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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hurry Up and Wait

In the shadow of Tortugas
Becca and I got a little earlier start this morning so it didn't feel quite as hot.  Temperatures are supposed to drop in a few days accompanied by a greater chance of rain.  We need the rain, but I've tired of the excess humidity, too.  We saw a few other people out in the desert today, but we didn't run into anybody.  I, for one, will be really happy when the weather breaks and we get some cooler fall days here.
The place where sun and shade intersect

Another picture?

Let's get going

I can't see anything (oh, I have my eyes closed)

West of the Tortoise



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Still Too Hot!

Pinacate Beetle (aka "stink bug" because of malodorous spray it emits)
I'm tired of complaining about this heat, but come on!  Yesterday we were 13 degrees above normal for this time of year.  There's good news, though:  temperatures in the high 70s by the weekend.  Our buddy, Jimmy, was coming down the mountain when Becca and I were about a mile from the trailhead.  We waited for him, and we all hiked together back to the parking area.  It was nice to see Jimmy, who we haven't run into for quite a while. 
Pinacate Beetles are members of the genus Eleodes (Greek for "olivelike")

Heading into the foothills yet again

The high foothills trail

Becca heading back toward the mountain

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nothing to See Here

Trying to imagine a scenario for this find (who's flossing while hiking?)
This morning's hike was pretty uneventful.  Fortunately the temperature was still cool; but we're headed for a high of 96 F--amazingly hot for this time of year.  It looks like we'll be in the nineties for the remainder of the week.  I knew we'd have another heatwave before fall really got into swing, but I didn't think it would be this brutal.  I'm calling it a result of global climate change even if I can't prove it.

Last image here:  my failed attempt at a time-lapse photo of last night's super blood moon.
Not into the sun yet

Full sun now

Single-track into the low desert

This fleeing Jackrabbit . . .

. . . is what Becca is staring at here

Driving to the top

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mountain Weather

Double rainbow
You've got to love the mountains and their unpredictable weather.  With 0% chance of precipitation yesterday it started to rain fairly hard in the late afternoon, producing the double rainbow you see in the first two images.  The rain lasted for a little over an hour, muddying things up just enough to force us to step cautiously on our morning hike along the Grand View Trail.  The rain had a residual effect, too, leaving enough moisture in the air to make for a humid, uncomfortable hike today.  The extra precipitation has had a positive effect as well, bringing out more insects for birds to feed on.  This morning we saw more birds on our property than we've seen in the past five years.
Rainbow's end: our pump house (though I found no gold inside)

Becca looking for her buddies

Where are they?

Vista from the Grand View, a New Mexico rails-to-trails trail

One of Becca's favorites

White Sands National Monument

Midpoint ramada

The very high desert

Heading down the Grand View Trail

Shady respite

Heading back

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Trail to the Falls

Beginning of fall in the high country
We did a two-hour-ten-minute hike on the Bridal Veil Falls Trail early this morning, returned for lunch, then drove down to Alamogordo to pick up new hard-wired fire alarms/smoke detectors at Lowe's.  Drove back up to our place in High Rolls and spent an hour or so installing the new alarms.  Didn't have very much trouble, but nothing ever goes according to plan; any person who's ever worked on a car knows that a job that is supposed to take one hour will usually take three.  Late afternoon in the high country now, and I'm just off to feed Becca her evening meal.
Apache Plume flower

Undignified way to take a break

Becca and Dr. K

Apache Plume flower and friends

Soaptree Yuccas and Junipers

Bridal Veil Falls

Becca and Dr. K at the ramada near the falls

Casting a long shadow

Cottonwoods on the banks of Fresnal Creek

Last of the Prickly Poppies

Plumes of the Apache Plume


Becca spotted this guy from 75 yards away

Into the canyon

Down the trail on a beautiful fall morning

Friday, September 25, 2015

Heading for High Rolls

Covering familiar ground
Becca and I did a short hike in the lower Chihuahuan Desert this morning before returning home, finishing packing for the weekend, and heading to High Rolls with Dr. K.  We've been here about five hours now, and I'm just getting around to posting this because, in addition to a few chores around here, I had to deal with a beeping smoke detector by replacing the 9V battery in it.  Unfortunately, the damned thing keeps beeping, which means I'm probably going to have to replace the smoke detector upstairs as well as the one downstairs.  What fun!
Desert Cottontail

From here to there


Nobody has claimed these lost glasses

Diving seal?

Becca spots a mountain biker

Just west of the Tortoise

Dynamic sky

Up at our place in the high country

Enter here (through the mud room)

Looking toward Haynes Canyon

Sunny, cool day in the mountains

Heading up our private road

Where the power comes from

Looking toward Apache Point

Flowers along our drive

Becca near our small tree (over 10' now)

High country in Haynes Canyon

Yellow bouquet

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 ...