Chiles of the Field, Onions, and Dirt

The gods of the desert have been threatening precipitation this weekend.  Thunderstorms are forecast both Saturday and Sunday.  So I took advantage of a sun break this morning to go on a short but very entertaining bike ride.

East of the Mud Shack runs Dona Ana Rd.  Parallel to it is a covered EBID drain.  This, together with a large well, provides irrigation for the agricultural land east of the road.  The drain also makes for a nice bike path.   Straight and flat.  I rode a bit along this path then veered off onto the dirt road the farmer uses to access the fields.  And, behold, after a short jaunt,


Behold, the Chiles of the Field

Row upon row of very young chile plants.  I think this fall will be absolutely wondrous when these seedlings mature and bear their capsaicin-laced fruit.   Like those biblical lilies, these plants neither toil nor spin but after they are  harvested,  the smell of roasting chiles permeates the atmosphere and provides for olfactory orgasms……….

Across the access road is an orchard of pecan trees, about two years old.


Young Pecan Trees

This orchard really represents a significant investment as it takes several years before pecan trees produce those flavorful and versatile nuts.

The next crops along the path are onions: red and yellow.


Planted much earlier in the year, these bulbs are much farther along than the chiles which cannot tolerate night-time temperatures below 50F.

I next got to the end of the access trail and crossed into a cul-de-sac, leaving the flat and smooth agricultural land.  The high desert lay before me.  A white-tailed bunny scurried frantically across the trail and I immediately looked for a pursuer like a rattlesnake.  Fortunately, none such appeared.

But the terrain had turned more challenging.  I dropped my bike thanks to some sand that was a little too soft to sand-surf in.  Also had to partake in my “favorite” activity, hike-a-bike, up a steep sandy hill.  The reward was at the top, some single-track and jeep trails:


A Fork in the Trail. Take It!!

I guess I need to invest in a Go-Pro video camera to capture these rides.  These still shots don’t really do it.  This particular trail was a mix of single track and wide jeep roads.  There’s a network of them in this totally undeveloped desert section.  I rode over fast packed banked corners and some nice sections of sandy downhill.  Couldn’t count the white-tail rabbits who scampered across the trail as I passed.  Only put about 7 miles on the bike but what a diverse and lovely ride it was…….


Don’t Hurt the Dirt


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