11/25/12 Don't believe them if they say...
..."there's nothing to see around here," because if you look, you can always find something interesting. For instance, here we are camped at the Elks Lodge in Wasco (ever heard of Wasco?) in the middle of nowhere all by ourselves, behind a building in a vacant parking lot. Just one overnight stop in California's Central Valley on our way to Anaheim. Nothing to see, right? Wrong.
Me and Jimmy and two palm trees...
Right next to a well-kept almond orchard!
An enormous orchard that stretches beyond where the eyes can see.
A walk around the palm trees reveals three (empty) pipes cut off about five inches above ground. Well, you know I'm going to look into each one! Two had nothing but debris and/or webs inside. One contained something strange...
We bent down to examine it closer -- it vaguely looked like fish, but - no way! - we knew that was crazy...
When we saw the bees flying out, we recognized honeycombs! If you enlarge this picture further, you can see more detail. A passel of honeycombs and bees down in the pipe. What a fascinating find!
We watched bees flying into and out of the pipe for a few minutes, and then Jimmy wondered aloud, "What happens when it rains?" "I dunno," I said, "I guess they get wet."
Well, that answer didn't set well, so Jimmy made them a breezeway to keep dry! The bees seemed a bit confused at first, but they got the hang of it, OK. I bet they'll appreciate his bigheartedness if and when it does rain in these parts.
In the same area we spied a lot of owl pellets. I took a picture of it (which contained a lot of tiny skeletal remains), but I won't post that here. Most folks wouldn't care to see dried owl poop.
We didn't spend too much more time bee/bird/nut hunting. While we knew the rest of the drive to Anaheim would be relatively short, a timely start might allow us to beat the holiday going-home traffic. As it turned out, traffic heading north was tied up off and on the whole distance -- lucky us, we breezed on down to Anaheim.