Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada ... flora & fauna

This is the landscape you see from the road.
We visited during the wild flower period that comes before the really hot temperatures. I don't know the names of the flowers ... they dot the landscape and vary from area to area.

This delicate flower is smart, it only grows within the branches of a sturdy bush that has thorns.
This is the only insect we saw ... perhaps they come out in the twilight.

The Banana Yucca plant was used for food.
These ancient plants look like cactus, but on a closer look, are Yucca plants that branch.
Fire has taken its toll in areas, leaving Yucca looking like this ...
The plant can regenerate from the bottom. The Yucca we are more familiar with is the younger plant. The fibres that peel off the spikes make fascinating designs.
Different cactus grow in each area. They seem to thrive in specific soils as well as the amount of rain and sun. These plants have very effective self-protective spines.

Other foods were: wild rice grass, agave, pine nuts and prickly pear. The natives also used plants for treating disease. This grain was ground to make breads.
Lizards & snakes live among the rocks.
Wild burrows wander. Mountain sheep are sometimes seen. Small frogs and even shrimp can appear when the temperature and rain is suitable.
There is an interpretive center, with illustrations of the native tribes and their relationship to the canyon. Life would not have been easy here.
There is evidence of 'roasting rocks' where fires were built to slowly roast food.
Some areas have petroglyphs.
Water pools exist where animals visit to drink. Otherwise when rain occurs it tears down a with a 'wash' with a force that can sweep cars away. Plants in this area benefit from increased water, but must have deep roots and flexible branches - perfect for basket making.

1 comment:

Ella said...

Wow! Great photos!