Archive for the ‘New Mexico Locust’ Tag

Robinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust   Leave a comment

Aspen TrainRobinia neomexicana, New Mexico Locust  Blossom — Image by kenne

The New Mexico Locust are in full bloom on Mt. Lemmon, which is a prominent understory tree in spruce-fir, fir, and mixed conifer forests. New Mexico locust has beautiful flowers that can brighten whole hillsides in the spring so it is sometimes planted as an ornamental. This use, however, is limited because of its small size, tendency to root sprout, and thorny stems. (U.S. Forest Service)

— kenne

New Mexico Locust   2 comments

New Mexico Locus (1 of 1) blogNew Mexico Locust — Image by kenne

The New Mexico Locust are among the first blooming plants on Mt. Lemmon. Because Locusts have a high fire tolerance, they were among the first to return after the Aspen Fire in 2003. 

— kenne

 

Hiking The Aspen Trail Ten Years Out   3 comments

Aspen Loop July 2013The Aspen Loop trail starts and ends in Marshall Gulch on Mount Lemmon. Part of this trail contains recovering forest from the Aspen Wildfire, which burned parts of Mount Lemmon ten years ago.

Aspen Loop July 2013Before the fire, much of Mount Lemmon was a thick forest.

Aspen Loop July 2013After the fire, aspen and New Mexico locust were quick to take over the forest.

Aspen Loop July 2013When removing a fallen pine from the trail, one creative volunteer cut a seat for resting in the shade.

Aspen Loop July 2013As the burned forest ages, each year the tall pines succumb to nature.

Aspen Loop July 2013Volunteers are busy removing trail obstructions, which will include trees like this one

Aspen Loop July 2013Hiking up the Aspen Trail.

Aspen Loop July 2013Plenty of room to shelter.

Aspen Loop July 2013
Now ten years out, the slow-growing pines are becoming more established.

Aspen Loop July 2013The signs of recovery are all around.

Aspen Loop July 2013Images by kenne

“In climbing a mountain,
if we persevere, we reach the summit;
we get, you might say, to the point.
Once on the mountaintop
there is nothing to do but come down again. . .

Descending the mountain
we enter by degrees into a friendlier,
more comfortable, more human environment —
forest, rushing streams, sunny meadows —
and soon hear the cowbells,
see the villages and the roads,
all that is familiar and reassuring.”

— Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season In The Wilderness

SCVN Friday Hike On The Oracle Ridge Trail #1(June 14, 2013)   4 comments

Oracle Ridge #1 SCVN HikeOracle Ridge Trail, View South Toward Mount Lemmon (Since I Was Leading This Year’s Hike,This Is An Image From Last Year) — Image by kenne

Oracle Ridge Trail #1

Once a trail
through the Mount Lemmon Forest,
shaded by tall ponderosas
until the trail reached the ridge
where the only shade
was from large alligator junipers.

This picture made it a favorite
of many southern Arizona hikers,
till ten years ago
the ridge was charred
by the Aspen Wildfire,
leaving only minds eye images.

Now, ten years out
many blacken trees remain
as new aspen, pine seedlings
and New Mexico locust
bring back the green
to the ridge.

Always a moderately
difficult trail on the return,
the loss of shade
has made it less inviting
to those looking for 
a cool retreat from 
the desert heat below —

still #1 for some.

kenne

Short iPhone Video Clip At Dan’s Saddle Where We Rested Under Sparse Shade Before Starting Our Return Up The Ridge.

Phil Bentley Playing The Harp

Hiking Aspen Loop From Marshall Gulch On Mount Lemmon   5 comments

It’s the time of year when the Monday hiking group take to the higher elevations — this Monday (Memorial Day) was the Aspen Loop out of Marshall Gulch picnic area on Mount Lemmon. There were eleven of us, Jim leading five in the loop’s clockwise direction and Edi leading the other six in counter-clockwise direction .

The normal snow and rain fall this past winter was below normal, so the trail was very dusty, even in this young aspen grove. 

There were very few wildflowers to photograph — this American vetch was an exception.

Jim discussed with us our interest in leaving the trail to bushwack up to Marshall Peak — “Why not?” was our reply.

Parts of the area were destroyed by the Aspen Fire, which burned for about one month in June and July of 2003. Now some nine years later, many of the large trees have begun to fall with fast growing ground cover, such as New Mexico Locust and Aspen taking over much of the once shady area.

In some places the thorny New Mexico Locust had to be cut so we could reach the top of Marshall Peak.

Once reaching the top, Jim found the registry and recorded our names. It was also a time for some equipment repair.

This was one of the views looking toward the Tucson basin area with the Rincon Mountains to the east and the Santa Rita Mountains to the south.

Leaving the top, we bushwacked a more direct route back to the Aspen Loop.

Although shorter, the route was steeper with a lot of fallen dead logs and plenty of thorn-covered brushes. When I took this photo, I didn’t realize I was photographing where I would fall after stepping into a hole between two logs.

At this point, we are not far from the Aspen Loop trail, which can be seen to the left in this photo. With the other half of our Monday hiking group having just passed along the trail, we decided to follow them back to Marshall Gulch.

Finally, we are back on the loop trail.

Marshall Gulch is a popular place this time of year, even more so on this Memorial Day weekend.

The New Mexico Locust are coming into bloom on the mountain.

Jim stops to rest in a chair cut from one of the large logs along the trail.

Back at Marshall Gulch, my bandaged right wist and bloody legs are evidence of my fall (while protecting my Nikon) going down from Marshall Peak.

kenne

Capturing The Moment — New Mexico Locust In Bloom On The Mountain   Leave a comment

The New Mexico Locust are coming into bloom on Mount Lemmon. — Image by kenne

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