05 July 2008

Valvehouse Trail[sic]

This "trail" still looks mostly like a road, and there's a gate that could be unlocked to allow vehicles through, so I suspect it may still get some use as a road. Once again, I wound up where the cattle had been let loose to graze, but unlike the last stop, the hills around this "trail" didn't look overgrazed. I didn't make it all the way up the trail because it looked like the entire herd was up just past where I turned around, and I wasn't in the mood for working through them. The thing with large herbivores is that, roughly, 99.9%* of the time, they'll leave you alone if you leave them alone. It's that 0.1% of the time when you accidentally annoy them, or something already has them spooked, etc., that is problematic. Two cows had already startled me earlier on the trail. I heard a sort of snort and almost growl come from the bush and slowly backed off...only to realize that it was just a cow passing through.

Still, the hike was well worth it for one single plant that I got to see in bloom. Pink prickly pear! It may be Mojave cactus, as that's the only identified prickly pear I found with pink blossoms. Pretty whether that's what it is or not.

There were bunches of these blooming. Gorgeous little plants. I first saw them on a rather nasty, rocky slope, and dutifully scrambled up it to get some pics. Then I had to get down. The taiji walk came in handy for this, as the rocks were not particularly stable. Naturally, I later saw some that were much more accessible, so the scramble was completely unnecessary. ^/^

*[AM ADDENDUM] Completely made-up percentages. Not for use in calculating.

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