Weather in the Las Vegas Valley can be your friend. Or not. The 17 Red Rock Audubon volunteers and friends at the October 13th clean up started out at 8:00 am with coats on but by the time they finished at noon all were in their short sleeves and the Preserve looked much improved.
Red Rock Audubon was joined by Steve Kaye during our General Meeting on October 12th. Steve Kaye is a nature photographer and photography instructor as well as a talented storyteller and blogger. We enjoyed some of the most remarkable bird photos you could imagine and some that truly made you pause. The simple beauty of a House Finch becomes a profound moment in time between Mother and Chick. He spoke of the struggle to capture that perfect shot but finding delight and joy in the imperfect outcome, such as a duck paddling away or showing off his tail feathers.
The Winchester Nesters had some very important visitors on October 19th. Martin Tyner of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Southern Utah and three of his traveling crew - Belle the Harris Hawk, Helen the Peregrine Falcon and Scout the Golden Eagle stopped by for a visit.
Doyle Wayman showed us how it is done at our September meeting.
Doyle knows a lot about native plants. He is an expert at foraging in the desert and spends a lot of time in the fall collecting native seeds.
Tasty bread can be made from flour produced by grinding honey mesquite pods with added juniper ash for aromatic flavoring. Some consider purselane an obnoxious weed that invades our carefully cultivated back yards but it makes a healthy salad green. Prickly pear cactus (nopoles) can be eaten in a salad or made into a healthy drink. If you are a hunter you can snare jackrabbit or quail, of course. And those are just a few foods that can be foraged in our local desert.
Doyle brought a variety of dishes for our members to sample. Here are a few, going clockwise from the top:
Doug and Nancy Chang, Barb Flanders-Krause, Sue McPherson, Richard Walker, Lucy Wu and Jimmy Alexander embarked on a trip through Southern Utah on September 27th and 28th to do a little birding and experience/photograph the fall colors that the area has to offer this time of year. On Friday morning, we met at the Cedar Breaks Visitor Center and took pictures of the beautiful views that Cedar Breaks provides. The group enjoyed a hike of Alpine Pond Trail. A highlight of this hike was a visit at the Alpine Pond by a Dusky Grouse. It was not camera shy and allowed the group to take many pictures.
What is more fun that watching children get excited about birds and nature? Red Rock Audubon volunteers Len Warren and Molly Hansen obviously believe this is the best way to spend a Saturday morning - with children at the Winchester Dondero Cultural Center on September 21st.
Students at Ruby Thomas Elementary School are learning the importance of native plants.