Hiked a trail called Fat Man’s loop, at the base of Mount Elden, on a warm sunny winter day. It is a high desert trail with an elevation of about 6900. The terrain is bouldered and dusty, it includes rocky mountain junipers, alligator junipers, Gambel oaks, pinyon pine, ponderosa pine, prickly pear, and banana yuccas. It also has many snags along the way, which I love the look of, sometimes I’ll see birds perched on them. This is great winter hike because it is very sun exposed.
Alligator junipers are a unique evergreen because of the bark, which looks like the skin of the an alligator’s back. Banana yuccas are a xerophyte plant of the agave family. They are water conservation plants found in arid conditions. They bloom their flowers from April to July.
It’s hard to believe that it is February and we humans are outside in this high elevation area in shorts and t-shirts. There are some flower blooms and birds seems to be starting the mating season. I keep expecting another snow storm, hope for one, to give us more moisture. Some preciptation now would balance out our year and prevent drought and its consequences later.