Flowers and Fire on the Babad Do’ag Trail – 8/14/2017

Pringles Cluster Vine on the Babad Do'ag Trail. August 2017.
Pringles Cluster Vine on the Babad Do’ag Trail. August 2017.
Yellow Trumpet Bush on the Babad Do'ag Trail. August 2017.
Yellow Trumpet Bush on the Babad Do’ag Trail. August 2017.

The Babad Do’ag Trail is surrounded by flowers and green! I am more familiar with the trail in winter when the hillsides are shades of brown and tan, amazing to see it so green – but the trail is quite low on the mountain and, even with a few clouds and a little wind, the heat was… oppressive…

In April of this year the General Hitchcock Highway was briefly closed due to the Molino Fire. News reports at the time indicated that the suspected cause of the fire was recreational shooting. Ultimately the fire was fairly small – around 80 acres – and after the summer rains/growth it is hard to see the fire’s impact. The fire did touch the Babad Do’ag Trail – but only lightly, occasional burned agave mixed in with new growth.

Green growth and black burn from the Molino Fire. August 2017.
Green growth and black burn from the Molino Fire. August 2017.
The April 2017 Molino Fire perimeter in Black - the Babad Do'ag Trail is shown in red. August 2017.
The April 2017 Molino Fire perimeter in Black (a little over 80 acres) – the Babad Do’ag Trail is shown in red. August 2017.
Signs of the April 2017 Molino fire on the Babad Do'ag Trail. August 2017.
Signs of the April 2017 Molino fire on the Babad Do’ag Trail. August 2017.

False Fall Colors, Soldier Trail – 8/26/2017

Orange and red Desert Cotton Leaf. August 2017.
Orange and red Desert Cotton Leaf. August 2017.

The summer rains are long gone and it is hot – too hot for low-on-the-mountain Soldier Trail I guess and, just after the overlook of Soldier Canyon, the easy access to the water and carved rock are too tempting, my turn around point on today’s (short) hike.

Today what really catches my attention is the beautiful ‘false fall’ leaves of the Desert Cotton (Gossypium thurberi) – stunning beautiful fall colors dotting the hillside, a cruel false signal of fall with so many hot days still to come…

Desert Cotton near Soldier Trail. August 2017.
Desert Cotton near Soldier Trail. August 2017.
A red Desert Cotton Leaf near Soldier Canyon. August 2017.
A red Desert Cotton Leaf near Soldier Canyon. August 2017.
Desert Cotton Flower. August 2017.
Desert Cotton Flower. August 2017.

Pontatoc Canyon – 3/27/2017

Brittle Bush and sunset on the Pontatoc Canyon Trail. March 2017.
Brittlebush and sunset on the Pontatoc Canyon Trail. March 2017.

The Brittlebush has lined the Pontatoc Canyon Trail with yellow flowers filling the gaps between all the other flowers – it has been fun this year to make enough visits to the lower part of the trail to see the wildflower season start/grow/explode along the trail!

Sun, Brittle Bush, Ocotillo. March 2017.
Sun, Brittlebush, Ocotillo. March 2017.
Brittle Bush along the Pontatoc Canyon Trail. March 2017.
Brittlebush along the Pontatoc Canyon Trail. March 2017.
Ocotillo Flowers in the Sunset. March 2017.
Ocotillo Flowers in the Sunset. March 2017.

Double Rainbow, Light, Shadows, Linda Vista Trails – 2/19/2017

Double Rainbow from the Linda Vista Trails. February 2017.
Double Rainbow from the Linda Vista Trails. February 2017.

I am constantly amazed how much there is to see on the Linda Vista Trails – it is easy to focus on the noise and proximity to town, but if nothing else the views make the Linda Vista Trailhead a worthy destination…

Cliffs below Pusch Peak from the Linda Vista Trails. February 2017.
Cliffs below Pusch Peak from the Linda Vista Trails. February 2017.
Shadows-light, storm-clouds, Pusch Ridge. February 2017.
Shadows-light, storm-clouds, Pusch Ridge. February 2017.

Esperero Trail – 2/13/2017

February 2017.
A phainopepla near the Tram Road in Sabino Canyon. February 2017.

The Tram Road in Sabino Canyon is not always my favorite – but today… Clouds and beautiful colors in the sky – Phainopepla in the trees – easy walking.

Good light makes it easy to see the grey color of the female Phainolpepla and the shiny black of the males – sometimes perched, calling, at the top of the trees, sometimes flying, flashing the light patches under their wings. The Phainopepla are here for the Mistletoe berries – they eat the outer layers and expel the the sticky seed giving the parasitic Mistletoe a chance to spread. 

The easy walking on the tram road is appreciated today – with limited time I tried, and failed, to get to Bridal Veil Falls and after turning around under a just-out-of-reach deflated balloon stuck in a tree in Esperero Canyon (the first trash I had seen in miles) I was exhausted and happy to reach the tram road… 

February 2017.
Flowing water – one of many crossings on the Esperero Trail – still well below Bridal Veil Falls… February 2017.
February 2017.
A balloon stuck just-out-of-reach in a tree – Esperero Canyon. February 2017.
February 2017.
Looking up Bird Canyon from the Esperero Trail. February 2017.