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Monday, August 31, 2015

Dragonfly Flew

Butterfly on flowers in our yard
It was 63 F when Becca and I left for our hike this morning, a pleasantly cooler start for a Monday in summer.  Surprisingly, there were a lot of outdoor enthusiasts on the trails, and we encountered several mountain bikers as well as seeing several others out in the desert.  Can't blame people for wanting to enjoy the natural world during a break in the oppressive heat. We've been way above normal for this time of year.

Just west of the Sunset Area parking lot

Bunny action shot

Into the foothills

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

On the move

Out of the foothills

Old Soaptree Yucca

The face of this dragonfly reminds me of Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day of Few Pics

Becca spots two mountain bikers
Dr. K and I were chatting, observing other outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the pleasant morning weather, watching Becca going from smell to smell along the trail, and just being too preoccupied to bother with photography.  Besides, nothing noteworthy drew my attention; and, as a result, we have a blog with only three images.  Apologies to my thousands of loyal followers. :)
How green is our desert?

East side of Tortugas heading north

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Heading East

Tortugas Mountain's northern flank
It was so crowded on the western side of the mountain this morning--there was some kind of event going on--that Becca and I headed over to the Monte Vista area on Tortugas Mountain's east side.  Only two cars were in the parking lot there.  We encountered a couple of runners, saw a few mountain bikers and hikers at a distance, but the east side of the mountain was relatively uncrowded.  That allowed Becca and I to take a long trek in the natural world uninterrupted by the presence of Homo sapiens sapiens.
Dynamic clouds

Phone-booth-sized boulder

On the trail behind the mountain

Classic pose

Yucca and the Organ Mountains

Pretty large Mule Deer prints east of the mountain

Beetles on an Acacia flower

The Tortoise from the east

Doña Ana Mountains

To the east heading north

Steep northern slope

The Lone Yucca

Friday, August 28, 2015

Somebody's Watching Us

Deep shadows on Tortugas's west side
The weather was pleasant for a moderately-long hike this morning.  Although it felt somewhat humid there was a nice breeze to provide evaporative cooling.  We crossed paths with a Roadrunner who was out on a breakfast hunt.  He must have been eyeing something nearby because he didn't scurry off when we approached.  On the Crosscut Trail I got the feeling that we were being watched, and when I turned I saw a full-grown Coyote (Canis latrans), monitoring our movement.  He took off just as soon as I took my first photo of him.  Being the dog lover I am I could tell he wasn't very worried about us--just curious.
Walking along the ridge

Yucca shadow with my arms (got a Mickey Mouse image going there)

Becca in said shadow

Sun highlighting Ocotillos

Light pouring over the mountain

Rugged western slope of the Tortoise

Roadrunner knows we're here

Angling for a better look

Getting an eyeful

Bird in a bush

Coming out for closer inspection

Swiping beak on rock

It's what Roadrunners do (check out those feet)

Dang!  I miss that bird already

I felt this Coyote's gaze before I turned to see him

He didn't stay for long

We've seen quite a few riders this summer 

Heading over the hill

Waiting in the shade

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Home Boy

A true watchdog
Because I had an early-morning appointment for a teeth cleaning Dr. K took Becca on a morning jaunt west of Tortugas Mountain.  So in keeping with my every-day posting on the blog I thought I'd put up some photos from around our hacienda.  That lattice panel was torn down by a strong wind, and I've already had some difficulties in trying to replace it.  Did you know that Home Depot doesn't cut wood for customers any longer?  I'll have to buy a 4' X 8' panel and cut it myself.  A friend told me that Home Depot and Lowe's don't provide that service because of insurance concerns.
How difficult will this be for me to repair?

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

Desert Willow flowers

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Walking Stick Cholla

The Hedgehog Cactus Caroline gave us

I'm going to have to trim back this Cholla even more

Our Ocotillo (center) is still leafy

A Nice Bushwhack

Mourning Dove on nest in our backyard We didn't plan on it when we set off on our hike this morning, but we did a fairly long bushwhack ...