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Friday, January 31, 2020

Hawk While Hiking

Need morning coffee
Another long bushwhack west of the mountain this morning was rewarded with the sighting of a Red-tailed Hawk, though I didn't get many decent photos of the raptor.  He didn't stay perched on his chosen yucca for long, though, so I had to settle for what I got.

Although it was sunny from the start the weather conditions were cold.  I did remove my ear band and gloves midway through my trek, but I never took off my two layers of outwear.  The persistent breeze stayed cold the entire time.

Bumped into my buddy Jimmy up on the flank trail, and he informed me he'd already been to the top of the mountain; so we hiked back to our vehicles together, jabbering all the way.  I always enjoy talking to Jimmy because he and I have a lot in common--for one thing we're practically the same age.
Old-timer Torrey Yucca

This and the next 2:  Red-tailed Hawk

Tortugas and the Organs

Spiky little Barrel Cactus

Prickly Pear in black-and-white

This and the next:  rolling desert

Barrel, etc.

Dried Ocotillo flowers


Going up

Happy yuccas

Name the Chihuahuan Desert plants

Photographed this scene from the other side yesterday

Same tall Torrey as above and below

This and the rest:  Torrey Yuccas

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Comical Cactus Wrens

Stink eye from a Loggerhead Shrike
Took a long hike west of Tortugas Mountain this morning half of which was spent bushwhacking through the desert.  As always I hoped to see some larger mammals and/or raptors, but no such luck.

I did see plenty of rabbits and birds; the most comical sighting of the latter involved the Cactus Wrens pictured below.  One spent much time eating seeds from spent Soaptree Yucca pods; I think I saw him spit out as many seeds as he ate.

There were no hikers where I was in the outback, but I did encounter two people just heading out as I headed in on the final leg of my morning trek.
Desert Cottontail

Torrey Yucca sentinels

Large arroyo west of the mountain

Nearly 4 foot tall Barrel Cactus

Cactus Wrens

From a small arroyo west of Tortugas

Soaptree Yucca

This and the next:  B&W experiments

This and the rest:  more comical Cactus Wrens

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Good-Looking Loggerhead

Barrel Cacti
Took a fairly long hike this morning before running into my friend Jimmy on the flank trail.  He and I talked for a long while before parting ways.

Weather was cold at first, but warmed up quickly as soon as I got into the sunshine, so much so that I removed an item of outerwear midway through the trek.

There was a noticeable absence of people out at Tortugas Mountain this morning, and I'm not sure why, but there were a few enjoying a beautiful late January day in the desert.
Too small for Cactus Wrens (perhaps a Hummer's nest?)

Cactus Wren (left) and a Black-throated Sparrow

Cactus Wren

Soaptree Yucca

Torrey Yucca

This and the next:  I don't think this is a Little-leaf Sumac

This and the rest:  same Loggerhead Shrike

Grand View--Not

Early morning moon A man and woman were just starting down the Bridal Veil Falls Trail when we rolled into the Grand View Trail parking lot....