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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A Far Side Trek

Just getting started on the far side of Tortugas
This morning's hike was only the second in four months that I've done on the far side of Tortugas Mountain; the first was just a few days after Becca's death.  I went there today because the Sunset Area on the near side was packed with pilgrims who were trekking to the top of Tortugas Mountain for the Our Lady of Guadalupe ceremony.  When I reached the far point of my journey today I could see some pilgrims making their way up the mountain road.

It was very cold (36F) when I set off, and it didn't warm up very much because of thin clouds blocking the sun; for most of the time only milky sunlight filtered through.  Then I spent over fifteen minutes photographing a very cooperative Ladder-backed Woodpecker who, despite flying between various plants, stayed very close by.  I had to take advantage of the situation, one for which my fingers paid the price in coldness.

Didn't see anybody in the outback where I hiked, and I only encountered two men just starting their hike when I was finishing mine.
Steep mountain

Belt of clouds across the Organ Mountain midsection

Small pool of water

Devil's Head Cactus

This and the next 8:  same Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Can't ever remember seeing Ocotillo flowers in mid-Decemer

This and the next:  pilgrims climbing to the top of Tortugas Mountain

This and the next:  same Soaptree Yucca from opposite sides

Hedgehog Cactus

Double Barrel Cactus

Desert flora and the Organ Mountains

1927 boundary marker

Location of boundary marker

Soaptree Yucca in a wide arroyo

Soaptree Yucca (front) and Torrey Yucca

Purple Prickly Pear Cactus

This and the next:  clouds and the Organ Mountains

Yucca forest and the distant Franklin Mountains (El Paso)

Organ Mountains

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

Incredible photos of the Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, Packrat.

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