Started the day with a hike in the desert and washes behind the park. Saguaro oddities abound. Is it genetic or disease. No answers. Crested saguaros are much photographed. There are other oddities including this spiral of the upper branches.
The destination for the day's hike was the bee colony in the wall of a desert wash. These two photos of the wash and colony are from January of 2012.
Our hike along the desert washes showed the destructive nature of summer monsoons in the desert. The past summer's heavy rains and resultant water flows collapsed embankments, upended and exposed tree roots, and toppled some saguaros. The water flows didn't entirely destroy the grotto where the bees had their colony, but it did significant damage to the combs. They seem to be rebuilding. However, it appears the space to make a similar structure isn't there.
The spines of this saguaro provided interest for Steve and Bill as they explored the desert.
At the end of the day we gathered at Steve's site. With camera in hand, I caught this rabbit feasting on a seed block set in the wash.
Attracting birds is not difficult with feeders. This hummingbird was perched on a feeder on a window of Steve's trailer.
As we chatted and planned the next hike, the sun dropped below the horizon while the moon appeared in the east. Didn't realize I captured a bird in flight until I was reviewing the photos.
Good hike. Great company. Fantastic weather. Life is great!