My brother rousted me out of my warm bed at 4:40 this 35-degree morning so we could go on a hike and see the full moon and the sun rise. I donned my long underwear and a couple other layers and off we went. Here is the first glimmer of sunrise:
We walked up to Thumb Butte, a long walk up a steep hill (by the time we got to the top we had both taken off a couple of layers, and the birds had begun chattering, mostly catbirds and woodpecker chatter, it is woodpecker heaven there, lots of dead pines from a beetle infestation a few years back). Here is Thumb Butte with the sunrise behind it.
The dogs, Nunya and Van Gogh, went with us (both dogs and names Dent inherited from folks who for one reason or another couldn’t keep them, he gets all his critters that way, kind soul that he is) went with us, of course, and were good walking companions, getting older, like the rest of us. They are both somewhere north of 15 now, and were very tired when we got back to Dent’s ancient 1972 VW van.
Dent, Nunya, and Van Gogh
Dent and Me at sunrise after topping Thumb Butte
Alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana), one of my favorites here, with its distinctive bark, gnarly habit, and staying power. Along with many of the pines, these go through fire and drought and just keep on living.
Mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) has the most beautiful seed pods. And manzanita the red bark.