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Friday, December 31, 2010

Frigid Day

Dark clouds over the Organ Mountains
We had to cut our morning hike short because of the raw winter weather.  It would have been fine without the wind, but the "hawk" made it feel brutal out there.  We probably did less than a quarter of the hike we regularly do.  I was glad to get out of the elements.
A sprinkling of snow on the mountains

Dark clouds may mean business

Cold winter scene in the desert

Becca was too preoccupied to be cold

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Short Hike

The new observatory atop Tortugas Mountain
We took a quick hike because of several factors:  Packrat wasn't feeling great, and the wind was threatening to grow even stronger.  Nevertheless, we still had a good time--especially the canid.
High winds aloft make lenticular clouds

A happy dog freely roaming the desert

Clouds over Tortugas

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enchanted Skies

Though technically not part of the Big Sky region of the United States, the skies over The Land of Enchantment (New Mexico) can look pretty big at times.  No use captioning these photos when the subject of each is the same:  the stunning skies over southern New Mexico.

The Sprung Pooch

A very happy hiker
Got her out of jail this morning (along with George).  You never saw two happier animals.  Five days in the kennel are five days too long.

Monday, December 27, 2010

From the Mojave to the Chihuahuan Desert

Jet contrails over Tortugas Mountain
After a short trip to Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert, we're back in the Chihuahuan Desert around Tortugas (Tortoise) Mountain.  Only Dr. K and I did the hike, though, because George and Becca have yet to be sprung from the kennel.  The weather in both deserts was about the same during the days--about 55 degrees F.  Different lows, though.  In Las Vegas it was in the low 40s.  Las Cruces was 30 F last night.

Trail along the foothills

Clouds and contrails over the Organ Mountains

Where Tortugas and the Organs seem to meet

Lines in the desert

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Vegas Christmas II

The Forum, Ceasar's Palace
A few more photos of the sights and sounds of Las Vegas.  Okay, not the sounds, but take my word for it--it was noisy.
Above The Forum, Ceasar's Palace

Gay Paree?  No, Las Vegas

The Eiffel Tower Bar & Grille

The Arc de Triomphe

Lobby, The Continental

The Luxor

New York, New York

Back to the gondola ride

A Very Vegas Christmas

Gondola rides near The Venetian
Dr. K and I took a break and spent Christmas in Las Vegas, where we did a little sightseeing and took in the show "The Jersey Boys."  Can't say what else we did because "What happens in Vegas . . . ."
The theater where we saw the Jersey Boys

Dr. K relaxes in her suite at The Venetian

Ceiling in The Venetian

The Venetian's marble hallway

Near the Venezia Garden in The Venetian

The main lobby of The Venetian

Typical Italian scene--in Las Vegas

Where we stayed in Vegas

The Mirage

Statues in Ceasar's Palace

Spectacular Forum Shops area of Ceasar's Palace

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bad Air

Starting off on Tortugas's sunset side
Because it's been so warm here in the northern Chihuahuan Desert a temperature inversion has spread over the mountains, a gray haze that's a combination of particulate matter and pollution.  It doesn't happen often here, but it's unpleasant when it does.
Bad air has spilled out of the valley

Everything has a slightly gray tinge

Bad air doesn't bother Becca

A haze over the Organ Mountains

First Workweek Hike

Wilster Saving grace out there this morning was a constant breeze; it kept the temperature from feeling as bad as it actually was. We altere...