Search This Blog


Monday, September 30, 2019

A Near Side Trek

This and the next 4:  the same Loggerhead Shrike
I took a long early morning hike west of Tortugas Mountain today and didn't encounter anyone until the final leg of my trek.  Although it felt pretty cool in the desert, the humidity was noticeably high; a nice constant breeze kept conditions quite pleasant.

When I had nearly finished my explorations I bumped into my friend Jimmy who was just rounding the bend near the Night Blooming Cereus west of the ramada.  He and I stood talking under the desert sun for at least thirty minutes, perhaps a bit more.  I always enjoy our conversations because Jimmy is an intelligent, well-read, sensitive and mellow individual who keeps abreast of current events.  Because of those qualities our talks range over a myriad of topics, and I always feel satisfied when we call it a wrap even though we've arrived at no significant conclusions about anything of substance. :)

When I got home I had to call Bogart's Car Repair to see about getting the Jeep Commander in to have the wires gnawed by neighborhood packrats replaced.

View to the southwest

This and the next:  Barrel Cactus with fruit

Approaching the "New Trail"

This and the next 2:  the "New Trail"

Single-track west

In an arroyo west of Tortugas Mountain

Tortugas Mountain

Fall has come for the Ocotillos

Same Barrel Cactus as above, but in sunlight

West of the mountain

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Changed Plans

Just as the sun broke over the Organ Mountains
Dr. K and I drove up to the Soledad Canyon parking lot this morning intent on hiking the Bar Canyon Loop Trail, but the lot was already full, and a large group (12 or 15) of young people were standing at the trailhead waiting for others to show.  So we decided (wisely, I believe) to head back down to the Sierra Vista Trail (Norte) for our Sunday morning trek.

During a hike of several hours we ran into only two hikers and a mountain biker, and we saw a woman who was running with two dogs.  The weather this morning was nice, but a lot hotter than we'd experienced in the high country.  Nevertheless, we had a good time trekking in the high desert east of the village of Talavera.  I only wish we could have sneaked up a little closer on the Red-tailed Hawk who perched on several different Sotol flower stalks waiting for breakfast to come along.
This and the next:  Soledad Rocks

Local color

Soledad Rocks with the Organ Mountains behind

Dr. K (left) and me

Lineman of the County stuff

My favorite Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus

Soapberry Tree

All raptor photos are of the same Red-Tailed Hawk

Looking back at the way we've just come

This and the next:  single Sotol and the Organ Mountains

This and the next 2:  Soledad Rocks

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Grand View 2

Dr. K and I did our traditional hike on the Grand View Trail this morning, and we had a pleasant encounter on the way back; we rounded a corner and were greeted by two well-groomed, white Standard Poodles who were very friendly.  The dogs were followed closely by two humans--a man and woman--who, presumably, the canines owned.

After our trek we returned to the cabin to pack and head down the mountain.  Our descent was halted a few miles down Highway 82 by a serious accident; first responders had the road blocked in both directions.  We waited a while before turning around, deciding to use Fresnal Canyon Road to get down to the desert.  It took us a while because we got slightly lost.  We filled up the CR-V in Alamogordo and made a decision to stop for lunch at the McDonald's in town.

Afterward we made the long trek back across the desert to Las Cruces, where the high temperature was to be 86F--14 degrees hotter than it would be in the High Rolls/Mountain Park area of the Sacramento Mountains.
Vista from the Grand View

This and the next:  Townsend's Solitaire

Yellow flower

Rails-to-Trails ramada on the Grand View

This and the next 2:  Smooth Spreading Four O'Clock

Hedgehog Cactus on cliff edge

Infrared tree


Indian Paintbrush

This and the next:  flower growing in boulder crack

Don't know what this is yet

Heading back on the Grand View Trail

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 ...