Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Safari – Mundy's Gap

Yep…still in El Paso. Molly and I hiked a ways up Mundy's Gap, from Chuck Heinrick Park. Gorgeous day. A little too much exercise for The Moll. I think she'll really struggle to stand tomorrow (I tend to forget she's not a pup). Hope you enjoy the pix of El Paso's rugged neighbors to the north, east and west (You've seen pictures of the mountains to the you've probably figured out El Paso is smack in the middle of nothing but mountains. Instead of calling it the desert Southwest...they should call it the mountain Southwest.

Mountains to the north

Mountains to the east

Mountains to the west (I guess I never pointed the camera south)

Can you imagine Molly thinking, "Are we going all the way up there?"

Are you counting the pictures of Molly?

Call it the desert-mountain Southwest

With White Sands, Ft. Bliss, McGregor, Range...I'm probably leaving out some nearby installations...there are always jet streams over this part of the country.

I really wish I had thrown my mountain bike on the back of the truck before I headed west for this trip.

Yep...more rock...more cacti

Anyone for rock climbing?

Ha! Mountains to the south (of where I was standing)

Molly loves her booties...but she wore the soles out on this hike.

"Keep up, Dad!"

More rock...more cacti

Blue sky...cacti...mesquite 

And more rock

More rock...and mountains to the east (background)...none of us can hike is part of Ft. Bliss/McGregor Range)

Another view of rocks

Closer view of the mountains to the east

More rock...more cacti (I must love the stuff)

"Dad just can't keep up...."

The trail ran along the north edge of Castner Range

More rock...more cacti

How many pictures of Molly did you count?

Have a great week.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Safari - Chamizal NP

Greetings from the hermit-writer.

I visited the Chamizal National Park today, which commemorates the resolution of a 100-year border dispute with Mexico. I remember vaguely as a kid, President Kennedy coming to El Paso to celebrate the treaty. I guess it was a big deal at the time.

All in all…not a special looking park. But I can always find something to take a picture of, you know…a tree, cloud, tumbling litter…well, maybe not the latter. But hope you like the textures I captured.

If you aren't familiar with the century plant, I think they are pretty special.

Thought the panorama of bare limbs, blue sky and clouds pretty cool...but I'm easy to amuse.

The Chamizal amphitheater 

I like murals

I like murals

(Did I mention, I like murals?)

The international bridge, right there on the edge of the park. I could have thrown a rock and hit it...well...maybe twenty years ago (today I could 'throw' a rock, but it'd only go ten feet.

Find a lot of rock accenting gardens in the South West...since it's hard to get anything but scorpions to grow here.

Typical color choice around these parts.

Nice textures, angles...

The always looming Franklin

An old border marker

Another shot of the international bridge

You can see this sculpture from twenty miles away...part of what provoked me to visit Chamizal.

(I take pictures of trees and mountains, and blue sky with clouds (or no clouds) in them.)

God does some things right, don't you think? Ah the beauty of trees...the sky.

Nice tree (aren't they all). Thirty percent chance of rain. I think that happens here twice every decade (maybe three times).

(I like trees)

The dormant bloom of a century plant. Didn't I say they are special?

Looks cool against the sky, doesn't it?

Have a great week.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Safari - Franklin Mountains State Park

Gorgeous, bright morning that about burned my Floridian eyes out of their sockets. Hope you enjoy the pictures of the rugged mountains where I was born.

Molly's feet haven't adjusted to Texas' gravel and thorns. She's cute in her booties, don't you think?

I'm coming back without Molly and going rock climbing.

A lot of peaks to choose from.

You find a lot of different colors in the Franklins.

"Come on Dad, hurry up. Now that I have boots, you can't keep up, huh?"

In this picture you can see territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. (The knob of a hill center-frame is Mount Christo Rey. A statue of Jesus on the peak can be seen thirty miles away. Squint...and you might see it.)

Lots of fodder for hard exercise. (Another day. Don't think Molly is up to it.)

Texas can battle Montana for the right to be called the Big Country.

Anyone for some repelling...or climbing?

Half the Sherrif's office was out here.

Molly patiently waiting for me.

 Before the Rio Grande was dammed and her water shifted to irrigation ditches, in the spring she would flow miles across. If you look close, you can see her original banks, from the sandy-colored line in the background, to the change of topography you can note in the nearer foreground.
It's dry here. I miss my humid woods.

Have a great week.