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Sunday, December 31, 2023

Eve of Destruction

House Finch
29F again when we started off.  Guess who did the hike with us:  Dr. K--back from San Francisco and ready to go.  Willow and Frio were sure happy to have her on the trail with us again.

We did the usual route, adding no extra mileage because Dr. K was fatigued from her trip and the two weeks away helping her sister, Caroline, out after Caroline's surgery.

After the trek we drove over to our local Circle K to gas up the CR-V, and then we took a normal drive around several different neighborhoods just for the hell of it.


Dried seed pods of a Soaptree Yucca

Flank of Tortugas

We four

Down the middle branch


Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Real New Year's Eve Eve Hike

Organ Mountains
29F when Willow, Frio and I started off this morning; no sun.  At least there wasn't wind, which would have made conditions even more frigid.

I didn't extend the trek like I have been doing recently due to the inclement weather.  All of us seemed satisfied with the length of today's outing.

Drove straight home after the hike in order to get into the cozy warmth of our desert abode.

This & next 3:  the "O"s

Ancient Soaptree Yucca in the left branch arroyo

"O"s again

Headed down the middle branch

Triple barrel, Soaptree Yucca and the mountains

This & next 2:  a long view

View of Tortugas and the Organs from the right branch

The most we saw of the sun this morning


Friday, December 29, 2023

New Year's Eve Eve Hike

Moon over yucca
The "O"s and I did another long hike this morning bushwhacking out of the left branch arroyo and striking east across the desert a short ways.  We then turned around, scaled a steep hill and followed the ridgeline we've been trekking along the past few days.

At one point Frio and I descended into a large arroyo and Willow didn't come with us; she was still following the ridge.  When I whistled she came running, a bit too fast for my liking.

From there we bushwhacked back over to the left branch arroyo and followed our usual route to the waiting CR-V.

This & next 2:  Soaptree Yucca and Organ Mountains

Frio, Soaptree Yucca and the mountains

This & next 2:  the "O"s

Morning moon

Prickly Pear, barrel cactus and yucca

Prickly heart

B&W desert


Thursday, December 28, 2023

Thursday's Titillating Trek

View from LDR-A arroyo
This morning during the coldest part of our trek we kicked up a mule deer that took off at near light speed, leaving no time for me to extract my camera.

Later, as we walked the high ridgeline along the hills west of the Organ Mountains both Frio and Willow kept staring down into the valley as if they were seeing the deer, but I saw nothing.  I even took a photo of the area hoping I could spot the deer later when we got home.  No dice.

We got a good, long hike in today replete with much bushwhacking.  The "O"s were off lead for nearly the duration and they enjoyed themselves mightily.

Headed to the top of this hill

Hedgehog Cactus

Willow and Frio reach the crest

The long view from the top of the hill

Desert flora

Desert between here and the Organs

"O"s kept staring down there

Looking southwest from the hilltop

This & next:  looking west over the "O"s

Long view of Tortugas and the Organs

Closer look at the mountains

Soaptree and the mountains

Hill west of the Organs

Frio tooling along


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Coyote Friend

The "O"s
Darned cold out there this morning:  32F.  We were spared, though, because there was no wind.

We did the Basset trail essentially in reverse, bushwhacking east across the desert to the hill closest the Tellbrook Arroyo; from there we followed the ridgeline south until we decided to descend into an arroyo.  On the way down we spotted a curious coyote monitoring our progress.

It's obvious he was unperturbed by our presence.  He stayed at a safe distance watching our moves.  I took many photos of him, posting the best here.  He was still lying in the same spot when we headed west to hook up with the left branch arroyo.


Frio wants to go that way

Ocotillo and the mountains

Yuccas and the Organs

Frio and Willow

The long view

This & next:  "O"s on a hill

Tortugas and the Organs

We're being watched

Bushwhacking through here

Roll out the barrels

Coyote in this image, and you'll not find it

The rest:  our coyote friend


Heat is On Again

Headed down LDR-A arroyo to yucca shade for Wils The desert floor hasn't been cooling off very much during the overnight hours, and the ...