Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bone Canyon and a Couple Surprises

 This afternoon Desert Boy really wanted to go to Bone Canyon. That's the canyon we went to in January that left such an impression and resulted in Henryosaurus. So off we went, with a big bucket so we could collect LOTS of bones.

 It was a windy, warm afternoon, so we didn't even need jackets. This time Desert Girl had to do lots more of the hiking. She's getting stronger.

 It didn't take long to start finding bones. You can see Desert Boy was in the right mood with the shirt he was wearing!

 What would you create out of these bones?

I really liked this backbone, but it looked a little too fresh. We decided no fresh--or even slightly fresh--bones today. I think that's a good policy.

 While I was up on the rocks looking for fun camera angles, I noticed a flash of color. My first native wildflower for the year! I was so excited! What is it? I still need to look it up!

 We continued up higher, Desert Girl enjoying the rocks.

 The kids were good, even though we forgot the snacks.

 I had thought we might just go a little way into Bone Canyon and turn around, but we were having such a good time that we kept going up and up.

Like Desert Girl's hair? Her babysitter can do amazing things with it!

 Finally we reached the (almost) top. It was really windy.

 I enjoyed the views. The desert still looks really brown.

But under a bush I found a bright spot of color: a little twinpod (or bladderpod), a member of the mustard family.

 We didn't go all the way to the top because Desert Boy spotted a cave and wanted to investigate. So we headed over. Even Henry came to check it out.

 Desert Boy thinks it looks pretty cool.

 Desert Girl is ready to explore.

Alas, the cave only went back about eight feet, so it didn't take long to see it all.

 More views of the basin and nearby town.

 Since I had been taking all the photos, I asked my husband to take one of me and the kids.

I had to explain what this was to Desert Boy, as he didn't know what a snakeskin out in the wild looked like. We didn't see any snakes or lizards out on our hike, although they have been spotted already this year.

We continued down the canyon, and I saw that it narrowed considerably. It also looked quite steep. I was a bit concerned as we had two young kids with us.

Sure enough, it got to a point where we couldn't continue--unless we had a rope!
Fortunately we were able to back track and find another way down.

This is the bottom of the drop. Someday we'll have to go back and do a through canyoneering trip!

Our adventure wasn't quite over yet. Just down the rocks we saw another opening.
 Another cave! It went back a little farther, but not far enough to need a flashlight.

It was cool looking out the entrance.

Right in the entrance was the biggest active packrat nest I've ever seen. It was kind of cool, with all sorts of bones mixed in with the branches.

So we all went home happy after a fun adventure. Another day we'll have to sort out our bucket of bones and see what creature we come up with!


The Incredible Woody said...

What a great day!

John Mosley said...

Nice pack rat midden. Those can be anywhere from active to thousands of years old. They are amazing time capsules for vegetation changes since the Pleistocene.

I await the next dinosaur reconstruction and volcano experiment. :)

~It's Just Me~ said...

What a wonderful family adventure! I love the pictures and will be checking your other blog to learn what that pink flower turns out to be. Wonderful Read! ^^

Ed said...

Looks like you can chimney down that drop without a rope ;)

A said...

We are wishing we brought back some more bones from our visit this summer--needed for the school project of making a model of a shelter. And it's hard to come up with the...ummm...raw materials for a bone house in a vegetarian family!

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