|This and the next: another baby Barrel Cactus|
After a short respite we retraced our steps and had one of the most interesting encounters we've ever had in our countless years of hiking in the desert Southwest: we came upon a newborn Western Diamondback Rattlesnake in the middle of LDR-A. The Heelers and I had passed it by when Dr. K called the rattler to my attention. It hadn't moved at all, and, wondering if it was alive, I kicked a little sand in its direction. The tiny, but dangerous, critter began to coil in a defensive posture. I was happy to see it move.
Even though the morning started off a bit cooler with a noticeable breeze things began heating up as we made the steep climb to the higher flatland; up there, though, the breeze refreshed and we happily crossed back over to the waiting CR-V.
|Ocotillos in the hills and the Organ Mountains|
|Southernmost east/west dirt road|
|The long and winding road|
|This and the next 2: same 15' Ocotillo|
|Dr. K giving Willow a treat|
|Willow and Frio|
|Dead tree and bouquets|
|Barrel and Ocotillo|
|This and the next: inside Second Arroyo|
|This and the next 4: newborn Western Diamondback |
|Keratin "nub" at end of tail|
|Starting to coil|
|This and the last: Stingleaf (Cevallia sinuata)|