Had a great hike last Saturday. A fairly pretty trail down next to the creek at Spur Crossing Ranch north of
Cave Creek. Got my first wild rattlesnake photo (the one at the zoo in Tucson doesn't count as wild).
It had been down by the trail when others up ahead of me radioed back that they had encountered it. By the time I got there, it had gone up under a bush by some rocks. It didn't seem too nervous — no rattling, and it was sticking its tongue out a lot — so I got in under the leaves just out of its striking range and zoomed in for this nice shot. The tough part was the camera kept wanting to auto-focus on the closer twigs and I didn't want to take time to manually focus, so I had to aim at something the same distance away as the snake, get auto-focused, then re-aim to shoot.
We started out going up over some hills with lots of cholla and saguaro cactuses. Beautiful day of about 75° out.
There weren't as many wildflowers there as we expected, but we did find a nice patch of holiday cholla cactuses.
The new growths were about 3/8″ to 1/2″ in diameter. The main needles are easy to avoid, but you dare not try to pick off one of the pretty “red berries” on these cactuses. As this closeup shows, they have patches of very tiny needles (Al called them something else, but I forget what) that will impale your fingers if you try to grab one, and they are seemingly impossible to get out and are quite painful for their size. I found out from personal experience a couple of weeks ago that the only effective way to remove them is by using duct tape to extract them. Ouch.
After topping a hill, we came down into what appeared to be a Saguaro cactus forest.
As we got closer to the creek, I found this lovely green cholla cactus in among the bushes. It seemed very happy.
The trail along the creek was considerably different than the one going up over the hill that we were just on.
There wasn't much water in the creek, but it was still quite pretty. We also found a small mine nearby that a couple of us crawled back into. Unfortunately, I found it so interesting that I forgot to take any photos inside or outside of it.
When we got back to the parking lot at the trailhead, I fell in love . . . with my next new Camaro. Can you guess why I liked this beautiful little car? Each of my four previous Camaros were white, but I suppose I could get used to one that is orange and black, even if it was a soft top. Real used to it . . .
This Sunday we are going back to the Peralta Canyon Trail in the Superstitions. This is from last year out there:
The hoodoos up near the top at Freemont Saddle.
This is a relatively long and rugged trail (for us) and last year it just about killed me off. I'm in a lot better shape now, though, so I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm even going to take enough water with me this time.
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