Johnson Valley News 03/08/2019

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Small outbreaks of early-blooming favorites…the huge bursts of
greenery showing under every single creosote bush…periodic
reappearance of little rain showers…all these things make this
prediction of a big wildflower show fairly believable.

mounds of wind-blown sand trapped by the creosote bushes harbor
bazillions of seeds. They patiently wait for the right amount of rain at
the right time to give them the right amount of daylight and warmth.
Best of all, not every species sprouts and blooms at the same time. We
have known the progression of colors to last a couple of months or more.
It definitely changes as the weather warms.

When the big show gets under way, please send a report for the JV NEWS e-mail. Thanks in advance!

Know the names of the flowers you see, visit

shows Mojave Desert wildflowers photographed right here in Johnson
Valley, Many have an album of views of the entire plant and close-ups,
plus locations noted where known. Thanks to Jim Harvey for setting up
the page and supplying most of those photos.


If you have old Johnson Valley photos, scrapbooks, stories or
historical items, the Morongo Basin Historical Society invites you to
bring them and share at their first annual Founders Day Open House, this
Sunday, March 10.

In honor of pioneers Newlin and
Vernette Landers, it’s at the Museum and Research Center at 632 Landers
Lane. Come any time between 1:00-4:00 p.m.

If you have not
visited this place before, there’s a lot to see. Even if you have, look
for new old things on display since your last visit. The property is the
legacy of Vernette Landers, and MBHS folks have transformed house and
grounds into a destination as well as a repository of documents and

The original post office, which Vernette operated
as Postmaster, sits in the backyard. Bob Connors’ garden of native
plants hosts butterflies and birds. Tomorrow you can even pan for gold
with the Hi-Desert Gold Diggers!

Only about a 10-minute drive
from Johnson Valley – take Hwy 247 to Reche Rd. in Landers, then go
three miles to the Post Office at the corner of Landers Lane and turn

• Speaking of butterflies, you’ll hear all about them at the MBHS 2nd Wednesday program on March 13.
Former Joshua Tree National Park Ranger and author Joe Zarki and his
wife Marilyn Lutz have studied butterflies in the park since 1995.

Some 90 species of color flutter by in the Morongo Basin. Learn how to attract some of them into your own yard. After having seen the Bob Connors garden at MBHS on Sunday, you’ll go home an expert!

program starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum. 57116 29
Palms Hwy. Come early; seating is limited. Donation 5.00.

p.s. A
caterpillar visited the JV Community Center yesterday. I did not see it,
but could it be a migration of Painted Ladies or Monarchs has begun?
They travel such long distances, so they stop to lay eggs which hatch
caterpillars which munch on greenery when we have it, then morph into
butterflies to continue on their journey. I remember one “March Miracle”
after a long drought. Everywhere in the yard, we saw caterpillars.

• Reminder, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday,
March 10
Move the big hands forward (if you still have clocks with big hands).
And the fire guys remind us to change the batteries in the smoke

We will be getting up in the dark again, and getting
hungry at the wrong times, but, oh, well, we have longer light to enjoy
our Johnson Valley spring.


Disappointing: The Yucca Mesa Campfire scheduled for March 23 that we
mentioned last week has been canceled. If you already purchased your
tickets, they announce refunds will go out shortly.


Get your “Beautiful JOHNSON VALLEY” bumper stickers, designed by Paula
Mattecheck as a fundraiser for Pets of the Hammers, when you come to
Saturday Breakfast at the hall. your choice of two versions, 1.00 each,
six for 5.00.

See Pets of the Hammers on Facebook; they reunite lost or found pets in Johnson Valley with their families year-round.

• JVIA members receive the Johnson Valley Journal six times a year.

JV NEWS e-mail keeps you up to date between Journals, including stories
and information published in the weekly community news columns in the
Hi-Desert Star. If you prefer not to receive these e-mails, just reply
and say Cancel.

is welcome to every event at the Center! Johnson Valley Improvement
Association members or non-members may join in on scheduled activities
and special events!

Special events: the Homestead Valley
Community Council holds its regular meeting here three times a year on
the third Monday, at 3:00 p.m. The next will be in June and October.
(These meetings rotate among the four Homestead Valley community centers
in Flamingo Heights, Yucca Mesa, and Landers, then back to Johnson
Valley. None are very far apart, easy to get to from here on Hwy 247.)

Regularly-scheduled events:
Saturday Breakfast, 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Dinner, every 1st Saturday at 5:00 p.m. followed by the General Meeting

Board Meeting, on Friday following the 1st Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
Card Club on Tuesdays, noon-4:00 p.m.
Hobby Club on Wednesdays 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m, except the 4th Wednesday; they come in on the 4th Friday, 10:00 a.m.
Quilters every 4th Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

events: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, May 4, and Oktoberfest, October 12,
usually begin in the afternoons, includes a dinner. No General Meetings
those months.

The Center and
the Garden are available for your birthday celebrations, family
gatherings, weddings. JVIA asks for a donation to cover overheads and
that you leave the place as you found it. Check with me for

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden, next to the
Community Center parking lot, has enjoyed all this precipitation, and
shady days that make for slow evaporation! The plants may be
drought-tolerant, but it helps when moisture soaks in, encouraging deep
roots. Most irrigation in the Garden flows underground, but the plants
and trees have experienced only dry times since the Garden’s beginnings
in June 2015. (Looking back on 2015 photos, the changes are amazing.)

now we see the sand covered with green and a plum tree in full bloom.
Spring will look a little different this year, and the heat-loving
shrubs and trees should bloom like crazy.

Make sure kids stay outside the Garden Railway layout at any time;
those brass tracks and town buildings are not toys! Repairs can be
difficult and expensive, and make the crew members sad.

winds and rains and snows depart, the trains may run any Saturday, and
maybe at other times, too. Ask when you come to Saturday Breakfast,
7:00-10:00 a.m. if the trains are running that day.


Ride on! Temperatures have been mild. Watch out for the usual west
winds and occasional showers (yes!) on the weather forecast. Most days,
you could not ask for better conditions to head out and explore the vast
Johnson Valley OHV Area just across the highway. Take pictures, please –
skies, flowers, rock formations, junior off-roaders, family trail
riding – and e-mail them to me.

Be sure to pick up your Sidekick
Offroad Map of the Johnson Valley OHV Area when you come to the
Community Center. You get a detailed topographical map, a Guide to the
original Hammers trails, general information, and off-road tips.

folding paper map is 3:00. The silkscreened Bandanna Map is 8.00 (very
handy, no folding, tie it around your neck or to a tube on the roll

Navigating by GPS? – find your way to the Community Center:
34.3424938     -116.56066880000003.

going to and from the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area, you can
cross the highway legally from any of the community roads and use the
dirt trail that parallels the north side of Hwy 247. Using the community
road nearest your starting point means you won’t have to zigzag past so
many houses.

If you come up Larrea Road while in or on a green-sticker vehicle, travel on the dirt alongside the pavement.

any speed, any vehicle, street-legal or not, going over 25mph does a
lot of damage to dirt roads. We have a shortage now of tractor and drag
volunteers to help smooth them out again. Also, when it’s dry and dusty,
dragging does not help much. No County maintenance here, just your

Remember, noise can carry, and dust can drift a long way, so please take it easy.

Johnson Valley Community Center
50567 Quailbush Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Rd,
go 1-3/4 miles up to Quailbush Rd. You see the building on your left at the corner.

Betty Munson

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