Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

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Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#1  Postby Jkwinston » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:04 am

Now that I am firmly settled back in London, I thought I would offer a personal view of my second habitat experience. Much respect to Ron for all his efforts in making this day the success it was.

We left early as planned, and by 7.30 am we were well on our way. Ron came and collected me at my hotel. Leaving Mesa, we turned eastwards, and eventually joined the freeway passing through smaller towns including the amusingly titled Miami. As I imagined it, we needed two hours of regular driving before we were ready to attempt the habitat approach. I played safe, and was prepared for much colder weather than we had had for the last few days, even though the sun was present and suggested otherwise.

On the way, and even before we were close to Sierra Ancha, I was struck by the sheer beauty of the mountains, with its red and orange sandstone formations, interspersed with natural evergreen plants. Soon we were off the 203, and started the tortuous climb along the dirt track road, punctuated with stones and rubble of varying sizes. By this time I realized what Greg Star had hinted about Ron’s driving. His philosophy seem to be ‘Speed is of the essence’. The quicker we go, the more time we have at our disposal to use later. He makes no concession to uneven dirt track roads. Half way up, I requested a stop. Ron appeared puzzled, and stated there are no agaves here. ‘Yes I know’, I said. ‘ I just want to take some photos, a tourist stop’.

Back in the jeep, we continued the climb, till the Agave chrysantha habitat came into view. This was the start of my second habitat trail, a truly exciting time for me. By the end of the day, I would have visited a diverse collection of sites containing four more agaves; A delamateri, A murphy, A parryi, and A toumeyana bella. Wherever I went, though, there was no escaping the ever engaging, and somewhat flirtatious Agave chrysantha, which seem to turn up everywhere. Even in its many disguises, it has become a true favourite of mine. Jkw


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Sierra Ancha
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The Joy of Sierra Ancha
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Sierra Ancha Rocks
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha and Yucca baccata
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Ron on the AC habitat
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#2  Postby Jkwinston » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:13 am

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A delamateri
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A delamateri
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A delamateri
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Yucca baccata
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ID ?
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A xmurpheyi
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A xmurpheyi
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A xmurpheyi
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A chrysantha or hybrid ?
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A chrysantha or hybrid ?
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#3  Postby Jkwinston » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:27 am

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Salado Ruins
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Salado Ruins
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Salado Ruins
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Salado Ruins
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A parryi
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A parryi
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A. toumeyana v. bella
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A. toumeyana v. bella
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A chrysantha
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#4  Postby KLC » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:13 am

Excellent Winston! You have experienced the wonder of our state. It always puzzles me when I talk to coworkers and such, when they tell me they have never ventured out of the city and into the Arizona wilderness for some sightseeing. I work with a good number of people who have lived here many years and have not yet seen the Grand Canyon. It is a very common myth with folks who don't live here that Arizona is just a big lifeless desert.
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#5  Postby Gee.S » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:03 am

Sierra Ancha is such a special place. Since Winston had a limited time here, we tried to squeeze in what we could in one day, and only arrived back at my home just before dark, so that he might tour the garden. It was a very fine day, and I would guess Winston slept like a baby that night. :))

IMG_3389v.jpg looks like Echinocereus bonkerae.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#6  Postby Jkwinston » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:29 am

Keith, I always feel the first move is accepting the challenge to do something different in your life. Most of us have needs, as part of our system. I think the difficulty is fitting those needs with our domestic life. Whatever the demands at home, there comes a time when you say I am going to do this, and I am going to this now. The state of Arizona is full of reasons for seeking adventure. Select a few, and get on with it. If people outside the State have any doubts, they should take the plunge, come and visit. That will probably change their opinion. Jkw
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#7  Postby Jkwinston » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:43 am

GeeS wrote:Sierra Ancha is such a special place. Since Winston had a limited time here, we tried to squeeze in what we could in one day, and only arrived back at my home just before dark, so that he might tour the garden. It was a very fine day, and I would guess Winston slept like a baby that night. :))

IMG_3389v.jpg looks like Echinocereus bonkerae.


Ron, I suppose you are quite right. With a limited time at your disposal, any adventurer will have to make the right choices. And again, pacing yourself is probably important. But considering the motivations which inspired this trip, I was very surprised that by the end of the day we managed to achieve so much. Absolutely grateful! Jkw
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Re: Reflections of Sierra Ancha and the Habitat Trail

Post Number:#8  Postby Jkwinston » Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:09 am

A few more A chrysantha beauties!


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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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A chrysantha
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IMG_3349v.jpg
A chrysantha
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