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Monday, May 16, 2022

Heat Harbinger

First 2:  Klein's Pencil Cactus (Cylindropuntia kleiniae)
When you step out of your vehicle and the air feels really hot you know the day will be quite toasty.  We're slated to reach 98F this afternoon, but I wouldn't be surprised if we hit the century mark.

Willow, Frio and I took many shade breaks during our normal trek, and I was as anxious to get into yucca shadows as the Heelers were.  We saw a few critters out and about during our peregrination, but no humans.

When we drove along the upper flatland road on our way out I had to stop at the intersection with Tellbrook Road to do a little work; I removed and tossed aside 7 or 8 large stones that would have presented difficulty in exiting the dirt road onto the pavement.

This & next 5:  Soaptrees (Yucca elata) are blooming

This & next:  Frio and Willow

First cicada sighting (poor one)

This & next:  Gambel's Quail (male) sentinel

Mormon Tea (female plant)

Last 2:  landscape experiments


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Darling Companions

First 5:  Paramotor glider with trike
Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I did an early morning hike in our section of northern Chihuahuan Desert today.  It was standard fare:  LDR-A arroyo, east/west cross trail, Left, Middle and Right Branch Arroyos, and then up and out.

No drive today because we had to return home early so Dr. K could finish preparing for her trip to Santa Fe:  five days with her good friend, Diane, who flew in from New York City.

I'm on my own with the two Heelers, one of whom--Willow--will sorely miss her favorite companion, Dr. K.  She shouldn't worry, though, because she'll get plenty of love from Frio and me.

This & next 4:  Prickly Pear blossoming

Old and the new

Willow and Frio in the right branch


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Brown Water

Willow and Frio
It was fairly cool this morning when the Heelers and I set off on our daily trek.  On the way down the LDR-A arroyo we encountered a runner heading up LDR-A.  He and I exchanged greetings.

We saw nobody else during our regular hike:  east toward the Organs on the east/west cross trail, up the left branch of the new arroyo, down the middle branch and then up the right branch.

On the way home I stopped to photograph three Century Plants growing close together, and then I made a detour to drive through streets in our neighborhood to see if I could discover the reason for the very brown water that came out of our taps early this morning.  On the southern section of our road and around the corner on another there were obvious signs that utility workers had been busy during the night:  muddy patches where water ran from pipes, construction cones and colored plastic flags marking the location of water pipes.

Long view of Tortugas and the Organs

This & next:  Prickly Pear with buds

Frio and Willow in yucca shade


This & next:  Black-throated Sparrow on Ocotillo branch

Prickly Pear trying to flower

Mesquite branches

Mesquite tree leaves

Almost blossoms of the Prickly Pear

Stopped on the way home to photograph Century Plants

This & next:  Desert Bird of Paradise in our backyard

Mama dove I've been sprinkling every afternoon to stay cool


Friday, May 13, 2022

First Arroyo Refresher

Great hike today.  We headed down LDR, crossed the Tellbrook Arroyo and headed north all the way up to First Arroyo, a trek we haven't made in quite a while.

I felt kind of nostalgic visiting some old friends (desert plants) in that section of northern Chihuahuan Desert.  Both Willow and Frio were more than ready to relax in the shade of a favorite Soaptree Yucca inside the arroyo.  Along the way I had the good fortune of photographing a Lesser Nighthawk who was very cooperative; usually they fly away at the slightest provocation.

After a brief stay in First Arroyo we retraced our steps down to the Tellbrook, crossed over and started up LDR-A before heading eastward on the cross trail that leads to the new arroyo.  We took the right branch of that arroyo and hiked southward to our favorite mesquite, where we rested for a brief time before exiting the arroyo up the steep hill to its west.

Leaning tower of yucca putting up a flower stalk

Frio and Willow heading up LDR

Leaning tower of yucca

Lesser Nighthawk (aka "Nightjar")

This & next:  Frio and Willow at rest in First Arroyo

Haven't seen this Soaptree Yucca in a long while

This & next:  view east up First Arroyo


Westward in First Arroyo

Our favorite shade-producing Soaptree Yucca

Heelers in yucca shadow

This & next:  Soaptree Yuccas


Last two:  blossoming Prickly Pear Cacti


Heat Harbinger

First 2:  Klein's Pencil Cactus ( Cylindropuntia kleiniae ) When you step out of your vehicle and the air feels really hot you know the ...