The creatures pop up alongside Borrego Springs Road: Prehistoric elephants. A saber-tooth cat. An ancient camel. A T. rex and a giant bird of prey. Not the flesh-and-blood kind, but remarkable art pieces—sometimes whimsical, sometimes haunting—are the one of a kind works of sculptor Ricardo Breceda, whose creations delight and surprise drivers near the town of Borrego Springs.
While some creatures are ambitious fantasies, such as a 350-foot-long serpent arcing across the playa, but many of the sculptures represent real-life creatures that once roamed this land. In 2008, Breceda was originally commissioned by local philanthropist Dennis Avery to make sculptures for his extensive desert property known as Galleta Meadows, but the creatures seem to have multiplied around town. To find Breceda’s 130 or so rust-red, scrap-metal sculptures, pick up a detailed map at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association bookstore in Borrego Springs (also a great place for nature-themed gifts).