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Twentynine Palms Historical Society
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Pioneer Days celebration October 19 through 22.
29 PALMS’ PIONEERS DAYS OLD-TIMERS AND MILITARY GRAND MARSHALL’S NAMED
By Z107.7 News, on September 18th, 2017
In Twentynine Palms, the 2017 Pioneer Days Old Timers of the Year, Ann Congdon, and Cheryl Erickson have been announced. The ‘old timers’ will join this year’s Grand Marshals (Ret.) Col. Owen and Audrey Gillick and Military Grand Marshals Col. Charlie and Lt. Cmdr. Mary Kay Sherry in representing the community during the annual Pioneer Days celebration October 19 through 22. In addition to riding in the Pioneer Days Parade, each of the honorees will be feted at the Twentynine Palms Historical Society’s annual Old Timers Gathering at the Old Schoolhouse Museum following the parade Saturday, October 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. The honorees were introduced during the September 15 Pioneer Days Kickoff at the Bowladium.
Pioneer Days 29 Palms Calif
By Jimmy Biggerstaff, Hi-Desert Star |
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK — The wildflowers are in bloom this year, even if not in the colorful carpets for which some desert springs are noted.
Visitors to the park are going to have to get their boots a little dusty to find this season’s more illusive blooms.
Desert Institute students did just that Sunday, April 21, in a Wildflower Wanderings class led by Darrell Shade. By the end of the seven-hour session, the group had identified 80 species of blooming plants.
The class’s first stop was in the creosote scrub plant community near the park’s north entrance. The caravan parked in a pullout at the trailhead for the Contact Mine and California Riding and Hiking Trail.
Savvy flower spotters immediately began ticking species off their four page lists, including the yellow blooms of the golden cholla, the brilliant magenta display of the calico cactus and the fading purple flowers on a beavertail cactus.
Read more at the Hi – Star …Desert Bloom
Botanical Profile of the Joshua Tree
by Richard Katz
The Joshua tree is an unusual tree-like species of Yucca, a member of the Lily Family (Liliaceae), and sometimes considered in the Agave Family (Agavaceae).
Habitat and range
It grows uniquely in the desert southwest of the United States, principally in California’s Mohave Desert, Antelope Valley and the surrounding area, and also in parts of Arizona, Nevada, and the southwest corner of Utah. It is found typically in the high desert, around 4000 feet (1200 m) elevation where there are freezing temperatures during winter nights, and very hot, dry summers. The small annual rainfall occurs primarily in the winter, with occasional dustings of snow. Thus, while this is a severe climate, it is not quite as hot or dry as the lower elevation Sonoran deserts.
Young Joshua Trees have soft, tender leaves which make them vulnerable to desert animals. Therefore, they do best when they are seeded next to a “nurse plant” which protects them when they are first growing.
After they are about 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) tall they develop their characteristic sharp, pointed leaves, sword-like in their intensity. These not only afford protection, and because of their form, they minimize the loss of water through evaporation. During infrequent rain showers, the concave shape of the leaves captures the water and directs it to the trunk and down to the roots. As well, the mass of foliage tends to create a still-air zone around the plant, further reducing the evaporative effects of the drying desert winds.
The California desert’s signature tree has gotten a lot of attention lately: the story of this year’s record bloom (which I’m proud to say broke right here on KCET.org) has reached a global audience. And the developing narrative is that the unusual bloom can be credited to climate change.
As someone who’s warned of the danger of human-created climate change since the early 1970s, you might expect me to be completely on board with this analysis. I’m not.
Articles on the extraordinary bloom have seen “print” on websites ranging from National Geographic to the New Scientist. The actual scientists quoted in the coverage really do try to convey just how much we don’t know about what’s going on here, Cameron Barrows of UC Riverside being an excellent and circumspect example. Nonetheless most of the writers come down solidly on the conclusion that the bloom is probably a result of global warming.
It’s a tempting conclusion. We have no record of the trees ever blooming in such a seemingly coordinated manner, so this bloom appears to be something new. And things that haven’t happened before tempt those of us who are concerned about climate change to find a connection.
Read the full article by Chris Clarke
Something mysterious is happening in the Mojave Desert’s Joshua Tree National Park.
The reason may be grim but the effect is beautiful.
Something mysterious is happening in the Mojave Desert’s Joshua Tree National Park. The reason may be grim but the effect is beautiful.
“It’s more than interesting, it’s probably unprecedented in anybody’s recent memory anyway,” Cameron Barrows, a research ecologist at the University of California, Riverside, told ABC.
He’s talking about blooms on the Joshua trees that are larger than locals say they’ve ever seen.
“I don’t know what happened this year, but it’s been an incredible display,” Virginia Willis, a 15-year resident, told ABC. “It doesn’t make any sense, but I guess nature is that way, we don’t have it all figured out yet.”
Some biologists think the blooms are a stress response by the trees to climate change — specifically, to much less rain. Joshua Tree national park typically receives between two to five inches of rain a year but this year only received 7/10 of an inch, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The theory is that the trees are producing more flowers — and thus more seeds — in an effort to survive with less rain. And locals hope it works, because right now the iconic trees are in decline.