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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Searching for Oryx

We're taking the right branch
Dr. K, Becca and I got started on our hike into Soledad and Bar Canyons at exactly eight this morning.  A colleague of Dr. K had mentioned seeing two Oryx Gazelles in the grassland interior, and we were hoping to spot a few.  No such luck.  First, they're highly elusive animals and, second, there were quite a number of outdoor enthusiasts taking advantage of the beautiful weather in the desert.  We were fortunate in that we finished a nearly two-hour trek before the wind got started.  We're under a high wind warning from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 tonight. 
Sagebrush or Brewer's Sparrow?

Moon over the cliffs

Becca and Dr. K

Crazy clouds behind the Organ Mountains

Large pile of deer scat

Chimney Rock

What's in that Sotol stalk?

Unusual item at left

Appears to be a hummingbird nest

Claret Cups in bloom

Check out the sun through the cloud

The cloud in the above image kept us in shade for half of the hike

Down canyon

Heading up

Becca sees hikers way down in the canyon

We're getting to the upper elevation of the loop trail

Leafless tree

Tree with leaves

Scott's Oriole on an old Sotol flower stalk

Beautiful morning in Soledad Canyon

Massive outcrop

Sotol in the foreground

We've never seen so many green Sotols in this spot before

What Becca spotted way up the mountain (lower left quadrant)

There was a small herd of them moseying along

Mother and child Mule Deer

There were eight or ten of them

Check out those ears!

Lots of grass for grazing

Get your butt out of my face

Down this way?

Doe and young doe
Tried to keep an eye on these two

Wonder how many shots I took of these deer?

Looking and browsing

Through here

Across a small gully

Look at all those Sotols

The Mule Deer were three-quarters of the way to the massive outcrop

Closeup look at the Sotols

Some Sotols have old flower stalks

Some Sotols have new flower stalks

Sotol stalks sticking up all over

Sotols on the steep bank of the mountain

I'm barely in shadow here

A little closer look

This grass if the reason Oryx have been spotted here lately

Dead tree

Same dead tree

Old Aermotor Windmill at the trailhead

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

It's always a treat to see deer on one of our hikes. These are great photos, Packrat.

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