Eastern Mojave Vegetation Field Notes (Continued)  
 

Tom Schweich  

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Contents
Literature Cited
 When I first read the field notes of Annie Alexander and Louise Kellogg, I was fascinated by the descriptions they wrote about the places they went and the plants and animals they found there. By publishing my field notes on the Internet I hope to follow a little bit in their tradition.
 

2008

 
 

3 April 2008

 

Other articles: Mono Lake Basin Flora Chesnut and Drew

Locations: Bloody Canyon.
Full Size ImageA portion of the Chesnut and Drew collection of Abronia turbinata  

At the UC/JEPS Herbaria, I looked at the Chesnut and Drew collection determined as Abronia fragrans Nutt., made July 18, 1889. While most of Chesnut and Drew's collections were made in Bloody Canyon or at the foot of Bloody Canyon, the location of this collection is merely "near Mono Lake." Regardless of the location, the collection is unusual because the taxon, Abronia fragrams is not found in California, and is therefore likely misidentified. This collection certainly looks to me as A. turbinata. It has small ovoid leaves and the bracts are quite small. This voucher also has a small hand-written annotation of "A. turbinata," so at least one other person has the same opinion. Therefore, I have listed this collection as A. turbinata in my Mono Lake checklist flora.
  Just out of interest, I found collections of A. fragrans from: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, Utah including Zion National Park, and Wyoming.

Locations: Saint George.
Full Size ImageA portion of the Marcus E. Jones collection of Abronia fragrans  

There are no collections from Nevada or California. The closest collection to California is a Marcus E. Jones collection, No. 5906, made at Saint George, Utah, April 26, 1894.

Locations: Milford.  

In Utah, the closest collection of A. fragrans to California was made east of Milford, Utah, by P. A. Rydberg and E. C. Carlton, No. 6272, on June 22, 1905.
  Looking through the North American collections, Abronia turbinata has been collected near Weiser, Idaho, and in the Alvord Desert and Harney County of Oregon.
  In northern Nevada, A. turbinata has been collected in Churchill, Humboldt, Pershing, Storey and Washoe counties.

Locations: Candelaria. Pinyon Hill. Sand Spring. Tonopah.  

Closer to Mono Lake, the closest locations in Esmeralda County are 10 miles northwest of Tonopah, 2.3 miles NE of Sand Spring in Fish Lake Valley, and north of Pinyon Hill at 2000 m elevation (White Mtns, Collector: Duran). There is one collection from Candelaria in Mineral County. There are collections from Nye County at Tonopah, and 10 miles south of Beatty.

Locations: Spring Mountains.  

In Clark County, there are numerous collections from the Spring Mountains (Cottonwood Springs, Vic Wilson's Ranch, and south of Red Rocks), and a single collection from Jean, Nevada.
  There is a single Marcus E. Jones collection from Salt Lake City, Utah, and there are also collections from Dona Ana County, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

Locations: Darwin.  

The collection at UC also includes an undetermined Abronia: UC128940, was collected by H. M. Hall and H. P. Chandler No 7166, 10 miles north of Darwin, May 24, 1906. This looks very much like A. turbinata.
 

April 17, 2008

 

Other articles: Pine Tree Canyon Road near CA Hwy 14 FAQ Pine Tree Canyon

Locations: Pine Tree Canyon.
Full Size ImageLower Pine Tree Canyon  

In February, I received a query about Pine Tree Canyon from Cliff, wanting directions into and out of Pine Tree Canyon. I wasn't able to help because I had never visited Pine Tree Canyon. The canyon was listed on my web site only because of a collection of Salvia dorrii there.

Other articles: California Highway 14 in mouth of Pine Tree Cyn Pine Tree Canyon Road near CA Hwy 14

Locations: Fremont Valley.
Full Size ImageFremont Valley from the mouth of Pine Tree Canyon  

On my way to Zzyzx, I detoured slightly to check out Pine Tree Canyon.

Other articles: Pine Tree Canyon Road at aqueduct

Locations: Pine Tree Canyon.
Full Size ImageLos Angeles Aqueduct crosses Pine Tree Canyon  

The lower canyon is open to the public. It seems to be a popular OHV location and there are many camp sites and OHV trails. The upper portion of the canyon is apparently private property, and there is a locked gate with a "No Trespassing" sign.

Other articles: Pine Tree Canyon Road at gate

Locations: Pine Tree Canyon.
Full Size ImagePine Tree Canyon at the locked gate.  

This "locked gate" is fairly low in Pine Tree Canyon. Even though it was open when I was there, I did not go through, as I assumed it was unlocked only for the construction workers.

Literature Cited:
- Bureau of Land Management, 2005.

Other articles: Pine Tree Canyon Road in construction zone

Locations: Pine Tree Canyon.  

There was a construction crew working in the canyon, stringing power lines for the Pine Tree Wind Development Project.
Full Size Image
Construction on a power line for a wind energy project

Full Size ImageColl. No. 531, Caulanthus cooperi
Full Size ImageColl. No. 531, Caulanthus cooperi sp. From Pine Canyon California.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 531, Caulanthus cooperi  
531  Collection No. 531, Caulanthus, possibly C. coulteri var. coulteri, in canyon on north side of Pine Tree Canyon, 11S 0400485 4899939, 35.23989N -118.08823W WGS84, 857 m elev.

Caulanthus cooperi (S. Watson) Payson. Cooper's Wild Cabbage.

Pine Tree Canyon, Kern County, California. Small canyon on north side of Pine Tree Canyon, 17 miles by California Highway 14 northeast from Mojave, then 2.3 miles west on Pine Tree Canyon Road, and 0.4 miles north on the aqueduct service road. 35.2399N, 118.0882W. WGS1984 Elev. 857 m.

Coll. No. 531, 17 April 2008, characters observed: Annual, tap-rooted, 40-50 cm.; Stem, not inflated. Hairs, mostly basal, simple; Leaves, basal and cauline, cauline leaves lobed at base, lance-linear; Corollas, purple or violet, petals, 12 mm.; Stamens 6, 4 short and 2 long, included; Filaments of longer pair of stamens fused; Anthers on 2 longer stamens are much smaller; Ovary linear; Fruit, linear, 70 mm., >6 ovules, reflexed; Seeds, oblong, 2 mm. × 1 mm. wide.

Other articles: California Highway 14 near mouth of Pine Tree Cyn

Locations: Jawbone Canyon.
Full Size ImageCA Hwy 14 at Pine Tree Canyon  

 
 

April 19, 2008

 

Literature Cited:
- Reynolds, Robert E., 2008.

Other articles: U. S. Highway 66 just north of Amboy

Locations: Amboy. Bristol Lake.  

 
Full Size Image
Bristol Basin from north slope

Other articles: Glossary desert_pavement Eastern Mojave Geology 380000
Full Size ImageDesert pavement  

 

Full Size ImageBouse Formation near Amboy  
 

Other articles: U. S. Highway 66 just north of Amboy
Full Size ImageExamining the Bouse Formation  

 

Full Size ImageLawlor Tuff (Sonoma Volcanics) in the Bouse Formation  
 

Other articles: Glossary stromatolite
Full Size ImageStromatolite at base of Bouse Formation  

 

Other articles: Cadiz Road near Ship Mtns

Locations: Cadiz Valley.
Full Size ImageView southeast along Cadiz Road  

 

Other articles: Cadiz Road near Ship Mtns

Locations: Cadiz Dunes.
Full Size ImageCadiz Dunes  

 

Literature Cited:
- Reynolds, Robert E., 2008.

Other articles: Cadiz Road near Ship Mtns
Full Size ImageField Trip Stop, Groundwater Discharge  

 

Other articles: Cadiz Road near Ship Mtns

Locations: Ship Mountains.
Full Size ImageArizona and California Railroad  

 
 

April 20, 2008

 

Locations: Mule Mountains.
Full Size ImageMule Mountain Archaeological Area  

 

Literature Cited:
- Reynolds, Robert E., 2008.

Locations: Mule Mountains.
Full Size ImagePlaque at Mule Mountain Archaeological Area  

Mule Mountain Archaeological Site
This terrace contains a branching Indian trail and trail circle worn into the desert pavement. Although the purpose of trail circles in not definitely known, then may have been used by the Indians for performing dances called "circle dances." The terrace also contains groups of circles in parallel rows and horseshoe shapes scraped into the pavement surface. When these circles were made or for what purpose is at present unknown. They may be aboriginal or they may be a result of General Pattons' desert training activities during World War II. The terrace has been fenced to protect these cultural manifestations from damage by wheeled vehicles.

For further information contact the nearest BLM office or the patrolling ranger.

Cultural resources are protected by the 1979 Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Locations: Mule Mountains.
Full Size ImageMule Mountain Archaeological Area  

 

Literature Cited:
- Reynolds, Robert E., 2008.

Other articles: Hart Mine Road at Bouse Fm locality
Full Size ImageStop 2-4. Barnacles.  

 

Literature Cited:
- Reynolds, Robert E., 2008.
Full Size ImageStop 2-5. Quarry Wash  

 

Locations: Trigo Mountains.
Full Size ImageTrigo Mountains behind the Quarry Wash fossil locality.  

 

Other articles: California Highway 78 at Ben Hulse Monument

Locations: Ben Hulse Monument.
Full Size ImageMonument on Ben Hulse Highway  

BEN HULSE HIGHWAY
Dedicated For Public Use
MARCH 21, 1964
This highway parallels the old Indian trail, still visible from here, connecting the Imperial and Palo Verde Valleys.

The grateful people of Imperial County honor the memory of our beloved Senator Ben Hulse, who worked untiringly for the people of the State of California.

Ben Hulse Highway completes the four state system from Canada to Mexico which culminates twenty five years of work by countless civic minded citizens.

Erected by the Native Sons of the Golden West.

De Anza Parlor No. 312.

Grand President

  • Joseph G. Oeschger
  • Other articles: California Highway 78 north of Ben Hulse Mnt
    Full Size ImageCA Hwy 78 north of Ben Hulse Monument  

    California Highway 78, north of Ben Hulse Monument.

    Other articles: California Highway 78 south of Ben Hulse Mnt
    Full Size ImageCA Hwy 78 south of Ben Hulse Monument  

    California Highway 78, south of Ben Hulse Monument.

    Literature Cited:
    - Reynolds, Robert E., 2008.

    Other articles: California Highway 78 east of Ben Hulse Mnt
    Full Size ImageBouse Formation outcrop near the Ben Hulse Monument  

     

    Other articles: Sinclair Road at Gentry

    Locations: Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
    Full Size ImageEntrance to Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge  

     

    Other articles: Sinclair Road at Gentry

    Locations: Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
    Full Size ImageGeology talk at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge  

     

    Other articles: Sinclair Road at Gentry

    Locations: Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
    Full Size ImageCottontail rabbit at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge  

     

    Other articles: Sinclair Road at power plant
    Full Size ImageElmer Power Plant of the California Energy Company  

     

    Literature Cited:
    - Schmitt, Axel K., Arturo Martn, Bodo Weber, Daniel F. Stockli, Haibo Zou, and Chuan-Chou Shen, 2013.

    Other articles: Red Hill Road Red Hill

    Locations: Obsidian Butte. Red Island. Rock Hill.  

    Geochemical data support the idea that the Salton Buttes are formed by MORB-type magma, thus suggesting that oceanic rifting has initiated in the Salton Trough (Schmitt, et al., 2013).
    Full Size Image
    Rock Hill and Obsidian Butte from Red Island

    Other articles: Davis Road Mud Volcanoes
    Full Size ImageMud Volcanoes  

    Water-, mud-, gas-, and petroleum-bearing seeps are part of the Salton Sea geothermal system (SSGS) in Southern California. Seeps in the Davis-Schrimpf seep fi eld (~14,000 m2) show considerable variations in water temperature, pH, density, and solute content. Water-rich springs have low densities (<1.4 g/cm3), Cl contents as high as 45,000 ppm, and temperatures between 15 and 34 C. Gryphons expel denser water-mud mixtures (to 1.7 g/cm3), have low salinities (36005200 ppm Cl), and have temperatures between 23 and 63 C. The main driver for the seep system is CO2 (>98 vol%). Halogen geochemistry of the waters indicates that mixing of deep and shallow waters occurs and that near-surface dissolution of halite may overprint the original fl uid compositions. Carbon isotopic analyses suggest that hydrocarbon seep gases have a thermogenic origin. This hypothesis is supported by the presence of petroleum in a water-dominated spring, composed of 53% saturated compounds, 35% aromatics, and 12% polar compounds. The abundance of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and immature biomarkers suggests a hydrothermal formation of the petroleum, making the SSGS a relevant analogue to less accessible hydrothermal seep systems, e.g., the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California (Svensen, et al., 2007, authors' abstract).

    Other articles: Davis Road Mud Volcanoes
    Full Size ImageMud Volcanoes  

     

    Other articles: Davis Road Mud Volcanoes
    Full Size ImageMud Volcanoes  

     
     

    April 21, 2008

     

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash Fish Creek Campground

    Locations: Fish Creek Campground.
    Full Size ImageFish Creek Campground  

     

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 80839
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-1. Fish Creek Gypsum  

    The Fish Creek Gypsum is present at the base of the Imperial Group. It interfingers with the top of the Elephant Trees Conglomerate at its base and is laterally equivalent to the fossiliferous near-shore Latrania Formation. It has been interpreted as a sabkah-like deposit, but largely lacks calcite, and otherwise has a distinctive metallic trace element signal of a geothermal vent. The gypsum is 90% pure, over 30 m thick, and has been mined since the 1920s.

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 77948
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-2. Elephant Trees Conglomerate.  

    Dorsey, et al., 2007 provide a the most recent stratigraphic column for the Vallecito Creek / Fish Creek stratigraphic section.

    Literature Cited:
    - Dorsey, Rebecca J., Amy Fluette, Kristin McDougall, Bernard A. Housen, Susanne U. Janecke, Gary J. Axen, and Catherine R. Shirvell, 2007.

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 70924
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-3. Srutzstrom  

     

    Full Size ImageFagonia laevis in Fish Creek.  
     

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 70924
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-3. Base of the Latrania Formation  

     

    Full Size ImageAxis of drag fold  
     

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 66473
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-4. First Evidence of Ancestral Colorado River  

     

    Full Size ImageWind Caves in sandstone above Fish Creek  
     

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 63918
    Full Size ImageFossil Reef Interpretive Sign  

    Fossil Reef -- High and Dry
    Twenty million years ago, where you are standing was the bottom of a warm shallow sea. The Gulf of California covered the region.

    Thriving in the warm waters were many varieties of fish, corals, and shellfish. Over thousands of years shells of oysters and pectens accumulated on the sea bottom and were covered with shofting sands. Thick deposits of shells formed reefs in the shallow sea. The Gulf retreated, faults shofted, and the land uplifted, leaving the ancient reefs high and dry.

    The ridge to the south has a dark brown crust which is composed entirelyt of fossil mollusks. The reef is hard compated to the soft silts beneath it, and is more resistant to erosion. Can you see that erosion has weathered trhe softer sediment and brought them tight here to your feet. The buttresses beneath the ancient reef are known as Elephant Knees.

    As you proceed up Fish Creek be on the lookout for signs of the fossil reef. It can be spotted in the overhanging cliffs above Loop Wash, just a few miles west of here.

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 56345
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-6. Colorado River delta rythmites  

     

    Other articles: Fish Creek Wash 50830
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-7. Yuha Formation.  

     

    Other articles: Loop Wash Jeep Trail in Loop Wash
    Full Size ImageField Trip Stop 3-8. Arroyo Diablo Formation.  

     

    Other articles: Loop Wash Jeep Trail in Loop Wash
    Full Size ImageVallecito Mountains above Fish Creek  

     

    Full Size ImageOcotillo on Borrego Springs Road  
     
     

    April 22, 2008

     

    Other articles: Cottonwood Springs Road at Cottonwood Sprs

    Locations: Cottonwood Spring.
    Full Size ImageCottonwood Spring  

     

    Other articles: Cottonwood Springs Road Cottonwood Springs

    Locations: Cottonwood Spring.
    Full Size ImageCottonwood Spring  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road Pinto Basin

    Locations: Pinto Basin.
    Full Size ImageInterpretive Sign About Pinto Basin  

    Pinto People
    In the Pinto Basin there lies an extinct river along whose banks we found, for nearly six miles, camps containing a culture different from anything we had already encountered.
    Elizabeth Campbell (1893-1971)
    It is hard to imagine the existence of large bodies of water anywhere in this parched landscape, but exist they did. Here in the Pinto Basin evidence of old shorelines lends proof to a cooler, wetter period when a shallow river coursed the basin. The river attracted life, which explains the fossil bones of extinct camel, horse, llama, sheep, tortoise, and rabbit found here. It also explains the discovery of a distinct human culture that camped along the riverbanks.
    Between 1931 and 1935, self-taught archaeologists Elizabeth and William Campbell searched up and down this valley. They followed the ancient riverbank terraces for miles, discovering many small campsites and collecting chipped stone tools -- leaf-shaped points, scrapers, and choppers. The Campbells recognized that these tools were different from others of the region. When the artifacts were radiocarbon tested years later, they registered more than 9,000 years old and confirmed the existence of a vanished people -- the Pinto Culture.

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road in Pinto Basin

    Locations: Pinto Basin.
    Full Size ImagePinto Mountain, the highest peak in the Pinto Mountains, as seen across the Pinto Basin  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 65000

    Locations: Turkey Flat.
    Full Size ImageTurkey Flats  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 65000

    Locations: Turkey Flat.
    Full Size ImageTurkey Flats  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 55000
    Full Size ImageOcotillo in the Pinto Basin  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 55000
    Full Size ImageOcotillo in the Pinto Basin  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 50000
    Full Size ImageDesert Lavender in Pinto Basin.  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 45000
    Full Size ImageTeddy Bear Cholla  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road 45000
    Full Size ImageTeddy Bear Cholla  

     

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road near Silver Bell Mine

    Locations: Silver Bell Mine.
    Full Size ImageSilver Bell Mine  

    Silver Bell Mine
    On the slopes to the south you can see the remains of the Silver Bell Mine, with its tipples still standing. These ore bins held and fed rock to a stamp battery that crushed the ore into a sandy-watery pulp and pushed it onto an amalgamation table where the precious metals were extracted. Though the mines operated some 40 years, ownership and details about the mine's riches are sketchy. Nevertheless, it was a versatile mine: gold in the 1930s, lead in the 1940s, and copper in the 1950s.
    Prospectors began staking claims in this desert region around 1865. Gold fever gave rise to mine names like Fore Aces, Big Bozo Claim, Lucky Turkey #2, and Hard Digging. Mining reached its peak here by 1917 and tapered off by the 1960s.
    Ore was hoisted from the Silver Bell Mine by the skip and dumped onto the grizzly, which sorted ore into the tipple. A 1958 assay report showed the Silver Bell Mine as having low gold and silver values, but high copper values -- worth about $90 a ton.

    Other articles: Pinto Basin Road near Silver Bell Mine

    Locations: Silver Bell Mine.
    Full Size ImageSilver Bell Mine  

     

    Other articles: Amboy Road at Iron Age Rd

    Locations: Sheep Hole Mountains.
    Full Size ImageAmboy Road toward Sheephole Pass  

     

    Other articles: Amboy Road Sheep Hole Pass Glossary pediment

    Locations: Sheep Hole Pass.
    Full Size ImagePediment in Sheephole Pass  

     

    Other articles: Amboy Road on Bristol Lk Playa

    Locations: Bristol Lake.
    Full Size ImageSalt Plant on Bristol Lake  

     

    Other articles: Amboy Road 20000

    Locations: Bristol Lake.
    Full Size ImageNational Chloride Company  

     

    Literature Cited:
    - Brown, Howard, 2003.

    Other articles: Kelbaker Road near Amboy Limestone Quarry Eastern Mojave Geology at Amboy Limestone Deposit
    Full Size ImageSnowcap Limestone Mine  

    Omya (California) operates the Amboy Limestone quarry located 6 miles east of Amboy, California, in the southern Bristol Mountains. The Amboy Limestone deposit, a very high purity, high brightness (white) crystalline limestone deposit is of such high purity it is suitable for pharmaceutical and food grade limestone applications, and can be utilized in products for human consumption. The limstone is mined from an extensive dip slope of Mississippian age Monte Cristo Limestone, Bullion Member, up to 300 feet thick, and 1500 feet long. Current mine life is 55 years, plus reclamation phases for a total operation life of 70 years. The current Phase 1 quarry development occurs in an area of about 10 acres. The ultimate quary will cover approximately 50 acres.

    Other articles: Kelbaker Road near Kelso Dunes

    Locations: Kelso Valley.
    Full Size ImageLooking north toward Kelso  

     

    Other articles: Kelbaker Road near Kelso Dunes
    Full Size ImageDesert Lily beside Kelbaker Road  

     
     

    April 23, 2008

     

    Other articles: North Highway Mesquite Spring Campground
    Full Size ImageMesquite Spring Campground  

     

    Other articles: Racetrack Valley Road near Ubehebe Crater
    Full Size ImageNorthern part of Death Valley from Ubehebe Crater  

     

    Locations: Dry Mountain.
    Full Size ImageDry Mountain from Ubehebe Crater  

     

    Locations: Tin Mountain.
    Full Size ImageTin Mountain from Ubehebe Crater  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road on Death Valley Road
    Full Size ImageFoothills of the Grapevine Mountains along Death Valley Road  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road on Death Valley Road
    Full Size ImageView into the most northern end of Death Valley  

     

    Literature Cited:
    - Wrucke, C.T. ; Werschky, R.S. ; Raines, G.L. ; Blakely, R.I. ; Hoover, D.B. ; Miller, M.S., 1984.

    Other articles: Death Valley Road near Little Sand Spring

    Locations: Little Sand Spring.  

     
    Full Size Image
    General view of Little Sand Spring

    Other articles: Death Valley Road near Little Sand Spring

    Locations: Little Sand Spring.
    Full Size ImageVegetation in Little Sand Spring  

     

    Literature Cited:
    - Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998.

    Other articles: Death Valley Road Sand Spring

    Locations: Sand Spring.  

     
    Full Size Image
    General view of Sand Spring

    Other articles: Death Valley Road near Crankshaft Crossing
    Full Size ImageGeneral view south into Death Valley.  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road Crankshaft Junction

    Locations: Crankshaft Crossing.
    Full Size ImageCrankshaft Crossing  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road near Crankshaft Crossing
    Full Size ImageDeath Valley Road climbs the Last Chance Range  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road on Death Valley Road
    Full Size ImageNorthern end of Death Valley.  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road on Death Valley Rd
    Full Size ImageDeath Valley Road traverses the Last Chance Range  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road near Crater

    Locations: Crater.
    Full Size ImageGeneral view of Crater  

     

    Other articles: Death Valley Road near Little Cow Horn Valley

    Locations: Little Cow Horn Valley.
    Full Size ImageView west of Little Cow Horn Valley  

     

    Locations: Little Sand Spring. McLaughlin Springs.  

    Found the following in the newsletter of the Bristlecone Chapter newsletter:
     Duvall, Kathy. 1998. Aspen Color and Carvings - Oct. 3rd. The Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter. Volume 18, No. 6, November 1998.
      The CNPS field trip on October 3rd, led by Richard Potashin, visited the isolated and beautiful McLaughlin Springs grove, east of the Bald Mountain Lookout and east of Highway 395. This grove has numerous carvings, including records of the Spanish Civil War period and many extensive illustrations. In the afternoon Richard led us to a stock tank located in the Little Sand Flat area. The seemingly blank tank was covered with lead pencil art depicting French Basques faces, trees, animals, birds, signatures, dates, and political slogans. It was amazing that the lead markings were still on the metal tank. Unfortunately, the life of the carvings is relatively short and these types of tanks are being hauled to other locations. While walking across the open pumice flat to the tank, we were delighted to see the rare Mono Lake lupine (Lupinus duranii) and Mono milk-vetch (Astragalus monoensis var. monensis) braving the strong west winds. These species are endemic only to pumice flats from western Long Valley to Mono Lake basin. Look for another pilgrimage to see the groves next fall.
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    Date and time this article was prepared: 7/31/2017 9:35:26 AM