Meadowmom

Meadowmom

Posted on 04/30/2015


Photo taken on March 12, 2015


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Keywords

joshua trees
Death Valley
Jaeger
Edmund Jaeger
Hunter Mountain Road


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Photo replaced on April 29, 2015
196 visits

What on earth is interesting about this shot?

What on earth is interesting about this shot?
Well, there's a story here.

Those small joshua trees on the skyline are not dwarfed. They're a rather rare subspecies, jaegeriana, discovered by a gentle botanist named Edmund Jaeger. (You can see a ragged old photo of him in the note above.)

17 wildflowers, 5 insects and 2 land snails are named for him.

He undertook to teach in a junior college during summer and fall, and spend the rest of his time botanizing in the Mojave and Colorado deserts. In 1918 he could have toured the desert by car, but he didn't want to return to a road each night. So he explored in the old fashioned way, with a pack burro. Tramped many hundreds of miles over terrain like this, noting all the wild living things. He made thousands of exquisite, accurate line drawings of living desert plants.

At one time, everybody knew Ed's flower manual. I remember a handwritten notice of a local wildflower walk in the small desert town of Ridgecrest. At the bottom it said "Bring your Jaeger." Now his classic book has been made obsolete by the internet.
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I want to thank all of you for patiently looking at my pictures of empty places in Death Valley while I recalled their invisible ghosts. The photo-stories are in my album, Speaking of Death Valley. - Laurie

Lorenzo Kjell Salmonson, fifi, Pam J, slgwv and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo


11 comments - The latest ones
Skipper
Skipper
Lovely story. You succeeded to intrigue me. In my youth I was keen on botany and could not understand the indifference many people had for plants. Ed might be considered one of the last really passionate explorer and scientist, I can understand his decision to leave the road. It's not only a matter of returning to the car, probably he wanted to be in connection with the environment, something I feel myself when I'm in a wild place. Cars do not make you feel in connection with the earth. Yes, internet is a good tool, but like all new inventions something is gained and something is lost. I much preferred hand drawings of flowers and plants than photos. You can recognise the species better.
Thanks for sharing this story.
2 years ago.
Judith Jannetta
Judith Jannetta
Such an interesting story
2 years ago.
tiabunna
tiabunna
I've been quite fascinated by the stories you have shared with us, Laurie. Too much of 'history' is only about the 'big names', but so many less prominent people have contributed in interesting and different ways - though too often we never learn of their involvement.
2 years ago.
Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen
Fascinating landscape and interesting story.
2 years ago.
Alan Burch
Alan Burch
Well, I hope you aren't planning on retiring. A lot of us depend on you!
2 years ago.
Meadowmom
Meadowmom
Never retiring, Alan.. but I'm a very slightly shaky old lady who FINALLY has got a good IS lens. Need to get out and take some pictures.
2 years ago. Edited 2 years ago.
Pam J has replied to Meadowmom
You would still beat the socks off many of us !!
2 years ago.
Ron Hanko
Ron Hanko
Wonderful story and picture, Laurie.

As to Twayblades, California has three, banksiana or caurina, convallarioides and cordata. Cordata is found only in the four northwestern-most counties, banksiana likewise, and convallarioides in the north and east (mountainous areas) of the state all the way down to Riverside Co. They are small and easy to miss if you do not keep your eyes peeled for them, but often grow right along the sides of the trail, convallarioides usually in damp or even wet areas.
2 years ago.
Bram van Broekhoven
Bram van Broekhoven
Beautiful landscape and leading path, very nice photo and interesting story
2 years ago.
Pam J
Pam J
I missed this a few days ago.

Amazing man

And your stories Laurie... simply incredible. SO much history.. and observation.. and the waking of Ghosts.

Magic Laurie.. pure magic

THANKYOU
2 years ago.
Ron Hanko
Ron Hanko
Amazing story and not unlike others. In the Columbia Gorge its a man named Russ Jolley. If you don't have your Jolley along you're not properly equipped. Suksdorff is another.
2 years ago.