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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Right Outside Cloudcroft

The very beginning of the Osha Trail
We did a leisurely hike on the Osha Trail this morning, reveling in the cool morning temperatures.  We saw only three other hikers while we did the long outer loop.

This is the first part of today's post.  The following part contains two short videos.
James Geranium (Geranium caespitosum)

Becca spots something

Chokecherries along the Osha Trail

The village of Cloudcroft from the Osha Trail


Evening Primrose

Two's company

The old railroad trestle across Mexican Canyon

Right Outside Cloudcroft II

Monday, July 30, 2012

All Along the Rim Trail

Some type of sunflower
We did a long hike along the Rim Trail this morning, then hit the Ranger Station to pick up a book on wildflowers of the Sacramento Mountains; they didn't have one.  Then we went to the Mountain Mercantile to buy bakery bread.  On the way down the mountain to High Rolls we stopped at the High Rolls General Store for lunchmeat, cheese and water.  A very busy day.  By the time I got around to IDing some of these flowers, I didn't have a lot of energy.  I'm still working on the red flower from several posts ago!
? (Mountain Parsley?)

Sky and trees reflected in a mountain pool

Amongst the pines


Took a lot of force to snap an Aspen of this size

Mile post 1 along the Rim Trail

Sierra Blanca, high point in the Sacramento Mts., 12,003 ft.

Gorgeous white butterfly


Red-Tail Hawk feather

Becca and Packrat


Mr. Raven

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lucas Canyon Trail

Mr. Trickster at work
Before we started off this morning I watched a Coyote eat a mouse.   Becca and I had seen the dead varmint yesterday on our property.  Mr. Coyote almost sauntered by it, but his sense of smell stopped him  in his tracks.  He picked up the mouse, threw it into his mouth by snapping his head back, and proceeded to chomp it up.  The Trickster's motto:  never pass up a free meal.

Later we did a long hike on the lower Lucas Canyon Trail, a trek we'd never done before.  It was gorgeous, and the weather was perfecto!
The trailhead of the lower Lucas Canyon Trail

I believe these are Penstemon Newmexicanus


Cutleaf Coneflowers

Slyrocket (aka Scarlet Gilia)

New Mexico Thistle

A good place to eat trail mix

Old Aspens

The intrepid hikers

On top of a huge pine that was uprooted


The fungus among us

Meadow and mountains

Thistle and Sunflowers

Getting to the root of things

Heading down canyon

One last look back

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Along the Magnificent Grandview

Not a Longhorn skull, but a piece of tree wood
Dr. K, Becca and I got out for an exhilirating hike on the Grandview Trail early this morning.  We had the whole trail to ourselves.  Clouds were building over the mountains, and we were certain that showers would visit the area soon after noon.  So far this afternoon we've had two brief but enthusiastic downpours.  This is one thing we love about being up here:  the mountains make their own weather.
Looking down into Fresnal Canyon

Sacramento Mountains near High Rolls

Becca doing what she loves best:  hiking

Dynamic landscape

Flowers of the Allthorn (aka Crucifixion thorn) bush

Allthorn flower buds

Commander awaits

Not a good sign:  small-caliber bullet holes in a sign near the trailhead

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 ...