2009 Cross country Summer samplings travel blog

100s of swallows were busy feeding their fledgings

We started out at dawn, cool under the seasonal marine layer, a Southern California phenomenon. The early start would move us through a large area of the hot desert before the 100+F heat grabbed hold.

After descending from the Cleveland National Forest into El Centro, the lowest city in the USA, we pulled into a rest-stop and had breakfast while watching farmers working the fields. El Centro, the center of the Imperial Valley and lying 50 feet below sea level, is a major producer of a large variety of fruits and vegetables.

Most of the fields we drove past were rich earth as the harvest was over and tilling was in progress, the smell of fertilizer permeating the warm desert air.

At several underpasses we saw a frenzy of avian activity, the black blur being hundreds of swallows swooping into their mud nests, busily feed their brood. This called for a photo stop as it was the only wildlife activity in the heat.

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