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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cool Mountain Shadow

Flowers still bloom on the mountain's west side.

Flora on Tortugas's steep western flank.

On the cool side of the mountain.

Chihuahuan Sage in bloom.

Part of the steep trail up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Howdy From HIDRI

We're in the process of opening the High Desert Research Institute (HIDRI), and today's photos come from our research outing on the Grandview Trail. Juniper and Pinyon Pine punctuate this section of the trail.

The high rolls that give High Rolls, New Mexico its name.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Morning on the Sunset Side

Hiking in the shadow of Tortugas early in the morning.

The sunshine breaks over the mountain shadow below.
The sun bathes almost every section of the mountain's western face.

Ocotillos are still leafy.

Desert Marigolds still in bloom.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Surprisingly Hot Day

It was pretty hot when Research Associate Becca, Dr. K and I hiked the Monte Vista side of Tortugas Mountain this morning--surprisingly so for this late in September. But we saw some local color.

We took a shade break (at least Becca did) in a small arroyo.

Dr. K was extremely chipper--almost chipmunkisly so.

More local color.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Along the North Face

A giant Yucca stands on the steep north face of Tortugas Mountain.

Trailing Four O'clock still bloom on the mountain's flank.

Blooming, too, a beautiful Desert Poppy.

But the true flower of the desert is . . .

The jagged Organ Mountains on the eastern horizon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quick Jaunt

Sun and shadow on the mountain's west side.

Closeup of Ocotillo leaves--still green in late September.

A stand of Yuccas in the Tortugas Mountain foothills.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Exploring the Monte Vista Side

A Loggerhead Shrike surveys the territory from the top of a boulder.

Clouds over the eastern face of Tortugas.

Clouds over the Franklin Mountains.

Ocotillo and Organs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Desert Romp

Who has the most fun on our desert hikes?

Where's Becca in this desert jungle?

Giant Yucca.

The Franklin Mountains near El Paso.

A plump Devil's Head.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

High Rolls Research

Along the Grandview Trail outside of High Rolls, New Mexico.

Red-Tailed Hawk over the trail.

Spectacular terrain in the high desert.
Becca revelled in the cooler temperatures, in the high 40s when we started out.

Three young mule deer crossing Fresnal Canyon Road.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Few Photos More

Virga over the Organs.

Tortugas's funny shape.

The road to the Organs.

Cloudy Start

Clouds over the Organ Mountains.

Heading south around Tortugas Mountain, dark skies ahead.

The flank of the mountain, the Portillos in the distance.

Tortugas in light and shadow.

The intrepid explorer, Becca.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Humid Hike

We got a lot of rain last night, and the air was thick with humidity this morning. Things are still pretty lush in the desert. Here's Dr. K in the Outback.

The old observatory on Tortugas Mountain against a turquoise sky.

Arachnid architecture.

Ocotillos on a rocky slope.

The new observatory on the mountain.

Hump Day Hawk

Tortugas and the Organs We got a fairly early start this morning so it wasn't hot at all:  62F.  The cloud cover helped the temperature ...