Bent

5-21-15


Bent

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A piece of bent and twisted railroad track, swept away in a flood down the normally dry Mojave River. Here the watercourse is opening out from Afton Canyon into the Soda Lake Basin, the nominal sump of the river. Occasionally floods such as this will turn a large part of the basin into a temporary lake. The dark green shrubs along the wash are mesquite.

Crossing the Mojave--

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Looking back west. The railroad visible on the right is the Union Pacific, on its way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The clump of trees (tamarisks) along the track in the middle distance is (IIRC) the former water stop of Crucero. There's nothing there now. The scraggly shrub in the foreground is a creosote bush.

Driftwood in the Desert

21 May 2015 3 4 297
Flotsam piled against a mesquite, when the Mojave River was carrying considerably more water than it is now-- Mojave Desert, California.

Flow gently, sweet Mojave--

21 May 2015 3 6 355
Mojave River, in Afton Canyon, Mojave desert, California. Even tho the river is usually dry thru here, the shallow bedrock locally forces water to the surface, where it is of disproportionate importance to wildlife. The area also illustrates the hodgepodge of Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo-Celtic-North European names so typical of California and the US West generally. "Mojave" is a Hispanicized spelling of the local Native American tribe. "Afton" canyon obviously has little to do with the original river in Scotland; evidently it was named after a nearby, now-deserted watering stop on the Union Pacific Railroad. Per Wikipedia, FWIW, Robert Burns's poem led to a number of places being named "Afton" in the US.

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