My day here in Lava Beds NM almost always starts with a solitary walk up around the Cave Loop Road. It ends up being about a 2.5-mile trek and gets my day started nicely! I usually do not carry my camera with me on these walks choosing instead to focus on lazily sipping on my thermos of coffee as I move along enjoying the scenery. The other day I decided to bring the camera so I could take advantage of the early morning light and also because I’m almost done my tenure here and running out of time for some sunrise photos!! It proved a good morning for photographs!
There are still some late flowering plants adding a small splash of color to the landscape – namely buckwheat and rabbitbrush. Both were picking up the early morning light nicely!!
As I walk along the Cave Loop Road, I am constantly flushing out the California Quail who populate the sagebrush landscape. They never cease to startle me with their explosive movement and loud “wing” noise as they fly away! Later on in my walk, I spotted this lone quail perched on top of a curl-leaf mountain mahogany.
By the end of my walk, the sun was up and the sky was about as blue as I’ve seen it all summer!! 🙂