Monday, September 18, 2017

Buddy Encounter

Cactus garden on the west slope of Tortugas Mountain
On our inbound leg this morning Becca and I ran into our buddy Jimmy who was waiting for us on the road to the mountaintop.  Since Becca hadn't seen her pal for quite a while she was very excited.  I had to put her on lead to try to prevent any excessive spinning because she's always beside herself with happiness whenever she greets her friend.  He was good enough to find a shady place for Becca to lie down while he and I palavered.  We talked for maybe twenty minutes before parting company.  Always good running into him out in the Chihuahuan Desert.
A little closer look at the Cactus garden

Dropping into the lower desert

How deep is my gully?

Woolly Paperflowers

Spotted this rare bird at the top of a Soaptree Yucca stalk

Turned out to be the spent seed pods of said yucca

Becca on break

Woolly Paperflowers

Ocotillo sculpture

Ocotillo flowers

Little closer look at the blossoms

Heading back a different way

Hairy False Goldenaster

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bathtime for Becca

Monte Vista side ramada at Tortugas Mountain
Dr. K and I decided to limit our morning hike to an hour or so on the far side of Tortugas Mountain in order to be cautious about Becca's leg strain.  We did just that, and she seemed to do well on the trek.  We saw a few people out there--including distant mountain bikers Becca spotted miles away--but we ran into nobody.  The Monte Vista parking lot was empty when we arrived this morning, and it was empty when we left.  One notable near encounter was with a young Mule Deer buck who was super anxious to be away from us.  When we got home we gave Becca a nice, cooling bath; she's a very good dog when it comes to getting washed.  We've had a few other dogs that absolutely hated getting wet.
Gathering of White-winged Doves

Departure time

Northeast of Tortugas Mountain

Certainly no Top Gun maneuver

Doves sunbathing

Further east of the mountain

Hiking along the road east of Tortugas

Parts of the mountain

The road we hiked to get here

An idea about how steep that northeast slope is

As far as we got east of Tortugas Mountain this morning

Way ahead of the pack

Becca's keeping her eye on something

Dr. K and Becca

Becca spots mountain bikers way across the desert (red arrows)

Quick look back at the way we just came

Zooming in on said mountain bikers

I think I like this one . . .

. . . better than this

Rounding the northeast flank again

We kick up a young Mule Deer buck

He sure was in a hurry to avoid us

Caught him in mid-bound

Disappearing into the desert foilage

I see a bird at the top of that Torrey Yucca at right

It's a Loggerhead Shrike

Saturday, September 16, 2017

People Avoidance

Geothermal Road
It was very hard to avoid people this morning because the Sunset Area side of Tortugas Mountain was already pretty crowded when we got out there.  We did our best, though, heading west on Geothermal Road, cutting through the Lineman School and heading into the outback.  I'm still being careful about how far I take Becca on these daily excursions after her recent bout of limping.  She seemed to do well on our trek, which lasted over an hour.
Bouquet of Woolly Paperflowers

Paperflowers and Soaptree Yuccas

Paperflowers and Soaptree Yuccas 2

Polehenge

Ocotillo flower

Western flank of Tortugas Mountain

More Ocotillo blossoms

Headed down to a large arroyo

She loves me, she loves me not

Not green peppers . . .

. . . but rather the seed pods of Unicorn Plant, maker of Devil's Claws

Some Woolly Paperflowers are turning to paper

Change of season