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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Routine day

I spent most of the morning up on the mountain swinging the pickax. The girls are way far ahead of me. They're barely visible in this photo right in front of the oak patch.

Here I've zoomed the camera lens a bit. They rough-in the trail and leave the finishing to me. I didn't make much progress today. Really rugged terrain. Julie's daughter, Gabrielle, joined the work crew today.

Here is an example of a spot they roughed-in. I, jokingly, told them they must have turned into mountain goats somewhere in this process to be calling that a trail. But, of course, in reality, I like the system just how it is. I like to do the final decisions on how steep, wide, smooth, etc. to leave it. It makes me feel like I'm doing the creative part with a whole lot less labor. Doing it all by myself on the S Rim Trail reminds me of just how much help they really are. 

Section of trail roughed-in

Same section after I sculpted it.
Here is the roughest section of the trail so far. At some point it's going to need some heavy pickaxing. That one outcrop is right in the middle of the trail. No other options. A person can walk over it but I'd really like it to be removed. I think I'll see what the sledgehammer can do.

Next is a perfect example of the cholla status up there. They all looked dead after 2011 but many are starting to look like this. It appears that the roots survived the record freezes and big new shoots are coming up. And apparently Lucifer Hummingbirds will nest in dead ones in the meantime, although I haven't found a nest yet this year. That's mostly due to lack of searching.

And back at the oasis I sat and birded with some birders. Good thing I did or I would have missed seeing this Yellow-billed Cuckoo one of them found. It's a distant heavily-cropped shot, but my first photo of that species so I'm not too picky.

Such an interesting bee or wasp. It sure looks like it says "8333" on its back in big yellow letters.

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