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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Absent the Wind

Ocotillo and Soaptree friends
After being battered by the wind for the past two days it felt great to get out into the desert unmolested by forceful gusts this morning.

We did our usual hike, and all the while I was anxious to get to the blossoming Torrey Yucca to monitor its flowering progress; unfortunately it didn't look much different than it had yesterday.

Encounters with two jackrabbits and a cottontail kept all of us on our toes today, but both Frio and Willow were very responsive to my commands not to chase; of course, I'm not too sure they'd have listened had they been off lead.  The desert cottontail incident was an interesting one; the critter lit out from a spot less then a yard away from us in Left Branch Arroyo.  I'm fairly certain we've met up with this rabbit before; it seems to be living there.

Lots of good exercise while enjoying the desert this morning.

Ocotillos on the ride east of LDR-A

Sparrow on Ocotillo branch

Organ Mountains from LDR-A

This & next: from LDR-A arroyo

I already see something the Heelers have yet to spot

Br'er Hare

Haven't seen the jackrabbit yet

Frio's on it

Now both Frio and Willow see the jackrabbit

Laser focused

Jackrabbit is unperturbed

Interesting clouds

Sparrow on yucca saber


This & next 4:  the yucca I've been monitoring

Willow and Frio resting in Right Branch Arroyo

Hill east of the Organ Mountains

Hedgehog Cactus needs Clearasil

Mourning Dove watches yucca bloom

Tortugas and the Organ Mountains


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

East Versus West

Sky to the northeast
We did our normal hike this morning, and the Heelers were very well behaved.  The most notable feature of the outing for me was the differences between the eastern and western sky.  Looking east it seemed as if it could start raining at any moment; but things were clearing in the west.  Frio and Willow didn't seem to notice.

It was definitely colder this morning.  The lack of sunshine and the stiff wind made me glad I wore my Marmot PreCip today.  I easily could have done without it yesterday, but it was a necessity this morning.

Got some good exercise on our exploration, and a good time was had by all.

This & next:  sky to the northwest

Ocotillos and cloudy sky

This & next:  experiments in color

View from LDR-A

Crazy clouds

Long view of Tortugas and the Organs

More crazy clouds

Tortugas and the Organs

Wise men

Frio and Willow

Tree X

This & next:  yucca I've been monitoring

Site of last night's banquet

You can see the blooming yucca

Heelers in right branch

Frio and Willow


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

As the Winds Begin

Just before sunrise
The winds had already started when we set off on our morning trek today; they were bad, but are supposed to get much worse this afternoon.

We descended LDR-A arroyo, turned right onto the east/west cross trail, started along the new arroyo and opted for the middle branch up past the area where the Allthorn bushes grow.

We crossed over to the left branch and followed it down to the intersection with the right.  Heading up the right branch I stopped beside the Torrey Yucca I've been monitoring for flower growth; it's made quite a bit of progress since yesterday.

After our photo stop and respite next to the yucca we finished our hike by ascending the right branch and exiting it up the steep hill beside the upper flatland road.  A good time was had by all.  By the way, both Frio and Willow behaved excellently during our outing.

Who is that bird?

It's a Black-throated Sparrow

This & next:  Soaptree Yuccas

Goldfish and toy car over the mountains


Smoke signals

Frio and Willow

Torrey Yucca (front) and Soaptree Yucca

Frio and Willow on break

This & next 4:  same Torrey Yucca as yesterday

Willow and Frio in Right Branch Arroyo

Part of Tortugas and the Organ Mountains


A Nice Bushwhack

Mourning Dove on nest in our backyard We didn't plan on it when we set off on our hike this morning, but we did a fairly long bushwhack ...