the Baja is magical. A rugged beauty dominates the landscapes. Either you love it or you hate it, there is no in-between. The Baja conquers you or spits you out, it has no pity.
Giant cacti grow on rolling hills while the Pacific Ocean crashes forcefully on the rocks, making its presence known, day and night. Trees look dry and forlorn for most of the year, giving you the false appearance of death when in fact they are patiently waiting for rain, much awaited rain that comes in rain season, between the months of May and October. It usually rains in August and September, but there may be an occasional shower bringing relief to the Baja’s many plants and trees.
This may be the semi-desert, but the desert is full of life.
I live in the middle of nowhere and I am privileged to see all this beauty, day in and day out. I awake a little after sunrise and bear witness to an amazing sky that is tinged with pink and red hues while metallic blue shimmers in between. It is hard to describe such a sky. One has to come down here and see it for oneself.
At the moment I am living in a trailer while my house is being built. In the corner of the beam holding the roof which provides shade for my trailer, a couple of birds decided to build their nest, and every day I get to see their little babies. I hear them chirp when they are hungry. I watch mommy bird feed her babies while father bird sits at a distance, standing guard over his precious family. It is such a privilege to see this. Nature amazes me every time.
I boil water for tea (usually Earl Grey, my favorite) and prepare my breakfast while the bird family is having their little meal of worms and whatever else mommy bird brings her babies 🙂 . My dogs stretch and go outside, except for Mr. Freckles who is not a morning dog and prefers to stay in bed just a little longer. Oh yes, he is a bed hog.
Although I live at a 3 kilometer distance from the sea, I can still hear the surf far away. The Pacific Ocean slams wave after wave on the beach, all night long, with such force that the sound carries far to the village. Until early morning, the sound of the waves accompanies me in my sleep.
Lizards race around, doing their best not to get noticed by my dogs, but those little critters are too fast anyway. My dogs are luckily very unsuccessful at catching them. Spider webs reach from tree to tree, a work of silk art that shines in the morning sun, their artists basking in the middle while waiting for unsuspecting prey.
Richly plumed birds of bright yellow and red colors descend upon the trees and grace me with their songs. If I only knew the names for those birds. I must find out. Yesterday I spotted a gorgeous bird. It was nearly the size of a dove, with a red comb and a bright red beak. It met my gaze and didn’t look away, leaving me just awe-struck.
After feeding my dogs and cats, I water the plants and trees – there are many – I take a shower, and get ready for work. Trying to break my heart with their sad looks, my dogs watch me drive away. Fortunately, I work part-time, so I am not gone that long. When I return in the afternoon, they are overjoyed, jumping and barking as if they haven’t seen me in weeks.
Yesterday, on my way home, a beautiful gopher snake crossed the street. I slowed down to let it pass. It was quite long and its yellow color shone in the sun rays. It slid away in fear. I was stunned at the speed of this snake. After it was gone, I continued driving.
The increase in temperatures means that the snakes are out again, awoken from their hibernation. Gopher snakes, but also rattlesnakes … I learned how to deal with the latter, but that doesn’t take away the fact that rattlesnakes are scary … The sound of that rattle is not my favorite sound …
It is fortunate that my dogs and cats realize the danger of the rattlesnake and they stay away from them; well, all of them, except one, my little Greta. So, I still have to keep an eye on them.
The frogs are out too, and at night they have their own little party on my land, frolicking in the dog water bowls, splashing around, swimming in the buckets or in the doggie pool, croaking in contentment and finding their mates.
The frogs are just lovely to watch. There are many mornings that I have to fish them out of my outdoor shower – where they have a nice little pool – and carry them outside. The first times they try to escape, but after a few mornings, they get used to me and they know that I am not going to harm them. So they allow me to take them in my hands and move them out of my bath room 🙂 They are so cute!
Life in the Baja is interesting. It is an inspiring place. Since I am a writer, this southern tip of the peninsula is a constant source of inspiration for me. I can tell you so much more, but I am going to stop here, and leave more stories and observations for upcoming blogs.