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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Brief Respite

This & next:  Soaptree on the bank of LDR-A arroyo
Dr. K went shopping this morning, and Willow, Frio and I did our usual hike.  Weather conditions were very pleasant while we were out there--44F, plenty of sun and no breeze.

Things will begin to get bad later today as the winds pick up again.  35 mph gusts today, but Wednesday and Thursday are supposed to be far worse; additionally rain and, perhaps, snow are in the precipitation forecast.

We saw nobody during our daily trek, but a white car was parked in the Tellbrook/Sonoma Ranch lot when we arrived at the trailhead.

Telephoto to the mountains

Willow and Frio

Hill, Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

Yuccas west of the Organs

Hill, flank of Tortugas and the Organs


Monday, February 27, 2023

Life After Dust

Surprisingly clear despite yesterday's all-day dust storm
Desert sky was surprisingly clear after yesterday's nearly all-day dust storm.  The wind was barely a breeze when we started off on our morning hike.  It only began to strengthen slightly when we were almost finished with the outing.

Because the fierce wind shredded part of the blue plastic tarp I have covering the large skylight over our entrance way I had to get up on the roof after our trek to do some maintenance work.

I was able to salvage nearly all of the tarp and secure it in place again; hoping it lasts through the next major wind event, which is coming this week.

Yuccas on a hill

Willow, Frio, Dr. K

This & next:  Barrel Cactus with old fruit

Soaptree Yucca, Ocotillo, Faxon Yucca


Willow and Frio

Three Kings from the east

See what I have to put up with?

Long view of Tortugas and the Organs

Hedgehog, Prickly Pears, Creosote, Soaptree Yuccas & Faxons


Sunday, February 26, 2023

Beating the Horrid Wind

Three Kings
We were fortunate in that we were able to get our entire hike in before the horrible winds started up today.  We didn't even feel any breezes until we had almost reached the exit point in Right Branch Arroyo.

After our trek we took a long drive and listened to Matt Jones and Myron Medcalf's "Sunday Morning," getting in some very good laughs along the way; those two are real characters.

After our outing I took Frio for a lengthy ride in the Jeep, listening to more of Matt and Myron.  Frio had a great time because he loves to go for drives in the Jeep.

Right now there's a dust storm in progress, and the winds are raging.  We got an emergency notice on our phones advising that "zero visibility" conditions might exist on area roadways.  The wind has ripped the plastic tarp covering our large skylight, and I'll have to get up there tomorrow to assess the damage.

Hedgehog in grass

Ridge west of the Organs

This & next:  Willow and Frio

Ocotillo on the ridgeline

Frio and Willow

Best image I could get of this Pyrrhuloxia


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Cool and Overcast

Li'l tree
It wasn't very chilly when Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I set off on our morning hike today; in fact, even though the car thermometer read 44F, it felt quite comfortable.  Despite the lack of sunshine the absence of wind made it fairly pleasant.

We did our usual route, and though we heard dogs barking we saw no one.  After our outing we took a drive around several different neighborhoods solely to stay out a bit longer.

Frio and Willow

Baby teeth

Soaptree Yucca

Tortugas and the Organs

Dr. K treating the Ohs

How many Barrel Cacti?

Frio and Willow on break


Friday, February 24, 2023

Quite a Change

1st 2:  Soaptree Yuccas
I know Dr. K felt hot this morning during our extended desert hike; she wore the same outfit she had on yesterday.  I opted for a light vest beneath my lightweight Marmot PreCip, and I was hot.  Even the Heelers seemed hot at times, taking more shade breaks than usual for this time of year.  67F as I post this blog.

We lengthened our trek by descending LDR-A across the Tellbrook Arroyo, turning east and then heading north along a wide arroyo that leads to the outer loop road furthest south.  But instead of going that far we headed west and bushwhacked for a while before jogging south to the Tellbrook Arroyo, which we crossed.

Picking up the Right Branch Arroyo we hiked south and then west up and over the steep hill just east of where the CR-V was parked.  A good outing today.

This & next:  same Barrel Cactus

Long view of Tortugas and the Organ Mountains

Frio and Willow on scent

This & next:  Willow and Frio chillin'

Lincoln's Sparrow?


Thursday, February 23, 2023

A Respite from the Wind

Moon, Jupiter and Galilean moons (?)
We got a real respite from the horrible winds of yesterday this morning, and we took full advantage of it by doing our regular hike and stopping for an extended time in several different spots.

Willow and Frio enjoyed lying out in the desert dirt while Dr. K and I palavered about nothing of particular importance.  We saw no one else while we trekked around our section of northern Chihuahuan Desert today.

Moon, Jupiter and Venus

This & next:  Organ Mountains

My shadow and my shadows' shadows


Funky Soaptree Yucca in LDR-A arroyo

Proper yucca through funky yucca crown

Torrey Yucca

This & next:  Willow and Frio

Last 2:  Frio and Willow


First Workweek Hike

Wilster Saving grace out there this morning was a constant breeze; it kept the temperature from feeling as bad as it actually was. We altere...