September 27, 2016

“Don’t Bust the Crust”

By Nancy Dewhurst
Muley Point

September 6th, 2016

Last night we arrived at Muley Point after an eventful day of exploding fix-a-flat. I slept outside in a Tijana due to fear of my tent blowing over the edge of the mesa.
A Tijana (not the one I slept in)

Its humbling to be in a place that is so much bigger than myself.

This is ‘Cryptobionic Soil. This organism is a mixture of bacteria, lichen, and fungi.  It is formed over many (perhaps hundreds) ((perhaps thousands)) of years. It is incredibly delicate and does major work for the arid desert soil.  Not only does it break down rocks to create that soil, the crust it makes permeates the horizontal sphere and delivers far-off nutrients to plant roots, as well as holding the vital (and tiny) amount of moisture in the soil.  Years of work can be undone in a moment by a careless footstep breaking its crust, and it can take up to (or more than) 50 years to repair itself. 

Stilt update:

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