Thursday

New Shadow Box

I recently created a new shadow box from a broken camera that a friend of mine gave me. I added a picture in the Eco Wall Art category on my Eco-Art Gallery site. Click here to view ... Canon Powershot A1000is.

Pages Uploaded in February 2013

February 2013 Posts:
Places-Events - Chinese New Year at Bellagio's Botanical Garden
Daytrip - Bird Spring Peak Trail
UPDATED - Cottonwood Valley and Mountain Springs Pass
Daytrip - Dawn and Ninetynine Mines
UPDATED - Lovell Wash (Anniversary Mine & Anniversary Narrows)
UPDATED - Redstone Loop Trail/Picnic Area
Daytrip - Northshore Summit Trail
Daytrip - Arizona Hot Springs - White Rock Canyon Hike
Black & White - B&W Images of the Buffington Pockets
Black & White - B&W Images of Sacatone Canyon
Black & White - Photo Spotlight - B&W by Kathy Pool

Wednesday

New Photo Tip

Click here to check out some new photo tips on Using Photo Filters that I recently added to my Photography Journal site ... A Primer on Understanding Photographic Filters.

Saturday

Chinese New Year

EP-P1040681Every 3-4 months we try to make an effort to go down to the Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Garden to see their latest exhibit. This winter’s exhibit was celebrating the Chinese New Year’s “Year of the Snake”. Click the following link to view pictures and read more about this beautiful exhibit … Chinese New Year at Bellagio’s Botanical Gardens.

New Photo Tip

Click here to check out some new photo tips on Understanding Camera Modes that I recently added to my Photography Journal site ... Understanding Camera Modes.

Tuesday

New Photo Tip

Click here to check out some new photo tips on taking wildflower photos that I recently added to my Photography Journal site ...Taking Pictures of Wildflowers.

Albuquerque Balloon Festival

E-IMG_1208During a year-end review of my picture folders I suddenly realized that other than editing a dozen or so pictures for a PDF page that I created at the time, that I never finished editing the nearly 300 pictures that I had taken at the 2009 Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Finally, after two days of review and editing, I was able to reduced them down to about 100 pictures and, as a result, put together this page and the accompanying slide shows. Click here for more info and pictures … Roadtrip - Albuquerque, NM - 2009 Balloon Festival.

Saturday

Cottonwood Valley Hikes

EP-P1040558This past Wednesday, Harvey Smith and I loaded up his Rhino and headed out to Cottonwood Valley in search of the Dawn and Ninetynine mines. It took some rather grueling riding over very rocky roads in the near freezing early morning temperatures before we finally located these two mines. After several hours of exploring these areas, for an added bonus we drove over to the Birdspring Range and up to the trailhead for the Birdspring Trail. Click here and then scroll down to links with information and pictures for these two hikes … Cottonwood Valley and Mountain Springs Pass.

Northshore Road Hikes

E-P1030280-2This week the rock-hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Center made several stops along Lake Mead’s Northshore Road. Our first stop was at the end of the Anniversary Mine Road off of Northshore Road at mile marker 16. This location provided hikes along the Lovell Wash to the old Anniversary Mine and the slot canyon at Anniversary Narrows. The following link will provide you with additional links to each of these areas … Lovell Wash (Anniversary Mine & Narrows). Our second stop was a lunchtime visit to the Redstone Loop Trail and picnic area … Redstone Loop Trail/Picnic Area.  Our last stop was at the Northshore Summit Trail. Even though this was a very short hike, it provided some very nice views of the surrounding area.  Click here for trip notes and pictures for this hike … Northshore Summit Trail.

Thursday

Arizona Hot Springs – White Rock Canyon Hike

EP-P1040283On 02/04/2013 Harvey Smith and I set out for The Arizona Hot Springs. The trailhead for this hike is located just 3.5 miles over the boarder past the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at the Hoover Dam. This 6.5 mile round-trip hike has elevation changes of nearly 1,000 feet as it crosses a desert plain, winds through the 2.2 mile White Rock Canyon and along the banks of the Colorado River on the way to Hot Springs Canyon. With towering cliffs in the two narrow canyons and some beautiful scenic vistas along the river, this is a hike that should not be missed.  Click here to view pictures and read about this hike … Arizona Hot Springs and White Rock Canyon.

Saturday

Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area

EP-P1040162On 01/31/2013 I hiked the Sacatone Canyon with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Center on a visit to Grapevine Canyon inside the Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area. Unfortunately, the smooth and slippery rocks in a section of this canyon wash prevented us from reaching our goal of reaching the top ridgeline. In spite of this we still had a very nice hike and were witness to some very nice views. You will find a link with pictures and a description of this hike on the following page … Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area. This page also provides links to Grapevine Canyon and other hiking stops in this area.
 

Friday

Corn Creek Station, DNWR - Summary Page


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This page last updated on 05/27/2017
EFP-P1010078 Stitch
(Fig. 01)
Corn Creek Station Cover
Directons
MAP-Corn Creek Station
(Fig. 02)
For more information on Corn Creek: You can watch a 17 minute movie on the DNWR at this site ... Movie on Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

05/27/2017 Trip NotesToday, Jim Herring and I visited Corn Creek Station for a short afternoon visit after going to the Paiute Powwow at Snow Mountain. morning outing. Because of a lack of rain, it was quite dry. Click here for pictures and information ... Corn Creek Station (DNWR) - Trip Notes for 05/27/2017.

04/21/2017 Trip Notes: Today, Jim Herring and Harvey Smith and I visited Corn Creek Station for a morning outing. When we go there we found out the Visitor Center is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We then decided to drive Glass Peak Road in search of Glass Spring and a guzzler at the end of Quail Spring Road. Click here for pictures and information ... Gass Peak Road - Trip Notes for 04/21/2017.
                                    
07/01/2016 Trip Notes: Went here today for a short morning hike with Bob Croke and Ron Ziance. Click here for more pictures and information ... Corn Creek Station - DNWR - Trip Notes for 07/01/2016.
           
04/04/2015 Trip Notes: Went here today for a morning hike with my neighbor Blake Smith. Click here for more pictures and information ... Corn Creek Station (DNWR) - Trip Notes for 04/04/2015.

02/22/2014 Trip NotesThough I was hoping to have the time to capture more pictures of birds and other wildlife, the vast number of people that showed up for the grand opening prevented that from happening. I did, however, capture a few interesting shots. Click here for more pictures and information ... Corn Creek Station (DNWR)- Trip Notes for 02/22/2014.

02/13/2014 Trip Notes: While the primary goal of today's visit with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility was to hike to the top of Fossil Ridge on the east side of Gass Peak Road, we made a quick lunch stop at Corn Creek Station. Click here for more pictures and information ... Daytrip Update - Corn Creek Station (DNWR).  

04/11/2013 Trip Notes:  Click this link for pictures and info abut this latest stop at Corn Creek Station ... Daytrip Update - Corn Creek Station - DNWR.

03/01/2013 Trip Notes: Today I visited this area for the fifth time with my friend Harvey Smith. Because it was just a short stop on our way deeper into the wildlife range and the Sheep Mountains (Fig. 01), I captured relatively few pictures here. The good news was that they have finally finished all of the construction projects relating to the pond and the trail system (Fig. 02) that have been going on here for the past couple of years, which has included the addition of trail signs, several interpretative plaques (Fig. 03), and seating areas for bird watching.  The bad news is that they still have more than a year to go on construction of a new visitor center. Unfortunately, it was still a little early to see any of the spring bloom that makes this area come alive with color; eventually turning it into a true bird oasis. We walked around the new trail system, including going to the end of the Whispering Ben trail, upper right corner of (Fig. 02), that dead-ends at some ancient limestone mortars (Figs. 04 & 05) found nearby that were used by some of the areas earliest inhabitants. The next picture (Fig. 06) is a White-crowned Sparrow  I captured on our way out near the parking lot. (Click the link to learn more) The final day's picture here (Fig. 07) is looking west towards the Mummy Mountain and the Spring Mountain Range.
  
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(Fig. 03)
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(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
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04/19/2012 Trip Notes: With only five months left till completion of the trail system, it appears that there is still a lot work to be accomplished here. I still didn't like the look of the "new" pond and am still hoping they do some additional landscaping to make it look more natural. Though they still have to finish clearing a lot of dead brush, the lengthening of the main trail and the addition of a couple of new ones seemed to be a nice improvement.
                              
EFP-P1110168-2 Stitch
(Fig. 08)
This oasis is filled with a wide variety of trees, plants and desert shrub (Fig. 08), however, it appeared that it was still too early in the season as many were only in the early stages of budding and beginning to bloom. It was also quite evident that this year’s lack of rainfall was having a very negative effect (Fig. 11). I noticed several areas that were nearly “bone dry” (Fig. 10), where upon previous visits they were quite saturated or contained standing water.  This is a great place to do some birding, however, without a powerful telephoto lens, most flutter back and forth in the tree tops making them very difficult to capture (Figs. 09 & 12).
                                   
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(Fig. 09)
EFP-P1110193
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1110194
(Fig. 11)
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(Fig. 12)
Just as “Buster” and I entered the northern portion of the Birdsong Trail, refer to (Fig. 02), we saw off in the distance what appeared to be a large Blue Heron fly across the sky in front of us as we were looking towards the Spring Mountain range (Fig. 13). Naturally, he was long gone by the time I readied my camera for a shot. The next shot (Fig. 14) is looking east towards the Sheep Mountain Range.
   
EFP-P1110180 Stitch
(Fig. 13)
EFP-P1110183 Stitch
(Fig. 14)
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09/01/2011 Trip Notes:  I visited Corn Creek for the third time this year on another daytrip with the rock hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility. At the time of our visit, they were about four months into a 15 month construction project, the first major improvement there in decades. The project includes construction of a 11,000 square-foot visitor center with exhibit space, as well as administrative offices and a new maintenance building. When completed in late 2012, the project will include enlarged parking areas for visitors and employees, new signing for trails and rehabilitation of disturbed landscaping. Funding for the $7 million project comes from the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act. Though far from completion, I must admit, that I didn't like the "new" pond. I certainly hope they do some additional landscaping to make it look more natural. The good news was that I did get a few more pictures to add to this post and to the slideshow at the bottom. Notice the bee in the  Angel's Trumpet (Fig. 15). The next picture (Fig. 16) is a  Flame Skimmer Dragonfly that I found near the north end of the pond. In the next two pictures (Fig. 17 & 18) I captured some bees sucking on nectar from a large Yellow Spine Thistle.
EFP-P1060301
(Fig. 15)
EFP-P1060309
(Fig. 16)
EFP-P106030FP0
(Fig. 17)
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(Fig. 18)
To read more about this plant, go to the following page ... Yellow Spine Thistle.

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04/07/2011 Trip Notes: We made a brief stop here on our way to Mt. Charleston. This time around there was a lot more construction, dredging and clearing being done on the pond and some of the trails directly behind the parking area. Unfortunately, all of this work seemed to 'scare' away a lot of the birds.

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02/03/2011 Trip Notes: I first visited Corn Creek Station on 02/03/2011 on a daytrip with the rock hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility. Because it was only February, it was very cold and there were only a few scattered birds around the property. There was actually "ice" in a few places along the creek areas (Fig. 19). They were getting ready to divert the creek so they could begin work on dredging the main pond area.
  
EFP-P1010132
(Fig. 19)
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Slideshow Description: Having added some new pictures from my recent hike, this slideshow now contains 54 pictures captured along the properties various paths and walking trails.

Bird Spring Peak Trail

EFP-P1040591-P1040592
(Fig. 01)
MAP-Terrain-Cottonwood Valley
(Fig. 02)
Area Description: The Bird Spring Range runs north-south along the eastern flank of Cottonwood Valley (Fig. 02), forming the southwestern margin of the Las Vegas Valley. At an elevation of only 5,298 feet, Bird Spring Mountain is little more than a hill compared to some of the nearby Spring Mountains. The slope of this mountain to the west is moderately steep, while the slope to the east is a series of near-vertical cliffs (Fig. 03) that are hundreds of feet in height.

The Hike: First of all, last years' monsoonal rains had a devastating effect on the roads in this area and getting up Cottonwood Valley Road and the access road to the trailhead requires a four wheel drive vehicle. Without a four wheel vehicle, the best way to travel the 4.5 miles to the trailhead would be to bike it.  From the trailhead at the top of the access road, it is only a mile to the main peak. From the trailhead start by hiking up a rather steep ridge to the north. Reaching this first little peak is the steepest part of the entire route and only takes about 15 minutes; the rest of the journey is a pleasant walk on the fairly level summit ridge. Continue to hike north along the crest, hiking up over little summits and down into little saddles. The elevation changes are slight and the grades are gentle. About 0.7 miles from the trailhead, there is a small peak with a large cairn that appears to mark the true summit, though it doesn't really matter where the "true" summit is, the views of the surrounding desert, valleys and mountain ranges all along this ridge are spectacular.
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02/13/2013 Trip Notes: After visiting the Dawn and Ninetynine Mines, we took FR-800C back to Cottonwood Valley Road. This was an extremely rough road, and is not recommended for travel. Once we reached the valley road we turned right and again headed south through Cottonwood Pass until we reached the turnoff for the access road to the Bird Spring Range shown in the background of (Fig. 01) and in the lower right corner of the map in (Fig. 02) above. Three quarters of the way up this road we were presented with some great views looking north back across Cottonwood Valley towards the Wilson Cliffs (Fig. 04) and of the Calico Outcrop (Fig. 05) inside Red Rock Canyon. Upon reaching the trailhead we were afforded expansive views of the entire Las Vegas Valley (Fig. 06). Walking around this area I found several rocks that contained what appeared to be some fossil-like specimens. Could the perfect “egg” shaped specimen in the rock found in (Fig. 07) be a dinosaur egg? Throughout the day’s hiking I spotted dozens of birds, a Red-tailed Hawk, several lizards (Figs. 09 & 10), and more than a half-dozen Pin Cushion Cactus (Fig. 08).

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(Fig. 03)

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(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
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(Fig. 08)
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(Fig. 09)
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(Fig. 10)

Dawn and Ninetynine Mines

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EFP-P1040542-P1040545
(Fig. 01)
MAP-Terrain-Cottonwood Valley_thumb[4]
(Fig. 02)
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Background: The Cottonwood Valley was explored, in part, by Spanish explorers as early as the late 1500s. The historical trade route, known as the Old Spanish Trail, ran through this area from about 1830 until the mid-1850s. Pack trains carried woolen goods west and returned eastward with California mules and horses for the New Mexico and Missouri markets. Though the main route went through the valley and over Mountain Springs Pass, it has been recorded that the Armijo Route followed what is now the Cottonwood Valley Road to Goodsprings and through the Columbia Pass (now known as Sandy Valley Road) on to California. I could find very little written about these two mines. This area was once called the Potosi Mining District and was a part of the Goodsprings Mining District, and included the following mines; Christmas Mine, Dawn Mine, Green Monster Mine, Kirby Mine, New Year Mine, Shenandoah Mine and the Ninetynine Mine. Discovered in 1894, this underground mine’s main product was Copper along with smaller amounts of Silver, Lead, Vanadium, Zinc, Gold. I can only assume that the Dawn mine produced similar ores.
             
02/13/2013 Trip Notes: Up bright and early, Harvey and I headed out to explore the southern end of Cottonwood Valley off NV-160, the road to Pahrump. After parking the truck at the inner parking area, we unloaded the Rhino (Fig. 03) and began our trip up (south) Cottonwood Valley Road. As you continue past the parking area, it is apparent that the road is running up a valley, with Mt. Potosi (Fig. 01) and the Spring Mountains on the west side and the Birdspring Range to the east. Refer to the map in (Fig. 02). About 3.5 miles out, there is a sharp left turn that heads east towards the trailhead for Birdspring Peak. At about 4.7 miles out on the right you will come to the Ninetynine Mine Road (FR-800B). Shown in (Fig. 04) this road starts out heading southwest before turning right and heading northwest towards the base of the tree lined ridges of Mt. Potosi. About a mile and a half up this road it splits. If you head left at the split, the road runs out to the Dawn Mine site, (Fig. 05); bearing right takes you to Ninetynine Mine site, (Fig. 16). Again, refer to the map in (Fig. 02). Next, we continued on FR-800 to the dilapidated A-frame that is referred to as the “Ninetynine Cabin”. On the return trip we took FR-800C back to Cottonwood Valley Road (see Fig. 02). Finally, we headed up the access road that led to the Birdspring Peak trailhead [Bird Spring Peak Trail] at the top of the Birdspring Ridge (see Fig. 02). All toll for the day, I estimate that we traveled nearly 12 miles.
EFP-P1040471
(Fig. 03)
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(Fig. 04)
The Dawn Mine: The view in (Fig. 05) below of the hillside containing the various tailings from this mining claim was taken several hundred yards short of the mines themselves, as the road was blocked with some rather large boulders, causing us to abandon the Rhino and hike the rest of the way to the site. We spent an hour hiking up the hillside finding no less than four mine shafts (Figs. 06 thru 09 – click to enlarge) scattered about. Even though we attempted to explore them (Figs. 10 thru 13 – click to enlarge), unfortunately, most were blocked by large steel enclosures like the one seen in (Fig. 08) that prevented entry. Other than some footings for a cableway that hauled ore from above, and a few rusty remnants consisting of corrugated roofing sheets, a large tank and some steel cable, there isn’t much left of what appeared to be a fairly extensive mining operation. We did find however, what appeared to be a couple of stone foundations (Figs. 14 & 15) that may have supported some type of living structures, possibly a large platform miners tent.
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
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(Fig. 08)
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(Fig. 09)
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(Fig. 10)
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(Fig. 11)
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(Fig. 12)
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(Fig. 13)
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(Fig. 14)
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(Fig. 15)

The Ninetynine Mine:
After touring the Dawn mine we headed up to the Ninetynine Mine (Fig. 16). Similar to the previous site, we found four shafts (Figs. 17 thru 20 – click to enlarge)  openings, each of which had either been filled in or barred closed. The main shaft here (Fig. 21) had one of the largest openings that I have seen on any mine we have yet to encounter. Other than a large debris area filled with hundreds of discarded, rusty food cans (Fig. 22), we found no evidence of a campsite or anyone living here. After touring the mine site, we continued up the road to the location of what is commonly known as the Ninetynine Mine Cabin (Fig. 23). However, it appears that this very dilapidated old A-frame may have postdated the time period when this mine was in actual operation. Whatever the case, whoever built it picked a great location, nestled at the base of the Mt. Potosi cliffs, it had great views (Figs. 24 thru 26) in every direction. The southern view from the deck of the structure is shown in (Fig. 27).
   
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(Fig. 16)
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(Fig. 17)
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(Fig. 18)
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(Fig. 19)
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(Fig. 20)
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(Fig. 21)
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(Fig. 22)
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(Fig. 23)
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(Fig. 24)
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(Fig. 25)
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(Fig. 26)
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(Fig. 27)