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Wednesday, October 26, 2016


In the lower desert west of Tortugas
Becca and I were out early this morning, trekking west of Tortugas Mountain.  Despite a persistent breeze it felt rather warm in the desert, about 10 to 12 degrees above normal for this time of year.  In one of the major arroyos that drains out of the west side of the mountain I saw a lot of plants ready to broadcast seeds in order to reproduce themselves.  My memory might be failing me in old age, but I can't recall there being this many plants distributing seeds at the same time last year.  Owing to abundant rainfall there have simply been greater numbers of plants that have grown successfully through spring and summer, and, therefore, a larger number that are propagating this fall.
Pushing further west

A look back at the mountain

Ready to broadcast seeds

Not sure what this plant is

Almost looks like a type of Winterfat

Must ID this plant

Heading west in an arroyo

This is the arroyo we've come down

The arroyo has abundant flora

Another plant to ID

Pods of Climbing Milkweed

Climbing Milkweed seeds about to take flight

Speaking of flight:  sparrows on Soaptree Yucca stalks

Becca the explorer

More Barrel Cactus fruit

Looking back at Tortugas Mountain (the "tortoise" or the "turtle")

Jackson Pollock weeds

The desert is pretty green for late October

Former air bubbles in molten rock?

This dead tree is not as big as it looks (perhaps 5 feet tall)

Tortugas and the Organs

View through nearly leafless Ocotillo branches

Distant mountains

Becca's eyesight is incredible (see red circle at center)

These are the two people Becca spotted from great distance

We've run across this shrunken head before

Bushwhacking in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

Just waiting for the proper gust of wind

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

That shrunken head seems very appropriate for Halloween. All of these photos show how much life there is in the desert, if you just look closely.

Bushwhack or Not to Bushwhack

1st 2:  this morning's moon Another morning doing our regular hike, this time with added distance; we bushwhacked out of the left branch...