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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cold Snap!

Above a deep arroyo west of Tortugas Mountain
The big winds yesterday blew in quite a cold front; it was 36 F when Becca and I set off this morning.  Good thing there was only a breeze during our hike.  Once we got out of the shadow of the mountain and into the sun things warmed up nicely.  We ran into one jogger who pulled up short when he caught a glimpse Becca flashing across the trail ahead of him.  He said he didn't see me at first.  "I saw your dog," he said, "and I thought 'What the heck was that?'" Becca wore a mischievous smile on her face, and I had to warn her against scaring joggers like that.
Yuccas just west of the mountain slope

Small Yucca forest west of Tortugas

Torrey Yucca flowers

Keeping a watchful eye

Rolling desert

On the Crosscut Trail

At least 50 flowers on this old Ocotillo

Military vehicles on the road to Centennial High School


Scott said...

Packrat: It's been raining all day today (Tuesday) and we're supposed to dip a bit below freezing tonight--which only makes sense because the star magnolias planted around my house are in full and fabulous bloom and the frost will put a quick end to the show. This exact scenario (of a frost occurring during peak bloom) occurs four years out of five, so it's what I expect. While the magnolias survive just fine, they are actually planted too far north and suffer this loss of flowers more often than not.

packrat said...

I hate when that happens, Scott. Once in a while it occurs in the desert, too, and I lament the disappearance of beautiful blossoms. Here's something that bothers me a lot: when our Desert Willow has completely flowered and the strong spring winds come along to denude it. But the flower petals on the ground are a cornucopia of delight for desert cottontails and jackrabbits who literally feast on the delicacies.

Scott said...

Same sort of thing (your willow windthrow bounty) occurred this winter here. As you know, we had a very challenging winter with lots of snow that prevented the deer and rabbits from gaining access to food, most of which was buried deeply under the white stuff. But, the early February ice storm brought down lots of tree branches (especially pine boughs), and the deer feasted. It may have been the only thing that got them through the winter (where they didn't have access to birdseed).

Dr. K said...

So what were those military vehicles doing there, I wonder.

packrat said...

Scott: At least the February ice storm was good for something, and if it got the deer through the winter, Bravo!

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