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Sunday Night Snakes!

Yep, three of them.  I think that they’re all Western Diamondback rattlesnakes.  I saw the first one at dusk and the next two when it was dark.  I used both my headlamp and flashlight to look for them as I made my way back – much more slowly than normal. I was on a grassy jeep road, but none of them were in the grass.  I think they chose relatively open spots to stay warm as the sun set.

Thursday Night Hike

I hiked a little over 10 miles on Thursday evening. I was surprised to see a mountain biker midway around the Long Loop at around sunset. It was a warm evening, but I like it that way.

At one time, this area was popular with motorcycles.  The short, steep hills in this area are riddled with trails, often eroded. In some places, such as seen here, jumps have been built, most often with dirt, but sometimes with wood too.

Creosote, I think:

The grasses have become quite dry…

Prickly pear:

As I approached the wash that I’ve recently been exploring, I saw this hill with many saguaros.

Globemallow:

I was surprised to see this really huge rock protruding from midway up the wash bank.

This might be a Monarch Butterfly:

New Mexico Thistle with bee:

This path is is an exit (or entrance) to the wash.  The path eventually leads to an old jeep road.

Desert Marigold:

The exposed dirt banks have dramatic colors near sunset.

I’ve been seeing a lot of this type of snake.  I think it’s a Long Nosed Snake.

A view from the Long Loop somewhat after sunset.  I finished the hike with my headlamp.

Tuesday Night Hike

I hiked 10 miles on Tuesday evening…

I tried and failed (without hiking poles)  to hike up a steep, but loose hill behind me.  As I was backtracking, I noticed this view…

I think this is a buckhorn cholla blossom:

I got this photo while hiking part of the Long Loop:

Globe Chamomile:

A view of the Superstitions as sunset approached:

Saturday Afternoon Hike

Marilyn and I hiked 7.5 miles on Saturday afternoon.  We hiked a similar route to that from two weeks earlier, when I had last visited the park. I’ve been trying to pick routes where we won’t see that many people.

MMRP’s hours have changed so that the park closes at 6:00 PM.  Signs at the entrance indicate that the gates are closing at that time.  In theory, it’s still possible to get out after 6:00 PM, but I’ve not yet put that theory to the test.  I’ve been careful to limit the length of my hikes so that I finish before closing.

Poppies in Pemberton / Stoneman Wash:

One of many dead trees in the wash:

New growth on a buckhorn cholla:

This tree is the landmark that I look for as I near the point where the Long Loop crosses the wash. We saw three cyclists on the Long Loop as we approached.

I think this might be miniature woolystar/woolstar.  Probably the most I’ve ever seen in one place.

Globemallow:

Lupine – we saw big patches of it as we hike along the Pemberton Trail.

Owl clover; we saw a lot of this flower too, but it seems to be drying out now.

A view from near the former ranch homestead (along the Pemberton):

I think this is either Slender Goldenweed or Spiny Goldenweed, but I don’t know which.

Fairy Duster; we were both very surprised to see this so late in the season.

I think this might be a kingsnake. I took several photos from the side and them moved around to take photos from the front. As I did so, it backed away into the nearby brush.

Marilyn spotted this Lizard on the Technical Loop:

Wednesday Night Hike

Nine miles on Wednesday night; I somewhat reversed the route that I had been taking and (re)explored some paths that I hadn’t been on in over twenty years.

These photos were from early in the hike.  I got slightly lost midway through and got home well after dark.

Tuesday Night Hike

I hiked a little over seven miles on Tuesday night.

Friday Wildflowers

Marilyn and I hiked a little over seven miles through desert near our house.

Owl Clover:

Poppies:

We were on State Trust Land; there’s a lot of junk near the road, but if you are selective about where you look, there’s certainly beauty in the area.

Looking toward the McDowells:

Hedgehog blossoms:

New Mexico Thistle:

I think this is either Spiny Goldenweed or Slender Goldenweed, but I’m not sure which.

Desert Marigold:

I was excited because we got to explore a wash that I hadn’t seen yet.

Chia:

Brittlebush:

Looking toward Four Peaks:

Lupine:

Looking toward the McDowells:

 

Hedgehog cactus blossom:

A view of Red Mountain:

Cholla blossoms:

Tuesday Night Hike

Red Mountain and Fountain:

Nearing sunset:

Looking toward Red Mountain as it’s getting dark:

Monday Night Snake

I saw this snake as I finishing my Monday night hike.

Friday Hike – MMRP Washes

Marilyn and I hiked through many washes in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We also hike a short section of the Pemberton Trail.

Poppies:

Lupine:

Chia:

Brittlebush:

More brittlebush:

Saguaros:

Chuparosa:

Globemallow:

New growth on a buckhorn cholla:

Owl clover:

Owl clover and brittlebush:

Pemberton Pond (which is more of a tank or watering hole):

Looking across the Pemberton Trail after visiting the pond:

Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron, which are both in the Superstition Wilderness, in the distance:

Interesting erosion along one of the washes:

Hedgehog blossom – the first one I’ve seen this year:

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