Don't touch detonators, old store sign in Mogollon


Mogollon, a southwestern New Mexico ghost town, stood as a microcosm of western Americana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Eerily secluded in the narrow Silver Creek Canyon on the western edge of the Mogollon Mountains in the vast Gila Wilderness, it served as home for prospectors and miners who teased a living - and sometimes, a fortune - from deposits of gold and silver that wove through fault veins of the nearby volcanic hills and rock faces. With a maximum population of 1,500 to 2,000 around the year 1910, the isolated community found ways to answer the economic, material, educational, spiritual, entertainment and carnal needs of its citizens. More...

Entrance to the Mistress Mine

Agua Fria National Monument Area

The 71,000-acre monument, according to the Bureau of Land Management, the administering federal agency, "encompasses two mesas and the canyon of the Agua Fria River. This expansive mosaic of semi-desert area, cut by ribbons of valuable riparian forest, offers one of the most significant systems of prehistoric sites in the American Southwest it [also] contains outstanding biological resources." More...

Fairy Shrimp

Fairy Shrimp

Most of the year, carrying out field research tasks involved transversing about the dry and hot desert, paying little attention to the desiccated seasonal pools. Then, the storms appear; bringing with them bountiful amounts of rain. A moment we have all secretly and outwardly hoped for.

Immediately after the rains, the desert comes to life as the arroyos swell and sticky creosote leaves open releasing that magical desert fragrance. Road-like riverbeds suddenly distend into the banks, becoming a roaring river for just a while, carrying along enormous mesquite branches and other vegetation as to reveal its power. Then, the thirsty earth soaks up puddles of water as if taking in refreshing gulps of nourishment and the grounds are clear again and remain pleasantly moistened. The river too, disappears seemingly just as fast as it swelled before. More...

Experiment in Primitive Living

The Experiment in Primitive Living

For 17 years, from 1930 to 1947, poet, artist, and author Marshal South and his family lived on Ghost Mountain -- a remote, waterless mountaintop that is today within California's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Over a period of nine of those years, South chronicled his family's controversial primitive lifestyle through popular monthly articles written for Desert Magazine.

An acrimonious divorce ended the "experiment in primitive living," so described by Randall Henderson, editor of Desert Magazine. Marshal's death in 1948 soon after the divorce, the refusal of his wife Tanya to grant an interview over the next 50 years of her life, and the many rumors that have abounded have combined to elicit wide speculation over the years. More...


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