Hello from Needles, California!
My name is Steve, and for the rest of this year I will be bringing you tales, facts, and pictures from the Mojave Desert while I work as a Conservation and Land Management (CLM) Intern. I will be working for the Needles Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Needles sits right on the Colorado River, along the California-Arizona border, so I’ll be working in the eastern portion of southern California. That means desert country, and my field area includes portions of both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.
Now, I’m a Midwesterner from Illinois, so the southwestern desert is a dramatically different and unknown place to me. I’m looking forward to learning about this part of the country, and discovering how the ecology of the place functions. I have already begun to encounter lots of new things. New landscape. New vegetation and wildlife. New culture. New climate. (Ah yes, the desert climate. Get ready for some fun temperature updates. Here’s a teaser: the highest temperature so far, on May 27th, was 109 degrees Farenheit. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the complaining to a minimum.)
My co-intern and I have been working in our new office for a week, so we are starting to figure out exactly what kind of work we’ll be performing this year. We will likely spend the most time making native seed collections for the Seeds of Success (SOS) program, but we’ve been told to expect a variety of other projects to come our way as the season moves along. Variety sounds great to me, so I’ll keep you posted about the different and interesting projects that we get to work on this year.
If you decide to read any of my blog posts this year, hopefully I’ll reward you by giving you an idea of what the ecology and plant life of this place are like (as I figure it out myself). That’s my plan anyway. And I’m sure that I’ll have good stories to tell along the way. And on that note, I’ll leave you with a classic desert plant that I’ve seen plenty of during my first week:
That’s all for now! Until next time!
Needles Field Office, BLM