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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Again With the Heat

In LDR-A arroyo
The heat was definitely on this morning when Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I did our daily trek; and there was almost no breeze.  Humidity is still fairly high.  We're headed for 95F today.

We followed our regular route, not seeing any other explorers while we were there; we did notice Mr. White Hat's white van when we got back to the trailhead later.

We keep spotting Swainson's Hawks during our outings, but almost no Red-tailed Hawks; used to see the latter much more frequently.  Don't know what it means.

This & next:  Swainson's Hawk


This & next:  Frio, Willow, Dr. K

My only photo of this Black-chinned Hummingbird

Flank of Tortugas and the Organ Mountains


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Hump Hike

So I dug a hole.  So what?
It was quite unpleasant out there this morning:  high humidity, unrelenting sun and nary a breeze.

Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I did our regular hike, stopping several times for shade breaks.  We saw a fair number of critters during our trek, but neither Dr. K nor I saw the one that both Frio and Willow made a dash for while we were descending LDR-A arroyo.

When we ascended Right Branch Arroyo nearly to its source and trudged to the crest of the hill leading to the upper flatland road a pleasant breeze picked up; unfortunately we were ending our hike just at that moment.

Mother and child Ocotillos

The usual lineup

Western Kingbird

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

This & next:  Swainson's Hawk

Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

More distant view of the mountains

This & next:  Tortugas and the Organs

Century Plants

This and next:  juvenile Grackles


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Hawk and Sprinkles

Slightly wet Swainson's Hawk
Took Frio and Willow out by myself this morning, and we got spat upon early.  I was a bit worried that my photos of the Swainson's Hawk might be marred by raindrop spots on the camera lens, but they came out OK.

We did our normal hike today, and we did see Mr. White Hat and his dog early on trekking west down the Tellbrook Arroyo.  They were far enough away, though, that neither Heeler got overly exercised about their presence.

Good time was had by all on the Tuesday trek.

Slightly wet Swainson's Hawk's butt

Ocotillo, Soaptree Yucca and Organ Mountains

Raindrops on mesquite leaves

Clouds with patches of blue sky

Frio and Willow headed up Left Branch Arroyo

Cactus Wren in yucca crown

North toward Tortugas

A bit more blue sky

Organ Mountains

Ocotillos on the hill west of the right branch

Willow and Frio exiting Right Branch up the hill


Monday, June 27, 2022

A Few Good Rains

Ocotillos on a hill west of the Organ Mountains
This morning's high humidity didn't feel too uncomfortable until the sun made its appearance, and then it got really steamy in the desert.  A stronger breeze might have made a huge difference, but there was barely a whisper of air.

We did our complete hike, taking only a few shade breaks because Willow didn't demand more.  Just as well, though, because we were in a hurry to get back to the CR-V and an air-conditioned ride home.

This & next:  Ocotillos on both sides of LDR-A

North along LDR-A arroyo

This & next:  down Middle Branch Arroyo

Long view of Tortugas

This & next:  two flanks of Tortugas Mountain

Ocotillos and the mountains

Willow and Frio in the right branch

The rest:  more Ocotillos, including one toppled over


Sunday, June 26, 2022

A Cool Wind

Really green Ocotillos
Our hike was especially enjoyable this morning because, even though it was humid, a nice cool wind blew throughout our explorations.

Did the usual trek today; no need to elaborate.  We saw no one in the desert, but Mr. White Hat's white van was parked in its usual spot when we got back to the CR-V.

Driving in to our parking spot today I saw a small snake in front of me and swerved to miss it.  When I got out of the vehicle I walked back to scoot it off the dirt road.  It was a small Striped Whipsnake that willingly obliged when I stomped my boot nearby.  The snake's sudden slithering motion made Dr. K cringe.

Looking back up LDR-A


Green at the base of Tortugas (left) caused by leafy Ocotillos

Humidity haze

Ocotillo south of Tortugas Mountain

This & next:  Ocotillos

Willow, Dr. K and Frio

Spot the hawk

The long view

Ocotillos in green finery


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...