Monday, September 28, 2009

Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, TX

No photos for this one, because we didn't have our cameras yesterday and forgot them today. Yesterday we drove up into McKeligon Canyon, part of Franklin Mountains State Park, which was very beautiful. There's a really nice amphitheater up there where they do productions such as Viva El Paso! There is also a venue for having major parties, plus picnic areas. The amazing thing to me was the number of different flowers blooming.

Today we went back to the Franklin Mountains State Park, this time on Trans Mountain, and hiked a short way up the Smuggler's trail. Once again, what we saw was just amazing. At least half a dozen varieties of daisies, plus several other things, such as flax, wild radish, verbena, a low bush that had Phacelia type inflorescences, and a white-flowered bush. The most surprising to me was a true fern, which was easily identifiable as Astrolepis cochisensis ssp. cochisensis.

Walking this trail revealed the amazing variety of plants that survive and thrive in a desert environment. The mountains that look barren from a distance are anything but.

We also had a bird sighting: an orange-crowned warbler. This trail is definitely worth a visit.

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