Monthly Archives: January 2014

Desert Beauty III – Near and Far

The desert is like most other terrestrial landscapes.  Wetlands and waters generally occur as inclusions in a larger context.  In order for water to concentrate, there generally must be a larger watershed available (surface and/or sub-surface) to collect that water.     Brittle brush seems to be a typical xeric species that one might expect... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty III – Habitats

These photos reflect a variety of desert habitats.  Are they wetlands, non-wetlands, and/or waters of the United States?     Much of this area is composed of a single species sward of saltgrass.  There is more salt here than you will ever need for a lifetime of seasoning food, even for a small army.  The... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty III – Vistas

Most desert landscapes have long vistas.     Mountains are worn down over time by water and by the materials moved by water.  In the present, and for some period in the past, the timing of arrival and the quantities of water delivered by Mother Nature have been somewhat unpredictable.  Still, whenever it arrives and... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty III – Fan Palms

Fan palm oasis habitats make interesting wetland areas.  We try to visit one or two on my Arid Saline Wetlands, and Desert Washes and Waters field tours (coming up on 17-21 Feb 2014 – room still available).   So far, the ones that I have seen, while similar in general, are different in their various details.... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty III – Pterodactyls

We begin week three on the desert beauty theme.  Most of the sites that we typically visit in my Arid Saline Wetlands, and Desert Washes and Waters field tours (coming up on 17-21 Feb 2014 – room still available) have features similar to those already shown and those still to come.     It appears... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty II – Bug Tracks

Based on these patterns in the sand, it would appear that the sometimes popular conception that the desert is relatively lifeless may not really be valid.     Given the frequency of desert winds and their abilities to move sand around and erase things, one might suspect that a lot of activity has occurred here... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty II – Shadows

While trees may be sparse in the desert, shadows are generally abundant.     The patterns of sun and shadow in the desert lend themselves to monochrome views.  Often there is not much color or hue to hide the value contrasts.     These late afternoon sand ripple patterns look like enlarged fingerprints.  Given the... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty II – Some Trees

Trees in the desert can be sparse in their distribution and occurrence.     These desert willows are kin to the eastern catalpas (of fishing worm fame) and have beautiful flowers like the catalpas.  One of my early speeches in college was themed on tree flowers and was inspired by catalpa flowers.  The willow part... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty II – Riparian

Birds and bird watchers seem to enjoy riparian habitats in the desert landscape.     Fan palm oasis habitats, especially the wetter ones, are pleasant places in which to spend time.  As with the “Tranquility” cottonwood habitat below, this environment would be a great place to sit with one’s binoculars close to hand, some cool... Continue reading »
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Desert Beauty II – A Mixed Bag

We start another week of desert photos and snippets.  Again, these views and comments are associated with typical experiences that one can expect as a participant in my upcoming field tours of wetlands and waters in the desert (17-21 Feb 2014).     Several of these paraglider enthusiasts were buzzing about as I plodded along... Continue reading »
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