Monday, November 21, 2022

11/19 Wetlands in Las Vegas

 A friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas has been periodically posting photos of a wetland in this city.  Hard to believe anything is very wet, but there is a big wash in this valley, and it feeds this unusual area.  I did not have time for much walking as I needed to head to the airport, but I will be back in a week or so and spend more time.  

This is the very large visitor and education center. 


Some very nice displays 

Most of this several mile long trail is paved, which makes it nice for handicap and those of us who do not like to get dusty.  Lots of willows growing because the water is trickling by in streams and the rest is not very far below ground level. 

Nice view of the mountains in the distance. 

And a good view of the city of Las Vegas.  

Lots of birds and even some ducks, but more photos when I come back here again.

11/16 Petroglyphs & White Dome Area of Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire was a visiting place for Native Americans for thousands of years.  They came for game, but left thousands of pictographs in the rock.  There is an easy to reach place very close to the campground, although it involves a little stair climbing.

Note: There is a very, very steep fine for modern rock "artists" here!  (Like in the thousands.)

After this climb, I headed to the White Dome area.  First, past the visitor center, and then up a steep, but very scenic roadway. 

There are some very nice canyons in the area, but it would take quite a lot of climbing to get down there. 

I am not sure why, but the rams spend all of their time in the valley, while the ewes, which these are, spend their time in small herds in the hills and on the rocks.  You can tell ewes because they have smaller and more narrow horns. 


I did not have a lot of daylight left for walking, but I did stop here and plan to go back another time.
Back down the hill to the valley and my campground. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

11/11 More Valley of Fire

I am here for two weeks, so just can't resist taking more photos.  Photos in this posting include some from a walk to the tent-only area behind the campground.  You have to walk to this area, first down a gravel path and then through a couple of short trails.  The area is very private and a good place for bighorn sheep to hide out in.  It is also incredibly quiet back here, especially since there were no campers in the three tent sites.  

I also included some photos from a drive I took to the visitor center, showing the huge area of the state park, and the short trail behind the visitor center.  This is a very large state park, 46,000 acres, so there are lots of areas to investigate, and my photos barely touch them.  This photo shows how big this state park is!!

Back to the campground.  Whoever designed this campground did an excellent job of locating it in a u-shaped flat area, surrounded by hills of rocks. 

This photo shows the entrance to the walk-to tent area.

Red, red, red!!

You won't find any arches in this state park because the sandstone is too crumbly, but you will see a lot of formations created when weathering causes rocks to get stuck as they start to fall.

I would not want to hike under these big rocks! 

I could have walked farther down this little canyon, but I did not have the right shoes and my walking stick was back in my RV.  In any case, it was beginning to get dark and cold.

Discovered a couple of the bighorns on my way back.  They tend to hang around the campground area, but tend to stay on the sidelines. 

Time for a rest or to settle down for the night.

Another older ram wandering in the area.  Almost all the sheep you see are males.  I was told the females tend to stay in the mountains with their partly grown lambs.  Here is a video of a herd of about 13-14 bighorn sheep rams in the campground just before dark.  I had missed the big head butt and did a lot of commenting about some of the rams pushing each other around, with just minor head butts.  They had walked past my campsite and were across the roadway behind a couple of other RVs.  Large Herd of Bighorn Rams at Valley of Fire State Park

This photo was taken on the way to the visitor center, along the road that is used for entering the park from the east.  (Entrance booth can be seen on this road.)  Note the very small area of Lake Mead in the far right.  Most years, you would see more lake here, but the lake is pretty dry right now.

Who says Nevada is boring and not scenic???

The visitor center. 

Behind the visitor center is a bird feeder and a short trail.  This is a white-tailed antelope squirrel enjoying the seed that has fallen on the ground.  It looks like a very small chipmunk, but it is clearly a ground squirrel because it does not have any stripes on its face. 

Is this a Mohave sparrow????

Following are a few photos taken from the short trail behind the visitor center.

I've got to get out and visit some of the places I have not seen in the several trips I have made to this place.  The weather has been cool during the day, and the recent rain has packed the sand down, so walking should be much easier than usual.   Check out this site showing some of the best places to go to in the park: