WILD JUVENILE DESERT TORTOISE PUTS IN AN APPEARANCE

The following photographs and video of this healthy, wild juvenile desert tortoise were made by our guest Emily Curry on Sunday morning, May 3, at our unfenced Midcentury Prefab Homesteader Cabin in north Joshua Tree (cabin rental info here). We’ve seen this little guy (gal?) before, and know where one of his burrows is, but we’ve never been able to get photos — thank you, Emily!

It is very rare to see a healthy juvenile desert tortoise in the wild — this is only the third one we’ve ever seen in our time living out here. Few desert tortoises survive into adulthood due to death by predation (ravens, coyotes); disease; and adverse human activity — road and building construction, off-road vehicle use and climate change — which shrinks available habitat. (More info on threats to the desert tortoise here.)

Click on individual photos to bigify…  lilgal1

 

Continue reading

Posted in tortoise | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

NEW ISSUE OF ‘THE DESERT ORACLE’ BACK FROM THE PRINTERS…

abbey-cover-website

DESERT ORACLE: Summer 2015 (44 pages):

  • “Edward Abbey’s Southwest: A Field Guide”
  • “Desert Madness With the Late, Great Mojave Phone Booth,” by Doc Daniels
  • “Finding Your Desert Refuge At the County Tax Auction,” by John R. Connolly
  • “A New Performer Takes the Stage At Death Valley Junction”
  • “Burrowing Owls and Vanishing Fences,” by Jay Babcock
  • “When Astronauts Roamed the Western Deserts”
  • PLUS: Desert retreats and acreage, miner’s cats, a new iconic caricature of Ed Abbey by Mike Caplanis, Elko’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering, aliens at the Little A’Le’Inn, and other miscellaneous & curious items from “Around and Across These Desert Lands”

Subscription info and more: desertoracle.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

PRESENCE

Wild adult desert tortoise walking in BLM land near one of our cabins, Tuesday morning.

20150428_075637sml

Posted in tortoise | Tagged , | 1 Comment

OL’ BLOTCHY

A yellow-throated side-blotched lizard at rest outside our Midcentury Prefab Homesteader Cabin. Photograph courtesy of recent guest Bart Oud.

sideblotchedbartoud

 

Posted in lizard | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

BURROWING OWL

Beautiful picture of one of the adult burrowing owls at our Joshua Tree micro-orchard (Sunever Farms), courtesy of our recent cabin guest Bart Oud

Owl #burrowingowl #joshuatree #wildlife

A photo posted by Bart Oud (@bartoud) on

Posted in burrowing owl, Sunever Farms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

[Wed., APRIL 15, 2015 6-9pm] FIGHT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSAL TO RADICALLY EXPAND OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE IN JOSHUA TREE

crushedtortoise

Above: crushed desert tortoise

The Bureau of Land Management [BLM] is proposing to radically expand the use of BLM land in the Joshua Tree area (and beyond) by Off-Road Vehicle [ORV] riders.

We all know how bad illegal ORV activity is in Joshua Tree.

This BLM proposal would make things much, much worse. If enacted as currently written, this proposal would allow almost all local BLM land to be used as ORV courses.

There would be little to no enforcement of any rules regarding ORV riding.

The result would be distress, devastation and destruction to the precious wilderness and wildlife that our community is embedded within.

Representatives from the BLM are coming to our area this Wednesday night, looking for feedback on this proposal from the public. It is ESSENTIAL that we people of conscience, who know the inherent value of our local wilderness and wildlife, show up and speak our minds on this issue.

Here are the details of the meeting:

Wed., April 15, 2015
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Yucca Valley Community Center Complex – Yucca Room
57090 Twentynine Palms Highway
Yucca Valley

Here is the BLM’s proposal. This document is lengthy and very technical.

For detailed and informed analysis of this BLM proposal by a local expert, consult biologist Pat Flanagan’s presentation.

For further information on this issue, and on ORV use in the desert in general, check out Community ORV Watch. They do GREAT and ESSENTIAL work.

Posted in ORVs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPRING GREENS

Lunchtime with one of the neighborhood’s desert tortoises, chomping some tasty natives behind our grey cabin

Chomping lunch

A video posted by Jay Babcock (@jaywbabcock) on

Posted in tortoise | Tagged , | Leave a comment

HAPPY CAMPING


Info/booking via Airbnb: Stephanie & Jay’s Homestead Camp Cabin in Joshua Tree

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

GRATEFUL US

We finally closed today on this nearby property that Stephanie has coveted for years. Big plans! Grateful us.

We bought something crazy today @magicalavenue More soon

A photo posted by JT Homesteader (@jthomesteader) on

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OLD FRIEND

This morning, by Stephanie

First tortoise sighting of the season! #joshuatree

A photo posted by JT Homesteader (@jthomesteader) on

Desert Tortoise: Digital-Desert

Posted in tortoise | Tagged , | Leave a comment