AMARGOSA RIVER VALLEY MARCH 2020
PAGE ONE

Photographs by Michael Charters




In early March I joined a Jepson workshop to the Amargosa River area of the northern Mojave Desert. We stayed in the small community of Shoshone which is just south of Death Valley Junction and east of Death Valley National Park. We explored the valley of the Amargosa River, which despite being mostly underground has been designated a Wild and Scenic River. We hiked into the foothills of the Nopah Range, were introduced to a rare plant in Lower Carson Slough, and visited Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in southern Nye County of southwestern Nevada. It was early in the season and that and dry conditions conspired to make the flora fairly unsatisfactory, but we nevertheless found some interesting plants and even some in bloom. One of the special and fun things we were able to see was the desert pupfish, one taxon of which, the Shoshone pupfish, was thought to be extinct back in the 1980's, but is thriving again thanks to the conservation work of the managers of the town of Shoshone. This little inch-and-a-half long fish has adapted to the warm (85°-95°) waters that originally fell on the surrounding mountains as much as 10,000 years ago and have percolated up from below ground to form streams and pools. We also saw the Ash Meadows pupfish which is a different taxon. The workshop was led by the exceedingly knowledgeable and experienced Naomi Fraga from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden who has been working for a number of years in this locality. In this photo gallery I have included pictures that I would not have included in other galleries, but such was the state of the flora. The inclusion of these pictures is to show what species we observed as opposed to what species were in bloom. The picture above is looking west toward Telescope Peak and the picture below is of one of the pupfish pools at Point of Rocks in Ash Meadows. The symbol ^ next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me.


   
Alkali marsh aster ^
Almutaster pauciflorus
Asteraceae
 
Showy gilia
Gilia cana ssp. speciformis
Polemoniaceae



 
Shoshone pupfish
Cyprinodon nevadensis shoshone
  Ash Meadows pupfish
Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes

 
 
 
Bear poppy ^
Arctomecon merriamii
Papaveraceae
 
 



   
Yellow cups
Chylismia brevipes ssp. brevipes
Onagraceae




   
American bulrush
Schoenoplectus americanus
Cyperaceae
 
California sawgrass
Cladium californicum
Cyperaceae
 
Cooper's rush ^
Juncus cooperi
Juncaceae


 
Amargosa nitrophila ^
Nitrophila mohavensis
Amaranthaceae


 
Woolly daisy
Eriophyllum wallacei
Asteraceae
 
 
 
Beavertail cactus
Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris
Cactaceae


   
Yellow cryptantha
Cryptantha confertiflora
Boraginaceae



   
Bracted alkali goldenbush
Isocoma acradenia var. bracteosa
Asteraceae


 
Arrowscale
Stutzia covillei
Chenopodiaceae
  Turtleback
Psathyrotes ramosissima
Asteraceae




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