Friday, May 31, 2013

Only Two Weeks Till the Snake Valley Festival!

It's only two weeks till the Snake Valley Festival! Click here to see the complete schedule.

Are you ready?

Here are a few things you can do to prepare:

  • Put up your road art. It needs to be up by Thursday, June 13, as the judging will take place during the Festival. Be creative and try to make your entry durable. If you have questions ask Jenny Hamilton.
  • Practice your pageant talent. The first-ever Mr./Ms. Snake Valley Pageant will have four age groups (kids, tweens and teens, adults, and seniors). Participants will be judged on formal wear, outdoor wear, and talent (that is not singing, dancing, or playing a musical instrument). This will be an exciting program to watch!
  • Get in shape for the 5K/10K Trail Run/Walk. This Sunday morning event will help burn a few calories from all the delicious food you've eaten during the weekend!
  • Build your appetite. We've got food covered this year, from an ice cream social to wine tasting, breakfast and lunch on Saturday at the community center, pie sale Saturday and bake sale Sunday,  and a BBQ Saturday night. Yum!
  • Make something for the pie sale or bake sale. Donations gratefully accepted!
  • Declutter your house. Great things will be on sale at the Festival, so clean out your house ahead of time to make room. Donate books to the book sale, yard sale items, and silent auction and live auction items. Proceeds go to the Great Basin Water Network to help preserve our way of life in Snake Valley.
  • Prepare your parade entry! We'll have bike riders with decorated bikes, various pets, themed floats, and more. The parade starts promptly at 10 am (NV); if you want to be in it, just be at the Sinclair gas station 15 minutes before.
  • Tell your family and friends about the Snake Valley Festival. This is one of the best times of the year to visit Snake Valley!
See comments for more details on contact people.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

EskDale Flowers--Part II

It's been a great spring for wild flowers in Snake Valley. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Part I of Flowers around EskDale.  I found so many that I had to split it into two posts!
Here are some more beauties on the landscape:

A selenium-loving spear of yellow: Desert princesplume (Stanleya pinnata)

And then I got distracted by American Avocets in the reservoir. They were happily eating little invertebrates in the murky water.

I got a little too close, though, and spooked them.

Flowers in the Sunflower family with no leaves on the stem: naked stemmed daisy (Enceliopsis nudicaulis)

A low-lying plant with flowers about the color of yellow fluorescent markers: 

A beautiful penstemon about a foot high: Steptoe Valley Beardtongue (Penstemon immanifestus)

A tiny white flower at the end of very hairy nutlets: bearded cryptantha (Cryptantha barbigera)

A dandelion-like flower (with a pollinator!): Modoc hawksbeard (Crepis modocensis)

This shrub is dotting the sagebrush areas and brightening it up: Mormon tea (Ephedra viridis)

And a stop to enjoy a gopher snake.

It made me feel so good to see so many interesting flowers--almost like I was on a treasure hunt! Besides looking for different flowers, it's fun to watch the lizards scurry around, observe the numerous burrows, watch the grasshoppers jump, and see which flowers, grasses, and shrubs are most predominant. Best of all is taking deep breaths of the clean air. We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring Wildflowers around EskDale

I usually spend one morning a week in EskDale, and the last two weeks I've seen some terrific wildflowers. Here are most of them, with links to the A Plant a Day blog, which is an excellent site if you'd like to learn the plants of the central Great Basin.

Cryptantha--one of many!

A small shrub with yellow flowers: bud sagebrush (Picrothamnus desertorum)

A surprising find in the early spring: tufted townsend daisy (Townsendia scapigera)

One of the easier milkvetches to identify, especially when the big, spotted pods appear: Freckled Milkvetch (Astragalus lentiginosus).

This tree is already past the flower stage and into the fruit stage: Russian olive (Elaegnus angustifolia)

The desert may not look very colorful from afar, but once you start spotting flowers, you find more and more!

A tiny plant with surprisingly bright flowers: Spiny Milkwort (Polygala subspinosa)

Splashes of white on the desert floor: Tufted Evening Primrose (Oenothera caespitosa

A mass of pink and green: Winged Four O'clock (Mirabilis alipes)

A field of purple (and white): cleftleaf wildheliotrope (Phacelia crenulata)

A stately, elegant flower with a poisonous punch: foothill deathcamas (Zigadenus paniculatus)

Leaves feathery and gray-green with a two-inch ball of flowers: globe springparsley (Cymopterus globosus).

I thought I was done, but I went back out to EskDale today and found even more! 
So there will be a part 2, that even includes some animals.