Thursday, May 25, 2017

Getting Toasty

Early start
Becca and I got a really early start this morning primarily because the desert is supposed to get hot and very windy today.  We're headed for 94 Fahrenheit and gusts up to 50 mph.  That kind of wind velocity usually translates into blowing dust and sand.  We were very fortunate on our trek; the wind hadn't picked up yet and the sun was kept at bay by a light high cloud cover for most of the hike.  Because of the conditions we trekked a little further than we did yesterday.  Noticed on the way back to the car that workers had blocked off the parking lot and were doing some kind of construction with heavy equipment.  I'd love it if they'd pave the lot and the road leading to it.
Take this trail to the high desert

What you'll see as you crest the high foothills trail

A tall Parry's Agave

Bumblebee photobomb

Flank of Tortugas and the Organs

Soaptree Yucca and Bishop Cap on the horizon (center)

The long road west

Break time!

Further along the road

White-winged Dove on a leafed-out Ocotillo branch

Yuccas still blooming everywhere

Tortugas and the Organs

La prima colazione (breakfast)

Chihuahuan Desert sky

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Same flycatcher, different profile

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Agave Fever

Becca on the trail leading to the high foothills
I'm going bat-crap crazy with all these images of the Parry's Agaves, but I have been monitoring them for slightly more than a month-and-a-half.  Then each time I intend to snap just a photo or two of them a Scott's Oriole shows up for a meal and I'm forced to take numerous shots to capture what I think to be one of the more interesting aspects of nature:  a black-and-yellow bird feasting on bright yellow flowers.  To be fair I did take a few shots of other subjects, including my darling Becca.
Parry's Agaves

The distant Organ Mountains

Getting the cold shoulder from a Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Got an itch

Not even mildly curious about us

Bored hare

Fruit of the Soaptree Yucca

This and the next two: flowers of Tasajillo (Opuntia leptocaulis)



Ocotillo getting leafy

Parry's Agave on the western slope of Tortugas Mountain

This and the next four: First year male Scott's Oriole in Parry's Agave





Becca on break in the shade of a boulder


Three more of the Scott's Oriole



Parry's Agaves

Same two of three

First ripe Prickly Pear I've seen

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Eureka!

This and the next 8:  Parry's Agave starting to bloom
After being in the mountains for a week I was surprised to find the Parry's Agaves on the west side of Tortugas Mountain just beginning to bloom; I thought they'd be further along by now.  But I sure appreciated the sight, as you can tell by the number of images here.  Becca and I did a slightly shorter hike this morning because I had to go to Target and Albertsons to do some shopping for much-needed supplies.  While we were out in the desert we did see some other lovers of nature, hikers and bikers alike.








Scott's Oriole and Bumble Bee in Parry's Agave

Closer look at bird and bees

Enjoying the nectar

Scott's Oriole in Parry's Agave

Bird and bees

Scott's Oriole in Parry's Agave

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Zigzag up the mountain

It's nice when the Soaptree Yuccas on your own property blossom

Soaptree Yucca and assorted desert flora