Monday morning of my spring break trip with Zak brought with it a change of venue. After two nights in Carlsbad we packed up and headed to the town of Terlingua. But we stopped for one more hike in Guadalupe Mountains National Park along the way -- a simple 2.3-mile loop to Smith Spring, a sheltered oasis in a patch of oak woodland at the foot of Frijole Ridge.
a different view of El Capitan from the previous afternoon.
Western Bluebirds. Our first real wildlife sighting of the trip!
Yggdrasil, the "world tree" from Norse mythology.
EDIT: I got some help from park ranger Michael Haynie, identifying what are actually fruit and not flowers. :)
The cactus in question is a cholla and that was last year's fruit you
were seeing. They will have huge magenta blossoms in late May and June.
The fruit forms later and is yellow as you saw. Many people mistake it
for a flower, but it does contain seeds. They are not juicy as the
fruits of prickly pear and they are very spiny. Not recommended for
We didn't dawdle too much on this walk -- just a couple of hours in all. Big Bend National Park was calling, and we still had a four-hour drive ahead of us. The bluebirds alone made this worth the stop, though!