On Mount Ballard

Yesterday Bev and I walked up a steep path towards the summit of Mt. Ballard, the highest peak of the Mule Mountains and the eighth-highest mountain in Cochise County, Arizona.

Sage, the sure-footed collie, accompanied us up the winding trail, which was surrounded by a spotty elfin forest of shrub oaks, manzanitas, madrones, and piñon pines. We passed through a large expanse of mountainside which had been burned in a wildfire a few years ago. New sprout and seedling growth was springing up but had only attained a height of two or three feet, leaving the view across the canyon unobstructed. Some photos:

Looking across the vast expanse of Sulphur Springs Valley the snow-capped peaks of the Chiricahua Mountains can be seen, a range we plan to hike into sometime soon.

The trunks of a tall succulent plant known as the Soaptree Yucca are normally shielded from view by the dry and dead remains of spent leaves, with the current leaves forming a starburst spray at the top of the trunk. The fire burned off the dead leaves and revealed charred but undamaged trunks marked with intriguing patterns of leaf-scars and the charred leaf-stubs:

It was a pleasant hike. We stopped along the way in a grove of manzanitas and ate spinach-feta cheese bread and avocados, while Sage greedily drank from an outstretched palm filled with water from a bottle.

Larry

One comment on “On Mount Ballard

  1. Joan says:

    Now I can hardly keep up with the posts, which is a nice dilemma, to be sure. (grin) These photos, in the parlance of my next door neighbor from South St. Louis, are just absolutely ‘garjus’ 🙂
    Sage’s presence is really an enhancement. Sort of a traveling furry focal point to enliven any landscape.
    Natch I love the close-ups. They are all essentially abstract art which one can actually explain.

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