Monday

New Subject Category – Rabbits

EP-P1040794Inspired by some rabbit pictures that I shot a couple of weeks ago while hiking in the DNWR with my friend Harvey Smith, I started looking through my catalog of photos looking for pictures of rabbits that I captured on various hikes over the past couple of years. To my surprise I had more than I thought. After performing some Internet research to identify them, I put together four new pages and added a new category to the subjects tab. Check out these furry little creatures here … Rabbits.

Friday

Logandale Trails System

EP-P1040934This past week I visited the Logandale Trails System. Located in a spectacular landscape just west of the township of Logandale and Moapa Valley, the Logandale Trails System is a grouping of more than 200 miles of recreational trails, suitable for a variety of OHV types, horseback riding and hiking. With dozens of primitive camping areas, it is located between the Overton Ridge and the Weiser Ridge in the north Muddy Mountains. Its southern boundary is the Overton Wash, just north of the Valley of Fire State Park. For pictures and more info, check it out here … Logandale Trails System .

Sunday

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

E-IMG_2232I recently visited the Las Vegas Springs Preserve for the fourth time. I was able to get a free entry as part of BOA’s free museum ticket offer. I also learned that if you don’t want to go to the Nevada museum or enter any of the other buildings and just want to walk the grounds and trails, entry is free. To see some pictures and learn more about the history of this place, click the following link … Las Vegas Springs Preserve.

New Books Added to my Reference Library

Rock Hounding NevadaI recently found a book at the Henderson Library titled, Rockhounding Nevada (A Guide to the State’s Best Rockhounding Sites. ) Even though most of the sites listed in this book are well north of Clark County, this is a good book for anyone interested in collecting rocks, minerals, fossils, and gems in Nevada.

In addition, I added a PDF Guide To Nevada's Historical Markers.  It provides information on the locations of the physical markers and shows the marker texts for 270 statewide historical sites; and a A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crust of Western U.S. Drylands: Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an intimate association between soil particles and cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes (in different proportions) which live within or on top of the uppermost millimeters of soil. The most identifiable forms being lichens and bryophyes. Click on the Site Reference Library tab, top right to learn more. 

Friday

XB-70 Valkyrie Crash Site

2-22-2013 5-53-34 AMHarvey Smith, his neighbor Richard and I drove out into the desert north of Barstow California, in search of the June 8th, 1966 crash site of the XB-70 VALKYRIE (Fig. 01). Knowing that after 47 years our luck of finding anything at the site would be remote, we thought it might be worth a try. Click the following link to read about this trip and this amazing plane … XB-70 Valkyrie Crash Site.

Tuesday

Recent Bird Picture

EP-P1130317On a recent visit to the Corn Creek Field Station inside the Desert National Wildlife Range I was lucky enough to capture a picture of a White-crowned Sparrow. This picture was taken with my Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS19 at 20x zoom. To read more about this bird, click the following link … White-crowned Sparrow.

Sunday

Desert National Wildlife Range Hikes

EP-P1130345This past Friday, Harvey and I went to Corn Creek Field Station and then out on Mormon Wells Road for a hike to the Yucca Peak Fossil Beds. This hike resulted in the creation of two new posting as well as an update to my previous posts on Corn Creek. Click here for links to the pages with pictures and information on these two locations … Desert National Wildlife Range.
 

Category Description

What is a Polyptych? Similar to a diptych, which is a photograph that uses two different or identical images side by side to form one single artistic statement, and a Triptych that uses three pictures, a polyptych uses more than three pictures to tell a story or perhaps show more than one facet of an object, place or person ... {click "Read more >>" below}

Category Description

Rock-hounds: I created this category for the specific purpose showcasing photos of fellow hikers who attend the weekly rock-hound hikes sponsored by Henderson's Heritage Park Senior Facility. Over the upcoming months, I will attempt to 'spotlight' some of the persons who have accompanied me on hikes, past present and future.

Friday

The Mojave Yucca (Yucca Schidigera)

EFP-P1050090
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: On 03/26/2013, I captured most of these Mojave Yuccas (Figs. 01 & 02) along the road leading to the Cottonwood Marina inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area east of Searchlight, Nevada.
EFP-P1050114
(Fig. 02)
Description: The Mojave Yucca (Yucca schidigera), also known as the Spanish Dagger, is a flowering plant in the family Agavaceae. This small evergreen tree can grow 3 to 16 feet tall, with a dense crown of spirally arranged bayonet-like leaves on top of a conspicuous basal trunk.
EFP-P1050113
(Fig. 03)
The leaves are narrow, linear, and spreading in all directions from the stem, and they are wide-based and have stiff, yellow-green blades 12" to 60" long and 1" to 1-1/2" wide.  They are also tipped with terminal spines and have coarse fibers along the margins, which Yucca whipplei lacks.  The cream-colored flowers (Fig. 05) appear in a long terminal cluster.  The individual flowers are large, pendent, bell shaped and occasionally have a purplish tinge.  The fruit (Fig. 03) is an oblong, elongate berry like capsule to 2" to 4" long with thick, obovoid seeds.  The bark is gray-brown, being covered with brown dead leaves near the top, becoming irregularly rough and scaly-to-ridged closer to the ground. Broad at their base, the leaves are long, concavo-convex, thick, very rigid, and yellow-green to blue-green in color.

EFP-P1020441
(Fig. 04)
It is native to the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert of southeastern California, Baja California, southern Nevada and western Arizona. This yucca typically grows on dry rocky desert slopes and Creosote desert flats between 900-3600 feet in altitude, yet can be found up to 5,000 feet. They thrive in full sun and in soil with excellent drainage. It also needs no summer water. It is related to the Banana yucca (Y. baccata) (Fig. 04), which occurs in the same general area; hybrids between the two are sometimes found. In contrast, Banana Yucca tend to grow low to the ground on, at most, very short trunks, with leaves that are bluish. They both bloom from April to May.

The fibers of the leaves were used by Native Americans to make rope, sandals, and cloth. The flowers and fruit could be eaten and the black seeds were ground into a flour. The roots were used to make soap. Currently extracts from this plant are in animal feed and various herbal medications. Some reports claim that Native Americans washed their hair with yucca to fight dandruff and hair loss. Among the other maladies this yucca has been used to treat are headaches, bleeding, gonorrhea, arthritis and rheumatism. Also used as a natural deodorizer. Used in pet deodorizers.
  
EFP-P1050093
(Fig. 05)

Gravel Ghost (Atrichoseris platyphylla)

EFP-P1050027
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes:  I captured the picture in (Fig. 01) on 03/21/2013 while hiking a wash along the west side of Lake Mead’s Southshore Road. I'm pretty sure I have some more pictures of this flower, but haven't been able to locate the yet.
     
Description:  Gravel Ghost (Atrichoseris platyphylla), a.k.a tobacco weed and Parachute Plant, is an annual herb that is native to California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. It produces a low basal rosette of rounded leaves patterned with gray-green and purple patches at ground level. It sends up a weedy-looking thin branching stem topped with a number of attractive, fragrant white or pink-tinged flowers with layered ray florets about 1 inch across, that are rectangular and toothed.   Because the stems that support them are 1-2.5 feet tall, and very thin, they often appear to hover in the air, hence the common name gravel ghost. because. The flowers are fragrant and readily withering. They are found growing in the Mojave and Sonoran desert valleys and washes at elevations less than 4,500 feet. They flower mostly between March and May.

Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) at Duck Creek Trail

EFP-P1120331
(Fig. 01)
06/15/2012 Picture Notes: I captured this Desert Cottontail during an early morning hike in the Duck Creek Trail area as it passed along the Las Vegas Wash, just south of the Clark County Wetlands Park. These little fellas were everywhere; we must have seen at least a half dozen darting in and out of their shady resting spots as we walked the roads. Though most of them quickly darted away, I was finally able to get pictures of this one from a distance using a 200mm telephoto lens. Because I was hurrying and shooting "handheld", hoping to capture a picture before he ran away, the focus is not the best.
EFP-P1120341
(Fig. 02)
Description: The Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), is also known as Audubon's cottontail. Cottontails are named after their rounded tail with white fur, which is shaped like a cottony ball (Fig. 01). The desert portion of their common name arises from their distribution across the arid lands of the American Southwest. It can be found throughout the western United States from eastern Montana to western Texas, and in northern and central Mexico. Westwards its range extends to central Nevada and southern California.
EFP-P1120337
(Fig. 03) Click Image to Enlarge
 
Adults are about 14 inches tall, between 13 to 17 inches long and weigh up to 3.3 lbs. Their ears are generally between 3.1 to 3.9 inchs long and are more often carried erect. Their hind feet are quite large, about 3.0 inchs in length (Fig. 03). Their fur is a light grayish-brown in color, with almost white fur on the belly. Females tend to be larger than the males, but have much smaller home ranges, about 1 acre, compared with about 15 acres for a male.

Cottontail rabbits are very prolific and those feeding on green growth may have up to five litters of two to four young a year. The young are reared in nests which are made in pear-shaped excavations in the ground with the entrances only about 5 cm in diameter. Below, they are flared out to a width of 15-25 cm; the depth varies from 15 to 25 cm. They are lined with a layer of dried grasses, and the inside is filled entirely with rabbit fur in which the young repose. The female lies or squats over the opening to nurse her young, which are blind and hairless at birth. By 10 days of age the eyes have opened and within another 4 days the young are able to move outside the nest, although they remain near the nest for about 3 weeks. Desert cottontails rarely stray far from their natal or birthplace area. Although they are able to breed throughout the year, most young rabbits are produced in spring when the new growth of plants is most available. At other times of the year, selected foods include twigs, newly emerging grasses, weeds, and even cacti.
 
Cottontails rarely drink, and free water does not appear to be a requirement for either their survival or reproduction. It gets its water mostly from the plants it eats or from dew. Like most lagomorphs, it is coprophagic, re-ingesting and chewing its own feces: this allows more nutrition to be extracted. The desert cottontail is not usually active in the middle of the day, but it can be seen in the early morning or late afternoon. It mainly eats grass, but will eat many other plants, herbs, vegetables and even cacti. It gets its water mostly from the plants it eats or from dew. Like most lagomorphs, it is coprophagic, re-ingesting and chewing its own feces: this allows more nutrition to be extracted.

The cottontail's normal anti-predator behavior is to run away in evasive zigzags reaching speeds of over 19 mph. Against small predators or other desert cottontails, it will defend itself by slapping with a front paw and nudging; usually preceded by a hop straight upwards as high as two feet when threatened or taken by surprise. Cottontails are preyed upon by a number of predators, including golden and bald eagles, great horned owls, ferruginous hawks, badgers, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, domestic dogs and cats and humans. Their life span is 2 years or less.


White-crowned Sparrow ((Zonotrichia leucophrys)

EFP-P1130317

Description:
The White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is in the same genus-"Zonotrichia" - as two other sparrows with banded or "zoned" heads, White-throated Sparrow and Golden-Crowned Sparrow. About 7-inches in length, the White-crowned Sparrow has a pink bill (yellow in one subspecies), bold black and white stripes on the head (brown and gray in the first year birds), pure gray neck and breast, fine streaking on the back, and indistinct white wing bars. The White-crowned is a year-round resident in the United States, on the West Coast and in the interior from Nevada to Colorado. In the last fifty years the bird has extended its winter range north and east so that it now encompasses much of the U.S. south of the Great Lakes. The White-crowned Sparrow also has a striking, ethereal song: 1 - 3 high, clear whistles followed by several short, buzzy notes and trills, in somewhat the same pattern as a Song Sparrow.

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

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E-Springs Reserve

(Fig.01)


Directons

Description of The Springs Preserve:
The Springs Preserve is a 180-acre cultural institution designed to commemorate Las Vegas' dynamic history and to provide a vision for a sustainable future. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. It features the Nevada State Museum, galleries, outdoor events, colorful botanical gardens and a 3.6 mile interpretive trail system through a scenic wetland habitat (Fig. 01). An archaeological survey in 1972 by Dr. Claude Warren of the University of Nevada, found long-term human occupation of the site, and prevented it from being paved over by the transportation department's plans for an expressway. To further preserve the historic site, the Water District Board of Directors approved a plan in 1997 to develop a preserve to protect and manage the cultural, natural and water resources of the site, hence The Springs Preserve, which opened in June 2007. Entrance to the outdoor portions of the preserve is free, although visitors are required to get a pass at the ticket booth. The free pass provides access to the trail system, the botanical gardens, and the gift shop, cafe, and other common areas. Entrance to the museums and other indoor portions of the Las Vegas Springs Preserve is expensive, about $10 for Nevada residents and $19 for visitors.


04/17/2016 Trip Notes: This was my sixth visit to the Springs Preserve. This time was to attend the first of a two-day, free training class on Manual Photography taught by Sharon K. Schafer. Check out her website at http://www.skydancestudio.com/. The first day covered the many available features, modes and settings of digital camera's, concentrating on using the cameras "manual" settings for taking pictures. In addition to two classroom lecture lessons, there were two outdoor picture sessions to practice the information provided in the classroom. I divided my picture taking time between pictures of the grounds, trees, catcti and plants and inside the Butterfly Habitat enclosure at the far end of the property. I created two separate posts for the pictures I captured on this visit; a page titled, Springs Preserve - Spring Flora Blossoms, and a second page titled, Springs Preserve - Butterflies.
 

10/18/2014 Trip Notes: Today I visited the Springs Preserve for the fifth time with my friend Marc Resnic. Our purpose for today's visit was to see the recently opened Butterfly Habitat. Located on the south side of the property next to the botanical gardens, the open air habitat has metal screen walls and can be entered through a vestibule with an inner and outer door to keep the butterflies from escaping. Upon exiting the habitat, visitors are given a visual inspection by a docent to make sure there are no hitchhikers. It will be open each fall and spring, during periods when the weather is ideal for their survival. Click this link for pictures and information on this visit ... Butterfly Habitat at Springs Preserve.



03/03/2013 Trip Notes: On my forth and most recent visit, I took the opportunity to visit the recently opened 13,000 square-foot Nevada State Museum. Its many interactive exhibits interpret the history of Nevada dating back millions of years to the early flora and fauna that roamed this once great sea to the pioneers, early settlers, miners, railroaders, ranchers and entrepreneurs that made Las Vegas the resort capital of the world. I then walked around some of the desert hiking trails and the 110 acre botanical garden. Unfortunately, as is evidenced by the barren branches of the black and white tree in (Fig. 02), it was still way to early in the season to see much of the greenery or spring blooms that you can usually find here. I did capture several pictures (Fig. 03) of Mark White’s kinetic art display titled, “Art in Motion” that graced the botanical garden area. Balanced to respond to the lightest of winds, yet strong enough to withstand 100-mph gusts, the quiet whimsical movement of these kinetic wind sculptures are designed to encourage self reflection. Always early bloomers, I was able to capture some pictures of daffodils (Fig. 04) and a dwarf peach tree in full bloom (Fig. 05). [My thanks to Mr. Tracy Omar, Science and Gardens Supervisor at the Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens for helping me to identify this tree] The pictures in the slide show at the bottom are from all of my visits here.
EFP-B&W-P1040839
(Fig. 02)
Mark White Kinetic Art
(Fig. 03)
EFP-P1040806
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1040822
(Fig. 05)



The Springs’ History: Prior to the 1800s, the Pueblo Peoples, Patayan (ancestors of the Yuman groups) and Numa (Paiutes) used the Las Vegas Springs and Las Vegas Creek, leaving behind remains of their campfires, stone tools, clay pots, houses and foodstuffs. In 1829, New Mexican merchant Antonio Armijo led an expedition along the Virgin River to find a new trading route between New Mexico and California. During the trip, a group of scouts set out to find water and camp sites. A teenage scout, Rafael Rivera, discovered the springs and meadows, returned to his caravan and led the party to the lush area. The route they followed became known as the Old Spanish Trail. The area Rivera discovered was named Las Vegas, meaning "the meadows" in Spanish.

Between 1847 and 1858, the Las Vegas Springs became a major campsite along the Mormon Road. During the 1840s, hundreds of wagon trains moved through the valley and camped by the springs; thieves drove livestock through the valley and wagon trains drove thousands of sheep and horses across the Mojave Desert to California. The livestock quenched their thirst at the springs and fed on the surrounding meadow grasses.

In 1852, Mormon mail contractor George Chorpenning built the first non-Native American structure in Southern Nevada. Circa 1855, Mormon missionaries a fort, known as the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, downstream of the springs near Las Vegas Creek. They planted fruit and shade trees and established friendly relations with the Paiutes. The Mormon missionaries used water from the Las Vegas Creek to help smelt lead from Mt. Potosi, Nevada's first lode mine. The lead contained so much silver that it did not make good bullets, and the mine was abandoned in 1858, along with the fort, when the missionaries were called elsewhere.

From 1867 to 1905, the abandoned Mormon Fort gained new life as "Los Vegas Rancho" when Octavius Decatur Gass of California restored the fort and developed small "ranches" near it. With a steady source of water from the Las Vegas Springs, the ranch produced grain, vegetables and fruit. Los Vegas Rancho became a way station for people traveling to and from Southern California and Salt Lake City.
               
Circa 1900 to 1928. In 1902, Senator William Clark, owner of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (later known as Union Pacific), purchased 1,864 acres of land and water rights from the Las Vegas Springs to provide water for his steam locomotives. The railroad created the Las Vegas Land and Water Company to operate the first water distribution system in the valley, and in May of 1905 auctioned off land, creating the town site of Las Vegas (Fig. 06). Six years later, the City of Las Vegas was officially incorporated in March 1911.




EFP-IMG_2224
(Fig. 06)
To supply the railroad and the new town with water, the company laid redwood pipes and constructed protective houses over the springs to keep people, cattle and other polluting factors out of the water supply. However, due to drought, increased demand, waste and improper control, the water system was nearly depleted within just a few decades. In 1935, Las Vegas Creek, which flowed from the springs, dried up in the summer and water was no longer available to irrigate the Stewart family ranch.

Even after the completion of the Hoover Dam in 1936, continued growth, invention of swamp coolers and air conditioners, continued periods of drought have plagued the valley’s need for water by creating a demand that exceeded nature's ability to recharge the groundwater aquifer naturally. The Las Vegas Springs flows, once a hallmark of the valley's geography, stopped altogether by 1962.




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(OPTION 2) Running the cursor over the picture being shown will PAUSE the show and bring up a navigation bar at the bottom of the slideshow window with Pause, Forward and Back buttons, allowing you to start, stop or manually forward or back up pictures one at a time.


Slideshow Description:
The slideshow above contains 73 pictures that were taken during my four visits to this place.

Our Day With Patrick Adams

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2013 Patrick_s Visit
(Fig. 01)

Trip Notes: On 03/29/2013 we were expecting the arrival of our friends Jim Herring and Patrick Adams for another one of their week long vacation visits to Las Vegas. Having arrived a day earlier than Jim, Connie and I got to spend an entire day with Patrick. After a lovely lunch at Matteo's, the restaurant inside the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, we headed over the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at Hoover Dam for a drive into Arizona.

EFP-P1010012
(Fig. 02)
Our goal was the ‘almost’ ghost town of Chloride (Fig. 02), Arizona, situated between Kingman, AZ and Boulder City, NV, just a few miles off US-93. At an elevation 4,009 feet, this once vibrant mining town of over 1,500 people, is now a small village of less than 250 people with 1 motel, full service restaurant & bar, 1 convenience store and several gift shops. Today it is most known as the site of the Roy Purcell Murals (Fig. 04). Roy Purcell, now of Tubac, AZ, formerly of Chloride, AZ and Henderson, NV, is best known for his innovative etchings, though in his later years he used sculpture, watercolor, oil, pastel, glass, wood, paper and many found objects for his art. People around Chloride know him for his murals on the granite faces in a canyon in the Cerbat mountains just east of Chloride.

(Fig. 03)
The artist, labeled these murals, “The Journey: Images From an Inward Search for Self” and has said that too understand the murals, "you need to read them right to left." Originally painted in 1966, they were vibrantly repainted by Roy and his son in 2006, in honor of his 70th birthday. They are richly colored and full of recognizable objects but portrayed in contexts not easily understood unless you were able to go back some 40 years ago into Purcell’s mind at the time. The first mural depicts the Tennessee Mine (Fig. 03) and is enjoyable, yet the one immediately to the left depicts a large claw that seems to be destroying the mine. The Tennessee Mine was the largest in the area and produced $7.5 million in gold, lead and zinc before it closed in 1947.
 
After taking the rough drive out to the murals, we stopped the old abandoned two-room jail (Fig. 05) built in the 1890s, and pictures in the collage above (Fig. 01). After a stop at the the original train depot (Fig. 06) which served the spur line of the Santa Fe Railroad from Kingman and was used from 1898 to 1935, we drove back into the center of the town past the oldest post office in Arizona (Fig. 07) for a stop at Yesterdays Restaurant (Fig. 08), which used to be the famous Butterfield Stagecoach stop from 1868 to 1919. After some cool refreshment and desserts of cheesecake and chocolate mouse pie, we made the drive home. On our way out of town we passed a really cool truck (seen in Fig. 01). Click here for a Polytech collage of this unique vehicle. When we got back home, we all went up to GVR and got in a little gambling before Patrick and I headed to the airport to pick up Jim.
EFP-P1050210
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1050230
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1000998
(Fig. 06)
EFP-P1010008
(Fig. 07)
EFP-P1000982
(Fig. 08)

Spotlight on Harvey Smith


EFP-P1010739
(Fig. 01)

Over the past several months, I have failed to keep up with a project that I started last year to begin spotlighting some of the people that I have the opportunity to hike with on a regular basis. As I started to get back into this project, I began to realize that I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t take the time to highlight my good friend and hiking partner, Harvey Smith (Fig. 01). Due to his generosity in sharing the use of his four wheel drive truck, off road vehicles and camping trailer, we have taken several camping trips (Fig. 02) and dozens of daytrip hiking excursions that I would otherwise never have had the opportunity to experience. We have climbed several 7,000 foot mountains, roamed numerous desert ghost towns, explored dozens of old abandoned mine shafts and hiked more than a half dozen state parks and national wildlife areas. We have uncovered several “rusty” treasures, rocks with embedded fossils, rock art left by ancient cultures, and have been privy to some of the area’s most unique geology and absolutely gorgeous views. All of which has allow me to capture hundreds of wonderful pictures, many of which I get to share with you. The collage below (Fig. 03) covers only a handful of the places we have visited and hiked in the past year. He makes it easy; I do the research on places to visit and how to get their, he does the driving. All I can say it that it has been a pleasure Harvey, and I look forward to many more adventures in the coming year.
  
EFP-P1000277
(Fig. 02) Mt. Charleston Campgoung
Harvey Smith Collage 01
(Fig. 03) Click to Enlarge

Lakeshore Drive (Part I) – LV Bay Overlook To 33 Hole Overlook

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EFP-Lakeshore Scenic Drive - 33-hole Overlook
(Fig. 01)
09/23/2015 Trip Notes: My friend Jim Herring, Connie and I took a trip out to Lake Mead for a picnic lunch at the 33-Hole Overlook. (More on this area below) Even though a little overcast, it was very hot and so windy, it was trying to blow our lunch off of the picnic table.  I’ve certainly had better days out here. Jim and I tried to hike down to the water’s edge, but before reaching it we decided it was too hot to be out here hiking. Most impressive was how low the water line was as compared to my first visit here more than 10 years ago. The exposed landscape is quickly becoming a surreal landscape turning into more and more desert with every passing day.

As a result of the roughly 15-year drought, today's water level is at 1,079-feet, down another 40 feet from just two years ago and more than 135 feet from the 2000 level of 1214-feet. At the present time, lake Mead is only at 38% full and hasn't been this low since they were filling it in the 1930s. Every day it is drawing closer to the 1,075-foot level, below which officials would declare a water emergency and begin rationing water allotments to Nevada and Arizona. The more the water level drops, the greater the chances that Hoover Dam's hydroelectric output might be seriously affected. Federal forecasters originally predicted that the Colorado River would flow at 71% capacity this summer, but they now say the figure could fall to 50% or lower. This summer, officials will make their projection for Lake Mead water in January 2016. If the estimate is below 1,075 feet, rationing kicks in: Southern Nevada would lose 13,000 acre-feet per year and Arizona would lose 320,000 acre-feet. California's portion would not be affected. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials say there is a 21% chance of Lake Mead plunging below 1,075 feet by January. The odds increase to 54% for 2017.
                                   
EFP-Lakeshore Scenic Drive - 33-hole Overlook-2
(Fig.02)
EFP-Lakeshore Scenic Drive - 33-hole Overlook-3
(Fig. 03)
Paragraph divider
EFP-P1040969-P1040968
(Fig. 04)
03/21/2013 Trip Notes: This was the Heritage Park Senior Facilities’ first hike here for the 2013 season. As noted on the previous page, there are several pull-offs along this 11-mile stretch of road, and I think we hit them all. The last time our group visited here was on 01/19/2012. This post includes pictures from both visits. Note: The slide show on the [Previous Page]  includes pictures from all of my visits here.
    
Las Vegas Bay Overlook: Heading north to south, this is the first stop. It provides views of the Las Vegas River that emanates from the Las Vegas Wash (Fig. 04) as it winds it way towards Las Vegas Bay (Fig. 05) and into Lake Mead. Driving past the Las Vegas Wash Campground, that looks like an isolated oasis lost in the vastness of the Nevada desert, you come to an area where you can hike down to the river at the mouth of the bay. There are a half dozen trails at lake level that wind about this area. It is sad to see how much this lake has receded in just the past 10 years. Today’s lake level is 1,119-feet, down 95 feet from the 2000 level of 1214-feet. Changing rainfall patterns, climate variability, high levels of evaporation, reduced snow melt runoff, and current water use patterns are putting pressure on water management resources at Lake Mead as the population depending on it for water and the Hoover Dam for electricity continues to grow. The minimum power pool elevation for producing electricity by the dam is 1,050-feet. When we moved here in 2003, about 85% of what you see in (Fig. 05) below was covered by water.
   
EFP-P1040970-P1040972
(Fig. 05)
Three Island Scenic Overlook:  As you can see from the picture below (Fig. 06), this stop is know for its view of three large islands. Of course these days, with the current lake levels being so low, one can now see several more islands that never existed a few short years ago.
   
EFP-P1010921 Stitch
(Fig. 06)
Rocky Point Scenic Overlook: Here, you can take a short walk out on the promontory for yet another nice view of the lake. I believe the picture below (Fig. 07) from last year’s visit was taken from this location.
   
EFP-P1010924
(Fig. 07)
33 Hole Outlook: There is no information anywhere as to what the title of this outlook refers to, however, it is one of the best stops along this stretch of road. This turnoff splits into three separate parking areas, each of which lead to what is known as “Pitch Fork Cove”. From the middle parking area, there is a medium length trail that leads all the way out to the end of a long peninsula (Fig. 08). Several of us (Fig. 09) hiked all the way out to the end on a trail that goes around the point and returns on the opposite side. Not only did we encounter fishermen in more than one spot along the base of peninsula (Fig. 10), we got to observe a variety of birds and water fowl (Fig. 11). This turned out to be one of the nicest walks I have taken along the edges of the lake. (be sure to view the slide show on the previous page for more pictures)
   
EFP-P1050007
(Fig. 08)
EFP-P1050001
(Fig. 09)
EPB&W-P1040983
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1040979
(Fig. 11)