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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blossoming Desert

Late bloomer
An early-morning April hike in the northern Chihuahuan Desert reveals many of the signs of springtime:  Torrey Yuccas sending up their flower stalks; songbirds reconnoitering their territory for an easy insect breakfast; Ocotillo blossoms sprouting on slender, thorny wands; flowers of the Velvety Nerisyrenia carpeting the desert floor; and Turkey Vultures circling overhead, earnestly praying that you and your companion will stumble and fall while crossing this arid land.
Just becoming flowers

A different late bloomer

Torrey Yucca flowers emerging

The city of Las Cruces, New Mexico and Picacho Peak

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Contrail-laden sky over the Organ Mountains

Scott's Oriole

A large arroyo west of Tortugas (Tortoise) Mountain

A small Mesquite Tree leafing out

Long dirt road across the desert

The Tortoise (left) and the Organ Mountains

Flower of the Ocotillo (Oh-ko-TEA-yo)

A member of the Mustard family:  Velvety Nerisyrenia

Ocotillo (aka "buggy whip") in bloom

Turkey Vulture

Distinctive markings of the Turkey Vulture


Scott said...

Our "mustards," only a few of which are native, are nowhere to be seen, not like your beautiful Velvety Nerisyrenia.

packrat said...

They are beautiful, Scott; they bloom early, and they last through a good bit of the summer.

Jenny-B said...

Haven't stopped by in a while - but your Autho post reminded me that I should. Beautiful pictures, as always. I think I'd like the desert - at least, the parts that you share.

packrat said...

Hey, thanks Jennifer! Glad you stopped by.


Dr. K said...

Despite its name, the turkey vulture is an impressive creature.

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