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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Solo Arroyo Exploration

Crazy sky with contrails
Since Becca didn't accompany me this morning (she's on injured-reserve for the next 10 to 14 days) I did something I wanted to do for a long time:  I entered the deep arroyo that runs alongside the road from the high foothills on Tortugas Mountain's west side and followed the ravine further and further west until it finally intersected with the loop road around the mountain.  This was a rugged bushwhack I have intentionally avoided when Becca is with me because it's too hard, filled with catclaw acacia, Ocotillos and every imaginable type of cactus.  There is no direct route from point A to point B, just a series of course adjustments as you make your way between and around the underbrush.  It was worth it, though; I found an area that sported many Barrel Cacti and other desert flora, and being in the bowels of the desert I was able, for a time, to avoid the persistent wind that made it feel much colder out there than it really was.
The sky to the north

Rainbow Hedgehog

Strawberry Hedgehog

Claret Cup Hedgehog

In an arroyo just west of Tortugas Mountain

Hedgehog Cactus

Stand of Ocotillos

Somebody's been trimming the Soaptree Yucca, and I'll bet it's deer

Torrey Yucca in the arroyo

In the lower desert below the high foothills

This area was loaded with Barrel Cacti

More barrels

Barrel Cacti with some fruit left

Blooming on 12/5/18 (looks like Chinchweed, but I'm not sure)

I came quite a ways through the deep arroyo

Made it to the road that loops around the mountain

This Torrey Yucca (same one as above) is quite old

Another look at the crowns

Another old Torrey Yucca (against the backdrop of the Organ Mountains)

Road around the mountain

Natural rune

Surprised to find a Barrel Cactus with this much fruit in December

Closeup of the fruit

Sun halo around a Torrey Yucca crown

In black-and-white

Gnarly old Ocotillo with dried leaves

Becca can't resume normal activity for 10 to 14 days

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Nice that you were able to discover all of those barrel and hedgehog cacti in a new area of the desert.

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 ...