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Afton Canyon

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Collection 1

Just off the Afton Canyon exit, looking southward, two students try to figure out how the topography of the area was formed.

Way back when, the Mojave River flowed through this area to the Colorado River. An uplifting cut off it's course and formed a lake here.
Way back when, the Mojave River flowed through this area to the Colorado River. An uplifting cut off it's course and formed a lake here.
An alluvial fan, produced by the sediments and clasts (rock fragments) being washed down the slopes by water.
Creoste, one of the dominant plants of the Mojave Desert

W Texas to Southern California.  On plains and dry slopes of desert up to 5,000 feet

Zygophyllàceae
  Caltrop Family
    Lárrea tridentàta

Evergreen shrub with a strong pungent smell
At the base of the creosote, two burrow holes were located.

Notice the numerous, flexible, grayish, stems of the creosote arise at an angle from the base of the plant.
A closer look at the burrow. On inspection of the photo, suspected dust on the lens turned out to be two sets of barely discernable beady little eyes.  Digital enhancement confirmed two little bodies crouching in the darkness.

Creosote leaves are opposite in pairs joined at the base.   Dark glandular bands at the nodes (joints of stems and leaf attachment point).

Used to treat wood posts to repel insects and prevent rotting.  Decoctions used for antiseptics and emetics.   
Discussing faults, shifts, rifts, uplifts, basins, water courses, sediments, clasts, alluvial fans, and bahadas, for the big picture.
...and it's bigger than a bread box.
Behind these chipper people, the basin continues, cut by the freeway.
Annie finishes up some work, prepared for the area's exploration.

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