Rock and A Bigger View

Friday night, I headed west with the dogs following the rainbow in search of adventure.

My car, without the attached bike, was now pulling a pretty respectable 37.8 mpg.  This fuel efficiency was more in line with what I was used to, the second-most fuel efficient car I have ever driven.  By 8:30 Sunday morning, I had a plan, and after noting a couple of meteors from the Perseid shower during the night time drive, and the early morning waning crescent moon with Jupiter just above it and Venus just beneath it, we were eagerly afoot on the 4 mile loop trail of the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area…

I was a little regretful that we had not spent the night under the stars in the park for a better view of the shower, and sorry that the birds were not really visible or verbalizing by the time we were on the trail.  Still, the rocks loomed in front of us, and the dogs and I tackled some of the rocks early on the trail, with the majestic views that they provided.

As the temperature rose through the morning, we were pretty thankful for the natural shelter that we found in the rocks, sometimes pausing for as long as 45 min. for a break.

The views of the natural landscape were stunning, and primarily punctuated by 3 different kinds of cacti,

as well as the very occasional but gorgeous wildflower that somehow defied the odds.

There were a couple of different eco-systems with their associated wildlife.  We saw cricket frogs

and big lizards at Moss lake while Spin went for a swim, and I carried Petey into the water.

A little later in the desert, a bunny would appear that was too fast for a picture, and toward the end, some deer.

Down at the creek bed, that was waterless, the memory of the creek trace yet defined by its yellow sulfur deposit,

we again saw extremely fast big lizards,

and a bigger frog that like the earlier cricket, adapted well with desert or creek camo.

I was able to get pictures of 2 birds,

and recorded about 25 different bird calls mostly down by the shelter, but the movies unfortunately were corrupted, so I will have to figure out how to fix the files before I can retrieve the calls.

I did see a monarch butterfly, as well as the 2 different butterflies pictured below:

And, there was a feral cat, at the beginning of the trail…

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