Sunday, July 24, 2016

Desert Oasis at Fletcher Stage Stop

Cool stream, wildflowers and a screaming hawk 

What could be a better way to escape the July desert heat than spending the day at a real oasis under tall cottonwood trees with a running stream and watercress growing every?

This desert oasis was once a stage stop known as Fletcher.  From 1883 to 1919 this remote area connected the thriving mining camp of Aurora to the rail line at Hawthorne, Nevada.

As I wander along the cool stream on this hot summer day, I can imagine how people might also have enjoyed a refreshing pause during their travels with the tall shade trees and fresh, cool clear water.

Much to my surprise, a number of flowering plants were growing in the marshy soil and along the sandy bank.

Wild watercress seemed to be thriving in abundance.  Acknowledged as one of the oldest edible green plants consumed by humans,  Nasturtium officinale is prized today for its nutrient rich leaves and stems.

Delicate violent flowers of American Speedwell Veronica americana mixed in with the watercress.  This wild beauty is edible, rich in nutrients, has medicinal qualities and a taste similar to watercress.

 Several clusters of yellow sand verbena Abronia latifolia stood out on the sandy bank with the native grass.

Small trumpet flowers of Yellow Monkeyflower Mimulus guttatus grew in the shade.

Just when I thought my day could not bring me more photo-adventures in nature, over head I heard a piercing scream.  Looking up, a red-tailed hawk was flying in over the trees.  As fast as I could aim my camera, a black bird came in fast pursuit of the hawk.

I managed to get several clicks of the shutter before the screaming raptor was chased away.

The stage stop at Fletcher has become on of my favorite photo retreats, whether it is in summer or winter.  What great diversity in a natural landscape with such a peaceful setting.  Follow my blog and subscribe to my posts while I bring you along on more of my photo-adventures.   

What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.

 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 

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