Ruins of old pioneer ranches are still a desert oasis
Early pioneers dug wells that in some cases are still pumping water that support wildlife and non-native trees that they planted (cottonwood, pecan, figs). I enjoyed the shade and coolness of a couple of these - besides the windmills, little else remains. I saw the foundation of a dugout house and a partial adobe wall. But, I like that the windmills are still running and producing water. Dugout Wells and the Sam Nail ranch are great places to rest a bit and bird watch.
The desert is full of stinging, biting, poking things!
Well, that's not exactly a news flash - but if you're careful, only the mosquitos will actually get you.
|Agave - or Century Plant|
|There's been so much rain that the Ocotillo is leafed out and blooming!|
englemans prickly pear
|Blind PP - no big spines - lots of tiny hairlike spines|
|3-4 inch spines - red turning to tan|
Much harder to photograph the moving things . . .
I saw deer and 3 bears, but moving too fast to get good pics. The bear were so black they looked like bear-shaped cutouts in the landscape.
|Bear butt - crossed the road and disappeared up the hillside. I saw this same bear on 3 different occasions|
I know that they are near - just where??
You see signs of javelina all over the place - but they've been elusive.
|Prickly pear pad provided lunch for some javelina|
|Javelina print in the sand|
I'll spare you the pics of javelina scat. So sad, no sightings of actual javelina.
One day I saw a tarantula crossing the road. I swerved to avoid hitting it and was sad that there wasn't a pullover so I could photograph it. Then, the next time I stopped at an overlook, there was a tarantula! And, for the rest of the day, I saw tarantulas every where I stopped - over a distance of about 40 miles.
After that day, I haven't seen a single tarantula.
Saw these guys everywhere!
|Greater Earless Lizard|
|Huge! and so brightly colored|