Surrounded by beauty

When I left Arcata, CA to begin my internship in Las Vegas, I told myself that I was capable of finding beauty anywhere, even in a place as busy and populated as Las Vegas.  Having never visited the city and having only ever driven through the desert en route to more lush and colder destinations, I admit that I had low expectations for my new home.  After spending just a couple weeks here, however, I knew that I had landed in a beautiful spot.  Now two and a half months into my internship, I feel so lucky to live here and do the work that I do.  Two days out of the week I participate in the Seeds of Success program, which has allowed me to explore many different types of landscapes surrounding Las Vegas.  Those are my favorite days of the week, and before each drive I anxiously await the discovery of new plants and new views.  My partner and I  spend time scouting in Creosote-bursage communities, climbing our way over passes to reach rocky Pinyon-Juniper woodlands. Every lunch break offers a different view, each one uniquely peaceful and breathtaking.  The city itself can be overwhelming at times but I can always count on a day in the field to make me smile and calm me down.  Here are a handful of photos of some of our collection sites, as well as a couple weekend trips:

Early morning view of the Colorado River on a weekend trip to the hot springs

The view from the top of Turtlehead Peak at Red Rock Canyon

Sunset at our camping spot in Gold Butte

Christmas Tree Pass on a blissful rainy day

Lovell Canyon

Lava Butte Road offers some fun driving

Lunch spot at Cottonwood Pass

The past few weeks here have been wonderful.  We have gotten some rain and the desert is starting to come to life.  I completed the Seeds of Success Training with some fellow CLM interns and left feeling so proud of the work that I am doing.  This program is led by some truly dedicated and enthusiastic folks and I am happy to have had the opportunity to meet and chat with some of them.  Each day I feel more confident in my abilities as a botanist and as a member of the SOS team.  I’m looking forward to what the next couple of months brings!

Allison Clark

CLM Intern: Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, Nevada

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