Newsletter April 2008
2008 Wildflower Season: This year’s bloom is past its peak in some areas, but the cactus blooms are just beginning to appear! Since the season is nearing its end in the desert be sure to check the wildflower report pages for current information. More…
The Miracle Staircase at the Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe – In the year 1852, seven nuns of the order Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross chose to answer Father Jean Baptiste Lamy’s call to help bring education to the impoverished, Spanish-speaking children of the desert Southwest. They could scarcely have anticipated, however, the hardships they would endure, the educational challenges they would face, or a certainly marvelous — perhaps a miraculous staircase — their efforts would yield. More…
Intimate Landscapes – Slowly, quietly, I crawled on my knees over the rocky desert pavement in the Eastern Mojave Preserve in Southern California, trying not to disturb any wildlife. I was decked out in my signature hunting gear (stained, tacky khaki pants and a decrepit T-shirt), and the latest in knee pads from Wal-Mart (because the key word in "rocky "is "rocky"). More…
Riding over Gold in Your ATV at Ocotillo Wells – ATV riders and OHV enthusiasts may not be aware of the legend of Pegleg’s lost gold or its rumored whereabouts. If you ride out in Ocotillo Wells or the surrounding recreational areas, you may want to take some time to search for three buttes covered with rocks coated in desert varnish. You might just find what prospectors have been searching for since the mid 1800’s. More…
Southwest Collectibles – Mystical Icons – The icons of the Native Americans offer tantalizing – and mysterious – clues to their world views, mysticism, cultural interchanges and mythology. The sheer diversity and number of images point to labyrinthine complexity and long-term evolution of spiritual belief and ritual. Some – for instance, the plumed serpent, the outlined cross, the storm god, the Thunderbird, the hump-backed flute player and many others – reflect millennia-old threads of religious and philosophical beliefs that span the deserts of the Southwest, much of Mexico and even regions in South America. More…
Anza Borrego Points of Interest – From Hwy S22 at Arroyo Salado Primitive Campground you can 4WD or hike to the 17 Palms Oasis, 5 Palms Oasis, Una Palma and the Pumpkin Patch at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Read about the origin of Truckhaven Trail Junction, the Oases, and the Pumpkin Patch, and how to get to them, here! More…
Video of the Month – Riding your ATV over Gold? – If you ride out in Ocotillo Wells or the surrounding recreational areas, take some time to search for three buttes covered with rocks coated in desert varnish. This video will show you where some people think gold still exists. More…
Trip of the Month – Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation tribal park, straddling the border of northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah of the Colorado Plateau. It preserves the Navajo way of life and some of the most striking and recognizable landscapes of sandstone buttes, mesas and spires in the entire Southwest. More…
Give the kids something fun and educational to do: Check out our 3-D Gila Monster Puzzle. The models are especially irresistible to the seven to fifteen age group. No tools or glue necessary!
Children also love our stuffed animal and book sets – Children enjoy reading and imagining the story, while playing with the animal featured in the book! Consider our Bat Book Gift set with Stellaluna and a Bat stuffed animal. Or the Javelina book set with The Three Little Javelinas and a Javelina stuffed animal. Another big hit with children is The Tortoise and The Jackrabbit set, telling the classic tale with Southwest flair. This set comes with two animals – a tortoise and a jackrabbit, for a real fun playtime experience. There are lots of fun, educational toys at the DesertUSA store, and many interesting items for adults too.
|Warmer weather is coming – that calls for Prickly Pear refreshments!|
Try a Prickly Pear Margarita made with Prickly Pear Cactus syrup. The syrup also makes exceptionally flavorful Wine Coolers, Spritzers, and Prickly Pear Lemonade. The Syrup comes in 7 oz.,12 oz., 23 oz. and 1 gallon containers. Click Here for more information.
Enjoy Prickly Pear Cactus, Mesquite Bean and Margarita jelly candies – Half pound box featuring three mouth-watering candy selections. Tantalize your tastebuds with flavors of the southwest from the fruits of the desert.
|Desert Queen Fragrances – from the Queen of the Night cactus flower|
Great for Mothers Day!
|For Your Dog . . .|
Joint Supplement – Do you have an older dog or a dog with arthritis or joint problems? Check out Nimble, a glucosamine product for dogs, that could help return them to pain-free movement. Click here for more information or to buy.
|Treasure Hunting . . .|
Are you a rockhound? James R. Mitchell’s Gem Trail Books cover the Southwest and are available in our online book store. A good "where to go book" with lots of maps. Click here to view rock & treasure hunting books.
Experience the excitement and mystery of Geode Hunting – at home! Break-At-Home Geodes
|Park DVDs . . .|
State and National Park DVDs – Plan your Summer vacations to the great parks of the American Southwest. DesertUSA has an extensive selection of park DVDs including: Arches, Big Bend, Monument Valley, Death Valley, The Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Zion, Yellowstone, Red Rock Canyon and many more. Click here to browse our park DVDs.
Ghost Mountain DVD the story of Marshal South and his family’s adventure of living on Ghost Mountain in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. To preview the DVD in Flash Click Here.
Anza Borrego Seasons in the Desert. This stunning DVD covers the various regions of the park, as well as indigenous flora and fauna.
Joshua Tree NP DVD This is THE tool you need to plan a trip to Joshua Tree National Park.
You can book reservations anywhere in the World from the DesertUSA Web site. So be sure to try our online reservation system for your next vacation and/or car rental. MakeReservations Now
Get ready for your visit to the desert with books, gifts and products available from the DesertUSA’s Online Store.
DesertUSA’s purpose is to provide a tool for discovery – a publication that entertains, educates and explores with our readers, the beauty, life and culture of the North American deserts. Visitors come to DesertUSA’s Web site every month to read articles, participate in the Desert Talk message board, shop in DesertUSA’s online store and explore the desert virtually.
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