Tag Archive | Red Rock Canyon

Utah Juniper

  Dark green shrubs dot the landscape at Red Rock Canyon on rocky slopes and in the canyon. These plants survive where many would die with the fierce winds, subfreezing winter temperatures, excessive summer heat and bone dry soils. The Utah juniper is well adapted to the desert environment here. Its massive roots makes up […]

Cholla Cacti

  Several species of this cactus is common in the Mojave Desert at Red Rock Canyon. Its needle like leaves also reduces loss of moisture through transpiration and its roots are adept at collecting what little rain falls. It produces fruit eaten by big-horn sheep, chipmunks and rabbits. Birds like to nest in this shrub; […]

Mojave Rabbitbrush

It is autumn and the Mojave Desert at Red Rock Canyon is ablaze in yellow from the blooming of the Mojave Rabbitbrush shrub. When a plant has such showy flowers, it is trying to attract insects to pollinate it. Bees, flies and butterflies come to the flowers to sip nectar and in doing so the […]

Beavertail Cactus

This is a low spreading plant of dry, rocky slopes in the Mojave Desert at Red Rock Canyon. It is well adapted to grow in the parched desert environment. As with other desert cacti, this plant’s leaves are spines. These thorny leaves have less surface area than broad leaves of deciduous plants. This reduces water loss […]

One of The Driest Places in North America

In southwestern U.S. there is a region that receives less than 13 inches of rainfall annually with arid mountains and parched soils. It is the 25,000-square mile Mojave Desert. This desert has extremes in temperatures ranging from over 100 degrees in the summer to sub-freezing temperatures in the winter. The soils are arid with poor […]

Keystone Thrust at Red Rock Canyon

As Anne and I traveled around Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, we saw immense gray carbonate mountains next to with the red sandstone hills. At about the same time as the dinosaurs became extinct, 65 million years ago, there was a shoving match between two tectonic plates. The Pacific plate pushed under the North America […]

Walking on the Ocean Floor in Nevada

During a recent visit to Las Vegas, my wife and I traveled a few miles west to the 196,000-acre Red Rock Canyon. Within the Mojave Desert, this area was once the ocean bottom 500 million years ago. This is before there were the current continents and at a time that the first fish appeared in […]