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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Magical Morn

Yesterday's early-evening rainbow (after the gully washer)
About 6:20 last night it started raining hard, and I said to Dr. K, "If it's raining this hard in the mountains our arroyo will be flooding soon."  A few moments later we saw the water surging from east to west down the normally dry "wash."  The images below show just how hard the water ran.

This morning the dewpoint was 62 degrees when Becca and I set off for our morning hike, and the humidity was thick.  I was hoping we could get in a moderately-long trek without getting wet, but conditions were threatening.  We'd hiked just over a mile when we heard a Coyote chorus in the near distance, three or four individuals yelping, barking and howling at one another.  The cacophony seemed to be getting closer, and I was hoping we'd get a chance to see them when a young Red-tailed Hawk suddenly made an appearance, landing in a yucca not far from us.  He was hunting for breakfast, and he didn't seem particularly perturbed by our presence; in fact, at one moment, when he made several flybys he swooped down within ten feet of Becca to check her out.  Later, after we'd trekked about a quarter mile from the spot we'd first seen him he made another appearance, and he perched on a Soaptree Yucca stalk while I cautiously approached.  Altogether I must have taken 30 photos of him before he took off for good.

There was evidence of heavy rainfall all over to the west of Tortugas, most notably on the single-track trail that drops out of the high foothills to the lower desert.  This is a track used frequently by mountain bikers, but this morning I hoped none would venture down that path because it was badly damaged by the storm, pocked by huge sinkholes that lined the track.
Things are looking pretty iffy at the start of our hike this morning

Partial rainbow over the Robledo Mountains

Practice poles at the lineman school

Rain on the horizon

Dynamic sky over Tortugas

Cresting at the high foothills

Becca staring down in the direction of a Coyote cacophony

It sounds like three or four Coyotes nearby

This Red-tailed Hawk landed in a yucca close to us

Looking for breakfast

The raptor seemed unperturbed by us

I thought we'd seen the last of the hawk

But it returned to the same yucca

Alert for prey

Sky to the northwest

Heading northwest

Looking like storms over the Organ Mountains

Becca and I still hear the Coyotes who seem to be approaching

The Red-tailed Hawk seemed to be following us

A first for me:  hummingbird and hawk

What a magnificent creature; a young male, I'd say

One last look in the direction of the Coyotes

Yesterday's cloudburst created many muddy bogs in the desert

Another first:  Becca and hawk
This guy can't seem to get enough of us

Perched at the tip of a Soaptree Yucca stalk

Gorgeous markings

Wet sandy road to the west

Uh oh--the wind just shifted in from that direction

Will we get home before getting wet?

The village of Talavera at the foot of the Organ Mountains

We didn't see the Coyotes, but we saw evidence of them

Wet arroyo west of Tortugas

Barrel Cactus still in bloom

Organ Mountains

Yesterday's deluge tore up the single-track trail

This hole is 2-feet long, a foot wide and several feet deep

Heading back to the trailhead

The damage at the side of our road from heavy rain running down the arroyo

You can see how hard the water flowed

Heavy runoff in "our" arroyo, our property at left

Our property at right of the arroyo

Looking east to Tortugas Mountain

Home in the desert

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Excellent photos all around, especially of the red-tail hawk. That storm was HUGE.

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