Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hiking in the Desert

These photos are from the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona and taken on my hike this morning.  Most people think of the desert as a barren wasteland with nothing of interest, just hot sand and prickly bushes.  OK, maybe for some people, that's what it is.  But if you look around and get into it, there are all sorts of things going on.  Plant and animal life.

I'm not sure what that bird is, but I do believe he's some sort of woodpecker.  He's sitting way up, probably 30 feet, on my favorite cactus, the saguaro.  I find it amazing that these creatures can land on a cactus and not get spiked.  Of course if you look at the spines on these things, see photo below, then you can just imagine that they land on one spine of it and don't touch another one.  Somehow. 

I heard these burros were in the neighborhood so I hiked around until they found me and kicked up some noise to get away.  I spent quite a bit of time sneaking up to them and managed to get a few shots of them.  These are 2 of the 3, the leader was ahead of them and when they started to move on, I saw the leader kick his hind legs at the little one.  Probably punishment for posing for photos.

Then I climbed a hill and got the view below.  I had been following arrows etched in the dirt, wondering what I was going to find, and this was the view.  The little patch of white near the center of the desert is the RV Park I'm staying at.

And this next one is a pretty bunch of cholla cacti with the rock hill in the background.  There were a few rabbits running around, but they are so small and quiet, there was no way I could get a shot of them.

And then there's the sunset, some nights more interesting than others.  Tonight's sunset was really pretty.  But when the sun goes down in the desert, so does the temperature - rapidly.

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