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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hot, Hot, Hot

Get ready, get set . . .
Back in the hot northern Chihuahuan Desert now, and Becca and I took an abbreviated hike on the west side of Tortugas Mountain.  I cut our trek short because the Beckster was definitely limping slightly.  I'll probably have to give her a few days off while I assess her physical condition.  I'm certain that her climbing and descending the ramp in and out of the Jeep Commander during the past week was probably a bit hard on her.  That rear compartment of the Jeep is a lot higher off the ground than you might imagine.  Becca won't be happy about being out of circulation, but it's for the best.
. . . the race is off

Looking west

South through a dry, dry desert

Long view to the Organ Mountains

Soaptree Yucca in the arroyo beside our property

This and the rest:  study of a White-winged Dove

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Reluctant Descent

High Rolls/Mountain Park
This morning we took a short hike on the Bridal Veil Falls Trail before heading back down the mountain to the lower desert, where it's supposed to hit 98F today; that's about 16 degrees hotter than it was going to be in High Rolls.  First thing I did when we got here was to turn on the water to the evaporative cooler so we could get started lowering the temp in the house.  Hope we can get back into the Sacramento Mountains again soon so we can temporarily leave this heat behind.
Up on our road

Another view across Haynes Canyon

Bridal Veil Falls Trail

Old Alamogordo & Sacramento Mountains Railroad trestle

Footbridge across the creek

A stream runs directly through that grass left to right

The trestle

Heading down the trail

One last look at White Sands and the San Andres Mountains before leaving

Becca and Dr. K on the Bridal Veil Falls Trail

Becca and boulders

Nice pine tree and beautiful sky


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Real Treasure

Becca on our road
We decided Becca was good to go on a high-elevation hike this morning so she, Dr. K and I drove up to the parking lot at the Osha Trail just shy of Cloudcroft, New Mexico.  There was nobody there when we started, but we ran into quite a few people during our trek, all enjoying the cool mountain weather; it was 60F (15.5C) when we began.  The high temp for Cloudcroft today is 72F.  Compare that to the high 90s in the low desert.  As we were commenting on the beautiful surroundings Dr. K said of the Osha Trail, "It's a real treasure."  And that it is!
Big bend in our road

Life in the mountains

Prickly Rose (Rosa acicularis)

Prickly Rose

Prickly Rose

Becca and Dr. K

Tent Caterpillars

Broad-tailed Hummingbird?

Same hummer

View across the Mexican Canyon trestle to White Sands



More Prickly Roses

Scouting the trail ahead

Becca checking the surroundings

Squawroot (Conopholis americana) is a parasite

Squawroot is also called "bear corn"

High elevation forest

Tent Caterpillars were all over the mountain

Getting to the hot part of the trail

Interesting tree

Tent Caterpillars

Artsy fartsy

Prickly Rose

Village of Cloudcroft from the Osha Trail

Prickly Rose (Rosa acicularis)

White Sands from the Osha Trail

Our elevation right . . .

. . . here

Heading round the mountain

Bowed trees in B&W

Same bowed trees

My guess is they grow like this because of heavy snowfall

Further along the Osha

Love the light coming through here

This one?

Or this one?

Getting close to the meadow

Another elevation check

New Mexico Locust (Robinia neomexicana) is a small tree

Tent Caterpillars everywhere

A reach for the sky in the high country

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 ...