It's been in the low to mid-90's lately here in Carlsbad so we decided to gain some elevation and lose some degrees this weekend. To the north and east of here a bit is a cluster of beautiful mountain ranges (Sierra Blanca, Sacramento and Capitan mountains) that rise up above the sweeping grasslands. They come in handy when it gets hot in the lower elevations!
Here's a few pics:
The basic idea - mixed conifer forest which is common in the approx. 7,500-9,500 ft. elevation range 'round these parts. The conifers are Ponderosa Pine, SW White Pine, Two Needle Pinon, White Fir, etc. The deciduous trees that you see are primarily oaks.
Jennifer getting her binoculars situated:
Steve is more than ready to hike:
Not too far down the trail we come across an old mine - reminding us that we are not the first to have appreciated this area (but for very different reasons):
Golden Smoke (Bleeding Heart Family - same family as good old Dutchman's Breeches that some of you may know quite well!):
Field Crescents breeding:
Fendler's Pennycress (Mustard Family):
We hiked along a pretty little flowing creek - the waters coming from the melting snow atop the 12,000 ft. Sierra Blanca and surrounding mountains:
Gotta see Columbine or it ain't the mountains! This one is Elegant Columbine (Buttercup Family):
Unknown Pea (Legume Family):
Iris Missouriensis (Iris Family):
Wooten's Butterweed: (Aster Family):
Cute little Green Snake:
Best pic of the hike (Jennifer got this one) - cool clear mountain stream:
This place will require a return visit!!