Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring has Sprung with Springs and Flowers

When we first began this hike around a loop called "Smith Springs Trail",  I had no idea we would see any wildflowers.

The amazing fact is that we saw 25 different species.

Really, you ask?  Yes, I counted them up when reviewing my photos. Never saw this variety in the sierra foothill where we used to live and hike.

Shooting the Flowers
The loop is about 2.5 miles long heading out from Frijole ranch to see 2 different springs.  These springs were important to the Mescalaro Apache who lived in the area and, later, the settlers and cavalry who participated in their genocide.

The first spring, Manzanita is an open pool created by a small dam.
Manzanita Spring
Large enough to put a canoe on for show and grazing, it was then channeled to the farmhouse and nearby truck gardens whose vegetables ended up on people's tables in El Paso.

We walked north then up this wash towards the mountains, eventually arriving at Smith Springs, about 400 ft higher than the first spring.
Smith Spring
Pretty amazing difference in setting, huh?

Smith Spring surrounded by maple and oak
Surrounded by maple, oak, juniper and other trees, this spring was simply "gorgeous" as Sraddha would say.

Speaking of Sraddha, it's amazing she almost ate this Rockburger.....

The famous "Rockburger"
 The whole Guadalupe Mountain range was a former undersea reef about 250 million years ago.  Much of the rocks show off all kinds of fossils and shapes.  Amazing shapes.
Little "Banzai" plant growing out of a big boulder.  This was about 6 inches wide (iphone photo)
We circled around and back down to the ranch site where our car was parked and headed home for some dinner of leftovers.  Sorry no philosophy today.  Pooped.

Watching the sun set on the mountains at Pine Springs Campground

Wild Flowers

We sure hit the jackpot on wildflowers as shown here in the photos.  All of these photos were not shot with a Macro lens but they have been cropped, some considerably, due to their tiny size.  I won't bore you with photos of all of the flowers because I don't know their names.  Those with captions, we were able to figure out, sorta.

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