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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Arroyo Nuevo

Different perspectives from a new hike
As soon as Willow, Frio and I exited the CR-V at the trailhead this morning I realized we wouldn't be able to do our usual hike; a black vehicle was parked just west of LDR in the Tellbrook Arroyo, and the driver was popping off rounds of shotgun shells.  This led us to discover another dirt road which led to an arroyo we never knew existed.

We trekked east on the upper flatland road until it intersected with the paved Tellbrook Drive.  We crossed the asphalt and began hiking on a dirt road that ran parallel to Sonoma Ranch Road for a bit.  This led us to a steep trail that descended into the above-mentioned arroyo, which we explored for a ways before turning around.

When we got back up the steep incline to the dirt road we followed it in a southwesterly direction until it intersected with the southern extension of LDR.  We then headed north to Tellbrook Drive, crossed the pavement and hiked up to the waiting CR-V.  I noticed then that the black vehicle was still parked in the arroyo below, but the shooting had stopped.

This & next 3:  heading down a new arroyo

Distant view of the southern Organ Mountains


What causes a yucca stalk to grow like that?

Frio and Willow headed back on the south extension of LDR

This and next 6:  Roadrunner unperturbed by our presence

Looking south on the southern extension of LDR


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Century Mark?

One Ocotillo has no leaves, the other is browning out
62F when we set off this morning, but the desert sun was already beating down on us as we explored the desert to the northeast of Tellbrook Arroyo.  According to different weather apps we're either going to hit 97F or 99F today.  Too hot for mid-September.

Other than a fleeting glimpse of two jackrabbits we saw no one out in our section of northern Chihuahuan Desert; there weren't even any vehicles parked in the Tellbrook/Sonoma Ranch lot.

The worst part of today's trek was the bad air.  Last night Doppler Dave--meteorologist at KVIA in El Paso--said there'd be unhealthy widespread haze, though he didn't say why.  I guess it could come from wildfires in the West.

The forecast was for widespread haze, aka "bad air"

This & the next 3:  Hairy False Goldenaster and friends

Southwest of Tortugas

Soaptree Yuccas at the side of an arroyo

Thought that was a trail; instead it's a small swale

Willow and Frio in an unnamed arroyo

Bouquets hanging on


Monday, September 13, 2021

Brief Chill

View from LDR-A
For a very brief moment this morning as Willow, Frio and I set off on our daily trek it felt slightly chilly.  It didn't last long, though.  By the time we were descending LDR-A the temperature had risen significantly, such that I began thinking "It's hot already."

We hiked up to First Arroyo, entered and found a shady spot, drank water and then headed back.  The only person we saw was a woman who had parked her RAV4 at the brink of LDR facing north just as we drove in to park the CR-V in its usual spot.  Don't know what she was doing, but she drove off when we began our hike.

A distant jackrabbit caught the Heelers' attention midway to First Arroyo, but neither pup was inclined to pursue.  Good thing for my shoulders.

Willow and Frio

From the length of its tail I'd say Red-tailed Hawk

This & the next:  just west of Tortugas Mountain

Mr. Frio and Ms. Willow

Soaptree Yucca seed pod



Last 3:  butterfly on lantana


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday's Desert Trek

Unripe Barrel Cactus fruit
Willow, Frio and I hiked up to Second Arroyo this morning, stopped inside for a drink and brief respite, and then started back.  I noticed when I looked to the north on the dirt road the male half of the husband and wife runners we see fairly often was headed our way.  We stopped at the mouth of First Arroyo to let him pass, exchanging greetings as he went by.  His wife, however, was a good bit behind him so the Heelers and I entered First Arroyo and explored quite a lot of it in order to let the woman pass.

By the time we exited the arroyo she was fairly far ahead, and we were able to trek back at our normal pace, stopping briefly in the shade of an arroyo at the side of LDR.  Both Heelers--especially Frio--pulled a lot on the return, anxious to catch up with the people ahead of us.  Fortunately, not long after we crossed the Tellbrook Arroyo heading south the woman had crested the steep incline into the upper flatland and disappeared.

On the steep ascent up LDR I welcomed the Heelers pulling because it helped me climb with less difficulty.

Dead tree

Soaptree Yucca

Frio and Willow

Willow and Frio

A mesquite I thought was dead has come to life

This and the next:  deadwood in First Arroyo

Looking southwest in First Arroyo

Rock with an odd burned spot

This and the next:  Ocotillos and Organ Mountains

Much of the Chihuahuan Desert is still grassland


Arroyo Nuevo

Different perspectives from a new hike As soon as Willow, Frio and I exited the CR-V at the trailhead this morning I realized we wouldn'...