COMPANION

Looks like the wild gopher snake really likes ‘our’ ‘yard.’ Cat seems resigned to situation. Mice worried. Lizards freaking out. #desertlife #JoshuaTree

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GRAZIE

We are so fortunate to receive so many lovely guests at our cabins who support our long-term project…
jthomesteader.com/manifesto

grazie

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BAD NEWS FOR JOSHUA TREE

Via Defend Joshua Tree website

VERY BAD NEWS: JOSHUA TREE LOSES TO DOLLAR GENERAL FORCES AT STATE COURT OF APPEAL

Last week the 4th Appellate District Division 2 State Court of Appeal reversed Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance’s 2014 victory in “CEQA Court” (CEQA: California Environmental Quality Act). In that case, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Donald R. Alvarez had agreed with the JTDBA that the store’s potential harm to the town’s economy had not been given adequate consideration in the approval process.

You can read/download the Court of Appeal’s 35-page June 15, 2016 decision here. The ruling was written by Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez, with Associate Justice Thomas E. Hollenhorst and Associate Justice Carol D. Codrington concurring.

This is a major and perhaps fatal blow to the people of Joshua Tree’s five-year-long fight to keep Dollar General and developers Dynamic Development and Depierro Development from building a Dollar General store at the corner of Sunburst and the 62.

An appeal by the JTDBA to the California State Supreme Court is possible, but would be something of a hail mary as the Court hears fewer than 3 percent of the cases sent its way.

The JTDBA is consulting with its legal counsel as to what to do next, with an announcement expected soon.

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COYOTE PUP

Coyote pup has visited a friend at our tree farm for 2 evenings in a row…

coyotepup

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WHO’S IN THERE?

This morning… Stephanie was on a morning walk in the open desert and came across this…

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NATALIE RESCUED AN INJURED OWL

Our friend Natalie was in town a couple of weeks ago. She was out exploring when she came across this owl, whose wing was broken. We put Natalie in touch with a helpful local volunteer at a wild bird rescue non-profit, who responded within minutes. The owl is now healing. (By the way: at first we were told this animal was a screech owl, but we’ve since been told that’s not correct. Can anyone help us with an ID?) This is a long-eared owl.

Owls are a big part of life out here, but they’re not easy to photograph. Thank you Natalie for sharing these photos with us…

(Click on individual images to bigify)

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owlbynatalie

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Good morning Western Banded Gecko

Spotted the other morning outside our house in the potato patch…

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 8.57.48 PM

More info: http://www.desertusa.com/reptiles/western-banded-gecko.html

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STARFRONT PROPERTY

Gorgeous photo of our original homesteader cabin and the Milky Way by recent guest Dr. Leon Gurevitch: “Full frame camera and an exposure of 20 – 30 seconds. 8 shots and stitched them together afterwards.”
Leon Gurevitch: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/design/about/staff/leon-gurevitch
Be our guest at this cabin: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/39492

Click image to bigify.

GurevitchstarscapeSml

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SEED GATHERING IN THE WASH

May Day! What a beautiful morning wandering through nearby washes gathering seeds. I’ve never seen this much abundance. While gathering native seeds for propagation or other uses, I’ve been working on a new approach I’m learning from folks in the habitat restoration world, which is based on respect. Take very few seeds, not all from one plant, with a very light footprint. This is the ‘paperbag bush’ (Salazaria mexicana)…we have to wait until they dry out then they’ll be ready to release seeds. At that point we can gather…

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CHOMP CHOMP

One of the local adult wild desert tortoises dining on some wildflowers the other day…

Chomp chomp. #joshuatree

A video posted by Jay Babcock (@jaywbabcock) on

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