Lifeblood of the Desert

Spectacular displays of desert plant life can be elusive. Plants in the desert bloom year-round, but many of the blossoms are so tiny you have to lie on your stomach to see them. A winter rain (or snow) can trigger a burst of wildflowers the following spring that colour the desert like a RAINBOW.

Before the creation of Lake Mead, the desert outside Las Vegas was sparsely populated. The people who did live here became quickly aware of the hostile, UNFORGIVING character of this dry, brutally hot, rugged land. Many Native American groups, which have been here for at least 10,000 years, STAYED to meet the challenge. Fur trappers, Mormon settlers, prospectors and riverboat captains followed. Then, in the 20th Century, modern-day pioneers built a 726-foot-high dam on the Colorado River - higher than any dam before. (Today, it remains the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere.) Hoover Dam changed the nature of this country forever. Progress??? What is that besides just being a WORD? And, how long will the water last???

Photo taken on March 10, 2008 from Red Rock Overlook, just before a (WELCOME) late-winter storm dumped snow on the desert peaks of the Mojave Desert inside Clark County, Nevada.


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