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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Today's Far Side Hike

Just starting out on the Monte Vista side of the mountain
Becca and I waited a little this morning before heading out to the Monte Vista side of Tortugas Mountain to take full advantage of the sun.  Of course the east side gets the early sunshine so we were pleased to bask in its warmth.  As it turned out, though, it didn't feel nearly as cold as it has the past few mornings.  Only one vehicle was parked in the lot when we got there, and that same vehicle was still there when we got back; this time, though, the driver was just climbing inside, starting the black SUV and pulling out.  We saw nobody else during our trek, and on the way home we noticed only a few vehicles in the Sunset Area parking lot when we drove by.  One of the reasons it's not crowded is the absence of students from our local university, who are still on holiday break.
Can't tell you how many times I've photographed these house-size boulders

Lots of jet activity this Saturday morning

Closer view

The happy hiker on a favorite trail

Saw this raptor, which I took to be a Red-tailed Hawk

The hawk landed on rocks way up on the mountain

It took off after a short while (pretty sure it's a Red-tailed Hawk)

Torrey Yuccas up on the plateau

Checking to see who else is out here

Better check this way, too

What is it about yuccas?

Organ Mountains

High wind messing the contrail clouds about

Barrel Cactus

The accordion-like pleats allow the cactus to expand with water

Probably the nest of a Cactus Wren

What the wind does
Sun through a Torrey Yucca crown

Contrail sky

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I wonder if that cactus wren nest has been occupied on and off for several years. It's been a beautiful winter day in the desert.

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