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Friday, December 3, 2021

Arroyo Redux

Willow and Frio on the east/west cross trail
While driving along Tobosa on our way to Tellbrook this morning I spotted a coyote that slipped into someone's driveway.  Neither Willow nor Frio saw the critter.

About two-thirds of the way up Left Branch Arroyo I saw a critter stealthily making its way through the underbrush not far from us, but the Heelers didn't spot it; my first impression was "javelina."  Never got a good look at the animal, and never saw it again.

With the exception of a Crissal Thrasher doing its best impression of a mockingbird and a few sparrows and Cactus Wrens we encountered no other desert dwellers on our rewarding trek today.

Crissal Thrasher

Tiny Soaptree Yucca

Way up Left Branch Arroyo

Cactus Wren on a distant Torrey Yucca

Creosote fuzz balls (aka "seeds")

Unknown bird in an adolescent Torrey Yucca

Torrey Yucca sabers

Frio and Willow at rest in Right Branch Arroyo




Hedgehog Cactus and Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear and Hedgehog

Deadwood at the head of Right Branch Arroyo


Thursday, December 2, 2021

As Yesterday, So Today

Clouds at start
We three did the exact same hike as yesterday with one notable exception:  I took 13 fewer photos today.  The morning was beautiful, about 45F at the start of our trek.  We're supposed to warm to a sunny 71F this afternoon.

The Heelers very nearly pulled me off my feet when they lurched at a rapidly departing jackrabbit this morning as we descended the arroyo that parallels LDR-A.  I actually had to run a few feet to stay upright.

I've had large dogs, medium dogs and small dogs over many years, but Frio and Willow are undoubtedly pound-for-pound the strongest dogs I've ever known.  Admittedly I'm a bit less stout now than when I was younger, but these two Heelers are powerful.  Becca was very strong, too, but she was bigger than these two.

Organ Mountains

Stinging Serpent leaves (aka Cervallia sinuata)

This & next:  Tortugas and the Organs

Organ Mountains otra vez

Flank of Tortugas and the Organs

This & next:  morning sky

This & next 2:  deadwood sticks

This & next:  Soaptree Yuccas

Last 2:  Frio and Willow


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Added Features

Three Kings yucca
45F when we started off this morning, 55F when we finished up.  There was a slight wind chill factor, but I never felt chilly despite having only my Marmot PreCip as outerwear.  Willow and Frio definitely weren't cold.

Willow was pulling like crazy, her nose glued to the desert floor like a Hoover on a shag carpet.  Don't know how I'll ever break her of that habit.

We saw quite a few birds out and about today, but no mammalian critters; thankfully no encounters with fleeing jackrabbits.

Although we added the entire length of Right Branch Arroyo after doing Left, I hadn't planned on exiting up the steep hill in the arroyo's head to the upper flatland road, but decided to go that way rather than retracing our route there.  Worked out OK.

Soaptree in a side arroyo


Grassland and the Organs

Dynamic sky

Young Master Yucca

Soaptree and Ocotillo

Hill, flank of Tortugas and the organ Mountains

Willow and Frio in Right Branch Arroyo

This & next 2:  3 versions of same tree

Hill and the Organs

Ocotillos and sky

Ocotillo sky

This & next:  distant views of the Organ Mountains

Prickly Pear Cactus


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Between Yesterday and Today

Lady Ann Mountains
Yesterday I took 15 photos; today I snapped 50.  Not sure why I was in a more photographic mood.  It wasn't because the Heelers were less exuberant.  In fact, during one jackrabbit's mad dash to get away from Willow and Frio they lunged forward, pulling my arms out of the sockets and extending their reach--permanently--by about two inches.

Changed up the route a little this morning; after a trip up Left Branch Arroyo and back we ascended into the upper flatland via LDR instead of LDR-A.  Other than the fleeing hare we saw no other mammalian critters in the outback, but the trees and bushes were filled with tweeting birds--one even sounded like a mockingbird (everybody have your heard?).

Soaptree Yucca and the long view

Tortugas and the Organs

Soaptree closeup

Deadwood in the left branch of the new arroyo

More Soaptrees

Mesquite and Soaptree in Left Branch Arroyo

This & next:  magnificent clouds over a hill

Nut (Frio) to butt (Willow)

Barrel Cactus

La familia "Soaptree"

Big cloud over Tortugas and the Organs

Organ Mountains

Soaptree Yucca and the Organ Mountains


Arroyo Redux

Willow and Frio on the east/west cross trail While driving along Tobosa on our way to Tellbrook this morning I spotted a coyote that slipped...