Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lime Kiln Hike in Saguaro National Park East

A Saguaro with multiply arms, growing up out of a mesquite.
The weather has been unseasonably warm, even by Arizona standards, so we decided to make the most of it an go hiking.  Saguaro National Park East is just a short drive from the house.  Bill has his Golden Age pass, which is available to those over 65 and last for their life time.  One of the pluses for growing older.
We walked down a creek bed.  The smooth rocks are caused by water runoff during  monsoon season.

A grouping of three, younger cactus.  They don't grow arms until 30 to 50 years old.
The hike out to Lime Kiln is not very far, but has some beautiful examples of Saguaros.  We are constantly on the lookout for the baby Saguaros.  They are difficult to spot, as they grow under the mesquites and other underbrush.  It protects them from predators and our intense sunshine, until they are much bigger.   We didn't find any on this hike, but we will keep looking!

Bill doing what he loves; taking pictures.

Hillside of Saguaros.

Our path up the creek bed.  The sky was a beautiful blue.

It was warm enough that we found shade when ever possible.

A lime kiln.

Notice the warning about bees!  There weren't any about this morning.

View from the front.  

Two large specimens growing close together.   The holes have been caused by  humans, insects and animals.
In all, we hiked just over three miles.  It was time to return home to the cool of the house.  We each carry  water, at least a litre, for the short hikes.  For longer ones, more is needed.  We wear hats and slather on the sunscreen, even in the winter!
We hiked past the Lime Kilns toward the Cactus Forest Trailhead, but not all the way.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, a man who was the power behind the throne as Regent for James I of Scotland,...