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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Yuccas in Bloom

Weather at start
Becca and I got an early start out of the Monte Vista area of the Tortugas Mountain Trails east side unit this morning, and there was only one truck in the parking lot when we got there.  We saw the owner riding his mountain bike toward us when I was getting Becca out of Whitey the CR-V.  He had on shorts and a lightweight shirt, and he greeted us with a 'good morning' as he passed, adding, "It's a lot cooler than I thought it'd be."  He was right, and, boy, was I glad I had dressed appropriately:  long trousers and a jacket over a light vest.  Becca, of course, is always prepared for the elements.

There was no sun to speak of, just a bright, milky apparition showing through the cloud cover.  Even though it was already 49F a steady wind made it feel colder.  We did a normal hike on the far side of the mountain, but because I kept stopping to photograph Torrey Yuccas it took longer than usual.

There were far more yuccas in bloom on this side of the mountain than I've ever seen before, and the same holds true for the west side of Tortugas.  I recall we had a decent amount of precipitation during the summer and winter months, but desert plants just seemed eager to spring into action as soon as the weather warmed up sufficiently.  No problem with that; just more floral eye candy to appreciate.
Heading around the bend

Rock Wren

Becca leading the way

This and the next 11:  Torrey Yuccas blooming

At first I thought this Cactus Wren had caught a butterfly

I think it's insulation for the nest

Redheads and flowers

Becca east of Tortugas Mountain

It won't be long now

More flowering yuccas

Heading down into a swale

Organ Mountains

Still like this to the east

Road to the mountain

Lyreleaf Jewelflowers
Loggerhead Shrike on a yucca

One last look at north side yuccas


Dr. K said...

Beautiful photos of the Torrey Yuccas and the cactus wren with that piece of insulation in its beak.


I love the last photo - dramatic setting with the Yuccas. Good to see Becca on the trail!

packrat said...

Thanks, Jacqui. The desert has been pretty dynamic with all the blooming going on. Becca loves to get out into there every day.

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