Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ant Hill, and the accelerating passage of time

I went for a short hike on March 29 and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. I can't figure out why it takes me so long to get things done. It's getting worse, though. Anyway, way back in March there were brittlebush flowers all over the place. My jeans would be yellow after a hike from brushing against them.

Brittlebush flowers on a hillside.

From the top of the hill.

I drove into Bulldog Canyon at the Cottonwood entrance. It's probably the least scenic entrance but I knew there were a lot of flowers in that area. Also, it was kind of a cloudy, dreary day so I didn't think I was going to get any great pictures anyway. I went to the top of a hill near the road and stood up there for a while enjoying the view and taking some pictures.

I made a 360 panorama while I was up there.

I've heard that time passes quickly for older people, but it's getting ridiculous. By the time I get a batch of clean laundry put away, it's time to start another load. By the time I get the groceries put away, it's time to go to the store again. By the time I get the last fingernail cut, the first one needs trimming again. It's like that old saying; The faster I go the behinder I get.

I saw something from the top of the hill and went to investigate. It turned out to be a mining claim marker. Dangit, I had just filled my pockets with gold nuggets. Oh well, all that weight was making it hard to hike, anyway.

I found a mining claim marker. It had paperwork in a bottle taped to the pole. The paperwork was wet and see-through but I tried taking pictures of it. Then I wandered around a little. I kept looking at a larger hill to the north and arguing with myself about climbing it. Then I spotted a hole in the rock near the top. That settled the argument. Off I went.

I seem to be obsessed with finding rocks with holes in them.

I took a lot of pictures of the "arch", trying to get a good one. Those things are frequently not well-positioned for pictures, though. Getting pictures was complicated by something else, too. Arizona has large red ants. Texas used to have them but I think they were run off by fire ants. Anyway, they are all over Arizona and I hear that their stings hurt but they are not aggressive and I've never been stung by one. I'm careful not to stand still where there are a lot of them. There were a lot on this hill, though. Their nests were more closely spaced that is usual. It was warm so they were out hunting for food. Every time I stopped to rest on the way up the hill, I had to look around for a spot that wasn't in one of their trails so I could stand still. It was hard to get the angles I wanted for pictures of the arch because so much of that area was crawling with ants. I decided to name that hill "Ant Hill" because of all the ants.

The arch from the other side.

The sun made a feeble attempt at coming out.

I got back to the truck about the time the sun set.

I'm wondering if by the time I click the publish button, will I be complaining about the summer heat or will I already be back to complaining about the winter cold (which didn't seem as cold last winter, probably due to the extra insulation I've packed on). Click below to see all of the pictures.


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