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Monday, August 31, 2020

Angel Trumpet

Another cloudy morning
Another cloudy morning in the northern Chihuahuan Desert for our daily trek; this time we got rained on a bit--sprinkled on, really.  Frio's reaction was really funny; apparently he's never been spit upon by the sky before, and he was shaking off like crazy and squinting his eyes against the tiny raindrops.  Willow was unperturbed by the precipitation.

In the distance as we were starting off we saw a man and woman couple we see fairly often on LDR, but we didn't run into them.  They were the only outdoor enthusiasts we spotted today.

The sky was cloud covered all during our hike, which made for very pleasant conditions despite the high humidity.  Frio and Willow especially appreciated the cool weather.

Just a few buds left

Here are those buds

This and the next 3:  Sacred Datura blooming

LDR-A (front) and LDR (rear)

Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus) aka "NiƱa de la Tierra"

Heading into Second Arroyo

Frio and Willow

Ocotillo and mountains

Soaptree Yucca and mountains

Ocotillos, Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

This and the next 2:  long views of the southern Organs

Resting Heelers with Dr. K

This and the next:  yuccas and the Organs

Dirt roads

Last 2:  small Barrel Cactus with single bloom


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Cloudy Delight

This and the next 6:  outstanding skies
We thanked the weather gods this morning for the cooling blanket of clouds that kept the temperature low during our trek.  The cloud cover lasted through our entire outing, and a gusty (at times) breeze had Dr. K talking "a touch of autumn."

We saw a woman with a white dog running north on the long dirt road, but we never came close to catching up with her.  We did have to step off the road for a passenger car that was coming up behind us fairly quickly.  The guy driving waved to us as he passed at a good clip, making me wonder why anybody would want to drive a passenger car so quickly on a rugged, though sandy, dirt road.

After stopping in First Arroyo for a water break I did a little exploring for photographic subjects before we all headed back to our waiting CR-V, thankful that the clouds provided a great respite from the relentless desert sun.

This and the next:  Sacred Datura getting ready to bloom

This and the next 3:  more wild sky

Trekking east in First Arroyo

Ocotillos and sky

Soaptree Yucca

Heelers and Dr. K

This and the next:  Creosote Queen

Looking east in the major east/west arroyo

White-winged Doves

Looking north up the long dirt road (LDR)

This and the last:  looking back after our trek


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Anxiety and Relief

Starting off down LDR-A
The anxiety we sometimes feel on a weekend hike stems from incidents we've experienced in the recent past at this particular hiking spot:  idiots pulling donuts with their SUVs in the major east/west arroyo, shooters blasting away at the dumped refrigerator and stove that should have been picked up by the county months ago, ATVs speeding up the long dirt road while kicking up tornadoes of dust in their wake.  Although we heard a shooter out east in the desert and saw two ATVs on the far side of Tellbrook we encountered none of the above-mentioned morons this morning.

We did see two separate hiking couples coming and going while we did our usual trek, but we bumped into neither.  We did have a close encounter of the fourth kind with a Black-tailed Jackrabbit that sped across the trail just ahead of us on our way back, which nearly resulted in both my arms being ripped out at the socket from Frio and Willow lunging forward to chase the hare.

Although the weather was hot--we're headed for a high of 101F--we managed to finish out outing without experiencing too much discomfort, partly because of a slight breeze that turned into a wind in the high flatland.

Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

Long view of the mountains

This and the next:  closer views of the mountains

Willow and Frio

This and the next 2:  Soaptree Yucca stalk

Second Arroyo

Heelers and Dr. K

Crown Dancers

South bank of Second Arroyo

Yucca part

This and the next:  almost all the way back on LDR-A

Another long view

Ocotillos losing their luster

This and the last:  view from the high flatland


Friday, August 28, 2020

Frio and Willow Friday

View from LDR
We were on the trail a little after 7:30 this morning, following LDR down to the major east/west arroyo where we headed toward the Organ Mountains for a short stretch before bushwhacking yet again in the desert northeast of the long dirt road.  The bushwhacking was necessary again due to Willow's overactive nose and the scent of a dog who had passed the same way before.  I may end up wringing her neck before I get her trained up if she keeps being so stubborn.

Frio, the younger of the two Heelers, is much more responsive; if I give a little tug on the lead attached to his harness he obeys immediately.  Not sure what makes Willow so hardheaded, but she'll come around.

The only other person we saw out there this morning was a guy driving an off-road vehicle--looked like a Polaris side-by-side--who was headed back on LDR while we were climbing up LDR-A.

This and the next:  Ocotillo and the Organs

Long view of Tortugas (left) and the Organ Mountains

Organ Mountains

Exploring arroyos

This and the next:  Soaptree Yucca stalk

This and the next:  Barrel Cactus buds and flowers

Another arroyo to explore

Willow and Frio

Headed back up LDR-A

Tortugas and the Organs

Dead Soaptree Yucca crown


Barrel Cactus in the high flatland


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...