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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Barrel Cacti Still Blooming

American Kestrel
Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I had a good hike this morning.  It didn't seem as hot as yesterday--probably because the humidity was lower--even though no breeze helped cool the high temperature.

We did our normal route, seeing no one along the way; but the Basset family has passed down LDR-A ahead of us, passing some solid waste products as evidence of their presence.

We saw some interesting critters out there today, and I got a few good pics.  I was especially disappointed with the image of the kestrel; damn twig ruined what might have been a decent photo.

White-winged Doves


This & next:  Fishhook Barrel Cacti

This & next:  Frio and Willow

This & next 4:  Nipple Beehive Cactus

Last 3:  Fishhook Barrel Cactus


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Humid, No Breeze

Organ Mountains
All hikers were in agreement this morning:  it felt awful out there.  The humidity was high, the sun was blazing, and there was no breeze.  We were happy to get the trek over today.

Nevertheless, the desert was beautiful.  Barrel Cacti are still blooming, and there was a dearth of ants at the various places we stopped for shade and water.

Willow and Frio

Was that thunder?

This & next 5:  roll out the barrels (cacti, that is)

Frio and Willow

The "O"s and Dr. K

Tortugas and the Organs (phone pic)


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Hawks and Flowers

1st 2:  Ocotillos and clouds
Dr. K, Willow, Frio and I did our regular hike on a very steamy Tuesday morning; we got some overnight rain and a bit more early today.  The desert floor was wetter than it was after a recent heavy rain, so it's unclear how much precip we got.

I was lucky to spot a Swainson's Hawk perched in a tree along the cross trail while we headed east toward the Organ Mountains.  I got a few good images of it.  A while later I spotted a different Swainson's Hawk sitting atop a yucca stalk in the far distance.  Tried getting photos of a few other birds without much success.

All in all it was a good outing today, but we suffered a bit from the high humidity.


This & next 2:  Swainson's Hawks

Southwestern cloud

Swainson's Hawk


Fishhook Barrel Cactus

Curve-billed Thrasher

Barrel Cactus

Frio and Willow in the right branch arroyo

Down the right branch to Tortugas Mountain

Further down the right branch

Last 3:  same Barrel Cactus


Monday, August 28, 2023

Cooling Breeze

Sparrow, Soaptree Yucca, Tortugas and the Organs
Dr. K had a meeting to attend this morning so it was me and the "O"s on the trail this morning.

It was cool out there due to a slight overcast at first and a slight cooling breeze that kept the temperature feeling even lower than it was:  74F at start.

Scary incident way up in the right branch arroyo:  Frio got a cactus thorn in his hard palate, and I had to hold his mouth open while successfully plucking the thorn out.  Thankful I was able to do it on first try.

Heelers in LDR-A arroyo

Black-throated Sparrow

Healthy green ocotillo

Pole-vaulting dragonfly (Variegated Meadowhawk)

"O"s in the right branch

Small barrel cactus

Way up the right branch


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...