Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunshine, Snow, Birding, and Hiking

Well this is another one of those long blogs again, mostly pictures though.

Today we drove over to Franklin Mountains State Park.  This involved going an 8% grade on the Trans-Mountain Rd which goes from Hwy 54, sort of the North Side of Fort Bliss, up and over the mountain which then connects to I-10 which is still El Paso.  The park must have hundreds of miles of trails.  We spent most of the day here and it was beautiful.  The more I'm in the desert the more I enjoy it.  All the trails that we went on today were at approximately 5,200 to 5,500 ft.  When we had the snow storm a couple of days ago this area was closed.

 The start of Cottonwood and The Quarry Trails

The snow in the desert is beautiful, saw lots of what looked like rabbit tracks

That nose is buddy trying to get in the picture

I'ts hard to see but I am hiking up the hill in and out of snow.  I started off with several layers, a hoodie and gloves, by the time I got to here everything was unzipped, hat off, gloves off.  Words cannot describe how clear and crisp it was up here in the mountains.

This little bridge is going across a wash to a bird area, complete with water, various types of food and a great blind to sit in and just watch.

The outside of the blind.  Inside is a bird book, a couple of albums with pictures of the different birds the people have seen and a journal for you to write in.  This area is set up for schools to come and enjoy, including picnic table, and benches for the classroom.

Joe inside the blind looking out at the birds

This is part of what Joe was looking at.  There were hundreds of birds, many morning dove, 
and finches of every color 

This is really hard to see, one bird on the left has his feathers all fluffed out.
It probably wasn't much over 35 degrees

Not sure what kind of cactus this is, they are pretty small, the large one is about eight inches high 

Joe walking up through the wash

Down in the larger wash was this water tank that was rigged up to feed water up to two areas for the birds, it's run by solar power

This is kind of hard to see but if you look real close in the middle lower part of the picture you can see a bunch of rocks and water is dripping out of it, this is one of the pools of water that is set up for the birds

 I only have a point and shoot camera so I can't seem to get any good pictures of the birds.  This is a place that needs a good photographer, any one know who would get perfect pictures?  (Maybe someone from Bayfield)

This is a beautiful state park and I would highly recommend it for a day visit or there is also dry camping.  If we have time next year I would like to come here for about a week so I could hike around some of the other trails.

That's all for El Paso, it's time to move on tomorrow and go somewhere it's warmer.

Safe travels to all

Nancy and Joe

The birds view of the blind


  1. Franklin Mts Stae Park is great, hard to believe it's pretty much in surrounded by the city.

  2. I thought I'd come over to check out your blog and I'm adding it to my reading list. I like all the pictures and especially the one with the snow in the wash.