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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Hunting for Breakfast

Sun just breaking over Tortugas Mountain
33F when Becca and I headed out this morning for a moderately long trek west of Tortugas Mountain.  We did some bushwhacking, at one moment stopping to inspect some structures that had always looked to me, from a distance, to be picnic ramadas.  They definitely were not for picnics.  When we headed over past the Lineworker Program's area we came upon an American Kestrel that must have been the same one I photographed yesterday; it was in the same section of desert, perched high while it searched for a tasty breakfast morsel.  The kestrel allowed us to approach fairly closely before flying off for another perch in the vicinity.  On our way back--while we neared the trailhead--I noticed our friend Jimmy walking toward us.  Becca didn't recognize him at first, but when she did she was ecstatic.  Jimmy was born and raised in this area, so I asked him about the "picnic ramadas."  He thought they had something to do with New Mexico State University's Physical Science Laboratory and testing the lab had done dating back to World War II.  Jimmy and I chatted for quite a bit while Becca lay in a patch of sunlight enjoying the out-of-doors.
Sunshine highlighting a few plants

Closer look

Part of Las Cruces and Picacho Peak

Rutted road

A portion of the west side of Tortugas Mountain

Two people hiking with a dog (that's what Becca sees)

Don't know what purpose this structure served (it's not a picnic ramada)

Deer prints in desert dirt

Becca in a lion pose

Geothermal Road in B&W

Geothermal Road in color

I think this is the same American Kestrel I photographed yesterday

Under my intense scrutiny it flew to another perch

It kept a close eye on Becca and me

Awesomely striking creature


Chorus line of yuccas in front of the Doña Ana Mountains

Becca pausing on our way back to the mountain

Steep-arse utility road

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

♫ Prickly Pear and young Soaptree live together in perfect harmony ♫

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Lovely photos of the American Kestral. It would be interesting to do some research into the purpose of those structures; it makes sense that they're related to work that was done at NMSU.

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