Yesterday morning at Rock Knob I found everything I had seen on Friday except Poppies and Lupine which aren’t quite ready but I was excited to see Wild Cucumber in bloom!
Wild Cucumber (Marah gilensis)
With nothing else new, I spent some time playing with depth of field (DOF). The fun has begun 🙂
Blue Fiesta Flower
Chris loves being my model so it didn’t take any coaxing to get him out this morning 🙂
Here’s a glimpse of the awesome trail going through Rock Knob. It was built as a horse trail but is very popular with mountain bikers. (take note Jim K. and John W: Come on over any time for some mountain biking AND photography!)
A second morning of checking out the sunrise possibilities.
Chris had today off and I was able to talk him into going out with me. Thanks Chris 🙂
Cholla at Sunrise
The North end of the Preserve is beginning to bloom! We spotted Combseed (Pectocarya penicillata) in the Rock Knob/Marcus Slide area of the Preserve this afternoon. I think of this teeny tiny white flower as the first wildflower of the season. Next to bloom will be Cryptantha and Fiddleneck which are already several inches tall. A freeze is still possible but we’re thinking positively!
Combseed (Pectocarya penicillata) is so tiny (note the decomposed granite), you won’t notice it at first glance.
Despite getting soaked by rain all morning, we had a great hike in the desert yesterday. We noted a few more downed Saguaros. In this case as well as many others, the water logged ground became too soft to hold the rain swelled Saguaros in the strong winds and they were just pushed over.
Fallen Saguaro on Trail 4 – State Trust Land
Here’s another gigantic specimen spotted at Rock Knob last weekend. So sad 🙁
Awwww…..a little Penquin rock 🙂
Spotted on Rock Knob and not so little, actually. He was about 10 feet tall.
When I saw the ears, I knew I had to try to capture this creature 🙂
Lighting was a challenge so I converted to black and white but left a little color.
Rock Knob is in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. More information on my Jan 4th post.
One of Wikipedia’s definitions for the word “knob” is “a prominent rounded hill”. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve‘s Rock Knob probably looks more rounded from the air but either way, it is one of our favorite places to explore because it’s only minutes from our house. Here’s a shot from yesterday.
Tom’s Thumb, East End and Rock Knob in the Preserve are the latest to open up and plans are underway to make these areas even more accessible to the public. It’s my understanding that construction on a new trailhead/parking area and more trails will begin this year. Exact location hasn’t been revealed. Click here for a great trail map of the Preserve. Look to the upper right for Rock Knob (PDF).
These areas are filled with huge free standing granite boulders and is where I’ve found most of my “faces” but there are so many photo ops there. The views are spectacular and the desert is especially lush so it’s great for birders and Lepidopterists.
Here are two photo ops I spotted yesterday while waiting for Chris to decend.