Sunday, April 13, 2008

A spring-time hike.

Back in December I hiked up to Kendal Camp. It was a bit snowy for my taste, so after waiting a couple months, I finally got the opportunity to go again. Sadira said she would be up for a hike, so out we went. And what a beautiful day! 70 degrees and not very windy. It was a GREAT day for a hike. The climb up the hill was still steep, but MUCH easier than with snow over everything. The increased temperature also made me a little more interested in taking pictures. So of the 200+ exposures taken, I ended up with a whopping 24 keepers! Not too shabby.

 

Right at the saddle of Maverick and Tritle, Sadira spotted this little lizard hanging out getting some sun:

 

From there we took the steep trail up to Tritle:

 

While looking for some views Sadira decided to take some pics of the blooming juniper (and oddly, both of our noses started getting awfully sensitive right about then):

 

And then we found the sweet view. Looking south from Mt. Tritle. I took a giant panoramic shot (8 exposures), so you might want to click to get a little more of the full effect:

 

We also caught sight of a gnarled old juniper tree (I took a vertical pano):

 

And then one of my favorite photos of the day was created. I just barely saw some movement on the ground and froze. We looked around until we found this little friend. A horned toad who was so sure that he blended in with the rocks, that he didn't run. Even when my camera was 2 inches from him. AWESOME! Of course the dogs ended up wondering what we were doing, and chased him off:

 

As we came back down the mountain we almost passed by this little gem. A small hole in the ground that barely caught my eye. "Look Sadira, a cave!" If you listened you could hear water dripping:

 

After looking into it for a few minutes, and with all the alarm bells in my brain going off, I decided to put on the headlamp and go into this little hole in the earth to see what was down there. I was rewarded with some great pics, and finally got to use the flash on my camera!:

 

On the drive back to town we spotted this gargantuan machine. A tree-cutter:

 

Just look at the saw blade at the bottom of it! Cuts down whole trees in one fell swoop:

 

 

It was a great hike, and darn good company to boot!

FULL PHOTOSET

6 comments:

Granny J said...

So -- it is horned toad time. I'll have to take a look around my property; there's a spot where I've seen teensy horneys. BTW, that juniper panorama is awesome.

TomboCheck said...

GJ - It's that time of the year! Growing up we used to catch horny toads all the time, now it seems like I rarely get to see them.

Glad you liked the panorama. Wish I would have gotten a wider shot, but I'm lost without my camera making sure I line them up decently. :)

Chickenbells said...

Tom...what a great hike!! I had a blast, even though we were both missing our normal hiking partners (and mine is really wanting to go out and get in that cave with you...oh, and I think we're both up for the Lava tubes up in Flag as well...) You got some great shots, and I left some seriously muddy footprints in my shower when I came home!

Thanks so much for the great afternoon!

TomboCheck said...

CB - I had a great time as well. I can't wait to see your pics from the outing!

Once it warms up a bit more I would be up to going exploring in the cave a bit (after I buy some sandals that is). Of course it could end right around that bend and be a huge disappointment.

I was talking to a local on flickr, who believes that this cave might be one of the entrances to the St. Theresa Mine, and is very possibly submerged (hence all the water). Only one way to find out, right? :)

As far as the lava tubes goes - I'm thinking in 2 to 3 weeks we will be heading up that way. Right now the roads are open, but you can only get in one way due to a fallen tree and giant puddle. So it will be a bit of a goose chase I am sure. :) I'll let you guys know when we firm up plans.

melissa said...

wonderful stuff, tom, all the photos. you make me remember that I too have a lot of beauty very close by. I should take more advantage.

love the critters!

TomboCheck said...

Thanks Melissa! Sometimes it's those little things in nature that just get the photographer in ya going. :)