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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Feels Like Monsoon Season

North side of Tortugas Mountain
It was fairly crowded on the Monte Vista side of the mountain early on a Saturday morning; almost immediately on rounding the bend to the south side of the mountain we had to step aside for a woman bike rider coming at us.  Then two mountain bikers approached from behind, the lead rider (who we encounter often) said, "It's crowded out here already."  As soon as they had passed another mountain biker came at us from the west.  No sooner had he gone than a woman runner approached from the same direction, and Becca and I had to stand aside on a narrow section of the trail.  The Beckster was noticeably irritated by all the traffic; we're not used to seeing so many outdoor enthusiasts behind the mountain.

While we were stopped for a water break at the intersection with the trail that leads south into the lower desert a guy with two dogs on lead greeted us.  One of his dogs was a Blue Heeler and the other a Pitbull/Heeler mix.  While the canines panted at each other the guy told me he was visiting from Sunspot, the small community high in the Sacramento Mountains where the solar observatory is.  He said it was 61F when he and his wife had driven down to Las Cruces, and it was 91F when they got here.  Referring to his dogs, he said, "They're not used to the heat."  We talked for a few minutes before heading off in different directions.

It felt pretty hot while we trekked behind the mountain, and the humidity was obviously quite high--so much so that it felt like it does in mid June when the monsoon season officially begins in the Desert Southwest.  On the last leg of our hike we encountered two other hikers, a young woman and her small dog.  The woman was so distracted looking at her smart phone she didn't see Becca and me until she was almost upon us, and then she only noticed when her canine companion growled at Becca.  It felt good to get out of the sun ten minutes later and into Whitey the CR-V and its air-conditioned interior.
Sotol with full flower stalk

Sotols just putting up their flower stalks


Whitethorn Acacia

This and the next 2:  same Sotol (3rd image with Becca)

This and the next:  same Sotol, different perspective

Becca beside the Sotol also pictured in next image

This and the next 3:  4 takes on a Chihuahuan Flax flower

"Dry Brush" filter applied

In the heat and high humidity the Organs look like construction paper cutouts

Purple construction paper cutouts of the Organ Mountains

Sotol with a full stalk of flowers

More Sotols on the north side of the mountain

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

It's always more barren on this side of the mountain. Nice photos of the delicate-looking blooming flax.

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