June 14 & 18, 2016
This past week we did a couple of fun trails. The first was
Porcupine Rim. It's a moderate to difficult trail in the Sand Flats area of Moab and is a shared trail with bicycles. It's a fun trail with tricky spots, and "epic" views. Dee led us in a "new to us" way. We rode past the end of Negro Bill Canyon all the way to the scenic overlook of Castle Valley with lots of twists, dips and climbs along narrow rim trails, slick rock, and ledges.
Below is a picture of Round Mountain. It is a volcanic plug sitting near the southern end of Castle Valley. The LaSal Mountains and Castle Valley's Round Mountain rose up about 24 million years ago as a result of underground volcanic activity.
There is only one named obstacle on this trail...Big Ugly.
But there are many more places that look like the photo below with tall ledges. Dee took this photo (thanks Dee!) of our jeep Pearl as we approached this one.
Today was our lucky day...as we crawled along, we saw 5 collared lizards over the course of the 9 miles. That is certainly a record for me. I only got good pictures of three of them.
These beauties are distinguished by two black collars around it's neck. Adult males have bright green scales as well as tan, olive, bluish and yellow scales.
Their diet mostly consists of insects.
Their average life span is 5-8 years and they can reach a size of 10 inches. When the female is carrying eggs, she develops bright red splotches of color on her body. After she lays anywhere from 1-13 eggs in early summer, the splotches disappear. Seeing a mama with red splotches would be so awesome...I will be looking extra harder next year.
(Information on collard lizards was taken from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum website.)