Sunday, June 16, 2013

Looking for something new on a familiar trail

It was kinda warm on Monday. I think that's the day my truck thermometer said it was 113 on the freeway on the way home. It's usually 3 to 5 degrees hotter than the official temperature on the freeway. It's also a few degrees cooler out in the desert than it is at the airport. I think it was only about 104 when I started my hike. I decided that I would avoid a steep trail that day, and there was something near the Superstition Mountains that I wanted to get a look at. It's something I noticed in my pictures but hadn't known to look at when I was out there.

One nice thing about blistering hot days is that the trails aren't very crowded. I did hear some people nearby as the sun set, though.

I went out what used to be a jeep trail. It's very straight for a long way and climbs gently. It was also quiet. The desert is very quiet this time of year. The birds are done claiming mates and territory. Most of the flowers are gone so there aren't as many bees around. The gnats are bothering somebody else. Sometimes there are small birds that fly around noiselessly close to the ground and call very softly, as if they are whispering. Mostly it's just the crunch of my footsteps and when I stop to take a picture, if I'm not breathing too hard, I can hear the chuff, chuff, chuff of my heartbeat when I open my mouth.

What I'm looking for is somewhere near there, or just west of there.

Hanging fruit cholla has flowers but its primary method of propagation is dropping pieces of stems that take root and grow.

The face of the mountains changes slowly as you walk by. Reminds me of a project I need to work on just as soon as I get a round toit.

The rock I was looking for was easy to find. I would like to hike all the way out to it some day but it doesn't look like it will be easy to get to. I only went 3 miles on mostly smooth ground on this hike and my ankle hurt the next day. Anything over a couple of miles seems to bother it these days.

This is the rock I was looking for. It looks kind of like an upside down L.

It was close to sunset as I made my way back to the truck. Usually the big red and black ants are back in their mounds before sunset. I kept seeing them all over the place, though, and they were scattered all over the place instead of following trails like they usually do. That should have told me that they weren't ants but I didn't realize it until I saw a couple that were connected end-to-end. That's when I finally took a closer look. They might be some kind of beetle and they were all over the place.

Are these beetles?

Click below for all of the pictures.


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