Thursday, March 23, 2017

There Will Be Wind

New Mexico Groundsel
Becca and I had good luck on our morning hike; although it was a bit windy the bad stuff hadn't started yet.  Now, at a little before 1:45 p.m., we're being rocked by heavy wind and gusts.  There's dirt and sand in the air, and everything looks generally miserable outside.  I've already checked on mama Thrasher to see if she's still secure in her nest, where she's been sitting on eggs for over a week, and so far so good.  Hard to believe I actually spend time worrying about a mama bird.
American flag over the lineman school

Becca saluting the flag

Becca sees hikers headed our way

Watching a man climbing the mountain road

Small mesquite leafing out in the desert below

Just west of Tortugas Mountain

Three heads are better than one or two

Butterfly-like Ocotillo flower

Torrey Yuccas blooming everywhere

Large Torrey Yucca west of the mountain

Yucca and observatory

Creamy-white flowers of the Torrey Yucca

Twin flower stalks

Tortugas (left) and the Organ Mountains

Cavatelli-like yucca flowers

Claret Cup and bud

Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus

Claret Cup Hedgehog and the mountains

Becca doing some bushwhacking

Claret Cup

A vast section of the northern Chihuahuan Desert

Becca on break in the shadow of a large yucca

Ocotillo leafing out

White Tackstem

Desert Sumac

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bumping Into People

Lineman for the county
Becca and I did a long hike west of Tortugas Mountain this morning, a trek that was made longer in duration because we bumped into three different people I talked to at length:  a woman from England we've met several times before; a former golfer from the nearby university; and our good buddy Jimmy who we haven't seen in a quite a while.  We enjoyed talking to all.  The mountain still seemed pretty crowded with people out enjoying their spring break from our local colleges.
Watching the lineman

Keeping an eye on linemen activity over there to the right

These appear to be seasoned linemen not students


Mormon Tea blooming out

Chihuahuan Flax

Chihuahuan Flax

Chihuahuan Flax

Chihuahuan Flax

Blood rushing to the head of a Field Crescent?

Yuccas and Ocotillos

White Tackstem or Desert Chicory?

Claret Cups and Bicolor Fanmustard

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break

Sandhill Cranes, probably migrating away from Bosque del Apache
Becca and I did a fairly long hike in the desert west of Tortugas Mountain this morning, lingering in the high foothills to take photos of the Parry Agave with a new center stalk.  It was chilly at the start of our trek, but soon heated up nicely.  There were many outdoor enthusiasts on and about the mountain today owing to the beginning of New Mexico State University's spring break.  That means the area will be crowded for five days this week.  Drat!
On the upper foothills trail

I am one with the desert flora

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (a true hare)

Agave parryi putting up a stalk

3-foot stalk of Parry's Agave

Becca monitoring two hikers in the desert below

Closeup of Parry's Agave

One last look at this one

Blue-green rosettes of Parry's Agave

A different perspective of the rosettes

Mormon Tea beginning to flower

Dried flowers of Wild Rhubarb

Black-throated Sparrow

Desert Evening Primrose

Break at the edge of an arroyo

Here we go with the Claret Cups again

Cactus Wren on a yucca flower stalk

Same image treated differently

Ocotillo beginning to leaf out

Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus

The massive Claret Cup I've been monitoring

Claret Cups and Spectaclepod

Cabbage White?

Where does the butterfly end and the flower begin?