Saturday, June 8, 2019

Caballo Lake State Park | New Mexico


This is a great scene not too far from where I was camped.


During the weekend, this area is packed with tents, trailers and lots of people. 


I love the water and there are so many places to get close to it.


Cactus flowers are still blooming.


A Yucca plant has this type of bloom.


Desert Willow trees are all over this area. beautiful this time of year.

 
I love these boat ramp signs!


They have a very nice, spacious boat ramp, well used on the weekends.

 
This state park has another RV area, called Riverside, which is full of large trees, as compared with the desert in the main area.
 
 
A small dam regulates the water in the area, and when I was there, it was really low.



The Rv sites where I was are all pull-thru, and quite spacious, with tables and shelters.  There is also a large area for boondocking.
 
 
Unfortunately, after I left someone texted me to let me know that ALL sites in this state park will be by reservation only.  There will be no "first come, first served".
 

 
 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

City of Rocks State Park | New Mexico


City of Rocks is an amazing area that was created by a volcano centuries ago.  The area surrounding the rocks is a flat meadow area.

 
All the rocks are amazingly unique, I love the ones with huge boulders perching on larger rocks. 
 

Most of the camping sites are without hookups, except for the few in the electrical area.

 

One of the campers told me where the owl was nesting.  She was near the top of a hollowed out rock, probably about 2 stories up.  She blends in quite well with the rock colors.


Nearby, this tree was surrounded by huge rocks.


Quite a few of these boulders have areas that would be good shelter for animals in the area.


I call this the Boomerang Rock!


Across from the main campground is another area that had an upheaval, creating more boulders.  The view from there shows how flat the area is.



The photo below shows that area from the main campground.


I was there for over a week and kept wandering around, seeing different formations.  This one shows a windmill that was one of two installed in the park in the 1950s.  They don't work anymore, but they are picturesque.

 


 
 
 
 


 
 



 

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Saguaro National Park | Tucson | Arizona


At the top of Gates Pass in Tucson is a place to pull over and get some scenery shots of the surrounding area.  There are some ruins in this area, including the one above.


Contrary to what most people would think of a desert - there are times when it's quite colorful.  All the yellow trees are called Palo Verde.

 
Palo Verde trees bloom yellow in the spring, and then will turn green.  The trunks of the trees are also green, and the name means Green Sticks.   Unfortunately, with the partly overcast day, this one doesn't look as vibrantly colored as they are.
 
 
Cactus!  Really pretty and colorful when blooming - just don't get too close!
 
 

 

Usually a cactus will have a single color in one plant.   There were multiple ones of this type with two different colors blooming together.


Cholla, the cactus below has a nickname - the "jumping cactus".  Definitely stay extra far from them - you can imagine where they got their nickname!  They have caught me and I knew I wasn't that close!  This one is a small one.
 

The Saguaros usually look similar to this and some have many more arms on them. 

 
Some of them get tired, and their arms sag.  Technically, I have no idea why they do this, but it may just be a problem of getting older.
 

These cacti grow slowly, and may be 70 years old before sprouting branches on them.  By the time they are 150 years old, they can reach 50 feet, some of them, even taller.  Since they collect water, the bigger ones can weigh tons.

 
Saguaro cactus is home to many birds.  They drill into the cactus to make a little den for a nest.  Some birds will use abandoned spaces from previous years and build new nests.  This was taken at a different location, since I couldn't get a good shot that day.
 
 
This photo is an ocotillo, and it's not a dead plant, although it looks a bit sad.  This is what it looks like when there has been no rain.  You'll see in the following photo this (at another location) another ocotillo has had enough rain to keep leaves on the branches.   You can see a few flowers at the tips of the branches, even though it hasn't had rain recently.  When it does rain, it takes only a few days for the ocotillo to sprout lots of green leaves.
 
 
This is an ocotillo near where I'm staying and it has been full of greenery and blooms for weeks.  It's an interesting plant - just multiple stalks from the roots - with lots of thorns along the entire branches.
 
 
This might be cheating a little, but this cactus was near where I was staying, I just thought I'd add this because it's so pretty. 
 

Arizona has lots of nice sunsets.