Monthly Archives: October 2013

Cloud Racing …

Saddleback Butte State Park (from the back side)- Closed for the summer, open on weekends in the fall and winter.

As much as I don’t care for broad daylight photography, this one is a cool bit of a memory. The cloud raced along side for the next 30 miles into Lancaster. No big deal, just a cool memory.

photo of Saddleback Butte, California State Park

Saddleback Butte State Park

Trona Pinnacles – Favorite Places

Favorite Places – Trona Pinnacles:
At one time, geologically speaking, not long ago, the Mojave had many large lakes fed by water from glacial melting. The Pinnacles show the most obvious evidence of this with its tufa towers extending to where the surface of the water once was.

Photo of Trona Pinnacles, Searles Dry Lake, Trona, California

Trona Pinnacles, Searles Dry Lake

The Mojave A to Z (Antelope Valley to Zion)

The Mojave High Desert is one desert rather than a series of separate entities- That we are the same through the diversity that binds us. By becoming aware of our combined identity, we may be able to appreciate, and better understand issues affecting our Mojave Desert on a holistic level. In this presentation we meander back and forth across the Mojave Desert in photographs to illustrate this concept.

Map of the Mojave Desert

The Mojave – Antelope Valley to Zion


Rose Quartz & Rice Grass

I’m not sure about the composition of the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave Preserve. The link I provide in the following states that the dunes are from different sources, stacked together. Now, I have a freind that seems more than knowledgeable about these things, and he told me the dunes were made primarily of rose quartz. That he had taken a microscope to the dunes once and examined a sample of the sand grains. He told me these grains of sand were curiously perfectly spherical, and that may account for the ‘booming’ quality of the dunes.

Maybe they are from several different sources as the link claims. I’m not a geologist or expert in eolian forces. It’s all interesting to me, but for now I’ve chosen to run with saying the dunes are composed generally of rose quartz. Why? Well, because it sounds cool, and, because I can.

photo of Kelso Sand Dunes

Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve

Doctor Dave

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Medicine Show wagon

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Old Woman Springs

in 1857 Col. H. Washington came through the Johnson Valley surveying the San Bernardino Baseline and documenting the biology of the desert. The party saw an old woman at the spring, most likely left behind with the children while the rest of the clan were in the mountains hunting game and gathering pinon nuts. By the time the surveyors made it to the spring, everyone was gone. They named the springs, Old Woman Springs.
Photo of original Old Woman Spring in Johnson Valley, CA


“… But there was never any but Winnenap’ who could tell and make it worth telling about Shoshone Land. And Winnenap’ will not any more. He died, as do most medicine-men of the Paiutes.
Mary Austin, Land of Little Rain

Where the lot falls when the campoodie chooses a medicine-man there it rests. It is an honor a man seldom seeks but must wear, an honor with a condition. When three patients die under his ministrations, the medicine-man must yield his life and his office.”

~ M. Austin – Land of Little Rain – Shoshone Land

Desert People – Bob Reynolds

Bob Reynolds, the one-time earth sciences curator for the San Bernardino County Museum and lifelong explorer of the geology and paleontology of the Mojave Desert is the only dude I know that has had a mineral named after him–reynoldsite.

In this shot Bob is talking about fossil deer tracks and how they may have come to be at this undisclosed location in the Mojave Desert millions of years after they were made.
Bob Reynolds
Geology icon immortalized with mineral:


From the Journal of Jedediah Smith

“During my absence one of my Indian guides who had been imprisoned was released by death and the other was kept in the guard house at night and at hard labor during the day having the menial service of the guard house to perform. I took a convenient opportunity to speak to the Father in his behalf he told me he would do all in his power for his release.”

~ Journal of Jedediah Smith – 1826