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Mojave

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Mojave National Preserve is located in the heart of the Mojave Desert which covers part of southeastern California and southwestern Nevada. Wildlife is abundant and over 300 different species of animals including desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes and desert tortoises roam the area. Many birds live in the area. Golden eagles and several types of hawks can be seen soaring on the desert thermals. Common plants include yucca, creosote and the Joshua tree.

Tarantula - Tarantulas are very large spiders, often with a leg span of six inches. They are usually black and are covered with hair. This imposing appearance has caused many myths about tarantulas, including the completely unfounded rumor that they are dangerous or even deadly to humans. They do have a weak venom, but it is much weaker than a bee for example. They are actually quite gentle and only bite humans if they feel menaced.

Mating occurs during the fall, and this is the time you usually see a tarantula. The spiders are very long lived, although as is typical in the natural world males fair poorly in the longevity game. Males usually don not live to be more than ten years. They mate for one season and die soon thereafter having completed their essential duty. Females, however, mate and produce young for many seasons and can live to be thirty years old. The female will hold her eggs through the winter. The following May or June she will lay up to 1,000 eggs, which hatch in a month or so. After several days in the burrow, the hatchlings emerge to make their way in the world.

Tortoise - can live without water whole year. They store water in their bladders and can reabsorb the liquid during a drought. But when frightened, they frequently empty their bladders and this loos of water can be fatal. They live on sand or gravel desert valley between 300-1300m in elevation. Desert tortoise eat a wide variety of grasses and flowers of annual plants. Like humans, they reach adulthood between the ages of 14-20 years and live from 60 to 80 years. On the other hand 98% of eggs and hatchlings die before reaching maturity.

Other attraction can be Kelso Depot - Union Pacific Railroad, which was built in Spanish style in 1924. The Depot finally closed in 1985. Nowadays Kelto is a ghost town. In past it had as many as 2 000 citizens. Some of them worked in local main. According to plan in summer 2001 restoration works of Kelto Depot started. It will be restored and renovated for use as the Mojave National Preserve Visitor Center.

Other attraction are Kelto dunes, craters,...Unfortunely I had not enough time and good weather condition during my Californian trip. So I visited just northern border. I hope I will have opportunity to cam back.


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