Monday, April 19, 2010

More of Death Valley

This rather different looking plant is called a Chia (Salvia columbariae). It was rather hard to spot amongst the rock. My books say it can be reddish blue to dark purple, but these were almost a grayish lavender. You can seen little bright blue flowerets popping out from the lower ball. I wonder if these were just beginning to bloom and might provide a brighter showing later in the spring?

This is one of the stranger plants we have seen along the roadsides. It's called Desert Trumpet (Eriogonum inflatum). It's basically a grayish green spindly plant with tiny (1/8 inch) yellow flowers at the ends of its stalks. (The flowers in the background belong to a different plant.) You can see one of the Trumpet flowers on the left branch of the third stalk from the left. The swelling of the stems is from irritation by tiny moth larva that live within the stem. Uninfected stems do not swell.

As we've traveled through Death Valley National Park, we have been impressed by the beauty and ruggedness of the the terrain. Other then the flat salty valley floor, the scenery is incredible. This picture is taken from a ways out on the Badwater Basin Boardwalk looking back up to the valley wall. Actual sea level is marked about 2/3 of the way up the wall.

This is one of the views from Artist's Drive. The many, many different hues of rock are called "Artist's Palette."

This shot is going down a gorge in Twenty Mule Team Canyon --

We made a quick trip into Pahrump to pick up a few things after lunch, but otherwise have spent a quiet day resting up from yesterday. I got another month entered into the computer -- now I'm only one month behind on the books!
We've been watching the Mariners shellacking the Orioles. The score is 8-1 in the bottom of the 8th. The Ms have been playing well this week!

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