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Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer in the Mountains

House Finch on our property
Dr. K and I decided we couldn't stand another day of muddy hiking so we opted for a dry hike on the Grand View Trail.  Becca didn't care one way or the other.  Fortunately there was a persistent cool breeze during our trek, and we only began to overheat when we were nearly finished.  We didn't encounter any other outdoor enthusiasts this morning, but we did chance upon some fauna worth photographing.  Of course I think almost everything is worthy of at least one image.
View into the Tularosa Basin, Trinity Site beyond far center mountains

Recent rains  have been good for the flora

Dead tree sculpture

Large stand of Mormon Tea

Shinto shrine?  No, telephone poles


Through the cut

White Sands on the horizon

New Mexico Whiptail Lizard

The Lincoln National Forest near High Rolls/Mountain Park

Looking for wildlife

Heading down the trail

The flower stalk of a young Sotol

Tiny ears of corn?  No, new blooms on a Sotol

Tree skeletons

High country above White Sands

Sotol putting up a new flower stalk (right)

Spotted Towhee singing its lungs out

You looking at me?

This is my best side

Resting in shade from the ramada

Dr. K looking at Becca

Vista from the ramada on the Grand View Trail

Down canyon to White Sands National Monument (275 sq. miles of gypsum)

Headed back to the trailhead


Dr. K said...

No matter how often we hike this trail, there are always new things we never noticed before.

Scott said...

Packrat: The Rufous-sided Towhee has been relegated to the ornithological midden pile; the bird is now known as the Eastern Towhee. The towhee in your images is the Spotted Towhee.

Does Becca chase lizards, or are they too small/too common for her to bother with?

packrat said...

Scott: Regarding your comment on the Rufous-sided Towhee, I did notice that on the Cornell website, but the Spotted Towhee sounds available there were not the same as the bird I photographed. But when I googled "Rufous-sided Towhee" several YouTube videos of the bird came up, and the song was that of the bird I documented. I'll go with "Spotted Towhee," though, because I trust your judgment.

Becca will still chase a lizard, but not nearly as enthusiastically as when she was a pup.

packrat said...

Scott: Just visited the Audubon site and they provide more song audios from which to select, and, indeed, #3 is the song of the Towhee we encountered. Spotted Towhee it is! Thanks.


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