Monday, May 31, 2010

Racetrack Playa May 26th, 2010

May 26th, 2010 was our last trip to Racetrack Playa until September because of the heat. It was a great trip. We saw 3 Collared Lizards, 1 Red Racer (Coach Whip), 2 Chuckwallas and a Horned Lizard. We also saw a red and black beetle out on the playa.

Collared Lizard #1

Collared Lizard #2

Collared Lizard #3

Up close of the 3rd Collared Lizard. Note the red coloration.
The photos of the collared lizards were taken about half way along the road to the Racetrack Playa from Ubehebe Crater.

This next photo was taken out at the Grandstand.

We came along two Chuckwallas at the west end of the Grandstand.


While we were watching the Chuckwallas, a Horned Lizard was spotted.

We came upon this beautiful insect out on the playa where the rocks roll down off of the hill to start the whole moving rock drama. It is a Master Blister Beetle.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Splashes of Color in Death Valley.

On Thursday, May 20th, I did a trip to Titus Canyon. The desert is now blooming up at around 3000 to 5000 feet elevation.

These photos were taken down the mountain about 1/2 of a mile East of Daylight Pass.

Parked at the highest elevation on the Titus Canyon Road.
The scenery is spectacular. This is called "Red Pass".

Photo taken between Red pass and Leadfield.

The Princes' Plume was vivd against the grays and browns of Death Valley.

These Desert Five Star were taken at the Titus Canyon parking lot at the mouth of the canyon.

Petroglyphs in Limestone at Clare Springs.

What a remarkable day!

Petroglyphs in Keyhole Canyon.

Here are the petroglyphs that we photographed at Keyhole Canyon yesterday. 5/22/2010
The rock there is a type of granite and I thoroughly enjoyed climbing around on the rock faces photographing the rock art.

Me, climbing up to get a photo of some Petroglyphs.

The rock is a type of granite called Quartz Monzonite.

Desert Bighorn Sheep were always a popular subject for Petroglyphs.

This reminds me of a Jelly Fish!
This was one of the highest from the desert floor.

The turtle in this photo is interesting. The Desert Tortoise was a
food source for the Anasazi and Paiute Indians.

This petroglyph of a Lizard is my favorite!

There were also some Pictographs.

Another Pictograph.

Here is a website that talks about possible explanations about the rock art in Keyhole Canyon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 14th, 2010 Grand Canyon West Quartermaster Point

On May 14th, I went on tour to Quartermaster point at Grand Canyon West. I took some great photos while I was out there. Now is a great time to visit the Canyon because there are a lot of desert flowers in bloom.

Globe Mallow on the rim at Quartermaster Point.

Mariposa Lilly at Quartermaster.

Does anyone know the name of this desert flower?

We came upon a strange Lizard on the lower level at Quartermaster. It was about 10 inches long.

Here is a close up of the Lizard.

And another close up. Look at the orange markings on its back. Do you know what it is?
It has large, course scales. I'm baffled!

On the way back up, we came upon a Horned Lizard. I caught him and we took some great photos. Can you see him in the photo?
He is so camouflaged that he is hard to see.

Remember that you can click on the photo for a close-up. Another click zooms it in even closer.

On May 15th, I took a tour out to the South Rim National Park. My guests were Walter, Nevin, and Geraldean. We had a great time. Highlights of the trip were great views of the canyon and a Mule Deer that we saw along the road.

This photo was taken at the widest part of the canyon. 18 miles!

Me, enjoying the vastness and the silence.

Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there's nothing else to gaze on,
set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,
Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon,
black canyons where the rapids rip and roar?

Have you scanned the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it,
searched the vastness for a something you have lost?
Have you strung your soul to silence? then for land sakes go and do it;
hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost.

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sagebrush desolation,
the bunch grass levels where the cattle graze?
have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of all creation,
and learned to know the deserts little ways?

Have you camped upon the foothills, have you galloped o'er the ranges,
have you roamed the arid sun-lands through and through?
Have you chummed up with the mesa, do you know its moods and changes?
Then listen to the wild, . . . . It's calling you!

The Call of the Wild - Robert Service

A mule deer (doe) along the road as we were leaving the park.
They are called Mule Deer because they have big ears like a Mule.

Close-up of the Mule Deer.