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Friday, March 31, 2017

Fixing to Get Ugly

Artsy bouquet of Ocotillo buds
Becca and I were able to get in a moderately-long trek west of Tortugas Mountain before the heavy winds started, though now, in the late morning, they've picked up strongly.  We're supposed to have gusts of 55 to 60 mph, which, when you live in the desert, spells nothing but a very ugly atmosphere.  Soon enough it won't be possible to leave doors or windows open to take advantage of the warm temperature.
What does Becca spot ahead of us on the trail?

I've heard it tastes like chicken

You're not going to let her eat me, are you?

Littleleaf Ratany

Black-throated Sparrow

Ocotillo flowers

Scaled Quail

Look at that hairdo

Beautiful quail

Obviously this Scaled Quail sat for quite a while

Scaled Quail

Ready to leave


Yucca flower buds

Yucca flowers

This time Becca spots a runner on a desert trail

Precursor of the coming dust storm

Spotting something while having a lie-down

Becca was extra alert this morning

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bird and Blossom Bonanza

Ocotillo flowers
Becca and I did a long hike into the outback west of Tortugas Mountain this morning, and we found abundant birds and flowers out and about in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.  Don't know why I'm having so much trouble identifying the hummingbird pictured below, but I can't find a representative picture of it in my reference books nor on the internet.  The most infuriating thing is that I'm certain I've ID'd this hummer in the past.
Ocotillo flowers

A Chipping Sparrow, perhaps?

Enjoying Ocotillo buds

Could be a Chipping Sparrow

Bicolor Fanmustard

Scott's Oriole

Curve-billed Thrasher on Yucca flower stalk

Curve-billed Thrasher has an incredibly beautiful song

Scott's Oriole rear biew

White-winged Dove

Same Dove

Avian dart (possibly Broad-tailed Hummingbird)

How to relax in an arroyo

Having trouble IDing this hummer

Same hummer

Down the arroyo

Mesquite leafing out

How to find shade

Closeup of a Claret Cup

Ocotillo leafing out

Pale Evening Primrose

Pale Evening Primrose

Pale Evening Primrose

Yucca flowers

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More Like Normal

Trekking along the west side of Tortugas in the early morning
Long-sleeve shirt, light vest and a Marmot PreCip jacket on top, long trousers on bottom:  that's what I wore out to the desert this morning because of the change in the weather.  Becca and I did get sprinkled on during our trek west of Tortugas Mountain, but the rainfall was extremely light and sporadic.  There was nobody out there when we started off, and only a few people at finish.  We had a nice long hike under conditions that were much more normal for this time of year.  We're only going to hit 66F today for a much-needed change.
Passing glance from a Desert Cottontail

Becca spots Pepper and the gang on Geothermal Road

Threatening sky at start

Heading for higher ground

Across the Mesilla Valley to the Potrillos

Parry's Agave stalk has grown several feet in a few days

Gap between New Mexico (left) and Texas

Gap between Texas (left) and Mexico

Tip of the Parry's Agave stalk

Ocotillo flowers

Roadrunner foraging for breakfast

Becca and I got sprinkled upon this morning

Sunlight on dynamic clouds


Particularly sandy section of the desert

White-winged Dove

Yucca flowers

Waiting on the photographer

Dirt road through the desert

White Evening Primrose

Soaptree Yucca with a spiral stalk

Chihuahuan Desert scene

Can't seem to stop photographing Claret Cups

There's a dusting of snow up there

More Claret Cups

Somebody's been eating yucca flowers

Ocotillo flowers

Spring in the desert

Some type of daisy or Rose Heath?

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...