Saturday, May 30, 2009

Springtime in the Egan Range

This is what spring looks like, in a good year, in what some call the "high desert," above 6400 feet in eastern Nevada. (I've heard the term "high desert" applied to Barstow, CA, at below 3000 feet elevation, so I'm quite leery of using it.)

This winter wasn't particularly cold, nor was it particularly wet. The monsoon, however, moved into the area a little early, in May rather than in June or July, and April's official rainfall was above average. I won't get into the technicalities of whether eastern Nevada qualifies as arid or semi-arid, though back when I went to school in the Paleocene, I was taught that much of Nevada is semi-arid steppe rather than arid desert.

Looking south towards Hercules Gap. The dark things in the background and into the mountains are piƱon pine and juniper trees.
Orange, yellow, and minor red Indian paintbrush, and many other kinds of wildflowers.
Lupine, of the purple-yellow variety, with mountain mahogany bushes.
Lupine just east of Piscovitch Summit.
Looking west towards the Butte Mountains.
An old cabin.
Looking northeast, down a side road, back towards the Eagan Range.
These pictures were all taken on May 29 in the Egan Range of eastern Nevada. All photos were taken between about 6400 and 7600 feet in elevation, from Hercules Gap to Piscevitch Summit to the junction of Thirty Mile with Highway 50.

This post is a submission to the Carnival of the Arid #5, which is hosted at Coyote Crossing by Chris Clarke.

UPDATE: For other views of the Great Basin Desert in spring to summer, see these two June posts from Wheeler Peak: Wheeler Peak Photos Sets, Spring and Summer 2006-2009 and Friday Field Photos: Tarn It! The elevation is higher, spring comes later, and summer is relatively short.


Lockwood said...

Gawd, I love basin and range at this time of year! Thanks, SF, those are some gorgeous pictures... I can almost smell the sage.

Silver Fox said...

Always lots of sage! :)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Great photos. What's the temperature like at that eleveation?

Silver Fox said...

Recently the highs at 6200 feet have barely been in the 70's because of afternoon clouds; at the same time, highs at 7000 feet were in the high 60's, and highs at 9200 feet were in the mid to high 50's. It may have been warmer the day I took the photos: 70's to low 80's.

PhizzleDizzle said...

those clouds are so puffy they almost look fake!!! as usual, lovely photos.

Silver Fox said...

Thanks, PD. I don't even use Photoshop, so have no way of combining two or more photos without extremely slow and painful use of Paint. The puffy clouds can be just perfect before they turn into thunderheads.

Lockwood said...

I downloaded a month or so ago, have slowly been learning how to use, and am very pleased with it. Though it's no Photoshop, it's so much more useful that Paint there's no comparison. One feature in particular that it doesn't share with Photoshop: it's free.

Don't think it has a mosaic or stitch feature (though I don't know for sure- still learning), but I really recommend it.

Silver Fox said...

Thanks, Lockwood - I might give it a try. Have actually been thinking about buying PhotoShop, could try first. (I think about a lot of things! ;) )

Leslie said...

I love Highway 50. I take it when I can on the drive to the bay area, even though its a few hours longer than 80. The desert looks great this year. Thanks for the wildflower photos.

Silver Fox said...

Leslie, thanks for stopping by! The flowers just keep going and going... It looks like the rabbitbrush is almost ready to bloom in places, and so the entire summer might be filled with color. I love it! (Although rabbitbrush makes me sneeze.) Let me know when you drive through on Highway 50, maybe we could get out and look at something!

Liz at Yips and Howls said...

I love these kinds of flowers. What a wonderful time to be in the desert.

Silver Fox said...

I've been lucky this year, when it comes to wildflowers!