Saturday, February 7, 2009

on the trail with my eyes open

I took a break from hitting the books today and took a quick 6 mile hike through part of Saguaro National Park (SNP). SNP is about a 10 minute drive from my house. I was really happy that the Curved Billed Thrasher stayed put long enough for me to snap a picture.

Beautiful day out today -- its supposed to get windy tonight before our next storm hits. I took the Shantz Trail out past Pink Hill to Squeeze Corral Trail and back via the Cholla Trail. Quite a few people out on the trails today, including several on horseback.

Even in the dormant winter months, colors linger from summertime.

This is part of the internal framework of a dead prickly pear cactus pad.

A new arm starts to emerge out of the side of a saguaro

A really strange cactus in the foreground

This is what happens when you take phototropism too seriously...

Looking NW toward the Santa Catalina mountains north of Tucson. This range peaks at 9157 feet, has a pine forest on top, and even a ski area. About an hour's drive from Tucson will put one on top.

Trail head sign warning of mountain lion sightings as well as reports of rabid bobcats and foxes. It seems like we've had a lot a rabid bobcats in particular in the last few years.
Ok, well time for dinner and then back to the books / career strategy.


  1. great pix as always. They are so crisp! The mountain view the air looks nice and clear. I can't help feeling amazed at taking a walk among giant cactus! My daughter said to say we have one in our house-lol started as a button ten years ago and now about four inches high.

  2. Great pictures! Your comment about taking phototropism too seriously made me laugh. I've seen quite a few cacti that have a similar problem. The rabies warning is a bit neighbor told me that one of his friends was attacked by a rabid bobcat while hiking in Tucson last year. Not something I would want to come across!

  3. catalyst -- I think he wanted his picture taken. He was singing up a storm and pretty much holding his ground on that cholla as I walked up close.

    tree -- I'm still pretty amazed the camera survived the fountain dunking! The saguaros are very cool, sometimes I think we take them for granted around here.

    Kim -- I agree, rabid bobcats don't sound like fun at all -- the idea of mixing in a strong dose of crazy with all those teeth, claws, and muscle does not sound good at all. Might still be better than a hungry mountain lion though.

  4. great pics! Makes me miss tucson (especially that great big gorgeous sky and sunshine galore!)

  5. A wonderful collection of pictures -- as usual! The one that truly intrigued me, however, was the emergence of a new arm on that saguaro.

  6. Alanna -- ah, but you guys have water, streams, rivers, beaches and lots of green trees! Its all good!

    grannyj -- I thought so too, I'm going to have to look at more new arms closely. Strange how it appears to burst out of the side.

  7. Yeah, the arm coming out of the Saguaro was REALLY interesting. You would think I'd know it happens like that since I'm in the business of plants. But I had no idea, how cool!


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