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Gems in a Ghastly Landscape

There are some goodies along the lower Colorado River. In order to appreciate them to the fullest, it helps to contrast them with their context, and be candid about how hideous the land is. It is no exaggeration to call it a disgrace to planet Earth: there is hardly any organic material in the 'ground.' You can't even call it 'soil.' It is nothing but rubble and thorns.

With that grim reality in the background, it is easy to get a real kick out of an unexpected, non-thorny plant like this:

With some effort you can get some enjoyment out of the macro-rubble:

 Remember that silly internet meme from last week, about the metal monolith? Not to be outdone, we too have our obelisk, seen here from the side:

The other day a couple owls haunted the mountain at dusk. I wish I could hear and see them more often. Wildlife is not plentiful where the land is vegetation-free. It makes you appreciate how hard these critters work for a living. Locally the grass is rather plentiful, at least by the standards of the lower Colorado River. The result is:


XXXXX said…

Familiarity breeds contempt, but only in human beings. The animals who live there are happy.

Looks like heaven for any geologist.

Glad you could find the upside. Reminded me of a visit to Death Valley, which used to be a salt water lake. The little water left is very salty. The ground is salty and the plants who can survive there have adapted to tolerate the high levels of sodium. In fact, the leaves even taste salty. Nature is amazing.

George, "nature is amazing" indeed! I just can't see how plants and animals survive this god-forsaken desert. And some of these animals weigh 200 pounds, so it takes quite a bit of daily nourishment.