Exploring the Droughts of Spring

I am still in the process of catching up on and posting videos from the spring–or what I hoped to be spring, but which brought little life to the landscape. Some of these are generating many views, due to the relevance of the topic to many millions of people in the southwestern United States.

During one of these excursions, I encountered the largest herd of desert bighorns I have ever met (only some seen here):

A Grim Spring

Spring did not really come this year to the Mojave, unless you happened to occupy a deeper wash with slightly superior moisture levels to the rest of the landscape. Before it became too hot in the lower deserts, and as many plants struggled to develop even just their leaves this year in the face of severe drought and concomitantly severe herbivory, I was able to complete a stunningly beautiful walk across a significant portion of the Lake Mead northshore region. To better botany ahead in the North. I’m already finding amazing things at the Mojave-Great Basin transition.

Ash Clouds Abound

From Colorado to Utah, to across Nevada and Arizona, everywhere I’ve been in the second half of summer has been covered in some degree of wildfire haze. It is the same story for many, and here in the Mojave Desert a record number of days without any precipitation is to be imminently set. Emeralds of the desert still persist through the drought:

A fine milestone reached.

The one year anniversary of the start of writing a new “Flora of Nevada” recently passed and I am happy to report that the working document is over 200 pages in length. The northern and high mountain flora is quite dry and crispy this year, but field work and jittery videos are still proceeding well in concert with the writing.

A toasty McCullough Range traverse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZF7k-RiLFU

The Snake Range merely threatening rain in July 2020:

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Zum Norden

As the Mojave Desert senesced into summer heat as May set in, my car (often field vehicle and base camp, sometimes home) of seven years made its last stand. But now I am out collecting plants again with sights set into northern Nevada and the southern Rocky Mountains. Give a shout if you’re in either region this summer!

A snapshot of car death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu6IapffXKk