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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chihuahuan Desert Rain

Today is the second consecutive day that has brought quite a bit of precipitation into our area.  Today, just ten minutes short of reaching the cars after our hike JC, Becca and I started getting rained upon.  The last two minutes saw us making a mad scramble for the vehicles.  In that short period of time we got pretty wet--though not soaked.  It's just let up, but it's been raining on and off pretty steadily all morning.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Rain Break

It was raining this morning when I had to take our Jeep in to be serviced; since I had to leave it Dr. K picked me up.  Fortunately there was a break in the rain so I was able to get Becca out for a normal hike.  We didn't get spit upon at all.  The ground was very wet, though, and quite muddy in places.  I avoid those places; Becca almost never does.  Linked up with JC for the last one-eighth of our trek.  While we were getting ready to leave we saw Jimmy drive up to the Sunset Parking lot.  He was obviously taking advantage of the break, too.
Prickly Pear Cactus

Relying on camouflage

Becca spots the bunny rabbit

Rabbit decides to come out into the open


A wet arroyo, but not running

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Red Sky at Morning

One reason it's called The Land of Enchantment
Red sky at morning
sailors take warning.
Red sky at night
sailors delight.

Learned that meteorological poem when I was a kid; thought about it a lot when I served in the navy.  Thought about it again this morning (for obvious reasons).  The local weatherpersons all suggest we're in for quite a drenching over the next three days.  We'll see how accurate they are.

Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Texas

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Well-traveled road
As we were trekking this morning I was thinking about the time--not so long ago--when I'd carry a Nikon SLR camera with me everywhere I hiked, even on repeated backpacking trips into the Grand Canyon.  I still have that camera, which weighs as much as a bowling ball (slight hyperbole).  I really appreciate the technology that allows me to carry a 10 megapixel FujiFilm camera on our desert peregrinations and lets me take as many photographs as I want without worrying about having to get film developed.
At the base of the Sierra Juarenses mountains in Mexico: a hot-air inversion

Looking back on the road . . .

. . . Becca is headed the other way on

Jet above the Organs

This Roadrunner knows how to dress in camouflage

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Warmup Before Cooldown

One of two Cactus Wrens communicating across a short expanse of desert
It rained a little overnight, and the high humidity and higher temperature made it slightly warm for our hike.  Less than midway through I had to take off my anorak and stow it in the daypack.  Ran into JC and Jimmy, and they were both slightly overdressed as well.  This is a problem that never concerns Becca.

City of the Crosses

Former two-domed observatory

Grand View--Not

Early morning moon A man and woman were just starting down the Bridal Veil Falls Trail when we rolled into the Grand View Trail parking lot....