Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Equity in the Desert

A strange thing about the desert:  some plants leaf out after a good rain.  But apparently not all plants have equal access to the rain.  Here are two ocotillos, one on the right side of the trail and one on the left.  They were close enough to touch at the same time (and I took the two pictures from the same spot).  Amazing.  And you can draw some interesting parallels to our society, no?  

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Hummingbird in Phoenix

 While I was hiking at the Piestewa Peak area in Phoenix, I spotted this beauty:

I love  hummingbirds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Fun Trail Signs--White Tank Regional Park, Phoenix

Fun trail sign at White Tank Regional Park:

This is on the Ford Canyon trail, and it's really not that hazardous.  But it IS a very fun trail, with a nice destination (little pools that hold water much of the year).    

Saturday, February 11, 2023

What Happened to the Sonoran Desert?

The Sonoran Desert may be the lushest desert in the world, but "lush" is relative.  Until yesterday.  I'd never seen it so green.  We've had more rain and cooler temperatures than usual lately, and the rain has been at better intervals than normal.  And this...this is the beautiful result.  One guy I met on the trail said, "It's like a golf course!"  So all the people who are in town for the Super Bowl and are out hiking are going to be like, "Why do these people think they live in a desert?"  

Pictures are from the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve (Desert Vista Trailhead).  The greenest sections were on the back end of the Desert Tortoise trail and the Valley Vista trail (which also appears on some maps as the highly accurate--as of today--Valle Verde trail).

The poppies were also out:

Hike Stats:

Distance: A little over 11 miles

Elevation Gain:  A little over 2700 feet

You can take much shorter hikes here.  I was training for the Grand Canyon.

My route:  From the Desert Vista Trailhead up the Hawk's Nest Trail, clockwise on the Dixie Mountain Loop to the Western Vista Trail (which I did twice), then to the Dixie Summit Trail (which I did twice), then to the Valley Vista trail, then clockwise on the Great Horned Owl trail just to the Union Peak Trail (which I did twice) and then backtracked on the Great Horned Owl trail and the Valley Vista trail to the Desert Tortoise Trail and back to the parking lot.  BEAUTIFUL hike in this weather and this green.