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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Unpredictable Conditions

Could be Fendler's Ragwort
Dr. K, Becca and I were ready to head out for a hike after an early morning rain, and just as we were about to step outside it began raining again.  As a result we didn't get on the trail (the Grand View for the third day in a row--a record) until 9:30.  We had dressed for what we thought would be a cool and perhaps wet trek (long-sleeve shirts, long trousers [I wore my Marmot PreCip jacket]), but the sun came out and began steaming us.  The humidity, not surprisingly, was incredibly high, and it was one of the most uncomfortable hikes we've ever taken on, arguably, our favorite trail in the High Rolls/Mountain Park area.  We encountered no other hikers during our outing.
Not a steer's head, but a chunk of dead tree

Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi)

Townsend's Solitaire

Tree reflected in water on rock

Smooth Spreading Four O'Clock

Smooth Spreading Four O'Clock

White Sands National Monument from the Grand View Trail

Oscura Mountains, beyond which lies Trinity Site

From the Grand View

Headed down the trail

Apache Plume

A patch of Apache Plume

Another view down the trail

Barren tree, White Sands and the San Andres Mountains

Yet another view of the White Sands

There's a huge white structure in the center left of this photo

Anvil-like clouds

Friday, September 29, 2017

Threat of Rain

View from the window this morning
We were going to head up to Cloudcroft to hike the Osha Trail this morniing, but the likelihood of rain there was high:  80%.  It was 60% here, so we stuck close to home; fortunately we didn't get wet.  We met two dogs we've encountered on the Grand View Trail in the past, both of whom are friendly and get along well with Becca.  We think they belong to people who live on property abutting the Lincoln National Forest.  The dogs accompanied Dr. K, Becca and me for the final mile or so of our morning trek.  One of them (pictured below) seems as if he might be part Chow.
View from the window, slightly different perspective

Young male Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Same Northern Flicker

Plump little Robin?

The "let's get moving" stare

Beyond the mountains lies the Tularosa Basin

View from the pines

Distant line of clouds in front of the San Andres Mountains

Large mass of Apache Plume

What'll be left of White Sands if Ryan Zinke gets his hands on it

Becca makes a friend along the trail

This guy looks part Chow Chow

View of the Sacramento Mountains

Another Sacramento Mountains vista

Railroad ties at the edge of our driveway

The long view

Our place in the mountains

Becca near the Jeep

She's waiting impatiently because she's due a treat

Haynes Canyon

Still looks like rain after our hike

Thursday, September 28, 2017

After the Rain Trek

Rain again this morning
We got a late start on our hike this morning because it was raining again, but we finally got on the Grand View Trail at 9:30 for a trek in beautifully dynamic weather:  cool with partly cloudy skies.  We took our time, and I took 146 photographs--which is simply crazy!  Going through a large number of images and posting on this blog sometimes feels like work; most of the time, though, it's a real pleasure to share photos from our various treks.
Clearing at around 8:30

Becca looking for her buddies

Something's in the air

A bit more blue sky

Conditions are still soggy at the high country hacienda

Some of those clouds are still producing rain

A very wet forest

Northern Flicker?

Becca's buddy showed up, but it was a business trip for Champ

Quite a few of these still blooming in the high country

Tiny spider and raindrops of Mexican Barberry

We had to deal with patches of low clouds on the Grand View Traril

Leader of the pack

Four Wing Saltbush?

A watchful eye

Just another B&W experiment

Trees reflected in water on boulder

My two favorite hiking companions

Just shy of the midway point

The view from 7,000 feet

I believe this is Sulphurflower Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum)

The view down canyon

Smooth Spreading Four O'Clock (Mirabilis Oxybaphoides)

Fendler's Globemallow

Fendler's Globemallow

Grand view on the Grand View

American Robin

Rain on Apache Plume

Soggy Apache Plumes

This way down the trail

Clouds and sun

Fall color on Three-leaf Sumac

Looking down toward the Tularosa Basin

Juniper country

Mesa or butte?

Feather Dalea

Smooth Spreading Four O'Clock

How many Turkey Vultures circling overhead?

I'm going with "Painted Lady"

Again on the Grand View

At the lower trailhead Willow, Frio, Dr. K and I did the Grand View Trail again this morning, hiking nearly all of it today.  We ran into on...