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Friday, September 17, 2021

Already Hot and Still Buggy

Frio and Willow on break in First Arroyo
The CR-V thermometer read 67F during our drive to the trailhead this morning, but as soon as we got on the trail it seemed much hotter out there.  We're headed for a high of 98F today, more than ten degrees above normal for this time of year.  The temperature wasn't the only thing that bugged us, though; bugs bugged us.  Can't wait for cooler temps when the bugs disappear.

Willow, Frio and I hiked up to First Arroyo, found a shady spot within, drank water, took photos (me), and then headed back along LDR for the slog into the upper flatland.  The sand is so chewed up on our route that the trek is very slow going.

It seemed like all three of us were eager to climb back into the CR-V for the short ride home, which we made in air-conditioned comfort.

Soaptree Yucca

Dangerous portal

Heelers in shadow

Visit from within the shade of a mesquite tree

This & the next:  dessicated Prickly Pear fruit

Variegated Fritillary


Organ Mountain view

This & the next:  Swainson's Hawk

Another Organ Mountain vista


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Back to the Usual

Back to a normal hike this morning because nobody was shooting down in the Tellbrook Arroyo; in fact, we saw no one on our hike, unless you count the two jackrabbits we kicked up, the ones that got the Heelers' motors running.

We trekked up to Second Arroyo, popped inside for a water break, and then headed back.

Still hot out there.  We're headed for a high of 95F; much too high for this time of year.

This & the next:  Organ Mountains


Inside Second Arroyo


This & the next 2:  Organ Mountains

Last 3:  bird on Ocotillo


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Arroyo Nuevo

Different perspectives from a new hike
As soon as Willow, Frio and I exited the CR-V at the trailhead this morning I realized we wouldn't be able to do our usual hike; a black vehicle was parked just west of LDR in the Tellbrook Arroyo, and the driver was popping off rounds of shotgun shells.  This led us to discover another dirt road which led to an arroyo we never knew existed.

We trekked east on the upper flatland road until it intersected with the paved Tellbrook Drive.  We crossed the asphalt and began hiking on a dirt road that ran parallel to Sonoma Ranch Road for a bit.  This led us to a steep trail that descended into the above-mentioned arroyo, which we explored for a ways before turning around.

When we got back up the steep incline to the dirt road we followed it in a southwesterly direction until it intersected with the southern extension of LDR.  We then headed north to Tellbrook Drive, crossed the pavement and hiked up to the waiting CR-V.  I noticed then that the black vehicle was still parked in the arroyo below, but the shooting had stopped.

This & next 3:  heading down a new arroyo

Distant view of the southern Organ Mountains


What causes a yucca stalk to grow like that?

Frio and Willow headed back on the south extension of LDR

This and next 6:  Roadrunner unperturbed by our presence

Looking south on the southern extension of LDR


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Century Mark?

One Ocotillo has no leaves, the other is browning out
62F when we set off this morning, but the desert sun was already beating down on us as we explored the desert to the northeast of Tellbrook Arroyo.  According to different weather apps we're either going to hit 97F or 99F today.  Too hot for mid-September.

Other than a fleeting glimpse of two jackrabbits we saw no one out in our section of northern Chihuahuan Desert; there weren't even any vehicles parked in the Tellbrook/Sonoma Ranch lot.

The worst part of today's trek was the bad air.  Last night Doppler Dave--meteorologist at KVIA in El Paso--said there'd be unhealthy widespread haze, though he didn't say why.  I guess it could come from wildfires in the West.

The forecast was for widespread haze, aka "bad air"

This & the next 3:  Hairy False Goldenaster and friends

Southwest of Tortugas

Soaptree Yuccas at the side of an arroyo

Thought that was a trail; instead it's a small swale

Willow and Frio in an unnamed arroyo

Bouquets hanging on


Already Hot and Still Buggy

Frio and Willow on break in First Arroyo The CR-V thermometer read 67F during our drive to the trailhead this morning, but as soon as we got...