Sunday

Daytrip - Logandale Trails Recreation Area

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On 01/24/2019 I was accompanied by Jim Herring, Bob Croke and Ron Ziance on a trip to the Logandale Trails Recreation Area. It is twenty-one thousand plus acres and is sandwiched between the Valley of Fire, the Moapa Valley and the towns of Logandale and Overton. Today was a beautiful sunny day in the upper 50's without a cloud in the sky. We decided to drive the 13-mile Logandale Loop Trail that runs the full length of the ancient Aztec red sandstone outcrop that dominates the area. As there are more than 200 miles of designated trails for multiple use of OHV vehicles, we only covered a small portion of its many trails. Along the way we encountered petroglyph sites, dams, bighorn sheep and some of the best sandstone vistas in the area. Click her for pictures and a description of this trip ... Logandale Trails Recreation Area - Summary Page.

Saturday

Daytrip - Mines in the Mojave National Preserve

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On 01/03/2019, our first trip of the new year was to the 1,600,000 acre Mojave National Preserve. Today's trip consisted of Bob Croke, Ron Ziance and myself. It was a beautiful sunny day with no wind, but cold, in the 40's. We entered the preserve from Nipton Road of the I-15. Our goal for the day was to visit three of the preserves' larger mines; the Morning Star Mine, the Death Valley Mine and the Evening Star Mine. By the end of the day we located all three of the mines and considered it a successful day. The headframe on the left was that of the Evening Star Mine, was the most impressive structure we encountered. Click her for a description and pictures of the three mines we visited ... Mines in the Mojave National Preserve. This was our 2nd trip to this preserve and can't wait to go back again and do some more exploring.

Wednesday

Index for Category - Snakes

This page last updated on 04/21/2019

Index for Butterflies and Insects

 This page last updated on 04/21/2019

Click on a Title to View

Master Blister Beetle (Lytta magister) - 2019
Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Pepsis species - 2017

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) - 2017
Flame Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula saturata)
 - 2011 & 2016
Springs Preserve (Butterflies) - 2016

Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) - 2016
Bumble Bee Mania - 2014
Butterfly Habitat at Springs Preserve - 2014
Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides) - 2014
Common Black Ground Beetle (Pterostichus melanarius) - 2014
Black Witch Moth (Ascalapha odorata) - 2014
Unidentified Butterflies - 2013
White Lined Sphinx Catepillers & Moths - 2012 and 2019
Morning Starbucks Stop - 2012
More Monarch Butterflies - 2012
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) - 2011
Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) - 2009
Bumblebee (disambiguation) - 2009
Chalcedon Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) - 2011
Butterfly at the Zen Garden at Bellagio - 2009

More Butterflies

Tuesday

Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area - 04/16/2019 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 04/20/2019
(Fig. 01) 
(Fig. 02)
04/16/2019 Trip Notes: Even though today's weather predicted rain, it turned out pretty good. We spent about 4 hours driving along Rockefeller Road on our way to the Rockefeller Mine (Fig. 02). We made a few stops along the way for some scenic picture taking and exploration of some old abandoned mines. This entire area has the most jumping cholla cacti you have ever encountered. There are literally tens of thousands of these plants. Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida) The view in (Fig. 01) is of Copper Mountain. A little further along we spotted a large cave (Fig.03) on the side of a mountain side and decided to stop and climb up to it. As we climbed up this rough, rocky, jagged hillside, there were hundreds of small wildflowers and cactus. Howard Saxon, in (Fig. 04), and I hung behind the rest of the group taking our time as we tried to get pictures of the many small wildflowers and cacti we found along the way (Fig. 05). Eventually the rest of the group reached the cave. Jim was the first one to reach it and took this picture looking out and back down the hill and the road we traveled to get there (Fig. 07). After the three of them all entered the cave they ended up confronting the following. (Notes Continued below)

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Notes Continued: They found a large snake. It was a California Snake that was up on a ledge that finally came out and slithered its way to the ground (Fig. 08). For additional pictures and info about this snake click here ... California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae). Bob Croke also captured this picture of a colorful Blister beetle (Fig. 09). Click here for more info ... Master Blister Beetle (Lytta magister). Climbing up the hill we came across a couple of caterpillars (Fig. 10). Click here for more pictures and information ...White Lined Sphinx Moth Catepiller. The view in (Fig. 11) was taken about halfway up the hillside looking north toward the Ireteba Wilderness Area. From here we continued driving up the road toward the Rockefeller Mine stopping at various mines along the way (Figs. 13 thru 18). Eventually we came to a barricade in the road and had to turn back. After this trip we drove to Boulder City and had lunch at a barbecue restaurant before turning home.

(Fig. 08) picture by Jim Herring
(Fig. 09)
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Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and historical purposes only.

Go Back to the previous page ... (Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area - Summary Page). 

Kingman Wash Road & Mine

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This page last updated on 03/23/2019
(Fig. 01)
Directions: This road is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 40 minutes southeast of Las Vegas. From town, drive out towards Hoover Dam, then continue south on Hwy 93 into Arizona for about 2 miles to Exit 2, Kingman Wash Road. Exit the highway, turn left and drive under the highway. Kingman Wash Road starts on the east side of the interchange.

Description of AreaKingman Wash Road, National Park Service (NPS Road 70) is a maintained backcountry road off Highway 93 south of Hoover Dam in Arizona. The road runs for about 3.6 miles over hills and down washes through the wild backcountry of Lake Mead National Recreation Area to the colorful Paint Pots area at the shore of Lake Mead. Many people use the small cove to launch small boats, picnic and camp in the surrounding area.

(Fig. 02)


03/23/2019 Trip Notes: Today Jim Herring and I decided to go looking for some wildflowers. A site I looked at said that there were some off Kingman Wash Road in Arizona. There is also a unknown mine in the area, so we headed there. The elevation at the TH (Trail Head) at exit 2 off I-93 is around 1,340 feet. The entire length of this road to the lake's edge is only about 3.2 miles. The relatively maintained dirt road from here runs uphill about 300 feet till it reaches the intersection of South Mine Road (NPS-70A) at about .9 miles out. Driving this road runs roughly a mile atop a winding up and down ridgeline for about 1.2 miles till it comes to the intersection of the North Mine Road (NPS-70B) on the map in (Fig. 02). The elevation at the intersection is 2,168 feet. Looking north provides a great view of Lake Mead and the Paint Pots area (Fig. 01). Looking back, somewhat southwest you can see the dirt road (Fig. 03) you just traveled getting here and in the distance and the bridges you cross over just south of the dam. From the intersection, the less maintained dirt road runs ahead due east for about a mile to the mine itself (Fig. 05). This quite rough road ends at an elevation of 2,431 feet, for a total climb from the TH of nearly 1,100 feet. I would not attempt this portion of the road without a 4WD vehicle (Fig. 06). The end looked so rough we actually parked and hiked the last several hundred feet. When you reach the top you see some old water tanks on the left (Fig. 07) that had some piping that lead down to the mine site sitting above a large wash just below. In front of the two openings here had debris scattered about (Figs. 08, 09 & 10). We hiked down the wash for a several hundred feet and found the remains of yet another digging, Even though we didn't hike to the top of it, There were two steel rails sticking out over the edge of the overage pile (Figs. 11 & 12). (Notes continued below)

(Fig. 03)
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(Fig. 06)
(Fig .07)

(Fig. 08) Click to Enlarge
(Fig. 09) Click to Enlarge
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(Fig. 11) Click to Enlarge
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Trip Notes Continued: After hiking back to the jeep (Fig. 13), we then backtracked to the intersection. It was then 1.16 miles still on the top of a another ridge back to the main road. Driving this ridge felt like you were riding along the great wall of China. From there it was another 1.7 miles to the shoreline of Lake Mead. As we drove along the main road down to the Paint Pots Cove, the road has deep washes on both sides of the road (Fig. 14). Near the end of the road you got some great views of the Paint Pots areas (Figs. 15 & 16). The large flat butte behind the colorful Paint Pots is Fortification Hill. At the very end of the road is the small cove and beach line of Lake Mead (Fig. 17). The picture in (Fig. 18) shows "bath tub ring" around Lake Mead. From this vantage point where we were parked, and the land below us, would have been under water years ago. (Figs. 19 thru 24) are pictures of several wildflowers that we spotted along the side of the road on our way down to the lake. Taking our time, stopping for pictures of wildflowers, scenic views and hiking around the mine site made for a pleasurable afternoon. On the return home we stopped in Boulder City at the Southwest Diner, one of our favorite restaurants for dinner.

Side Note - Paint Pots: Thirteen million years ago, the crust around the Lake Mead area was stretched and thinned so iron and magnesium-rich magma and basalt, poured out of the ground and covered the landscape. The darker lava produced many of the black volcanic flow-capped mesas, such as Fortification Hill and Callville Mesa, seen in many parts of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Mineral-rich fluids trapped in older rock were mobilized when hot magma was injected into them. These hot, hydrothermal fluids percolated up through some of the igneous rock formations, including the Paint Pots pluton at the base of Fortification Hill, imparting their beautiful coloration!
Definition - pluton: A pluton (pronounced "PLOO-tonn") is a deep-seated intrusion of igneous rock, a body that made its way into pre-existing rocks in a melted form (magma) several kilometers underground in the Earth's crust and then solidified. At that depth, the magma cooled and crystallized very slowly, allowing the mineral grains to grow large and tightly interlocked — typical of plutonic rocks. Shallower intrusions may be called subvolcanic or hypabyssal intrusions. There are a slew of partial synonyms based on a pluton's size and shape, including batholith, diapir, intrusion, laccolith, and stock.
 

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(Fig. 19) Click to Enlarge
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Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and historical purposes only.


California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)

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This page last updated on 04/20/2019
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: On 04/16/2019 we were 4-wheeling on Rockefeller Road in the area of the Ireteba Mountains in Nevada. On one of our stops we noticed a very large cave high on a mountain side. Once several of our party reached and entered the large cave they encountered the snake shown in the pictures found here. It appeared to be about three to four feet long.

Description: The California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) is primarily diurnal, but may become increasingly nocturnal during periods of particularly hot weather. Highly variable in appearance. Adult California kingsnakes are most commonly 2.5–3.5 feet in length, and rarely exceed four feet. Its head is somewhat wider than the neck, plate-like top scales, bulging eyes. Its body scales are smooth and glossy, giving rise to the scientific species name "lampropeltis," which means "shiny skin". Most commonly seen with alternating bands of black or brown and white or light yellow, including the underside, where the light bands become wider. A desert phase occurs with dark black bands and narrow bright white bands. In the winter, they retreat underground and enter a hibernation-like state called brumation. When disturbed, California kingsnakes will often coil their bodies to hide their heads, hiss, and rattle their tails, which can produce a sound somewhat resembling that of a rattlesnake. They are considered harmless to humans, but if handled it is common for this species to bite, as well as excrete musk and fecal contents from their cloaca. California kingsnakes are opportunistic feeders and common food items include rodents, birds, other reptiles and amphibians. All kingsnakes are non-venomous, but are powerful constrictors and generally kill their prey through suffocation. The "king" in their name refers to their propensity to hunt and eat other snakes, including venomous rattlesnakes, that are commonly indigenous to their natural habitat. California kingsnakes are naturally resistant to the venom of rattlesnakes, but are not totally immune. One of its hunting attributes is that it uses its powerful body to suffocate its prey by constriction. Outside of California, it occurs in southwestern Oregon, Nevada, southern Utah,extreme southwestern Colorado, much of Arizona, throughout Baja California, including several islands, and most of Sonora, Mexico.

(Fig. 02)

Lovell Summit Road and the SMNRA

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This page last updated on 02/11/2019
(Fig. 01)
(Fig. 02)
Directions: To reach Lovell Canyon Road from the Stratosphere on Las Vegas strip, take the I-15 to Blue Diamond Rd (SR-160 aka Pahrump Highway). Head west on SR-160 passing the turn to Red Rock Canyon, passing Cottonwood Valley, and passing over the pass and the town of Mountain Springs. About 3 miles west of Mountain Sprint Summit, watch for highway signs and a right turn onto Lovell Canyon Road. Lovell Canyon Road is a paved road that dead-ends at the entrance to the Torino Ranch, about 11 miles out. A left turn here is the beginning of  Lovell Summit Road.

Area Description: The area loosely referred to as Lovell Canyon lies within the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. It is bordered by the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area on the east. Refer to (Fig. 02). Lovell Road and the Lovell Summit Road cut through the heart of the Lovell Canyon area. North, it is bordered by the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area. Its 57,442 acres is  spread across the entire Spring Mountains Range and includes Mount Charleston (Charleston Peak), at an elevation of 11,908 feet. Access to the canyon is the Lovell Canyon Road, an 11-mile-long paved road that parallels the Lovell Canyon Wash. The surrounding area encompasses approximately 24,997 acres. Its unique geology and microclimates support several endemic plant communities, some plants that are found nowhere else in the world. The soils of lower elevation washes of Lovell Canyon have alluvial soil deposits. Alluvial soils deposits are eroded rock debris transported from higher elevations in mountains down to the valley floor. The soils of the higher elevation rolling hills of Lovell Canyon consist of weathered sandstone rock fragments and finer particles. Traveling west at the end of the paved Lovell Canyon Road, elevation 5,958 feet, is the beginning of the 9.7 mile Lovell Summit Road that ends at Trout Canyon Road. The roads highest point is Summit Peak around 6,500 feet (Refer to Fig 02).

02/07/2019 Trip Notes: Today Jim Herring, Bob Croke and Ron Ziance decided to take a ride up Lovell Canyon Road to Lovell Summit Road to drive in the snow and get some wintry snow pictures. As you can see from the pictures, it was a beautiful sunny day without a cloud in the sky. Driving NV-160 to get there, we took this snow covered picture of Mt. Potosi (Fig. 03) along the way. As we drove up Lovell Canyon Road we captured the pictures of the snow covered Spring Mountains in the distance (Figs. 01 and 04). As we neared the end of Lovell Canyon Road, the road became completely covered in snow. After turning onto Lovell Summit Road the snow got a little deeper. As we climbed up this snaking road to Lovell summit, 6,740 feet, several of the sharp corners got a little slippery (Figs. 06 & 07). Several places provided opportunities for some nice views (Fig. 08). This picture is looking east back down onto the beginning of the road. (Notes continued below)

(Fig. 03)
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Trip Notes Continued: At Lovell Summit, looking up there were pictures of the frosted and snow-covered trees at the ridge lines (Figs. 09 & 10). Looking due west from the summit you look down onto a fairly flat valley that is pocked with nearly a dozen houses (Fig. 11). From the summit the road lead down into and across the valley below (Fig. 12). The picture in (Fig. 13) shows one of the larger, more substantial houses. From here is was still several miles to the end and the intersection with Trout Canyon Road. About two miles before Trout Canyon Road I got a flat tire. Luckily the snow barely covered the dirt road and we were in a spot where changing the tire was relatively easy. We all admitted that none of could even remember when we had to ever change a flat tire, but even being a bunch of old geezers, we managed it quite well. Thanks guys, I don't know how well I would have done if I'd been alone. When we reached Trout Canyon Road we stopped and took a shot north toward the town of Trout Canyon (Fig. 14) and the snow-covered mountains behind the town before heading down the road to NV-160. For all the years I've been hiking around the Spring Mountain area, this is the first time I ever attempted to come in the winter and can say I really enjoyed it. Driving in the snow and hiking around was really an enjoyable experience. When we reached the highway we headed into Pahrump for lunch at Symphony's, the restaurant located inside The Pahrump Winery. After a nice long leisurely lunch and excellent desserts, we called it a day and headed home.

Side Note - Symphony's: Symphony's is a Zagot rated establishment is an up-scale casual restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner. Served on white linen clothed tables, in a very quiet, elegant atmosphere, the fine food is beautifully served, and is reasonably priced. Dining here is worth the trip to the winery all by itself. The addition of a closed-in outside patio with a lovely, relaxing view provided a lovely setting for any meal. Click here for some pictures ... Pahrump Valley Winery
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
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Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and historical purposes only.