Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wind Cave Trail in the Springtime

The kids had Good Friday off, so we headed up to Usery Mountain Regional Park in NE Mesa in hopes of another wildflower hike.  Jackpot baby!  When we left the house that morning, I had every intention of going clockwise on the Pass Mountain Trail for a couple of miles and then turning around and coming back.  But once we got there, I felt like more of a climb than a ramble, so off on the Wind Cave Trail we went.

Decisions, decisions!


In case you can't read it, the word on the mountain is "Phoenix" with an arrow pointing west.  I've always wondered who put it there and why.

The "wind caves" are directly above our heads on the mountain...the orange part.

Blue, red, and gold wildflowers.



Close-up of a hedgehog cactus bloom.
The brittlebush was blooming on the whole mountain.

I think this is wild heliotrope.
I've always called those red flowers "firecracker bush" but I'm not sure that's what it is actually called.

I think the white flowers are White Tackstem.  You can also see some Pink Fairy Dusters in there along with the Wild Heliotrope and some Poppies.
Sometimes the trail was steep and rocky.

Sometimes it was just a gradual incline.
I love Ocotillos.  Fact:  Ocotillos are not cacti...they are actually trees.
Lots of ocotillo blooms.
Love these bright pink blooms scattered throughout the desert.
A tangle of wildflowers.
Lupine and poppies
A tangle of cactus.
On the trail.

I think fairy dusters are so cool.

Getting close to the wind caves.

Closer...
This is about as close as we got.  I'm a wimpy hiker...I don't like cliffs and I don't like descending steep slippery rocky trails.  Hence, this is where we turned around.  The good news is I felt great and still had lots of energy. 


A poppy enclave.


Going down.

So pretty.

Two ocotillos for the price of one!



Mesa in the distance.





It seemed like wherever there were poppies, some sort of purple flower accompanied it.

View coming down.



One last group photo...wish Jay could have skipped work and come with us.

Best kids in the world.



Lupine

In a forest of saguaros.



It was a busy trail that day.


Ocotillo buds

Old cactus...new flowers


Almost at the end.  There were two artists painting springtime in the desert.

I especially liked this gentleman's rendering.


A bench to contemplate God's abundantly beautiful creations.

A parting shot of an ocotillo and some teddy bear cholla cactus.


As we drove away, we saw where we hiked last weekend in the distance. 



 I love springtime in the desert!

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