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    He who helps the guilty shares the crime


BDSA Meeting
Adm Bldg
4:00 PM
3rd Thursday of
every month


Bermuda Dunes Security
Association (BDSA) is
responsible for streets
(potholes, cracks, street
drainage and dry wells),
Security entry/exit, patrol
vehicles, cable TV
agreement, fee collection
& payment, gates & gate
lights, medians, walls,
guardhouses and all
street/gate signage.

BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt.

The Admin Office is open
Monday thru Friday for
questions and concerns.
Admin staff can also assist
with access to the
Resident Login System

Admin hours are as follows:

Monday 10-6
Wednesday Closed
Saturday Closed         
Sunday Closed

If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:

Telephone Numbers:

Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Glass Gate: 760-772-3137
Admin Building:

Bermuda Dunes
Home Owner's
Association Meets
Adm Bldg
4:30 PM

Here is what
responsible for:

Bermuda Dunes
Community Association
(BDCA) is responsible for
most problems relating to
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
landscaping, pool
draining, trash cans,
fountains and landscaping
at the main gate.

The Architectural
Committee reports to the
Community Board.

Dues are $120 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum.

Troy Reis | Association Manager
The Management Trust
39755 Berkey Drive, Suite A • Palm
Desert, CA 92211

P: (760) 776-5100 x6343 | F: (760) 776-



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    them email us:


    The BlogFolks

Today is Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
    Click HERE  for Crime in Bermuda Dunes

Where to Celebrate Fourth of July in Palm Springs Area

July 3rd
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians start the holiday weekend
early with a free fireworks display around 9 p.m. at the casino in Coachella.

Augustine’s Casino in Coachella will host its inaugural half-pound hot dog eating contest at 6 p.m. near
the casino’s Menyikish Grill. Contestants must stop by the casino by July 2 to enter their name in a
drawing. Rather than trying to eat as many hot dogs in one sitting, the contests seeks to find the one
entrant who can eat three half-pound Menyikish signature angus beef hot dogs in a timed event. The
winner takes home $1,000.

July 4th
Palm Springs
The city hosts an “All American 4th of July” at the Palm Springs Stadium. Enjoy the fireworks spectacular
and Power Baseball extravaganza at the close of a day packed with activities. To keep cool, the day will
start off with special holiday swim hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Palm Springs Pavilion, 401 S.
Pavilion Way followed by a free concert at 5:30 p.m. in Sunset Park featuring the Boys and Girls Club
and the Heatwave Jazz and Show Band. The Palm Springs Power takes the baseball field at 6 p.m.
against the San Diego Force. As the sun sets over the desert, take your blankets to the Stadium field to
watch the sparks fly.  Admission is free and the show begins at 8 p.m. with fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.

AIDS Assistance Program
This Independence Day benefit takes place at the Historic O’Donnell House, 412 W. Tahquitz Canyon
Way, in Palm Springs. The celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. with cocktails and hor d’oeuvres followed by
fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Valet parking provided. Call 760-325-8481 or visit for

Twin Palms Bistro & Lounge
Hungry for Fourth of July fixins? Served 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., grab some hamburgers and hot dogs at this
eatery’s Fourth of July Firecracker Buffet. Perfect picnic food for gazing at the sky in wait for fireworks.
1201 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-322-3730

Palm Desert Civic Center Park
A popular yearly event, the free Fireworks Celebration at Palm Desert Civic Center features live music,
food, and fireworks. Pack a picnic and bring your lawn chairs to the heart of the city for a dynamite
evening. The Independence Day Celebration will take place 7:15- 9:30 p.m. Drinks and snacks will be
available for purchase at both the park and the adjacent Aquatic Center.  

Spotlight 29 Casino, Coachella
Bring your luck and kick off 4th of July with Café Capitata’s Barbeque Buffet available all day. The
casino offers an array of holiday activities including a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute show.

Morongo Casino Resort & Spa - Tacos & Tequila
Celebrate Americano Pride on Independence Day at Tacos & Tequila at the Morongo Casino in
Cabazon. The fiesta will continue all weekend long (July 4-6) with patriots indulging in an Americano
combo that includes matador burgers, sonoran hot dog, and chorizo cheese fries to spark your taste

Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms
Show your patriotism and enjoy the holiday with food, fun, beer and live entertainment. Bring your
blanket and lawn chairs and sport your red, white, and blue to watch the fireworks at 9 p.m.
Lucky Park, 5885 Luckie Ave., Twentynine Palms

The Yucca Valley Rotary Club Fireworks Show
This free, annual show is complete with military displays, bounce houses, glo-rings, live entertainment,
vendor fair, and kids activities. Gates open at 6 p.m. and fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Brehm Youth Sports Complex
, 56525 Little League Drive
,Yucca Valley

The City of Beaumont will put on an awesome Pyro Spectacular Fireworks display and live music
featuring The Basix and Eddie Money. Take a dip in the city pool and shop at Market Night before the
big event. Visit for a complete schedule of events and pertinent information.

July 5th
Desert Hot Springs will showcase its finalists for its own version of Desert Hot Springs Got Talent as part
of the entertainment lineup beginning at 5:30 p.m. at 64949 Mission Lakes Blvd. Food vendors on site at
this free event.
Hi Blogfolks:

We keep hearing something about the Community Resident Membership Program. Do you know
anything about this?

Harold and Ann Williams

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Williams:

There are lots of rumors,
but here are the facts:

It is a program that offers a Social Membership at Bermuda Dunes Country Club for all residents in the
community. The monthly fee is $50 and requires 100% participation by homeowners inside our gates.

The program will be administered and fees collected by Bermuda Dunes Security Association. This is
subject to voter approval as the program changes current Articles of Incorporation and CC&R's of the
Bermuda Dunes Security Association, and creates a list of amenities for the community.

A series of  (3) Community Town Hall meetings will start in September, October and November, 2015.

Ballots will be mailed in December and votes counted in January 2016.

A Q&A pamphlet will be mailed to all residents in August. This will detail all aspects of the program.

Additional questions should go to : Robert Nelson -

I hope this has answered some of your questions.

Mrs. Blogfolks
BDSA Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee/Meeting Minutes

Meeting held June 10, 2015, 3:00 p.m., at the Bermuda Dunes Security Association Office

Present: Mark Sommers  Board Director and Committee Chairperson

Duke Frey  Board Director

James Thernes  Homeowner

Judy Morris  Homeowner

Mark Janosz  Director of Security

The meeting began at 3:20 p.m. with discussion about the community survey.  Those present agreed
that no changes need to be made and it will be considered as the final survey (attached hereto) to be
mailed out to all homeowners and lessees in the Bermuda Dunes Country Club.  Our target date for
mailing is June 25 and we will request that responses be returned by July 12 in the self-addressed
stamped envelope which will be enclosed with the survey.  A reminder postcard will be sent out a
week prior to July 12.  Duke said there are approximately 1,400 homeowners in the BDCC.

The Committee would like to include Leslie of Desert Resort Management in our planning process if
she can devote the time.  There was discussion that the Desert Resort Management database could
be used to do the mailings.  

After we obtain the survey results, we will need to obtain the services of someone, either a consultant
or data entry person, to enter the information into a database for use in disaster preparedness and
response issues.  We discussed whether we might need to hire a consultant to build that database or
if Microsoft Access would be sufficient for our needs.

The topic of disaster-related supplies, type and amount (water, food, first-aid kits, etc.), was
discussed, as well as storage space available.  Further discussions on this will be in future meetings.

The Committee would also like to have Donna Nelson join us.  Information about Committee
involvement and our needs could be relayed in the Community Blog to everyone.

Mark Goldman, the clubhouse manager, apparently is willing to become involved with the Committee
and he has had previous experience in disaster preparedness planning, which would be a great help
to us.

There was discussion that the main database could possibly be housed at the Security Office.  We
also need to have an administrator in charge of updating the database.  A protocol for responders
communicating with each other was also brought up.

The clubhouse is the most logical place for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the event of a
major disaster; however, a specific room would need to be designated in order to set up the EOC.  A
secondary EOC can be set up in the Security Office.  Nevertheless, generators are needed for both

Mark Sommers has resigned from the Board and will be moving from the area and this is his last
meeting, so we need a new chairman of our Committee.  We wish him the best and thank him for all
the hard work he has put into the Committee.   

Duke will get in touch with Leslie, Desert Resort Management.  He also will talk with Mark Goldman
about attending our next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee will be Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 2:30 p.m.

Disaster Preparedness Committee Meeting
Wednesday, July 15th
Bermuda Dunes Country Club
Board Room
2:30 PM

Please come and join us...we are looking for additional members for our Committee!
Are you a ham operator? If so, we need you!----

Remember to Complete and Return the "Survey" in a self addressed/stamped envelope
From: "" <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:47 PM
Subject: Shocked

Social Membership at Bermuda Dunes Country Club for all residents in the community. The monthly
fee is $50 and requires 100% participation by homeowners inside our gates.

Who's idea was that and why? $50 per household x about 1200 homes = $60,000. What are they
going to do with that money?  I have no interest in the club or the golf course but I've been here
since 1989 (before gates and walls) and enjoy the security and tranquility.  Janet


Good Morning Janet:

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll answer your questions in the order you presented them;

1.) Who's idea and Why?

The idea was first raised four (4) years ago by the Club (BDCC)  as a request to assess each
resident a fee for maintenance of the Golf Course. Their thinking, I believe, was that the Golf Course
is like a common area ( Green Belt) and a great number of gated communities assess residents  for
maintenance of their common areas. The request was presented to BDSA because we are
responsible for common area maintenance in our gated community.

BDSA rejected that request but felt that it would be beneficial for our residents to have access to the
club house, especially food and beverage and related activities ( A Social Membership). We also felt
that the community benefited from having a well manicured Golf Course, especially our property

Working with the BDCC Board of Directors, the community association President, Ron Rowell and a  
Select BDSA committee reached a working agreement this year. The agreement, for a (Community
Resident Membership) has to be approved by the residents of our community.

A series of  resident meeting will be held and a final vote in January of 2016. The agreement will be
for three (3) years.

2.) Monthly Assessment increase of $50.00. What are they going to do with it?

•Actually the agreement is based upon all Property Owners ( Developed and undeveloped) to pay the
assessment so the actual monthly assessment will be based on 1405 homes, Condos, lots, etc. (1405
x $50.00 = $70,250.00 monthly).

The funds will be collected by BDSA and paid to BDCC upon receipt of a monthly invoice. Twenty
percent (20%) of the funds collected will be placed into a Reserve Account that is administered by
BDSA. There will be a  four member committee, two from each Board of Directors ( BDSA & BDCC)
that will recommend expenditure of funds for the benefit of community residents.

We feel the first recommendation would be an elevator that will afford our senior residents a chance
to use the facilities on the second floor. The balance of funds collected will be used by the club at
their discretion. This is a business agreement as BDSA requested and the club agreed to offer a
special new class of membership for the residents of our gated community.

3.) If I'm not interested why do I have to pay?

The agreement is a Bulk Agreement which means that it is only offered, at this price, if all residents
participate. This is not a new concept to our community as we have an existing agreement with Time
Warner that is a Bulk Agreement. The advantage with Bulk Agreements is that they offer goods and
services at a huge discount. The current value of a Social Membership at BDCC is $127.00 and they
are offering it to the community for $50.00, an $87.00 discount. Time warner does much the same as
our residents pay about $40.00/per month for services valued at more than $140.00.

Thanks again for taking the time to help improve our community. If you have any further questions or
comments please contact the Blog or me . It is our genuine desire that our community be a wonderful
place to live, the Best in the Desert.

Bob Nelson
BDSA Treasurer 2015

“On day 12 of searching for my dog in a heavily wooded area, distraught and hopeless, I ran into a
couple of hunters. They said they lost the occasional dog on a hunt but always got them back. What
they told me has helped many dogs and families be reunited.

The dog owner(s) should take an article of clothing that has been worn at least all day, the longer the
better, so the lost dog can pick up the scent.

Bring the article of clothing to the location where the dog was last seen and leave it there. Also, if the
dog has a crate & familiar toy, you can bring those too (unless location undesirable for crate). You
might also want to leave a note requesting item(s) not to be moved.

Leave a bowl of water there too, as the dog probably hasn’t had access to any. Do not bring food as
this could attract other animals that the dog might avoid.

Come back the next day, or check intermittently if possible. Hopefully the dog will be waiting there.

I was skeptical and doubted my dog would be able to detect an article of clothing if he didn’t hear me
calling his name as loud as possible all day for 12 days. But I returned the next day and sure enough
found him sitting there!

I hope this helps someone out there who’s missing a best friend. Good luck :)“

Please share to help more families find their missing four-legged family members. I’ve seen this work a
number of times.
Boiling Mud Pots of the Salton Sea
If you are wanting to see something really unique in a area full of unique things ( Salvation Mountain
and dead fish on the beach anyone?) make sure to find your way over to the Salton Sea mud pots. I
do have to put a disclaimer that people have said the ground is not to hard in some places so watch
your step and I have no idea if it is public property but I didn’t see any signs stating otherwise. So
here is the info.

Salton Sea Mud Pots

•3 mile drive down a dirt washboard road
•Located in a big field on the corner of Davis Rd and Schrimpf Rd. You can out those two streets in
your GPS

Salton Sea Mud Pots

I found out about this place from Yelp as I was in the area checking out a lot of Salton Sea attractions
and looked up what was around me. Needless to say, an area with boiling mud pots was enough for
me to want to stop by and check it out.

Salton Sea Mud Pots

I know little to nothing about this area and couldn’t find much about why it is happening online but
there were lots of foot prints out in the dirt so apparently lots of others visit as well. When you are out
there you will see the mud literally boiling and popping. I would definitely not touch this water.

Salton Sea Mud Pots

We drove a Toyota Matrix down the road and while it made it, the road was very rough washboard
and I wouldn’t drive that car down it again.

Salton Sea Mud Pots

When you get to the intersection you will notice a massive field on the right with a power plant off in
the distance, and some mud shaped mountains in the middle of the field. These are the mud pots.

Salton Sea Mud Pots

I made my way over to them quick to make sure that the footing I was stepping on was safe then took
a couple minutes just taking it in. It is really strange to hear the popping sounds that come from the
water as the boiling mud literally bursts.

Salton Sea Mud Pots

Some of the mud pots are boiling really good while others are only going a little bit. The mixture of the
water with the unique white cracked ground below is an awesome thing to take photos of though.

Note from Mrs. Blogfolks:

Last Tuesday while I was at my gig at The Living Desert, I received two calls; one from a man and the other
one from a woman. Both were horribly distraught because they could not find anyone to take their huge
African Sulcata tortoises.

The man said his weighed over 70 pounds and was taking over their property. It was digging under their
home to find shelter from the hot sun and had, in fact, caused a great amount of damage to the foundation. It
also moved around their patio furniture, their barbecue and was always eating their dogs' food. Although
they loved this huge creature, they could no longer care for it.

The lady who called had a similar story; however, she had two of these tortoises.

I called Ann (TLD tortoise expert) and member of the CT&TC -
The Living Desert does NOT  accept
these tortoise
. We do, however, have three that reside in the African section at TLD. They are in the Village
Watutu. Be sure to check them out the next time you visit the park.


I went online, typed in African Tortoise For Sale - I was shocked. There were so many places you can
purchase these. And, they are NOT cheap!  Most sites selling hatchlings are charging $99.99 and up.

If you must...purchase your tortoise from a shelter. The shelters are overcrowded and they are happy to give
them for FREE to a good home. If you have a farm or ranch, they reside very well with farm animals. And...
even sleep with them.

We have many of these creatures roaming throughout our desert. They are abandoned by unsuspecting
buyers who (after a few years) realized they were really dealing with a 'grazer,'  who never hibernates and
who never stops eating...and worst of all, growing! Some can reach 200 pounds if living under the right

They come from the Sahel (pronounced as "suh-Hail" or "suh-Heel") is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic
zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south.
Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the
Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Arabic word sāḥil (ساحل) literally means "shore, coast", describing the
appearance of the vegetation found in the Sahel as being akin to that of a coastline delimiting the sand of the

The Sahel  covers parts of (from west to east) Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina
Faso, extreme south of Algeria, Niger, extreme north of Nigeria, central Chad, central and southern Sudan,
and northern Eritrea.

She put me in contact with a gentleman who has been rescuing and working with these tortoise for years.
Here are his comments:

As human beings we are fascinated by animals and feel a great need to keep them as pets. To satisfy our
selfish personal needs to own a pet, we acquire said animal. Sadly for the animal, most of the time this is
done without regard to their needs or any knowledge of their natural habitat. They often end up in less than
satisfactory conditions.

Sulcata hatchlings with a U.S. 25-cent piece for scale. Example: sulcata tortoise hatchlings are so cute we
just have to have one. So, from the pet store, from the reptile show, from a breeder, sometimes through an
adoption, we make the acquisition. So begins the artificial habitat, diet and husbandry.

The Ojai Sulcata Project is dedicated to captive care research, education and rescue of the African Spurred,
or sulcata tortoise, Geochelone [=Centrochelys] sulcata. The priority of the Project is captive care research.

Dave Friend has served for several years as the President and as the Vice-President of the California Turtle &
Tortoise Club's Santa Barbara-Ventura Chapter. In 2009-2010 he served his first term as Chair of the
Executive Board of the California Turtle & Tortoise Club, and served a second term from 2012 to 2014. He is
the founder and current president of the Ojai Sulcata Project. He is an accomplished photographer, and all
photographs on this web site were taken by him.

About the Ojai Sulcata Project

My wife Maree and I first saw a pair of sulcatas, in about 1985 at the home of Max and Lillian Greene in
Meiners Oaks, CA. So began an adventure that we still enjoy today. Early 1986, we purchased a pair of
sulcata tortoises. Yes, purchased! 25 years ago there were no rescues full of sulcatas. We found a breeder,
made the contact, and brought the pair home to Ventura, CA. So it began.

No, we did not allow them to breed. Soon they grew too large for our small residential back yard. What to
do? I heard about some research on sulcata tortoises at the San Diego Zoo. I called them, and yes, they were
interested and would adopt our 80-pound babies. May 16, 1999 we made the trip to San Diego, about a two-
hour trip. I am here to tell you a couple of hours with two big sulcatas was a bit odorific!!

We were told their diet had been pumpkin and alfalfa, but they actually preferred the Bermuda grass, rose
petals and hibiscus flowers. Therein lies the reason for this web site: logical, common sense captive care of
the sulcata tortoise. After all these years there is still a lot of discussion about diet and captive care. There
are other web sites dedicated to sulcata tortoise care, some with good information, and some, I have
observed, with outdated or inaccurate information.

While perusing various web sites and reading e-mails I have received, I found that there are a large number
of sick sulcata tortoises needing veterinary care. These animals are being forced to live in unnatural
conditions and climates. The result of this unnatural care is too many sick tortoises. Sulcata tortoises, even
young ones, are very adaptable and hardy reptiles, somewhat like having a miniature Sherman Tank in your
backyard. In 25 years I have only lost five tortoises, all of which were too far along in their illnesses to

Sulcata tortoise eating cereus cactus. We must remember that these reptiles, the largest mainland tortoises,
have survived many climate and habitat changes over the eons. They still survive in diverse climates across
their native Africa, hot and arid with scarce food, areas that get cold, savannas with plenty of food, and areas
with high humidity. The sulcata tortoises we enjoy today are many generations removed from their "wild
caught" ancestors and are still being subjected to difficult environments. I care for two wild-caught females.

I do not know how many sulcata tortoises I have rescued and rehomed over the years. Currently my rescue
facility is full, with over seventy tortoises of all sizes and ages, from juveniles to two-hundred pounders. My
wife and I now own twelve acres, so we have the room to expand. That takes a lot of money, and we are
now seeking donations to fund the expansion of our Project. All the sulcata tortoise rescues I am aware of
are filled to capacity. I much prefer to provide a permanent home as opposed to sending them in to more
environmental stress.

Dr. Gerald Kuchling, a world-renowned turtle and tortoise expert, was visiting southern California in 2011,
and he stopped in to see our sulcata setup. He left this comment in our guest book: "The next best place for
Sulcata after Africa." 28 April, 2011; signed, Gerald Kuchling.

This web site is dedicated to sharing what I have observed and learned from the animals themselves. My
Ozark-raised grandfather, once told me,"Grandson, pay attention to Mother Nature and she will teach you all
you need to know about the earth." These grand old living fossils have taught me a lot about their needs. I
am not an expert or a veterinarian, but I do have over twenty-five years of hands-on care experience with
sulcata tortoises.

We may never have exact care criteria. However, we can change a few things to improve our captive care
habits. I suggest that you keep an open mind, and read what I have to share. Quite possibly, something on
our web site will benefit you and, more importantly, your animals.

It is my great desire that we keep learning and mutually share our acquired knowledge, so these awesome
creatures will grow as they were intended to, living in harmony with nature, not living as caged pets.

Drought Tolerant and Beautiful: Whirling Butterfly Gaura

Do you like flowering perennials?

Gaura lindheimeri is a drought tolerant perennial that produces small, delicate flowers that resemble
butterflies floating on the air.

Available in white and pink colors, they are grown as a perennial or used as an annual in colder
climates.  This is one of the few plants that you can find growing in a desert garden and in more
temperate climates such as the Midwest and Northeast.

This lovely perennial deserves to be seen more in the garden.

We have had so many comments concerning reformatting the Website and Blog. Most people DO NOT want
it to become a corporate looking website; just like everything else out there in cyberspace. They also asked
us why we would do it now?  You already have the market appeal!

Diane Flaherty commented that it is 'so easy to read and navigate throughout the website.' She also shares
it with all of her buyers.

We must admit that we are very glad to hear this because the cost would be prohibitive to re-do all of our
site. Over the years, we have accumulated lots and lots of  news and material for your use. We have
checked with many professional web builders and their comments are similar.

'You don't live in New York City. You are in a small community. Stay with what you have.'

We have added  icons on the left side of the Blog (samples only). Your business will be in two places, one
on the front of the Blog, (highly visible), with a direct link to your ad on The List. Can't get better
advertising space for your dollars anywhere!

Your ads will be seen locally, as well as, all over the United States, with a large percentage of visits coming
from Canada.

We will be adding Pay Pal soon for our advertisers, but until then check out some of the changes we are
making and enjoy your FREE advertising  a while longer.


The Blogfolks
Customer Testimonial
When the Bermuda Dunes Blog
began about ten years ago, a
friend suggested that I place an
ad for pet sitting since I love
animals so much.  Little did I know
what an impact it would have!  I
started out with a couple of BDCC
pet owners and over the years,
simply through word-of-mouth, I
have quite a list of "regulars," as
well as recent new clients --
extending from Indio to Palm
Springs.  In addition I have several
homes I check on for snowbirds.  
And it all started with the BDCC
Blog.  My regulars now book me
months in advance.

Thanks to the Blog, I have a very
successful business!

Barbara McReal
Dear Valued Patron,

In order to allow our staff to share the holiday with their friends and families we will be closed on the 4th.

We will be open on Sunday, July 5th and serving our famous Pan-Fried Chicken from 3 PM until

Our Chicken and BBQ Ribs Takeout will be available on Friday and Sunday. Please call 760.345.6242
to order.

here for a special coupon and list of our available side dishes.

$20 Quick Fix Deals (Serves 2)

To help beat the heat, Murph's is offering 6 Take Home deals which include enough for 2 and 2 14 oz.
soft drinks.  

here to see our Quick Fix offerings.

Enjoy our famous Pan-Fried Chicken and delicious Burgers at the cost of ordinary fast-food. Available
Wednesday through Sunday after 3 PM.

Summer Hours

Our Summer Schedule: Wednesday through Saturday the Dining Room opens at 5:00 PM and the Pub
opens at 2:00 PM. Sunday, the Pub and Dining Room open 3:00 PM.  We'll be closed Mondays and

In the Pub

We will be offering Early Bird Happy Hour from 2:00 - 6:00 PM and Regular Happy Hour from 6:00 until
Close Wednesday through Saturday.  Click
here to check out our Happy Hour pricing.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Josh Rushlow
I would like to thank all the gals who responded to my call for card players.
We now have two tables of four. I will be calling everyone after the Fourth of
Decent work is at the heart of the search for dignity for the individual, stability
for the family and peace in the community.

Conservation Corner   

Conservation Fact: A large fraction of the water used for agricultural and domestic purposes in the arid
Southwest of the United States, the deserts of Central Asia, and the Atacama and Puna deserts of South
America, is drawn from rivers that originate in glaciated/snow-covered mountains. With climate change,
the volume of snowpack is diminishing and mountain glaciers are melting. Desert river outputs are
declining and flow regimes are changing.   

Conservation Fact: The Amargosa vole, Microtus californicus scirpensis, hangs on in just a few patches
of wetland outside Death Valley near the Inyo County town of Tecopa. Considered one of North
America's most critically endangered mammals, the voles were actually thought to have died out until a
state biologist rediscovered the species in 1970.  
Conservation Fact:  The prospect of species de-extinction has moved from science fiction to plausibility
within the last decade, but has been debated ethically and practically only within the last few years.
Some examples include: Selective back-breeding - Plains zebra have been selectively bred for pelage
coloration and patterning to closely resemble the quagga, a now-extinct subspecies. Cloning - There are
recent and current projects seeking to clone the extinct gastric brooding frog. Genome engineering -
High profile efforts working with ancient DNA and using an allele transfer technique include projects on
woolly mammoth and passenger pigeon. What do you think?

Animal Encounter

An introduction by
RoxAnna Breitigan
Director of Animal Programs

Hello to all of you,

It is my extreme pleasure to introduce myself as The Living Desert's Director of Animal Programs. I am a
native Southern Californian and it is great to be back. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with an
Animal Science degree, I began working at Santa Ana Zoo, first with Guest Services and then as a
keeper. That is where the zoo bug bit me. In 2000, my husband and I moved to Colorado Springs, CO
and I was lucky enough to quickly get a job at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo as an animal keeper.

At Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, even though I wanted to work with gorillas, the only opening was with the
large mammal: rhino, zebra, takin and bongo antelope.  

I immediately fell in love with those large animals. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with
a variety of species, including hippos, penguins, otters, reptiles (including Komodo Dragon), lots of birds
and many others. One of my absolute favorites is Tahoma the moose.....he is an incredible animal that
has forever touched my heart. During my time at CMZ, I worked my way up to Animal Care Manager..
Fifteen years later, we decided it was time to come home. After visiting The Living Desert at a
conference a few years ago, I knew this was a special place and I wanted to  be a part of it. I am so
excited about this opportunity and joining this incredible team.

One of my favorite things to do is to share the animals with guests. There is nothing like inviting
someone to help feed meerkats, touch a rhino or give enrichment to a Red River hog. To see the
connection being made when we share the animals in those unique moments is an incredible feeling. I
believe that the more we can all partner with our guests through our stories and actions we can inspire
them to take a positive action step after they have left the zoo gates.

I have fallen in love with every bit of the zoo world. The dedicated staff and volunteers who want to make
a difference in the world inspire me. The like-minded partners like yourselves that I get to collaborate
with who are constantly working to make the lives better for so many species motivate me to constantly
want to move ahead and do more.  I know each person can make a difference and that if we each do
one positive thing it will make a big impact in our world. This is one of the main reasons I love working in
a zoo, I believe together we are strong and can change the world for the better.  I am so looking forward
to meeting all of you and partnering with all of you.

Summer is upon us  

Bob Linstead
Garden Department

Welcome to summer and triple digit temperatures! Thanks so much to those hardy volunteers who brave
the heat to give us a hand keeping The Living Desert looking good during these hot days. A special
thank you goes out to Corky Stevens, Ken Hall, and Jim Brown, the propagation volunteers who show
up reliably to help take care of the large collection of over 3000 native and rare specimens in the holding

As we enter the summer months, things seem to slow down a bit- less people, less rush. At the
propagation nursery, it is just the opposite. Plants are growing at their fastest pace, seeds germinate
quickly, cuttings take root in a matter of weeks, and the wonderful world of weeds roars to life.

Although Independence Day is here, up at propagation we are already growing out inventory for the fall
season. This year we are growing large quantities of drought tolerant plants to give desert gardeners
access to these hard to find water saving species.

The desert smoke tree (Psorothamnus spinosus) can survive extreme drought and summer heat and we
will have about 300 one-gallon smoke trees available for retail sales of this hard to find tree. Brittle bush
(Encelia farinosa) will be present with over 100 one gallon plants that give huge amounts of pretty yellow
flowers for our pollinators and tons of yummy seeds for our Quail and Dove friends.

For the endangered butterfly family, especially the Monarch butterfly, one of the largest growouts will be
600 Desert Milkweed (Asclepias subulata) and 300 Ageratum corymbosm one gallon plants, both plants
absolutely needed by butterflys as nurseries and nectaries.

Another large growout will be about 500 one gallon plants for Living Desert Go Native Day. Sponsored
by the garden department, Curator Kirk Anderson will oversee a day long event featuring talks and walks
and while they last, free one gallon plants such as Chuperosa (Justicia californica), Desert Lavender
(Hyptis emoryi), Desert Milkweed (Asclepias quantities), Brittle Bush (Encelia farinosa)
and maybe some other surprises on November We also have over 800 cuttings rooting on the
greenhouse mist bench which include a wide variety of butterfly plants for the new Exhibit of Butterflies
due to open this fall.

Summer Zoo camp is here and we will be sharing nature with the students at the propagation area,
showing them how to pot some small cactus and succulents. They will also cultivate some Bush Beans
to take home and harvest a crop of green beans.

Throw in the Living Desert plant sale on November 7th and the Desert Horticultural Society of the
Coachella Valley, Desert Community Garden Day on October 14th and you can see that propagation is a
bunch of busy bees this summer.

Again I must give credit to the volunteers that make all this and even more possible!

Zoo News U Can Use
Maureen McCarty

African Lions (Panthera Leo) can weigh over 400 pounds, Amur Leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis)
can tip the scales at over 100 pounds and Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) can weigh as much as 150
pounds. Even what we consider 'small' cats like the Serval (Leptailurus serval) weigh in at a whopping
38 pounds . Our newest feline addition, the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) is dwarfed by these other
cats. A large adult black footed cat can weigh between 2 ½ -4 ½ pounds. Don't let their small size fool
you; pound for pound, they are probably the feistiest of all of the cats in Africa.

Black-footed cats are found predominately in three countries of southern Africa: Botswana, Namibia and
South Africa. Black-footed cats inhabit dry grasslands, savannas, and deserts of southern Africa.

These cats get their name from the black soles of their feet. They are the smallest wild cats in Africa.
The body length is approximately 19-24" with a shoulder height around 9". The body is covered with light
brown hair with black to dark brown spots covering the back, sides, and stomach. Dark brown stripes
similar to the spots appear on the cheeks, front legs, haunches, and tail. In addition, the tip of the tail is
solid black (about twice the thickness as the stripes around the tail).

They are solitary cats, only found with other individuals during breeding or as a mother with dependent
offspring. These tiny predators use their camouflage, small body size, and the cover of darkness to
conceal themselves from their prey and predators, and therefore are rarely seen by humans. They are
predominantly a nocturnal species and take shelter during the day in the burrows of other animals, in
dense thickets, or in caves and crevices. They create dens in burrows or abandoned termite mounds.
One of their common names is ant-hill tiger probably because of their use of termite mounds.  

The black-footed cat is an opportunistic hunter, feeding on a wide variety of prey. This includes small
mammals-mainly gerbils, mice and shrews. They will also hunt birds, insects and reptiles. They are
capable of killing and consuming prey up to twice their own weight, such as Cape hares and black
bustards, and they will also occasionally scavenge.

We have two young males. These brothers, born April 8, 2014, came to us from the Philadelphia Zoo.
They have completed quarantine and are now on exhibit across from the Oryx. Stop by their enclosure if
you are near Small Mammal Row to look for them. Remember these cats are primarily nocturnal so don't
expect to see two active and playful cats during the day. Just a glimpse of one is worth the effort of
looking for them in their new exhibit - they are really spectacular small wild cats. Having said this, I still
go by their exhibit every time I am at the park. Just a glimpse of one is worth the effort since they are
really very cute.

Note from Mrs. Blogfolks

Justin will be the guy you get in contact with if you would like to volunteer. I have been at TLD almost 10
years and have loved every minute of it.

Justin Carmichael
Volunteer Program Manager

Justin's passion  for animals began as a child in rural Kentucky where he played with snakes, found
bugs and visited the zoo with his grandfather. In the 6th grade, Justin's enthusiasm for herpetology and
small cats was fully ignited when a volunteer at the Cincinnati Zoo

introduced him to a keeper who spent time showing him carts, answering all his many questions and
encouraging him to get involved with the zoo.

While in high school, Justin became a volunteer and a summer intern at the Cincinnati Zoo. He went on
to Northern Kentucky University, ultimately enrolling in the Santa Fe Zoo School in Gainesville, Florida.
After graduation, Justin was hired by Disney Orlando as an animal keeper, VIP tour guide, and animal

After 2 1/2 years, Justin returned to Gainesville and was hired as a Florida State Park Ranger, working
as a naturalist and wildland firefighter. He might have retired as a ranger but his future wife, Dr. Andrea
Schoepfer, had just completed her PhD. in criminology at the University of Florida and her best career
opportunity was teaching Criminology at Cal State, San Bernardino.

His next career move was to work at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, Ca. as a Guest Services
Supervisor. When the opportunity presented itself to work at TLD in Wildlife Programs, he gladly
accepted the position. There he performed daily reptile shows, giraffe feeding, and various other duties.
He loves animals but he wanted to do more with people. So the next move to the education department
was the natural progression.

Justin has always been inspired by volunteers and the role they have in creating the guests' experience.
After all, it was a volunteer that really changed his life. He believes enthusiasm and a positive attitude
are important for volunteers to really be effective. A passion for animals and plants and a willingness to
inspire guests of all ages are important as well. Justin remembers his grandfather telling him, "You can't
expect people to care about something they don't know about". Justin says, "We only have about 3
hours and guests are in and out. Hopefully they will return, but maybe not. It is the volunteer who has the
biggest opportunity to leave a lasting impression."

Justin's management style is straightforward. He wants you to be candid about your thoughts and
feelings and believes together we can have a team at TLD that will make every visitor have fun, be
informed and have a connection to our desert. Justin looks forward to meeting and working with all of
you. "My door is open" he says.
Special Event - Friday, July 3

Signed National Monument poster, Charley Harper

Painting of Santa Rosa Mountains, Diane McClary

This week, Friends is holding its very first online fundraising auction! We're auctioning off an original,
on-location plein air painting by local artist Diane McClary, two signed posters celebrating the
National Monument by 'minimal realism' artist Charley Harper, and a gift certificate for a two-night,
three-day stay at Terranea Resort in Palos Los Verdes. Treat yourself - all the money goes to a
fantastic cause!

The auction will start this Friday, July 3rd, at noon PDT and will last five days, ending on Wednesday,
July 8th, at noon PDT. Once the auction begins, you can access the listings from our eBay account.
(Don't panic if you click the link now and see no items listed - they won't be listed until this Friday at

We'll send another email once the auction goes live, and we'll also be posting reminders on our
Facebook page, as well as more information about the items for sale. All proceeds go directly to
support Friends of the Desert Mountains.

Support & Recognition

We're excited to honor one of our most generous supporters by sharing their story. The Chino Cienega Foundation
was established in Palm Springs in 2003 as a legacy of Frances & Prescott Stevens and Sallie & Culver Nichols,
and has been a supporter of the Friends since 2007. The Foundation awards grants to "support educational and
charitable activities that foster cross cultural and international understanding and cooperation, that encourage the
viability of local communities and that promote sustainable natural ecosystems." Chino Cienega has given over
$80,000 to Friends over the years to support our youth and hiking programs, land acquisition, and more. We're
honored and gratified to be the recipient of their generous support, and are eager to continue partnering with them
in the future in the service of conservation, education, and sustainability.


Photo courtesy Colin Barrows

June 13th marked the summer's first "Night Adventures in the Monument." Our wonderful volunteers
led small groups on night walks in search of scorpions, owls, and other nocturnal desert creatures.
Blacklights helped pick out fluorescing scorpions.Over 55 visitors enjoyed picking out bighorn sheep
tracks, locoweed, and other evidence of flora and fauna in the desert. And there were June bugs by
the score!

We'll be leading Night Adventures twice a month through September. If you're interesting in joining us
to experience the desert after dark, check out our calendar for a date that works and RSVP to let us
know to expect you!


Photo courtesy Jennifer Prado

A critical part of the Friends' mission is not only to acquire land for conservation, but to manage and
preserve it. We couldn't accomplish all that we do without the help of our volunteers.

Our "Weed Warriors" team is a group of hardworking volunteers dedicated to eradicating invasive
species throughout the Coachella Valley. It's difficult work that may not ever really be finished, but
they persevere all the same.

Above, before-and-after photos of Deep Canyon showcase an example of the Weed Warriors'
accomplishments. The above photos were taken just a couple of months apart, and the difference in
the amount of fountain grass in the canyon is striking.

Fountain grass is a non-native species that produces many seeds and spreads quickly, competing
with native plants for water, nutrients, and growing space. The dense stands also provide fuel for
wildfires, increasing the danger of summer fires. Deep Canyon is just one of many places where the
Warriors work; it's critical habitat for Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, as well as habitat for desert tortoises
and an important water source for wildlife.

Special thanks to Weed Warrior chairs (past and present) Gary Ward, Gordon Fidler, Geoff McGinnis,
and Larry Heronema, as well as Volunteer Lead Ada Nuckels, for their help in organizing work days. A
big thanks as well to Mark Fisher at UCR Boyd Deep Canyon for making this partnership possible and
for sharing his "deep" knowledge about the canyon's flora and fauna.

"Polish comes from the cities;

wisdom from the desert."

- Frank Herbert