Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Looking for pupfish that are only found here-no where else in the world.


   Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is the kind of stop I really enjoy.  Places like Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks, Darlingtonia Natural Site with carnivorous plants, and Cottonwood Spring in Joshua Tree National Park intrigue me.  I like the bigger parts of National Parks, too, but I really like going for a walk along a natural path or boardwalk.  This was such a place with a boardwalk and a few surprising animals.

This sign really explains the importance of Ash Meadows.

This is a map of the refuge.  We didn’t get to Fairbanks Springs, lol.

Our first walk was to Point of Rocks.

Touristing during Covid 19.

There is a lot of growth in the middle of the desert-all because of the water.  Picture This app calls this Desertbroom.

Here is the Ash tree.


There is a stream going through the meadows. They have these nice bridges to cross with iron artistic work.

Here is a stream.

I came to Ash Meadows to see if I could find a pupfish.  I didn’t realize how tiny they were until I saw this sign board.  Just a few inches long!

There was a beautiful water hole just beyond the sign where pupfish were swimming in.

The males are blue, the females brown as the sign said.  In the lighter colored patch in the middle of the picture there was a beautiful bright blue pupfish swimming.  My camera could not do it justice.

Look close

I was able to kind of capture a female.

The dragonflies were easier to spot, but look close and you should see some.

I was able to walk right up to the edge.  I put my hand in and it surprised me because the water was so clear I didn’t realize it was that high.  So my hand hit the water before my eyes told me the water was there.  Yes, it was warm, but not like a hot springs.


This is an example of the iron artwork on the bridges.  This is representing another species that is found only there.  It is a bug that is also very small and lives totally in the water.

Picture This app calls this an Arrowweed.  “The leaves and stems of arrowweed have been historically used as medicine by indigenous people, while the roots were used as food.  The stems were used for baskets and arrows, as well.  I wonder if there are examples of this in the brand new visitor’s center that is closed due to Covid 19.
I also hear of natives using mesquite flour.  It is known to be very nutritious.  I just google it, and I may be able to buy it locally.  I don’t want the flour, I want something already made.  Further research is needed.

Yes, it is a desert here.

A phainopepla.  Cool bird, like a black cardinal.  

Thistle in the fall.

Next stop was Devil’s hole.  Here is a map showing where pupfish live.  The circled in red fish would have been the ones I saw. I circled in green Ash Meadows.  You can see how close we were to Death Valley.  My next blog post will be about our visit to Death Valley.  You can see the Devil’s Hole pupfish pictures here, but they were so far down.......

This is the hole.  

To look down into Devil’s Hole there is an enclosed walkway.  Can’t get any closer

Some of these pictures uploaded out of order, but here is a cactus.  So different looking from what I saw last spring.  

Here’s information for those who like to read and study.

There’s lots of water down there!  


For my friends who like rocks.

Driving to where the visitor’s center and another boardwalk was, I spotted this Big Horned Sheep

This is what almost happened.  Enlarge and read this sign.  Richard lived down here back then, he did work for JPL that included going places like the desert.  I asked him what he felt about all this back then.  He said, “Well, I was a member of the Sierra Club.”

Another interesting, but short stop, was at this reservoir.  I couldn’t get close to the birds-they kept flying off.

This is the new, closed visitor’s center back view.  They did have covered parking with solar panels on top. That was nice to see.

Here is the boardwalk.  Notice the desert-like landscape with the trees.

My app isn’t sure what this plant is.


Oasis.  I couldn’t get close to the water in this pond to hunt for fish.  

Their emblem on metal work on a bridge over a dry creek.

This beautiful plant was taken on my 35mm camera, not my iPhone, so I am unable to identify it.  I really love spring.  It’s my favorite season.  But I do find beauty in fall.

I leave our trip to Ash Meadows with this last picture.  Enlarge it.  Look for the rainbows.  My next blog will be about Death Valley!  Thanks for reading, please comment on facebook or here.