Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mark Petterson Writes an Article on Desert NWR

IF you haven't read it yet, author extraordinaire Mark Petterson has written a wonderfully descriptive article about the Desert NWR. It can be found in the July/August edition of Nevada magazine on pages 22 - 23. Mark has made many trips to the refuge back country and he's always happy to take his friends along. He always takes many photos and unusually shaped Joshua trees hold a special place in his heart. If you know Mark Petterson, then you know he often relays his impression that traveling on the Mormon Well Road through the pass between the Sheep Range and Fossil Ridge is like entering a whole different world. There is also a little blurb about Mark on page 5 of the magazine. Read his article and comment on it here. We'd love to know what you think.

You can read Mark Petterson's article if you click here

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tarantula Hawk wasp at Ash Meadows

Ecological technician, April Bradshaw, photographed this Tarantula Hawk in a wash along the North Road (towards Longstreet) on June 30. The 2.5 inch wasp was crawling all over a Desert Milkweed plant, eating its nectar and pollen. If you don't know anything about Tarantula Hawks, they are a huge wasp nearly 3 inches in... length that are spider hunters. They feed primarily on tarantulas and trap-door spiders, luring them out of their burrows by probing the spider's silk entrances. The wasp then stings the spider, injecting paralizing venom. Next the wasp drags the victim into a burrow, lays a single egg on it, then seals the entrance. The larva will hatch and feed on the still-live prey and emerge next spring.