Pick a direction and head out - I'm always interested in what turns up
At the south-east end of the BLM campgound at Painted Rock, there is a BLM road that heads south, eventually crossing other BLM roads.
Every once in a while, I see these little balls on creosote bushes. Perhaps someone out there can identify them - I think they might be cocoons or some kind of insect thing. It looks like they're made of creosote leaves - but they don't look like a growth coming out of the bush itself.
The terrain here is pretty barren and flat with mountains in the distance. Mostly I'm seeing creosote bushes, ?Rabbit Bitterbrush?, fishhook barrel cactus, and an ocassional, not very healthy looking saguaro.
Things green up around the frequent washes I'm crossing
From little washes only a feet across and barely a couple steps deep, to wide washes (maybe 30 feet across and 10 feet deep), these sometime waterways support grasses, mesquite, ironwood, palo verde and more that I can't identify.
Cattle chute, corrals and cistern for watering
|This looks like a water pump with a pipe into the rock cistern|
|This trough surrounded the cistern on 3 sides with pipes to fill them from the cistern|
|A fire ring - although camping is not allowed here, the ashes were recent and I found a potato that wasn't even shriveled up yet - so - hmmm.|
I decided to hike up the the top of a ridge of exposed volcanic rock before turning around. Sometimes, when I hike, I get into a mindset of "I wonder what's over that hill, or around that corner" and don't think to turn around until I'm really tired and stuck with having to trudge all the way back from wherever. Now, I tend to pick a time frame for the hike and try to turn around mid-way.
|View back to the campground - hard to get too lost around here!|
And a lovely sunset
Yesterday was too cloudy for a good sunrise or sunset - kind of like winter in the PNW - black to gray to black. But this night, the partly cloudy sky made for a great sunset. I watched it until the sky was dark and then made a small fire. I don't do campfires very often but this just seemed like a good night to have a fire and enjoy the night. The desert is very quiet, the moon is almost full - I love it here!
|Perfect coals warming the night|