A look at Baja’s plants, animals, and human creations, through Steve’s camera. 26 additional photos added 1/23/2023!

Who is Steve Silver and what brought him to Baja California? See Steve’s biography at the bottom of the page, following his photos.

Plants (9 new additions)

An older, tired cirio
Garambullo, old man cactus, in bloom
Flowering succulent ground cover, somewhere in Baja
Passionfruit, Los Barriles
Palms in Cataviña
Blue palm, Rancho Santa Ynez
The first cirio cactus I met on my first trip to Baja, at the beginning of Cataviña
Cataviña with blooming bush
Strange cactus tunas
Yuccas, I forget where
Flowers, Daisies? El Rosario
Flowering desert plant, Cataviña
Desert succulent, Cataviña
Desert scene, unknown location
Vizcaino desert
Twins, Cataviña [cirio or boojum tree]
Castor bean or Palma Christi, Los Barriles
Blue flower, Baja desert
Blue flower on the side of the road to Bahía Asunción
Red barrel cactus, Baja desert
Seed pods, Baja desert
Ocotillo flower buds, Bahía de Los Angeles
Cholla bloom
Baby cirio or boojum
Ocotillo blooming
Prickly poppy with honey bee
Barrel cactus blooms
Cactus bloom

Landscapes (1 new added)

Campsite at Punta Chivato
Moon over Bahía de Los Angeles

Humans and what they make (12 new additions):

Marco, my son, kissing his dorado, Los Barriles
Anything with cajones in the name
Roadside altar for R. Elio Cruz, most likely a truck driver
El Palomar Licores with smoking Fidel [Santo Tomás]
Ladies Pizza, downtown Guerrero Negro
A Mexi-hotrod muscle car, downtown Ensenada
Damaged road near Los Barriles
Hamburguesas Travolta, La Paz I think
Yackburguer, in La Paz perhaps
Old painted wall, El Rosario, from first trip in 1995 and now gone
Sign near San Quintín
Pharmacy sign, downtown Ensenada
Strange sculpture on the dirt road to Campo Archelon
Community well, Los Frailes
Sign, San José del Cabo
Restaurante Pancho Villa on estuary Mulegé
Storefront, possibly Guerrero Negro
Cool little car, El Titan, auto repair shop downtown Ensenada
Painted sign, San José del Cabo
Carnitas wagon with laughing pig, Guerrero Negro
Wonderful beach house, Playa Burro I think
Bakery, downtown Ensenada
Altars on the road from San Jose del Cabo to Los Barriles
Desert altar, I think in Cataviña
Bar sign, downtown Mulegé
Gondola with guy, Ensenada (Italian restaurant?!)
Old muscle car in the sand near Campo Archelon, Bahía de Los Angeles
Octopus hunter, Bahía de Los Angeles
Santa Rosalia hotel sign
On the road north, Highway 5, to San Felipe
Green house, Santa Rosalia
Jugos y lícuados y………
Happy pharmacy, Ensenada
Kids and sculpture, Campo Archelon (Bahía de los Angeles)

Animals & Critters (4 new added)

Vultures on the road
A solpugid, found near Los Barriles
Scorpionfish, Bahia de Los Angeles, we caught it and it was delicious
A strange chrysalis, Los Barriles
Little scorpion, Rancho Sta. Inez
Wasp nests, East Cape
Whip scorpion, Los Barriles
Small burrowing snake found under a rock in Los Barriles
Unknown “insect?” Pod with exit hole, Cataviña
A cute little gecko at Camp Gecko, Bahía de Los Angeles
Spotted bass and my kayak, Sea of Cortez, Bahía de Los Angeles
Chicklet, a dog living at Los Pescadores, Los Barriles
Hotel cat at Terraza Hotel in Mulegé
Battered brittle star with Art Nouveau pattern at center of body, Bahía de Los Angeles
Dogs at Café Siete Filos, Campo Archelon, Bahía de Los Angeles
Sadie my neighbor
The beetle that bit me in the arm in the middle of the night while I was waking up with a leg cramp
Big brittle star

*** I’ve lived in Seattle for all of my near 78 years and didn’t leave home until I was almost thirty. I was a hippie backpacker in 1973, and then I road a mountain bike around Europe in 1985. A friend of mine from work, Jacqueline, had just gone to Baja with her boyfriend in 1994 and told me to go there, that I would fall in love with it and return there the rest of my life. That’s what happened. And I got over my fear of Mexico pretty quickly. 
*** I was a struggling commercial artist for years, a freelance illustrator and had a basic fear of cameras. Then I got a job that required I learn how to use a computer and work with digital fotos. That involved using Photoshop, which saved me from the harsh chemicals of the darkroom. Taking digital fotos is so easy that I stopped drawing almost completely.
*** First trip to Baja involved flying to San Diego and renting a VW bug in Tijuana and driving slowly down the peninsula to Cabo San Lucas and back. I was afraid to speak any Spanish at first for fear of making mistakes but got over it. Nearly passed out lugging my gear across the border, thought It was the heat, but I was just coming down with a mild respiratory infection. I’ve amused many Mexicans with my imaginative use of their language while speaking with them but have gotten better through years of practice. Many times I’ve been told “Speak English, my English is better than your Spanish”. Sometimes I reply, “And your English is probably better than my English”, hah.
*** On the first trip I stopped at a roadside cafe just south of Camalu run by the Zuñiga family. It got dark before I realized how late it was, they told me to put up my tent on the side of their building. My first experience of Baja hospitality. When I got to Cataviña I stayed at Rancho Santa Ynez and had meals with Oscar and Matilda. My room had four or five beds! In Santa Rosalia a small dog befriended me and protected me from a pack of angry dogs while I was taking fotos. I saw graffiti that said “Matando Gringos” [Kill Gringos]
*** Lately I stay at places a lot longer, spending less hours or days in a row driving. It’s far more humane and allows me to to get to know my neighbors better. I really like camping next to people with dogs, have made lots of dog buddies. I enjoyed staying at Camp Gecko at Bahía de Los Angeles until they sold all the cabins, now I stay at Campo Archelon when I’m in that city. It is wonderful to pitch a tent under a palapa right on the Sea of Cortez, with my kayak, and be able to get espresso and great meals a hundred yards away. And sometimes a young woman drives up in a cart with bread and flan for sale!
*** My first vehicle driven to Baja was an ‘89 Jeep Cherokee that made four roundtrips, then an old ’88 Mazda wagon without a working oil gauge so I had to check the oil twice a day. A ’92 Subaru Legacy wagon made four trips and finally a 2007 Mazda3 hatchback getting ready for its third time down and back. No breakdowns in all these years but I have gotten stuck in sand numerous times and have been helped out graciously by Mexicans every time. The worst thing that every happened was getting cursed out by a ten or twelve year old on his way to school in Santa Rosalia. I was in a tiny cafe and I think his buddy said “go hassle the gringo”. He came in and said “gimme money”, I replied “no gracias”. At that he cursed me out and left. The lady who ran the place came over and said something in Spanish that sounded like “his parents must have been cousins”. Hah.
*** As I’ve gotten older it seems that the most memorable thing about traveling is the people I meet. The rest is wonderful too but the people are the tops!