The ghost town of Nelson, Nevada, which is located in Eldorado Canyon along Lake Mojave, is a quaint destination which offers the visitor a brief glimpse into the past.Continue Reading →
The California Juniper ( Juniperus californica ) is a common tree found in California, western Arizona and southern Nevada at medium elevations between 2,460 – 5,250 ft. Commonly growing 10 and 26 feet in height, the grayish shredded bark Juniper may reach a maximum height or about 33 feet, although this height is rare. Growing up in California and frequently camping in the Mojave and High Sierra, the California Juniper has frequents my memory and photographs.
The Speckled Rattlesnake is fairly common pit viper found in southern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona and south-western Utah and down the Pacific coast into Baja California. A moderate size snake, this animal typically does not exceed 39 inches in length. As with most animals, the Speckled Rattlesnake is a master of disguise and commonly are colored to compliment the surrounding rock. This viper can range from pink, cream, tan or pale blues and grays. This feature I can personally attest to as I witnessed and entire Cub Scout Pack literally step over the specimen photographed below while hiking on a camping trip in the Valley of Fire State Park just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Joshua Tree was named for the biblical character by the Mormon Setters as they crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid 19th century. It is told that the tree reminded the early Mormon’s of Joshua who, much like the tree, held his hands up in prayer. From these humble beginnings, the Joshua Tree and their undulating shadows have become of an icon of the desert southwest.
Blown by wind, and ravaged by time, the Bristlecone pine tree is a silent sentinel of the White Mountains in eastern central California. Only growing high in subapline mountains, Bristlecone pine trees are among the oldest living organisms, reaching ages of 5000 years old, with on specimen being documented at 5,067 years old by Tom Harlan who aged the tree by ring count. That calculation confirms this one individual tree to be the oldest living non-clonal organism on the planet.
The Bristlecone pine groves are found between 5,600 and 11,200 ft of elevation on mountain slopes with dolomitic coils. This harsh alkaline soil gives the Bristlecone a competitive advantage because over plants and tree are unable to grow. The trees grow very slowly due cold temperatures, arid soil, wind and short growing seasons.