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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beautiful Morning on Sierra Norte

Getting started on the Sierra Norte Trail
Dr. K, Becca and I did a long trek on the Sierra Norte Trail this morning, and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  It was a bit windy, but we appreciated the wind on the way back because the temperature climbed quite rapidly as soon as the sun broke through the clouds.  Our predicted high for today is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Hard to believe it's mid-December.  I went haywire on our outing and took 179 photos.  I've got to try to cut down on the images because I'm beginning to create extra work for myself.  Nevertheless, a fun time was had by all.
Chipping Sparrow?

Soledad Rocks mostly in shadow

Dr. K and Becca getting way ahead of me

Sunshine filtering in

High grassland

Tortugas Mountain (center), where Becca and I hike daily

Former flowers

High altitude winds

The rugged Organ Mountains

At home in the high country

Wind is moving the clouds about

Hard way to hike

A single Sotol

Something of a pyramid

Hard country in which to bushwhack

What does Becca see around the bend in the trail?
Becca sees a small herd of Mule Deer

Mule Deer does

They're very curious about us

I'm using a telephoto lens so they're not overly concerned

Fine specimens

Three younger does

Long way to the Organs

Becca sniffing the way ahead

Aurora-like clouds

We three

Contrail-like clouds

Mountain biking a high grassland

Sierra Norte Trail

Odd-looking outcrop

Sotol with two stalks
A large arroyo runs beside the outcrop

Many grasses in this high desert

Working our way up to a plateau

Got to love these clouds

Lots of grassland between here and the Organ Mountains

Finally reaching higher ground

On the plateau west of the mountains many Barrel Cacti grow

Ready for reproduction

Dr. K

High country arroyo

That tree

Becca is thoroughly into exploring

We have to keep an eye on her wanderings

Liken' this lichen

Trees near the arroyo alongside the outcrop

A pretty wide arroyo

Heading back to higher ground

Jetting over the desert

Just a mile to the trailhead now

Soledad Rocks

More rocks

We have lift-off

Our coach awaits

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

This is such a beautiful trail, and very diverse with its outcroppings, tall grass, and different varieties of cactus. Your photos do it justice, Packrat.

Hump Day Hawk

Tortugas and the Organs We got a fairly early start this morning so it wasn't hot at all:  62F.  The cloud cover helped the temperature ...