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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Encountering Old Friends

This and the next:  Threadleaf Sunflower (Hymenopappus Filifolius)
Because the Heelers and I have been doing long hikes we've begun entering territory that I used to trek through with Becca nearly every day for years.  This morning we ran into some old friends of mine--Barry and Renee--who Becca and I would see fairly often hiking with their dog Kaiser, a beautiful German Shepherd.  We hadn't seen them for nearly three months, just after we adopted Willow and Frio.

We all chatted for a while (even Frio, who expressed his opinion by barking at Barry) before parting company to head our separate ways.

We left on our outing extra early today to try beating the heat, but by the time we were finishing up the temperature was steadily climbing.  I think we're going to hit 93 or 94 Fahrenheit today, and hotter temps are slated for the coming days.

Bouquet of Desert Zinnia

That fly tasted terrible

This and the next 7:  Ocotillos blooming in the desert








What kind of bird is that?

The road back

An arroyo worth exploring

Old and the new


This and the next 2:  Black-chinned Hummer



Swainson's Hawk

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Very Long One

Rugged desert west of Tortugas
It was a bit cooler this morning so I decided that Frio, Willow and I would do a longer hike; we ended up doing a really long one that involved trekking all the way to the northernmost east/west dirt road, following it all the way back to the foothills of Tortugas Mountain, heading south to the southernmost east/west dirt road and taking it to the junction with the disused dirt road that leads down to the arroyo we often explore.

On the hill above the arroyo we paused while I considered whether we wanted to follow the arroyo southwest to the major east/west arroyo or head north to intersect with the road leading back to the long dirt road.  We opted for the latter because I wasn't in the mood to slog through the major arroyo which is filled with off-roaders' tire tracks, depressions that make the going really rough.

By choosing the route we did the entire hike was longer, but because it wasn't as hot as yesterday it didn't feel horrible out there; we did stop several times for water, though, and both Heelers were happy to stay hydrated--as was I.
Distant bloomer

Ocotillos west of the mountain

Change of direction

Flowers or coronavirus?  (Threadleaf Sunflower, Fineleaf Hymenopappus)

This and the next 3:  Ocotillo flowers (and friends)




Trailing Four O'Clock

Heeler pals

Soaptree Yucca sending up a flower stalk

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tuesday Foursome

This and the next 2:  Heelers in the sand
The Heelers and I were in for a pleasant surprise this morning:  Dr. K decided to come along on our daily trek.

To avoid too much bushwhacking we hiked all the way up the long dirt road until it intersects with the southernmost east/west road, trekked east until we reached the  dirt road nature has reclaimed, bushwhacked down into our favorite arroyo and then exited the arroyo on the formerly old disused dirt road.

From there we hiked back to the east/west road and followed it to the long dirt road, which we took south all the way back to our waiting CR-V.  By the time we got to the vehicle we all felt pretty toasty from the relentless desert sunshine.  Things are heating up!


The arroyo we explored

This and the next:  Soaptree Yucca putting up a flower stalk


Willow, Frio and Dr. K

Heading down that way

This and the next:  our favorite Torrey Yucca


Soaptree Yucca and our favorite Torrey Yucca from the opposite side

White Tackstem

Ocotillo blossom

Closeup of a few Ocotillo flowers

Heelers and Dr. K

Couldn't decide which of these 3 I liked best



This and the last:  Ocotillo west of Tortugas Mountain


Again on the Grand View

At the lower trailhead Willow, Frio, Dr. K and I did the Grand View Trail again this morning, hiking nearly all of it today.  We ran into on...