It’s an honor to be featured in what I believe is the best online landscape photography magazine today. On Landscape is a British subscription-based magazine with most of its content focused on works and artists from across the pond.
Sonoran Safari opens with a public reception this Thursday, February 8, 5-7pm at the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa, Arizona. It’s an honor to have been invited to hang four of my black and white Sonoran desert botanical studies alongside other great work from distinguished artists.
If you reside in or will be in the Phoenix metropolitan area this Thursday, I hope you will join us for the reception. I will be present and would love to share my work with you. I hope to see you there!
On January 23, 2018, we so sadly said goodbye to our sweet girl, Mojave, as she took her last breath in my arms. We have been devastated by her passing. The days have been long and the nights short ever since. If you knew her, you loved her – she left you with no other option. I was forever changed by her more than thirteen years ago when I found her wandering in the Mojave Desert, another canine victim of a lousy human. Another man’s trash was this man’s treasure.
For more than thirteen years my girl was at my side. It didn’t matter where or what we were doing, she was happiest just being with mom and dad. We called ourselves The Unit – Shauna, me, and Mojave. She made our lives happy and complete. And we find ourselves struggling to move forward without her.
People like us are not easy to console. To be sure, there are millions of dogs who need adoption and homes. And we provide the best home and life imaginable for our animals. But there was only one Mojave. She cannot be replaced. Her spirit will never die and there will not be a single day ahead where I don’t shed tears longing to hold her tight and kiss her again.
I love you forever, my sweet girl. I’ll see you again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Just one of many of Death Valley National’s Park incredibly twisted and narrow limestone canyons. This one found in the Grapevine Mountains, its inner beauty secluded by the challenging scrambling and climbing required to reach this point.
“…the voice of the desert is the one which has been least often heard.
We came to it last, and when we did come,
we came principally to exploit rather than to listen.
Joseph Wood Krutch
It’s long been acknowledged that the Mojave Desert provides the most ideal location for our prisons, landfills, renewable energy plants, military installations, military bombing ranges, and royalty-free access to minerals and water. In what other ways could man possibly benefit from the realm of desert bighorn sheep, seasonal wildflower blooms, desert tortoises, and wild desert springs? Unfortunately, this is the traditionally held [ignorant] view of and behavior toward the the California desert and its “resources”.
The publicly-traded company Cadiz, Inc. grows citrus and avocados on its 45,000 acres of privately held desert land in Cadiz Valley (water intensive farming in the desert?). Cadiz proposes to mine 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater (shared) every year from beneath Cadiz Valley while claiming that pumping from the basin would not affect Bonanza Spring (seen in the attached photos), or any other springs in the adjacent Mojave Trails National Monument or the Mojave National Preserve to the north. U.S. Geological Survey geologists assert that only 5,000 to 6,000 acre-feet per year of recharge is possible (this is, after all, the driest desert in North America). It’s simple math: drawdown will exceed recharge (Never Forget: Owens Valley and the LADWP). For nearly two decades, Cadiz, Inc. has tried to advance their project and for nearly two decades it has failed. Why?
“Access to new water supplies is extremely critical to the continued vitality of our cities,” says California Senator Tony Cárdenas in a promotional document defending Cadiz. But will a private water sale to one county benefiting a mere 400,000 people offer relief to a metropolitan area of 13 million? Cárdenas falls right in line with those who believe that coastal cities can sustain infinite growth (“vitality”) without an adequate local water supply. It is both illogical and irrational for a coastal city to suggest that it requires desert water for its “vitality”.
The California desert conservation community has been successful repeatedly at beating the bullsh*t served up by Cadiz; forward movement has been blocked again and again. That is, until the nightmare 45th President of the United States moved into the White House. Why would POTUS have an interest in the remote California desert and in a water project that serves less than half a million? Why would this unremarkable water project on the remote Mojave Desert make Donald’s Top 50 Priority List of Emergency and National Security Projects? Why, follow that money trail!
In late July, the 45th Administration confirmed David Bernhardt, a highly controversial pick, for the Number 2 post at the Department of the Interior:
“Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on David Bernhardt, President Trump’s nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Interior, to recuse himself from all matters concerning the Cadiz water extraction project. Bernhardt is currently the head of the natural resources division at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, the lobbying firm that is representing Cadiz.” “Given the fact that your current firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, is contracted to lobby on behalf of Cadiz, Inc., I remain deeply concerned about any potential conflict of interest should you serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior—the agency responsible for oversight of the federal lands related to the Cadiz proposal,” Senator Feinstein wrote.”
You read this correctly: David Bernhardt represents one of the most egregious conflicts of interest arising from this Administration.
With your help we will protect the Mojave Desert and stop The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project because it is so wrong on so many levels. If , as the proponents suggest, the project is good and necessary, then why has it been so hotly contested and written about? Several hours worth of reading and viewing can be found in the numerous links provided below.
Protect and preserve Your Mojave Desert – thank you for reading and opposing this damaging and dirty project. #RememberOwensValley #CadizSUCKS
The Cadiz Pipeline (audio: jump to 8:05)
The Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition at the historic Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms, CA, presents a juried art exhibition, opening reception and awards, art market, artist booths, art classes, nature walks, historical lectures and exhibits, live music, and culinary treats. Events are staged at five cultural venues in the Oasis of Mara: 29 Palms Art Gallery, 29 Palms Inn, 29 Palms Creative Center & Gallery, Old Schoolhouse Museum, and Joshua Tree National Park HQ & Oasis Visitor Center on National Park Drive. This art exhibition and celebration features art inspired by or depicting the unique natural beauty or cultural history of Joshua Tree National Park.
I hope you’ll join me for a weekend of desert art on September 16-17, 2017. You’ll find me both days at the Art Market on the Lawn from 10am to 4pm showing mine. You might also consider joining us for the Artist Reception on Saturday, September 16 from 5-8pm at the 29 Palms Art Gallery. Lots of outstanding art (63 artists in total) is found in this year’s expo and you deserve to see it.
For more information, maps, etc.:
Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition website
Event Venue Map (PDF)
Schedule of Events (PDF)
See you in 29 Palms on September 16-17!
“Weather does not happen. It is the visible manifestation of
the Spirit moving itself in the void.” Mary Hunter Austin