|Featuring a lot of Soaptree Yuccas today|
Even though today was shopping day I did a fairly long hike west of Tortugas Mountain this morning, and it included a lot of bushwhacking. It was cold when I started off (28F), but the wind wasn't a real factor and the abundant sunshine kept the conditions from being unbearable.
On the way back, while climbing the trail into the upper foothills, I ran into Rene and Rayo; at first Rene had Rayo on a lead, but when he recognized me he set the canine free and Rayo came running to greet me. He's such a friendly, well-behaved dog. Rene and I spoke for a while, mostly about an article that had appeared in the Las Cruces Sun-News that detailed a project Rene and his graduate astronomy students had completed recently: the successful attempt to create a unique image of the distant Whale Galaxy. Here's a link to the piece in the Sun-News: https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/community/2019/12/07/nmsu-astronomers-help-discover-giant-magnetic-ropes-galaxys-halo/4366220002/
When I got back to Whitey the CR-V I saw my pal Jimmy's truck, but not Jimmy; I assumed he was halfway to the mountaintop by then.
|A favorite area to bushwhack in|
|The long view across the northern Chihuahuan Desert|
|A little closer look|
|Soaptrees and the mountains|
|Hedgehog Cactus, Banana Yucca and Ocotillo|
|Looking down at a small forest of Soaptree Yuccas|
|This and the next: hard to believe a Desert Marigold is blooming now|
|Torrey Yucca along a ridge|
|Mama Yucca carrying a bouquet and being followed by her child|
|Soaptree Yucca, Prickly Pear Cactus and Ocotillo|
|Ghostly yucca and child|
|Looks like two, but it's a single Soaptree Yucca|
|Barrel Cactus, Ocotillo and Torrey Yucca|
|This and the next: Packrat midden in the middle of a Prickly Pear Cactus|
I like "Ghostly Yucca and Child." Very eerie-looking.
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