Yesterday, Randy and I took the dogs to the Waterman Mountains. They are part of the Ironwood National Monument and visible from our house, but I had only been there once before with Bob Beatson. The desert there seem harsher than even our own Tucson Mountain bajada. I wanted to do a bird count for the GBBC but I soon forgot about it because there seemed to be just Black-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Gila Woodpeckers.
|Nichol's Turk's Head Cactus, Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii|
Judging from the healthy, not frost-damaged foliage of the Ironwood trees and the freshly sprouting ocotillo leaves, this area was less hit by the latest freeze than the Tucson Mountains. Yesterday around noon the temperature had probably climbed into the seventies. After hiking in about 2 miles, steadily uphill on a loose-gravel road that made walking a little awkward, we were hot and the dogs were thirsty.
|Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) in the Watermann Mountains|
|Big Ram (Watercolor by Margarethe Brummermann)|
So we were very happy to see this healthy little group.
|Bighorn Sheep petroglyph|