Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quail Mountain

Bill and I send warm holiday wishes to one and all. Thank you for being in our lives and for keeping up with our doings through this blog. We love you!

A few weeks ago we went on a walk sponsored by the Mojave Desert Land Trust at the base of Quail Mountain--a 955-acre, privately owned property that the Land Trust is currently in the process of acquiring.

This beautiful, undeveloped area borders Joshua Tree National Park. The above photo was taken looking towards "Tortoise Flats," where over 20 desert tortoises make their home. It's the place where I saw my first desert tortoises last spring. Bill and I used to walk there regularly when we lived in Joshua Tree, as it was only about a mile from our house. But this hike started from the other end of the property, where we hadn't been before. (The tortoise photo was taken in May 09)

Along with the tortoises, this area provides habitat for bighorn sheep, mule deer, bobcat, gray fox, coyote, badger, and mountain lion. We were told that when it rains, there's a waterfall on Quail Mountain. Hundreds of Joshua Trees cover the lower elevations and rocky slopes.

The walk was led by naturalist Pat Flanagan, Resource Advocate for the Land Trust. That's her with the short grey hair and no hat, despite the cold and blustery day.

Once the property is purchased, the Land Trust will donate it to Joshua Tree National Park so it will be preserved in perpetuity. We recently joined the Land Trust because we believe in their work. To learn more, click here.