We took some great hikes around the Lake Mead area and we were amazed at all of the wonderful birds that live in this area that we saw on our hikes.
Several of our hikes showed the different veins of gypsum that flow through these rock walls. The colors that we encountered ranged from vibrant orange to a soft coral.
Cottonwood canyon was a perfect example of this gypsum. As we continued up this wash, we came across a pour off that has formed over years of water flowing down and bringing with it countless rocks and debris. These rocks begin to build up over time and basically create a rock waterfall. At the base of this pour off were 2 very large cottonwood trees. While these may seem like a common site, you have to understand that these were the only trees in the vast desert landscape for miles, which is what made them fascinating. How they survived in an area with such little water and their height indicated that they had been growing and thriving in this spot for decades. We did see a few trees down by the water but other than that, trees are scarce.
As we hiked several of these washes we came across barrel cactus which when they begin growing have beautiful fuschia needles. I never thought I would hear myself say cactus are beautiful!
We changed our scenery and walked several trails that go along the shores of Lake Mead. These trails used to be under water, however, Lake Mead is at its lowest point in 30 years which allows you to walk along the lake bed. We watched several species of Ducks and Herons as they hunted for their next meal or just soaked up the sun on a warm rock perch.
As we finished our afternoon, once again, we were greeted with beautiful sunsets.