At Lower Altitude

Yesterday’s hike was a little more strenuous than our usual, and today was hotter and we got a later start, so we decided to forgo much gain in altitude and head out along the foot of the ridge of mountains. Less saguaro and lichen today, lots of other kinds of desert flora to explore.

The first thing to catch my eye was definitely the ocotillo, which seemed a little greener than the last few times we’ve been out on the trails, and the blooms were emerging, too.

And the prickly pear cacti were developing into fruit.

They always make me think of the Lewis & Clark expedition, and how the prickly pear was their singular nemesis, and the boys took it personally, while I’m sure Sacagawea just picked her way around them with her usual quiet, contained aplomb (and maybe a discreet eye roll when her back was turned to the expedition).

The staghorn, buckhorn and Christmas chollas were also moving from flower to fruit.

And we had some close encounters with some wildlife, too.

I’m pretty sure that dove had a nest up there in that saguaro, because she stayed motionless there long after she knew I had seen her, letting me get much closer than a prudent wild animal should have. Whereas those deer (can you find all three?) were skittish and shy and did not want to be caught on film.

Another good day on the trail!

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