Following stars and gold

Clear starry skies were seen on Twelfth Night, an auspicious sign for our successful return to the Anza-Borrego Desert on Epiphany, also known as Día de los Reyes, The Day of the Kings.  A new study suggests that the Magi, following a star, journeyed from the Far East (China) on a spice trade route, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

(Photo credit: Nina Aldin Thune, Magi, Wikimedia Commons)

Away from most light pollution, we enjoyed the dark desert skies filled with stars.  (See previous article, [Earth] “Once dark, now too bright!“)

We did turn on Larry’s New Year’s display lights for yet another celebration of life, including Epiphany, also known as “The Day of the Lights”.

Epiphany also marks the beginning of the Carnival season, which continues through Shrove Tuesday.  Since this season is also known as “king cake season”, Larry adapted a Panettone recipe by Mario Batali and added candied fruit, rum, and brandy.

We shared this delicious cake with the campground rangers and hosts.

We also fed the hummingbirds, such as Anna’s Hummingbird seen below.

Seen below is a Costa’s Hummingbird, which is typically smaller and, according to Wikipedia, “The male Costa’s Hummingbird’s most distinguishing feature is its vibrant purple cap and throat with the throat feathers flaring out and back behind its head.”

We were also nourished by food for thought in the form of books and magazines, and by listening to KPBS via 97.7 FM Calexico, which brought us the sad news of the death of Public TV travel star and host, Huell Howser.  We have followed Huell Howser’s California’s Gold series for years and have delighted in his enthusiastic visits of people and places up and down California.  View KVIE Public Television’s video, “Huell Howser – California’s Dreamer” and YouTube’s “A Farewell to Huell Howser“.  Huell donated his entire California’s Gold series to Chapman University, which may be viewed on their Huell Howser Archive website, including Episode 148, “Road Trip to Anza-Borrego“.

And so the adventure continues into 2013, and as Huell would say, “California, Here I Come“!


  1. says

    It was beautiful and clear last night and I sat in my lounge chair staring at Orion. As my eyes adjusted I could see so many more stars. I got out my small binoculars and was amazed how many more stars were there. I was on Hilton Head Island, not exactly a dark place. I thought about how lucky the early astronomers were to have total darkness. My next purchase will be a more substantial set of binoculars or a small telescope.

  2. Bill D. says

    Thanks, Frank, for your comments!

    Congratulations on your retirement, Airstream Safari, and fascinating and fully illustrated blog, Streaming Together (which documents the travel adventures of Frank, Debbie, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Rosie).

  3. Bill D. says

    Thank you, Huell Howser for highlighting California’s people and places with such love and enthusiasm.

    See YouTube’s “Huell Howser ‘California’s Gold’ host dies

    See U-T San Diego‘s article, “Huell Howser Had Golden Touch“.

    See Huell’s visit to “Old Town San Diego – California’s Golden Parks“.

    See Huell’s visit to San Diego’s Cabrillo National Monument’s “Tide Pools – California’s Gold“.

    Listen to “California I Love You“, State Anthem.