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Monday, August 26, 2019

Another Hot Hike 2

In some areas it's possible to notice where a large snake passed through
Despite getting a really early start on a morning trek I began to heat up as soon as I left the western shadow of Tortugas Mountain and struck west across the desert to Becca's favorite sandy spot in the shade; there I put a small stone to mark this special place.  From that area I bushwhacked over to the major arroyo that flows from the mountain's sunset side and followed it west.  It was in this arroyo that I encountered several Queen butterflies feasting on Climbing Milkweed; they obliged while I photographed them.

Where the arroyo intersects with the road I took the road up to another road which leads directly west.  After a short distance I turned to the south down the single-track trail that crosses over to another dirt road.  As I was headed back toward the mountain I heard a runner coming up behind me, and when I turned I saw it was Lisa jogging with Clover.  When they stopped, Lisa said, smiling, "Quick--get your petting fix before we move along."  I scratched Clover's ears a few times just as they started running again.

At the intersection of the outer loop trail I turned south and followed it to the junction with the trail leading back into the upper foothills, which I took.  Once up there it was simply a matter of heading north along the trail that crosses the flank of the mountain and eventually leads back to the Sunset Area parking lot.

It felt brutally hot out in the northern Chihuahuan Desert this morning; we're supposed to approach--if not hit--the century mark again today:  13 degrees above normal.  But I think there's relief in sight. 
Small rock I placed as a marker at Becca's favorite sandy spot

The distant Franklin Mountains at El Paso, Texas

Large arroyo west of Tortugas Mountain

Canid prints--most likely those of a coyote

When you're the first biped through an arroyo several days after a storm

This and the next 4:  Queen (Danaus gilippus)

Major arroyo west of the mountain

Half of a millipede's legs

Loggerhead Shrike

This and the next 3:  the Ocotillo forest

High-elevation cactus garden

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I can almost feel the heat just by looking at these photos. I especially like the ones of the butterfly.

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