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GHOST TOWNS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT: A...

GHOST TOWNS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT: A Concise and Illustrated Guide by Alan Hensher (California Classics: $14.50) and PLANTS OF THE EAST MOJAVE written by Adrienne Knute, drawings by Carl Faber (Wide Horizons Press: $12.95). Hensher’s slim, attractive volume describes the abandoned settlements in a large area bounded by Gorman, Las Vegas, Needles and Yucca Valley. He provides easy-to-follow maps and full descriptions of what once stood where--and what remains (many of the ghost towns have been almost completely destroyed by collectors and vandals). The antique photographs of the now-empty towns offer a nostalgic visual counterpoint to the text. Adrienne Knute explains how to identify the various plants a weekend camper might encounter in the same region, which include the indigenous oddity, the Joshua Tree (which Mormon pioneers named for its perceived resemblance to the Biblical leader raising his arms to heaven), and the ubiquitous, non-native tumbleweed. In addition to general notes on the desert flora, she includes a list of plants that can be seen near popular hiking trails. Together, these books can add new dimensions to a trip through the Mojave.


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