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Monday, February 28, 2022

A Touch of Bushwhack

Yuccas on a ridge west of the Organ Mountains
We did our normal hike this morning, but when we trekked up Right Branch Arroyo I decided we should bushwhack up a grassy hill to a north/south ridge that runs beside the parking spot where we left the CR-V.  That went well.

Since Willow hadn't done her business by the time we got back to our vehicle I took the Heelers a ways down LDR-A again to see if she'd go.  She finally decided to do her thing on the way back to the CR-V.

The outing today was a good one, made especially rewarding because both Willow and Frio were on their best behavior.  Even when we encountered people walking their dogs on our drive home Willow only whimpered at them rather than her usual barks and snarls.  Hope she keeps that up in the future.

Prickly Pear

Frio and Willow

An arroyo off Middle Branch Arroyo

Hill and Tortugas Mountain

Hill, Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

Willow and Frio in Right Branch Arroyo

Hill, Tortugas and the Organs

Frio is staring at a bird

Long view of Tortugas and the Organs

Ocotillos and the Organs


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Back From the Sky Island

Frio and Willow in the LDR-A arroyo
Even though it was 39F with bright sunshine when we started off this morning a stiff breeze made conditions feel quite cold.  That changed somewhat when we entered Left Branch Arroyo and hiked up toward its source.

By the time we headed down Middle Branch Arroyo the weather had warmed significantly and the breeze had abated.  When we turned southward and trekked up Right Branch Arroyo things felt quite comfortable.

After our usual hike we drove to our local gas station to fill up the CR-V even though we were down just a little over a quarter tank.  $21 for that piddling amount!

This & next:  same tree in B&W and colored pencil

Part of the Doña Anas in artsy design

Soaptree Yucca

Willow and Frio

This & next:  contrail

Organ Mountains

This & next:  Tortugas and the Organs

Organ Mountains


Heelers at rest

Ocotillo in B&W

Contrail suturing the sky


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Mountain Morning, Desert Afternoon

First 3:  sky from our property
This morning's mountain hike through the forest near our property was another rugged one.  Willow, Frio and I did a lot of bushwhacking, some of which was on deer and elk trails.  Much of the time, though, we were trying to find our way between low-hanging junipers and pines or around clumps of Prickly Pear Cactus growing on the slopes.

Despite being the most strenuous trek we did over the days in the high country we all were pretty satisfied with the outing.  When we got back to the cabin we began packing for our return to the low desert, where we are now.

High temperature for where we were in the Sacramentos was slated for 52F; it's supposed to be 69F here in the low country.


Sky from our driveway

Willow and Dr. K

Willow and Frio with Dr. K

This & next:  Willow, Frio and me

The rest:  views from our morning slog

Did I do something wrong?



Friday, February 25, 2022

Antler First, Elk Second

First 3:  Bull elk shedding his right antler on our property
Dr. K and I were amazed to look out our window and see a Rocky Mountain Bull Elk on our property; even more amazing was the fact that he's in the process of shedding his right antler--this after I found an antler just yesterday and brought it back to the cabin.

Took both Willow and Frio on an exploration this morning, following elk and deer trails southward into the forest near our property.  Damned if we didn't come up behind the bull elk we'd seen earlier at our place.  He saw us, but didn't react.  Both Frio and Willow saw him, but didn't react, either, somewhat taken aback by his sheer massiveness.

We turned around immediately then, and created a bit of difficulty for ourselves by bushwhacking through the forest.  When I saw that we were way above the cabin I decided to switchback down the steep slope to our road, and we made it with no difficulty.

This & next:  trees in the forest near our property

Following an elk/deer trail

This & next:  Willow and Frio tracking an elk

This & next 3:  views of the Sacramento Mountains

This & next:  Frio and Willow

This & next 2:  dried Scrub Oak leaves

This & next: Heelers say, "Hey, what are you doing out there?"

Scrub Oak, juniper and pines on our property

Bear Grass (Nolina microcarpa) in foreground

High mountain living


Desert Life

1st 2:  Willow in yucca shadow It was so windy and the air was so bad this morning that Dr. K, Willow and I did only our regular hike. Not s...