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.
During July of 2020, I likely became the first person to accomplish a yo-yo traverse of the Snake Range of east-central Nevada. The expedition is documented in five parts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-9kkYWfA8A
The incredible drought of the past year has been mitigated with recent storms. Snow swept the lower deserts in a recent event:
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:
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:
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
In conjunction with much photography and plant collection, I’ve established a new YouTube Channel this spring exploring the state of Nevada and its incredible flora. Join me for superblooms and other phenomena of our deserts, and new “episodes” will be consistently and constantly in production for the foreseeable future.
Social isolation was always the rule out here in Mohave County, AZ, and life has changed little under the pandemic: still writing about the plants of Nevada, Stellaria, grant proposals, and reviewing papers as if the world’s restrictions passed this place by. And as always, the next botanical expedition is continuously being planned: the AZ and NV borders critical to such expeditions remain open.
A very fine desert-oriented prog-rock apocalyptic tune: RIVERSIDE: VALE OF TEARS