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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Over the Hump

Getting started on Tortugas Mountain's west side
Becca and I bushwhacked over to an enormously tall Soaptree Yucca which we've noticed countless times before, but had never approached.  As you can see from the images it's somewhere between thirteen and fifteen feet.  While there we were treated to the beautiful song of the Scott's Oriole who was, at first, eating Ocotillo flowers.  He then flew into the top of the yucca where he sat singing for a few minutes more.  On the way back we ran into our friend, Jimmy, who invited us to hike with him in Valles Canyon on Friday.
Bright green Mesquite Trees in an arroyo

Rugged western slope of the mountain

Doing her favorite thing:  hiking

Yucca fruit and jet contrail

Tallest Soaptree Yucca

Scott's Oriole getting ready to eat Ocotillo flowers

Scott's Oriole flew into the Soaptree Yucca crown

Peeking out

This yucca is 13-to-15 feet tall

Rolling desert scene

New growth on a Prickly Pear Cactus pad

Soaptree Yuccas are beginning to send up their flower stalks

Soon to be flowers

The delicate flower of Mormon Tea


Dr. K said...

I wish I could hear the song of the Scott's oriole. I know how pretty it is.

Scott said...

Mormon Tea's blossom looks like a rose (at least in your image). I thought we were going to be treated to the Scott's Oriole song in a video clip! No orioles (neither Baltimore nor Orchard) here yet, but I have my office window open and will be attuned to their song as soon as they arrive. Most of "my" winter birds have migrated northward now (a good sign), but a few White-throated Sparrows are still hanging around my feeder; they're going to miss out on the best nesting territories!

packrat said...

We have White-throated Sparrows here in southern New Mexico, Scott, as well as Black-throated Sparrows. Doubt you'll see the latter in your neck of the woods.


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 ...