A somewhat withered looking Figwort, Scrophulariaceae – Penstemon eatonii.
Las Vegas can be seen on the left side of this panoramic photograph. The summit took me about 30 min to reach, but, round-trip, the trail is labeled at 2.5 hr.
A couple more panoramas from Red Rock Canyon; Click to enlarge.
More trail photos from Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.
Photos from Calico Tanks Trail, not ordered in any particular way.
A ‘tank’ that fills with water during the wet season.
I was able to see a captive desert tortoise, but these road signs indicating tortoise crossings were just a tease.
The third species in Sceloporus for me. While common at the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, it didn’t appear that they were in breeding season, since I didn’t see any colorful males.
Mexican Rush. I’m not positive on this identification, but it was certainly interesting to see given that it’s a wetland plant in the Mojave Desert. There are a few ‘tanks’ or temporary ponds that form along the landscape during the wet season, and they support wetland fauna and flora. While I’m not intimately familiar with it, there is work on the ecology of aquatic taxa in intermittently flooded systems like these.