Cierra and I had a great hike today with mother nature surprising us along the way.
[Click on photos to see them enlarged]
A view of Lake Pleasant. I chose a less frequently used trail hiking down in to Cottonwood wash.
The welcoming committee near the beginning of the trail.
I think these birds are Turkey Vultures.
I was looking for wildflowers. The best I could find was this carpet of grass with tiny white flowers.
I see a heart.
My little trail blazer leads the way. There were several trails, and sometimes none at all, I let her select the best way.
Lichen. It's fluffy and healthy from the recent rain.
Scenery along the hike.
A twisted and tangled saguaro.
Wasp nest. Lucky for me, no one was home.
Cottonwood trees in the wind have a sound all their own.
We saw several elusive burros.
Burros. This is one of my favorite photos of the day.
Rocks embedded in rocks.
I think I hiked here about a year ago, there was more water here last year.
We found a big heart shaped rock.
Cierra, cooling her heels.
My little poser.
We sat down here for a snack.
This is another of my favorite photos of the day. I didn't see the reflections until I looked at my photos at home.
Cierra, water gazing. There were a number of bees and dragonflies here. Bee's are one of Cierra's obsessions.
The rocks here are really neat. The water made me think of the song: "Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts - and me without a spooooon".
Views along the hike.
Views along the hike.
Cierra, modeling on the big rocks for me.
And looking so fine :)
More big rocks in the wash.
I stopped to photograph the bark stuck in the Palo Verde tree, Cierra's watchful gaze is amusing. She leads the way but never loses sight of me.
I'm not sure if mother nature put this here by accident or if it had help from mankind.
A pincushion cactus.
This big rock sparkled in the sunshine. Too bad it's not sparkly in the photo.
Another cool rock.
Moo eating fresh green grass.
My pretty girl.
Cierra has been trained not to chase things, when we hike she's simply not allowed to give chase for her own safety. I can tell by her body language when she has seen or heard something. Four-legged creatures like the burros, squirrels, javelina, etc are really exciting but she has to practice avoidance. Today she stiffened up and pointed and "hello rattlesnake"
I don't know if it's a boy or girl, I'll just call it "he". He was stretched out sunning himself when we crossed paths. It was about 80 degrees, and he was sluggish from what is cool weather for a snake.
He's a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
He wanted nothing to do with us but to flee. I imagine such is the case with most snakes.
What a lovely tail.
I would estimate he was about 5' long.
Slow motion fleeing.
Up the crevice in the rocks.
"My what beady eyes you have".
There's no easy way to tell the age of a rattlesnake. The number of rattles on their tail is not reliable, nor is their diameter and length. The size of the snake can vary by food availability.
Finally, he curled up in here to wait. Cierra received a lot of praise for handling this right. I hope the rattlesnake returned to sunning himself after we left. I did tell him thank you for the photos. Just call me "TalksToRattlesnakes".
More neat rocks. I should take a course to learn more about Arizona's geology.
Patterns in the rock.
It's not exactly a wildflower, but the closest thing I could find of color. Pretty much everything in Arizona pinches, pokes, stings, bites, stabs and clings; and I love it here.
Nearing the end of the hike, my pretty girl.
Ah, I see the truck.
We made it :) Lovely hike.