Articles written by Ernie Cowan
Sorted by date Results 1 - 25 of 50
Plans for Camp Borrego Explained During Public Meeting
An exciting plan to create a permanent Camp Borrego facility that could also be used by the community was unveiled last week during a public meeting hosted by the Anza-Borrego Foundation. About 30 people attended in person or via online conferencing. Primarily designed as a... — Updated 9/23/2021
ABF Acquires Key Desert Property
The Anza-Borrego Foundation is playing a unique checkers game where every move hopefully eliminates a square on the checkerboard. The organization's checkerboard is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the jewel of California's state... — Updated 9/21/2021
Nature Watch: "Phainopepla"
He's a handsome critter with a funny name, but one of the more distinctive birds that call Anza-Borrego home. I'm talking about the phainopepla, a resident bird easily identified by a distinctive crest and bright red eyes. Males... — Updated 9/21/2021
Nature Watch: "Lightning: Nature's Flashbulb"
Visitors and residents alike were treated to a spectacular sky show recently when tropical storms from Mexico brought an intense display of lightning to the night sky of Borrego Springs. As one of nature's most dramatic events,... — Updated 9/7/2021
Nature Watch: "White-Winged Dove"
You don't see a lot of birds in the summer heat of Anza-Borrego, but one of the more common spring and summer species is the white-winged dove. On a recent afternoon walk around the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visitor center,... — Updated 8/25/2021
Acres for Anza-Borrego
They called it “A Really Big Deal,” and with more than 400 people registered for the Zoom event marking the transfer of 17,597 acres to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, it really was. The event was hosted by the Anza-Borrego Foundation that has worked for nearly 30 years to... — Updated 8/13/2021
Perseid Meteors to Light Night Sky
Visitors and residents of Borrego Springs will not have to travel far in early August to enjoy a spectacular celestial show as the annual Perseid Meteor Shower appears in the midnight sky. The Perseids, so named because they seem... — Updated 8/11/2021
Nature Watch: Tumbleweed
You always knew "there's gonna be a gunfight" when a tumbleweed rolled down the dusty main street of Tombstone, Dodge City, or Deadwood. That thought crossed my mind as I turned onto S-22 and what seemed like a giant bowling ball... — Updated 8/4/2021
Nature Watch: Do Snakes Drink?
The heat was oppressive as I headed into the house, but movement in the garden caught my eye. I stopped and watched as a beautiful California kingsnake slowly emerged, moving toward our garden fountain. To my surprise, it lifted... — Updated 7/26/2021
Summer Escape From Borrego Heat
Many Borrego residents leave the heat of the desert in the hottest months, but for those who don't there are still nearby places to enjoy the great outdoors and bask in far more comfortable temperatures. A group of locals did just... — Updated 7/16/2021
Sheep Count Cancelled
While the death of a volunteer bighorn sheep counter on June 19 was tragic, the event has forced cancellation of the 50th annual bighorn sheep count and prompted state park officials to close several popular hiking destinations to all entry. The San Diego County Coroner has identi... — Updated 7/13/2021
Nature Watch: Flash Floods
Any day now, summer skies in Borrego will fill with billowing thunderheads as monsoon storms push up from the Gulf of California. It's a dramatic change for the blank, blue sky of summer. The rolling thunder, nighttime light shows,... — Updated 7/13/2021
Effort to Ban Mylar Balloons
You don't have to spend much time wandering around the desert to know that it has become a dumping ground for mylar balloons dropping from the sky. It's one of those things that everyone knows is a problem, but until now, no one... — Updated 7/13/2021
Nature Watch: "Palo Verde"
There's a remote desert wash named for this tree, a couple of them provide shade at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, and there's even plans for a local festival featuring this tree. We are talking about the blue... — Updated 6/29/2021
Nature Watch: Chuckwalla
Borrego is moving into that time of the year when fewer tourists are spotted wandering about. But there is one character more frequently seen as seasonal temperatures climb into triple digits. That character is the common... — Updated 6/11/2021
When you think of buckwheat, pancakes might be something that comes to mind for most people. But California buckwheat is a common local shrub that was more important to Native Americans for its medicinal qualities rather than as a... — Updated 6/2/2021
Annual Bighorn Sheep Count Top Return
As life continues to emerge from the cloud of COVID-19, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has announced that a full summer bighorn sheep count will return this year. Last year's count was abbreviated because of COVID, with fewer... — Updated 6/2/2021
Julian Earns Dark Sky Designation
After a five-year effort by a coalition of amateur astronomers, local merchants, environmentalists, neighboring communities and the County of San Diego, Julian has been certified as an International Dark Sky Community. Leaders of... — Updated 5/27/2021
Rabbit Virus Threat
San Diego Humane Society is closely monitoring a highly contagious and deadly disease in wild and domestic rabbits called Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Type 2. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture in April,... — Updated 5/24/2021
Nature Watch: Hooded Oriole
They are energetic, colorful and add excitement to any garden when they arrive each spring. It's hard to miss the arrival of hooded orioles when these neon-yellow and jet-black birds show up after migrating from their winter homes... — Updated 5/19/2021
Borrego Bat Research
Let's call him the Batman of Borrego. While Don Endicott is not a caped crusader, he is a self-taught naturalist who is fiercely dedicated to studying and protecting nature and wildlife. You could also call him the bighorn census t... — Updated 5/6/2021
Nature Watch: "Rhythmite"
Most visitors who first look out upon the Carrizo Badlands often describe the area as a wasteland. In reality this area south of Fish Creek is a rich earth laboratory of marine fossils, petrified wood and fascinating geological... — Updated 4/29/2021
Discovering Borrego's Spring Wonders
The many wonders that attract both residents and visitors to the wilds of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are on full display. You may just have to look a bit harder to find them. Spring is a big time in the desert. Temperatures... — Updated 4/23/2021
Nature Watch: Ringtail
Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. It's an old lesson, but as night viewing wildlife cameras become more popular, it's something we are reminded of often. I have met few people who have ever seen a... — Updated 4/16/2021