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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Monsoon Season Continues

Sotol with two flower stalks
We're still in the weather pattern called the Monsoon Season, when the jet stream has shifted enough to permit moisture to stream into the Chihuahuan Desert from the Gulf of Mexico.  Our dewpoint (the measure of moisture in the atmosphere) was at 59 degrees this morning--high enough to allow storms to form in late afternoon after a daytime of hot sun.  Dr. K, Becca and I were plenty hot as we did a two-hour hike around Tortugas Mountain this morning, starting from the Monte Vista parking area.  We were not the only nuts out in the desert.
Boulders on the Monte Vista side of the mountain

Heading west behind the mountain

This spot is at the very bottom of the mountain flank in the previous image

Puffy clouds above Tortugas

The further behind the mountain you go the narrower the trail becomes

The area above a rock shelter

Dr. K and Becca take a shade break next to the rock shelter (left)

The outer loop road far northwest of Tortugas

Dr. K in front of a huge Ocotillo

Becca and Packrat in the same spot

In a sandy arroyo bottom

Barrel Cactus beginning to bloom

A bee collecting pollen in one of the flowers

A small Barrel Cactus blossoming

The cactus soon will produce fruit

3 comments:

Scott said...

I'm checking out "Desert Packrat" on my iPad today. Either the Retina display on the iPad makes your images look even better than usual, or you've taken some really striking shots today, Packat. Maybe I should use my iPad all the time!

Dr. K said...

We were happy to return to the air conditioned car today.

packrat said...

I've long suspected that you weren't using the proper device to view my masterpieces, Scott.

:)

Thanks.

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 ...