In the Mojave Desert you'll find a species of snail that is truly one of the most interesting life forms that live there and yet it is often overlooked or unknown to most people. To start with, this snail has a shiny black body and of course its common name is "white desert snail." Without a doubt it gets its name from its white shell. At first one might think that this snail lives in the various springs and other water sources that dot the desert landscape much like some of the fish species such as the pup fish of Death Valley. However, this is not so; this snail is a land snail and lives in virtually every mountain range in the Mojave Desert where there aren't any springs or water sources of any kind. It truly is a desert snail.
While it has a wide distribution, its population is very thin and one could wonder how such a thin population could maintain itself and reproduce. However, the white desert snail has an answer to this; the snail is the true hermaphrodite; that is to say that each individual snail can reproduce on its own and thus does not need to meet up with another snail of the opposite sex.
A long time ago, perhaps as much 2000 or 3000 years, an Indian was hunting for bighorn sheep in a land that he'd never hunted before. The sheep sign was getting thicker, it seemed, with every step until he came to the edge of a cliff and looked down and saw a pool of water, where the bighorn sheep had been watering for untold ages. He could tell by the algae and the water bugs that this source of water lasted for months at a time and he knew that he would come back to this pool of water (or tanaha) many times, and perhaps he was the first put a petroglyph at this site.
The desert is full of all kinds of treasures, gold, silver, and other rare elements. Even water in the desert can be considered a treasure and the source of immense wealth. One of the greatest treasures that we have in the desert is art, and we can truly call this art a treasure. And like all treasures, it needs to be protected and watched over because there are people who will steal and vandalize it. And of course I'm talking about the petroglyphs and pictographs that dot the desert landscape. And while this art form has been around for a long time, it is only now beginning to be appreciated for what it really is.
This place name I have heard of more than once, and like so many place names this one has a story behind it. And of course this story is about the coyotes digging holes; so if one understands why they dig these holes in the desert, they will understand the coyote better, and this of course will lead to better understanding of the entire ecosystem. To start with, the coyote is one of the top predators of the Southwest and he is everywhere all the time, yet rarely seen because the coyotes can see, hear, and smell their way through the environment in ways that make them invisible to predator and prey alike. While he is truly a well-adapted desert animal, he must have water to drink on a regular basis unlike some of the other desert creatures such as the jack rabbit or the kit fox. And so the coyote is digging machine by necessity, because it needs to get to the water.
I have seen holes dug by coyotes as big as five feet across and three feet deep, many times.
Optical equipment is not generally viewed as safety or emergency equipment.
But I assure you that a good set of binoculars can often avert disaster or reduce it greatly. Whether it is checking out somebody at a distance to see if they pose a threat or to find somebody that's lost, a good set of binoculars is indispensable. And they can also prevent you from getting lost, by familiarizing yourself with the terrain at a distance and in detail or finding your car or campsite when it is too far away to see with the naked eye.
I have used binoculars to navigate my way efficiently through the desert for many years and I know that people who do not have a good set of binoculars when out walking the desert are not as safe as they could be.
After acquiring a good set of binoculars and learning how to use them, the next investment you want to make in your superpowers is a good spotting scope. These optical tools are often used in conjunction with one another to enhance your awareness of the environment. I often advise people that the purpose of a good pair of binoculars is to look for something and a spotting scope is to look at something. While this isn't always true you definitely want your spotting scope to have a longer reach than your binoculars, otherwise it has little value to you. And while such a spotting scope is often expensive I think you'll find it to be a worthwhile investment that will produce amazing returns for many years.