Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Articles written by Ernie Cowan

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 By Ernie Cowan    News 

Julian Joins Borrego As A Dark Sky Community

The County of San Diego has adopted new rural lighting standards that will help preserve night skies free from light pollution and allow Julian to join Borrego Springs as a recognized International Dark Sky Community. The Borrego Sun reported last month on a four-year effort by a... — Updated 11/20/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    Julian

Julian: Dark Sky Community?

A nearly four-year effort that could link Julian with Borrego Springs as an internationally recognized dark sky community is near completion. You might even say there is light at the end of the tunnel, however, that would be a... — Updated 10/20/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Honeymoon Shack

Tucked into a deeply sliced rocky canyon in the shadow of Whale Peak there are the remains of an old shack that long ago served as the honeymoon cabin for a pioneer cattleman and his new bride. The Harper family began raising... — Updated 10/6/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Ham Radio: An Emergency Lifeline

My truck thermometer was reading 115 degrees at 5 p.m. and I was buried to my axles in soft sand. I was 17 hard miles from the nearest road by four-wheel drive and walking that distance for help could have been a deadly mission.... — Updated 8/28/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Nature Watch: "Ladder-backed woodpecker"

Somehow a woodpecker in the desert is a surprise to a lot of people. Typically, we think of woodpeckers as being more common to forests with tall trees. But visitors to Anza-Borrego, or residents should not be surprised to see or... — Updated 8/24/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

A Night Sky Road Map

A passing comet hanging in our night sky has been the buzz the past few weeks. Soon there will be talk of the Perseid Meteor Shower in August, or maybe a hopeless romantic is wondering when to plan that moonlight picnic with his... — Updated 8/21/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

2020 Bighorn Sheep Count

You can call this year lots of things, but the 2020 Anza-Borrego Bighorn Sheep Count will be the COVID Count with an asterisk. Lots of things were just not normal. This was supposed to be the 50th anniversary event, but due to the... — Updated 8/7/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Carizzo Geoglyphs

Standing in the Great Alone of the Carrizo Badlands I noticed a large swath of barren desert before me had been somehow altered by the hands of man. Broad lines stretching off into the distance had been carved across the desert in... — Updated 7/22/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

The Dark Skies of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Editor's Note: This article was originally prepared as part of Anza-Borrego Foundation's annual fundraising appeal. It has been edited for the Borrego Sun. ABF is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting... — Updated 7/13/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

A Sign of the Times

The weathered piece of lumber sticking out of the sand in a far-from-anywhere stretch of Carrizo Creek caught my eye. Stopping my truck, I walked over to see what it could be and found the piece of wood was bolted to a buried... — Updated 6/25/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

A Desert Mystery

Author Paulo Coelho is likely best known for his book, "The Alchemist," but a lesser known work has deep roots right here in Borrego Springs and perhaps offers a mystery about a shrine to the Virgin of Aparecida hidden in the... — Updated 5/29/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Borrego Neighbors – Snakes

Heat seemed to come quickly to the desert this year along with reports of snake sightings. A spring season that saw unusually chilly temperatures and lots of rain kept these slithery neighbors inactive, but once things warmed up,... — Updated 5/22/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Hawk Watch Season Ends, Fewer Visitors

The annual Borrego Springs Hawkwatch ended for the season on April 12 with a tally well below seasonal averages and compounded by challenges because of the Coronavirus. The annual spring event is a citizen-science project devoted... — Updated 5/10/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Hawkwatch Update

The annual Borrego Springs Hawkwatch that monitors the migration of Swainson’s Hawks through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has begun and will continue through the month of March. Hal Cohen, organizer of the annual census, said things have started slowly, with only a handful of... — Updated 4/3/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    Arts

Beth Chafey-Hon Serenades at Hawk Canyon

The rhythms of nature blended with the melodies of violinist/composer Beth Chafey-Hon Feb. 29 at a special outdoor concert in the natural setting of Anza-Borrego's Hawk Canyon. The canyon concert called Desert Song Cycle was sponso... — Updated 4/3/2020