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Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Desert Wind

Heading down the long dirt road
It was very windy all night yesterday, and the strong wind kept up during our morning hike today.  At first it was pretty bad, kicking up loose dirt on the long road we trek almost daily now.  It let up after a while, though, and conditions became bearable.

We trekked up to the second arroyo and then headed east into it toward the Organs.  After a short hike we stopped to let Frio and Willow take a shade and water break.  Then while Dr. K stayed with the Heelers I wandered around a bit taking photos and videos.

We headed back after a short respite, hiking the long dirt road south to our waiting CR-V.
Looking back at the way we just came

Hey, Willow, why aren't dogs good dancers?

I don't know.  Why aren't dogs good dancers?

Because they have two left feet

Can you "sign" that joke for Frio?

Up an arroyo

Relaxing in the arroyo

Same arroyo

Soaptrees and the mountains

Siamese Fighting Cloud?

Cactus Wren

Last 3:  Organ Mountains

Friday, May 29, 2020

Alternate Route

This and the next:  headed down the long dirt road
Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I set off on our regular morning hike in this section of northern Chihuahuan Desert today, but we shortened the trek significantly due to hot weather and a few physical ailments plaguing us humans.

On the way back we took an alternate route, opting for the long dirt road-A to get up to the level of Tellbrook.  This road adds a bit of length to the hike because there's a small section of road paralleling Tellbrook that you have to hike to get back to our waiting CR-V.

The Heelers didn't seem too disappointed by the abbreviated trek because both were getting a tad hot in the early morning desert sun.

This and the next 2:  Soaptree Yucca fruit

This and the next:  Soaptree Yucca with new leaves (clump on left side)


This and the next 2:  fruit of a Soaptree Yucca

Flowers give way to fruit, fruit becomes seed pods

Flower and fruit

This and the next:  2 similar views of the Organ Mountains

This and the next 2:  Roadrunner in a Creosote Bush


This and the last:  sun through an Acacia Tree

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Hot and Hotter

Mama dove (left) and baby in one of our Mesquite Trees
It was already pretty hot when Dr. K, Frio, Willow and I began our hike this morning, and it got even hotter fast; it was already 81F when we headed back to our waiting CR-V.

We encountered several other outdoor enthusiasts during our trek today, the woman who runs with her white Standard Poodle and the archer who's target practicing with his new compound bow.

Right now it's 95F (3:15 p.m.), but probably won't get much higher than that due to cloud cover which suggests we might get a little rain later today.
This and the next 2:  female Desert Spiny Lizard on our brick pile

Hot for the Heelers this morning

Dog's eye view of an arroyo

Dr. K, Frio and Willow

This Soaptree Yucca is shedding flowers

Shed flowers

Crown Dancers

This and the next:  light and shadow experiments

Barren little tree


Southwestern Earless Lizard

KRQE 13 News (Albuquerque) chopper over our house

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Tad Toasty

Black-chinned Hummingbird on a Soaptree Yucca stalk
Same hike with a different type of excitement this morning:  both Frio and Willow took off after a large Black-tailed Jackrabbit from our resting spot in an arroyo.  We had stopped to have a drink of water in the shade of a large yucca when Frio spotted the hare and lit out for it.  Willow went right behind him.  Fortunately Willow listened to the "Come!" command Dr. K and I were yelling, and she didn't venture too far down the arroyo.  Frio must have been looking back at her because he returned shortly afterwards.  Perhaps he realized quickly that he wasn't going to catch the "Jack."

Our biggest concern at this time of year is encountering rattlers; neither of the Heelers have had a vaccination against snake bite because we haven't been able to get them in to see our vet.  And because Frio is nearly deaf we're pretty sure he won't hear a warning rattle; Willow will, but they have to be together for Frio to take advantage of her reaction.

We headed back for our waiting CR-V before the temperature got too high, although it already felt pretty toasty in our section of the northern Chihuahuan Desert.  We're heading for a high of 97F today.
Huge Soaptree Yucca

Same Black-chinned Hummingbird on a Torrey Yucca

This and the next 6:  Soaptree Yuccas

Willow and Frio in an arroyo (after the chase)

The arroyo we explored

This and the next 4:  Soaptree Yuccas

Cactus Wren nest in the left stalk

Closer look at the next

This and the last:  distant look at Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

Abbreviated Outing

Cold hedgehog 37F with a windchill of 30F when we started off this morning; but the cold, powerful wind convinced us immediately that we wou...