Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Another Cool One

Western slope of Tortugas Mountain
Becca and I got a fairly early start on our hike west of Tortugas Mountain this morning, primarily because I had to go shopping at Target and Albertsons when I got back.  We ran into JC and Olivia again up near the dilapidated shack on the mountain road, and we trekked back to the cars together.  It was a very pleasant outing that was nearly cancelled by my subsequent shopping ventures to the two stores.  Suffice it to say I returned from my chores in a thoroughly disgusted mood.
Becca forging ahead

Starting the climb

Tripartite Torrey Yucca

Something's stuck in the roof of my mouth

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

Magdalena Peak and its observatory

Magdalena Peak

All the way across the Mesilla Valley

Check out that UFO near the top edge

Happy hiker in the high foothills

Flank of Tortugas and the Organs

A closer look

Closer still

Top of Tortugas

Rugged desert west of Tortugas

Rugged Organ Mountains

Yet another dynamic sky

Sky over the mountains

Beautiful landscape

Another lovely Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Another Dynamic Desert Day

Dynamic sky at start
Becca and I got an early start on another dynamic morning in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.  Fortunately we beat the wind, which is raging now.  For much of our hike it seemed as if the rain could start at any minute, but we didn't experience even so much as a sprinkle.  I'm pretty sure chances for precipitation increase this afternoon.  We did a pretty long trek west of the mountain and, as a result, we bumped into JC and Olivia all the way over at the dilapidated white shack on the road to the mountaintop; they'd already finished half of their morning hike.  Had a nice chat with them while we walked back to the cars together.  I believe they have only slightly over a week here before they head to northern New Mexico.
Threatening sky to the south

Huge Torrey Yucca on the west side of Tortugas

Pincushion Cactus

Wending our way along the west side

Through the gully and up the mountain

The Florida (flo-ree-da) Mountains near Deming (about 60 miles away)

Siamese Devil's Head cacti

Siamese Devil's Head (Echniocactus horizonthalonius)

Big Torrey Yucca on the mountainside

Cloud shadows on the mountains

Franklin Mountains in the distance

Yucca and the Robledo Mountains

Yucca and Ocotillo in B&W

Half the time rain seemed imminent

Some blue sky visible there

Long view west

Distant Organ Mountains

Part of L.C. and the Robledos

Those clouds look unreal

Organ Mountains and dynamic sky

The Beckster

Distant hiker

Clouds over the mountains

Soaptree Yucca

Somebody's not worried about the weather

Organ Mountains

Franklin Mountains, El Paso, Texas

There's a rainy-day view (except it wasn't raining)

Long-distance shot of a Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Bishop Cap

Gap between Bishop Cap and the Franklin Mountains (right)