Water In The Desert

Lake Mead

Still in Nevada, we decide to explore the lesser used areas around Lake Mead.

They are less used, because the water level is historically low for this man made reservoir – the holding tank for Hoover Dam.

When the outflow is more than the inflow,  the math doesn’t quite work out, creating problems. Hmm.

Too many people, too much water use, too little rainfall. That seems to be the real equation.

 

20150320-Stewart's Point; Lake Mead-64

 

Now that the levels are so low, and the water is so warm because of the low levels, the algae levels are extremely high, creating toxic conditions.

Basically what we have is yet another deteriorating watering system.

This part of the Colorado River is suppose to supply the water to all of Las Vegas, much of San Diego, and huge areas in Arizona.

 

20150320-Stewart's Point; Lake Mead-40

 

The scenery is still Beautiful!

And for us, less recreation users (water skiers, jet skiers, and boaters) means more quiet peaceful camping spots. The boat launches are all closed at this end of the lake due to low water.

We spend three days dispersed camping here at Stewarts Point, on the north end of the lake, enjoying front row lakeside seats.

 

20150320-Stewart's Point; Lake Mead-16

 

 

Pahranagat Wildlife Refuge

 

20150324-Pahranagat, Nv_1-13

 

Leaving Lake Mead, we retreat to Pahranagat Wildlife Refuge, where we find a sweet little campground right on the water again. Here our van door opens 15 feet from the lake.

This water is natural, not man-made. It comes forth from natural springs that bubble from the ground creating lush fields for farmers, and heavenly refuges for birds and waterfowl passing by on their flights north and south every year.

Another three days was spent here at upper Pahranagat Lake, enjoying company such as this pair of Mallards, who kept us constantly entertained.

 

20150324-Pahranagat, Nv_1-95 20150324-Pahranagat, Nv_1-92

 

They were so comfortable with us, they ventured into our campsite a few times a day, to see what crumbs they could find.

 

20150324-Pahranagat, Nv_1-84

 

No…we didn’t feed them. There is plenty of food in this lake! We also watched and listened to huge fish jumping all day long.

 

20150324-Pahranagat, Nv_1-100

 

Driving around the lower lake we spot this Osprey. It’s been awhile since seeing one of these handsome hawks.

 

20150325-Pahranagat, Nv_1-13

 

Note the fish in it’s talons. I didn’t realize that, until looking at these photos a little closer. I hope I didn’t interrupt him (?) too much.

 

20150326-Parhangat to wild horses to corn springs-18

 

This Great Blue Heron, was another recurring visitor. We realized that it was gathering nesting material, and would frequently fly back and forth with twigs and branches in it’s large bill.

 

20150326-Parhangat to wild horses to corn springs-82

 

On a long hike around the upper lake one evening, we were really surprised to encounter this Vermillion flycatcher. We saw these beautiful birds back in Arizona last fall, and were enthralled to meet up with them again here. They are now in full breeding color. There must have been about four pairs  of them at least.

We really love this camping area, and could easily spend a few weeks here exploring.

 

20150325-Parhangat to wild horses to corn springs-19

 

But…we’re moving on.                     ❧

5 thoughts on “Water In The Desert”

  1. Wow! Your shots are gorgeous! The whole series gives a wonderful impression of the area. Your bird pics, in particular, are both lucky (fish) AND good! Love the composition on the Vermillion Flycatcher.

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  2. Thanks Joy. Who would have thought all this was in the middle of Nevada! I’m enjoying both the birding and practicing my photography. The Vermillion Flycatcher is a prize for many pro photographers who chase them around. I did feel lucky with that guy!

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