Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Articles written by ernie cowan

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 By Ernie Cowan    News

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

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Nature Watch: Pictographs

Reaching into the yawning mouth of the dusty clay pot, I could feel the fingerprints of the native Kumeyaay maker. It was an overpowering connection to another wilderness traveler who stood in the same spot many centuries ago. I... — Updated 3/22/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Nature Watch: "Bladderpod"

It was the large, green seed pods that first caught my eye. Dangling from a small bush with clusters of happy yellow flowers, I was curious about this plant and the large seed pods I had not often seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State... — Updated 3/3/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Nature Watch: Wild Turkey

A wild turkey is not something you would normally expect to see in the arid environment of Borrego Springs. But these big birds have wandered into our community and have been spotted at De Anza Country Club, Borrego Palm Canyon, Borrego Springs Resort and even as far east as Bow... — Updated 2/23/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Borrego Hawkwatch 2021

Borrego Hawkwatch, the annual citizen-science census of migrating Swainson's hawks will launch its 19th season on Feb. 21. Despite the impacts of COVID-19 that has prevented some key participants from traveling to Borrego Springs f... — Updated 2/23/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Borrego Springs Becoming Radioactive

Borrego Springs is becoming radioactive and it’s not a bad thing. Interest is growing in forming a local club for amateur radio operators, also known as hams. Since a story ran in the Borrego Sun a few weeks ago about the value of ham radio, both local residents and seasonal... — Updated 2/11/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Nature Watch: "Lower Willows"

Anza-Borrego has countless unique and interesting places to visit, but add water, and you have a whole new wonderland. There's a good reason that places like Hellhole Canyon, Borrego Palm Canyon or Pena Spring in Culp Valley draw... — Updated 2/4/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Calling All Ham Radio Operators

A new resident of Borrego Springs saw an article in the Borrego Sun a few months ago about the value of ham radio in a small, remote community. Peter Morrison, with the call sign of KI7QBL, contacted me wondering if there was a... — Updated 1/19/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Christmas Bird Count 2020

The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in Borrego Springs was certainly an event where birds of a feather did not flock together. In this case, the "birds" were the dozens of count volunteers who typically team up to annually reco... — Updated 1/19/2021

 By Ernie Cowan    News

Midnight Matinee

Nature watchers can enjoy a midnight matinee in the wee hours of Dec. 13 and 14 as the annual Geminid Meteor Shower appears in the night sky. The Geminid shower is always one of the best celestial events of the year, but this year... — Updated 12/16/2020

 By Ernie Cowan    News

New County Lighting Regulations Get Final Approval

The County of San Diego has taken final action to adopt new lighting standards that will help preserve the dark night skies that attract thousands of visitors to Borrego Springs. The new Zone C lighting regulations apply to the... — Updated 12/9/2020

 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    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


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