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Friday, July 31, 2020

Beneficial Wind

Plopsie (Willow) likes to plop down in the shade
We were surprised by the force of the wind when we stepped out of the CR-V in the dirt pullout off Tellbrook this morning, but pleased by the opportunity it provided for real evaporative cooling.  Because of the wind we never really felt overly hot under the blistering sun during our daily trek.

I've never learned definitively whether the wind across a dog's panting tongue helps with cooling, but I imagine it does.  Neither of our Heelers seemed too warm out there even though we did the longer hike up to Second Arroyo and back.

We saw no other outdoor enthusiasts today during our explorations, and the only critter we encountered was a Black-tailed Jackrabbit that got the Heelers' "chase instinct" activated briefly.

Willow and Frio

A funny Prickly Pear

This and the next:  Frio and Willow

Heelers and Dr. K

Jerry Garcia as a walrus

This and the next:  Organ Mountains

This and the rest:  Blackfoot Daisies

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Century Mark Plus

This and the next:  just starting out
Abbreviated our normal hike this morning because it was too hot to push for a long trek.  We headed down LDR-A, went a ways up LDR before turning around and returning to the high ground on LDR-A.

Willow must have plopped down in shady spots about ten times on the way back, and even Frio sought shadow on occasion.

We were all extra happy to reach our waiting CR-V today, and grateful for the cool air conditioned interior on the ride home.  We're slated to hit 105F this afternoon, and I have little doubt that our temperature will soar close to or above that mark.

Podaxis Pistillaris

Chihuahuan Desert scene

This and the next:  Dayflower (Commelina erecta)

Twinleaf Senna

Frio on the window seat

Willow keeping watch at the front door

Frio looking cute

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Hot and Hotter

Frio and Willow in Second Arroyo
It felt really toasty out in the desert this morning; we're heading for a high of 100F.  Blazing sun, little breeze, higher humidity, scant shade--all made for an unpleasant outing.

Frio and Willow didn't seem to mind too much, though, and, on the outbound leg, they had the added bonus of encountering two hikers--man and woman--who were heading along LDR back to their waiting pickup truck.

While we were parked in a shady spot in Second Arroyo, having just hydrated and put the Heelers back on their leads, two women and a dog suddenly appeared on the long dirt road; one of the women waved to us.  Both Heelers got very excited, thinking there might be a chance to meet a new dog; no such luck, though.  Willow especially has yet to completely internalize her "well-behaved dog" training; Frio is much better and easier to control.

All in all, despite the heat, we benefited--physically and psychologically--from time well spent enjoying nature.
Ant hole

Second Arroyo

Desert Willow

This and the next:  Barrel Cactus buds and flowers


The rest:  guy in a nearby neighborhood must feed his Torrey Yuccas

They usually only bloom once a year

Probably using Miracle-Gro

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A Trek on Tuesday

Hedgehog Cactus at the base of a Soaptree Yucca
Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I did our regular trek on this Tuesday morning, hiking up to Second Arroyo, popping in for a shade and water break, and then returning via LDR and LDR-A.

Even though it was hotter, the sun stayed behind clouds during a good portion of our outing, and there was a constant breeze to help with evaporative cooling.

We saw nobody else during our exploration, and all four participants in our party seemed to enjoy the trek very much.
Hedgehog Cactus

Barrel Cactus buds becoming flowers

West side of Tortugas Mountain


Large Ocotillo west of the mountain

Dr. K with Frio and Willow

This and the next:  yin and yang from opposite perspectives

Looking eastward up Second Arroyo

This and the next:  Soaptree Yucca

Organ Mountains

White-winged Dove

Barrel Cactus

This and the next:  desert jungle

Typical Chihuahuan Desert scene

This and the next:  same Prickly Pear Cactus

Pair of dog ears

Monday, July 27, 2020

A Lovely Breeze

What rain has done for Ocotillos
Even though it was only 70F at the start of our trek this morning it felt far worse because of high humidity and not a breath of wind.  The entire first leg of our hike up to Second Arroyo was extra miserable because of those conditions.

We kept praying for a little breeze that would help ameliorate the heat, and on our way back we were rewarded with a steady cool breeze that made the inbound leg a breeze, so to speak.

We had hydrated in Second Arroyo and took plenty of shade breaks along our return up LDR-A so we didn't suffer too much in the blazing hot sun.  By Wednesday we're supposed to reach the century mark in terms of temperature, and that's never good even if it does dry the atmosphere out somewhat.
This and the next:  Willow and Frio

Is something wrong with this dragonfly's head?

Yucca leaves and stalks

This and the next:  Second Arroyo

Soaptree Yucca

Frio digs a hole in order to . . .

. . . lie in the cool sand

Presumably a launch from White Sands Missile Range

Computer-enhanced (questionable) image of a Desert Cardnal

This and the next 2:  Heckle and Jeckle of desert birds:  Cactus Wrens

Enter the Wind

1st 2:  morning sky Dr. K went shopping this morning; I went hiking and bushwhacking with the "O"s. We saw nobody else out there w...