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North Mountain Summit / No Pavement, AZ
mini location map2013-03-28
3 by photographer avatarblack_toes
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North Mountain Summit / No Pavement, AZ 
North Mountain Summit / No Pavement, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2013
black_toes
Hiking3.94 Miles 917 AEG
Hiking3.94 Miles   2 Hrs   47 Mns   2.23 mph
917 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
 no routes
Partners none no partners
The nicest thing about hiking the same Arizona trails this time of year is to note the wonderful changes taking place. Hiking up the steep "northwest passage" to North Mountain summit, found the slope lit up like Broadway with yellow-flowering brittlebush and many bushes of orange globe mallow. Had not seen a globe mallow population so large. The wildflower season has passed its peak here with only a smattering of lupine and fiddleneck and very few phacelia. Coming up on the summit from the rocky west segment, heard a buzzing of bees and before I could stop and check it out for Africanized, I was in the middle of a swarm. Thanks to the gods it was only harmless male carpenter bees checking out a palo verde yet to bloom. Don't know what enticement they saw in it. These large, furry and golden brown bees look scary but are not aggressive and do not sting. Then not far away, more carpenters darting in and out of brittlebush flowers. Would've shot a photo but none stopped to take in some nectar. Ate a tuna sandwich just east of the towers, then headed back down planning to return to 7th Ave parking lot via the #60 Nature Trail below on the south. But before I knew it I had passed the turn off and was clambering down the very steep National Trail. Passed about 10 hikers trudging upward like Volga boatmen. It is so steep here I don't know if it's harder ascending or descending. About halway down as sunset neared, I glimpsed a beautiful patchnose snake slithering along the rock slope, poking its head into holes looking for supper I suppose. First one I'd seen in the wild. The detour east lengthened the hike considerably and I got back in the dark, using averted vision to find the last trail turn-off. No moon, and the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, was no help at all.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Globe mallow in great abundance on the northwest side of North Mountain, mixed in with heavy flowering brittlebush. Some lupine, fiddleneck and phacelia can be found in places, but the season here is past its peak for wildflowers.
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black_toes'
242 Photosets

  2013-04-11
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  2013-03-31
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  2013-03-21
  2013-03-18
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  2013-02-09
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