MWA

Division 1

Cottonwoods near Mojave River at Bryman (Helendale Bluffs)
Cottonwoods near Mojave River at Bryman (Helendale Bluffs)
Helendale Bluffs #1
Helendale Bluffs Sunrise #1
Helendale Bluffs #2
Helendale Bluffs Dawn #2
Rainbow off 395 - Adelanto
Rainbow off 395 – near Shadow Mountain Road

Division 2

Sunset & Candy - Joshua Tree*
Sunset & Candy –
Joshua Tree*
Cougar Buttes – Lucerne Valley

 

 

 

Every Moment - Rainbow Basin near Barstow
Rainbow Basin near Barstow

 

Division 3

West Fork, Mojave River Bluffs
West Fork, Mojave River Bluffs #1 – Summit Valley
West Fork Mojave River Bluffs #2 - Summit Valley
West Fork Mojave River Bluffs #2 – Summit Valley
Sunrise, Juniper Woodland - Summit Valley
Sunrise, Juniper Woodland – Summit Valley

Summit Valley from Highway 173 Viewpoint
Summit Valley from Highway 173 Viewpoint
Las Flores Ranch
Las Flores Ranch

 

 

 

Division – 4

Upper Mojave River Narrows - Victorville
Upper Mojave River Narrows – Victorville
Verde/Kemper Campbell Ranch view toward Spring Valley Lake - Victorville
Verde/Kemper-Campbell Ranch view toward Spring Valley Lake – Victorville

 

Division 5

View of easterly Apple Valley from Bass Hill
Misty March Morning – View of easterly Apple Valley from Bass Hill at Sunrise
Bell Mountain from southeast
Bell Mountain from southeast
View from southern Apple Valley toward northeast
View from southern Apple Valley toward northeast

Division 6

Lower Mojave River Narrows - Victorville
Lower Mojave River Narrows – Victorville
Cottonwood Forest - Mojave River at Oro Grande
Cottonwood Forest – Mojave River at Oro Grande
Stoddard Mountain as viewed from near I-15
Stoddard Mountain as viewed from near I-15

Division 7

View from I Ave/Lemon - Hesperia
View from I Ave/Lemon – Hesperia
Predawn, Escondido, Hesperia
Predawn, Escondido, Hesperia
Antelope Valley Wash/Ranchero - Hesperia
Antelope Valley Wash/Ranchero – Hesperia

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Image Gallery

Just testing it out. :-)

Trains

Where are They Now?

 

white-tailed antelope squirrel, Joshua Tree National Park
Gary, the white-tailed antelope squirrel, succumbed to type II diabetes on July 29, 2011 after 4 years of surviving solely on corn chips provided by campers and tourists visiting his native national park habitat.
long-nosed leopard lizard
Ed Lizard – Long-nosed leopard lizard. Died at the pointed beak of an adult roadrunner, June 4, 2008.
Axl Squirrel (round-tailed ground squirrel) - b. unk. d October 12, 2013 Cause of death: eaten by hawk.
Axl Squirrel (round-tailed ground squirrel)
– b. unk. d October 12, 2013
Cause of death: eaten by red-tailed hawk.

The Railroad was Coming Through!

Hesperia, was initially purchased in anticipation of the railroad coming through. Investors stood to make a nice profit from not only the railroad, but in the real estate near by as communities grew.Hesperia, Ca.

Hesperia, Ca.

But the railroad was built to Mojave, where trains could easily be routed southward toward Los Angeles, or over the Tehachapis, then north to San Francisco. The Hesperia investment languished and then was passed on to others. The railroad came through much later, but it was not so much of a big deal then.

Loving & Devoted Mother …

Geococcyx californianus, roadrunnner
Geococcyx californianus

The following was written and recorded by E.C. Jaeger in 1922. I believe, although dated over 80 years ago, this behavior is just as relevant today as it was then, however scaled down from our increasing intrusion into their ever-shrinking habitat.

If a female road-runner is approached when on the nest, she generally remains quiet until the intruder is right upon her; then she slips over the back of the nest and flies a short distance to safety, but where she can still see the unwelcome caller. At times she has been known to permit herself to be caught rather than forsake her young.

baby roadrunners
Baby roadrunners about one third grown

A member of the Cooper Ornithological Club (Mr. J. R. Pemberton) gives a most interesting report concerning the actions of a female roadrunner whose nest he found some ten feet above ground in a sycamore tree. As the observer began climbing up to the nest, the bird hopped to the ground.

“Immediately,” says Mr. Pemberton, “it began to squirm, scramble, and drag itself away across an open space and in full view. The bird was simulating a broken leg instead of a broken wing! The bird held its wings closed throughout the demonstration, though frequently falling over on its side in its enthusiasm. The whole performance was kept entirely in my view, the bird gradually working away from the tree until it was some thirty-five feet distant, when it immediately ran back to the base of the tree and repeated the whole show. I had been so interested up to now that I had failed to examine the nest, which, when looked into, contained five young probably a week old. When I got to the ground the bird continued its ‘stunt’ rather more frantically than before, and in order to encourage the bird I followed, and was pleased to see it remain highly consistent until I was decoyed to a point well outside the grove. Here the bird ran suddenly away at full speed and in a direction still away from the nest.”

 

Life in Harmony with Nature

Olive Oatman
Olive Oatman

Indians living in harmony with nature is an idealization to say the least. Life was hard and often got harder as evidenced by Olive Oatman’s observations of the Mojave Indians in the 1850s.

“One day I was out gathering. Chottatoe, when I was suddenly surprised and frightened by running upon one of the victims of this stupid, barbarous inhumanity. He was a tall, bony Indian of about thirty years. His eye was rather sunken, his visage marred, as if he had passed through extreme hardships. He was lying upon the ground, moaning and rolling from side to side in agony the most acute and intense. I looked upon him, and my heart was moved with pity. Little Mary said, ‘I will go up and find out what ails him.’ On inquiry we soon found that he had been for some time ill, but not so as to become utterly helpless. And not until one of their number is entirely disabled, do they seem to manifest any feeling or concern for him. The physician was called, and soon decided that he was not in the least diseased. He told Mary that nothing ailed him save the want of food ; said that he had been unable for some time to procure his food ; that his friends devoured any that was brought into camp without dividing it with him ; that he had been gradually running down, and now he wanted to die. O there was such dejection, such a forlorn, despairing look written upon his countenance as made an impression upon my mind which is yet vivid and mournful.”
~ Olive Oatman

 

Cloud covered Mountains

Joshua trees with storm rolling up behind them
Phelan, California

Clouds fall over the mountains onto the desert as if they were a tidal wave in slow motion. Rather than crash on the sand, pieces tear themselves away rising to the sky to make a silent escape.

The Empty Desert

Mojave Desert scenery
View from the El Paso Mountains – Red Rock Canyon, California State Park

I first went to the desert to experience what I thought would be sensory deprivation–after all, there was nothing there. It wasn’t like that though. I saw the wild geology, plants of all different kinds, animals fitting every niche, and human history, then even further back in time to the people without names. The closer I looked, the more I saw, and it all connected. These experiences filled my senses; to see the subdued pastels, to hear the cooing mourning doves, to smell the creosote, feel the rocky earth, and even taste the gritty wax the dry heat of the desert left thick on my lips. Blazing days, frozen nights, campfires cooking up damned strong coffee. Red sunrises, hallowed and silent sunsets. A person could spend a very good lifetime out here.

~ Walter Feller