August 2, 2018 General meeting

Cactus and Succulent Society of Southern Nevada Aug 2. Meeting!

Jan Emming will be the speaker this coming Thursday evening. His topic: "South African Biodiversity. Last year Jan gave an informative talk on land use in Arizona along with the evident destruction of ancient Joshua Tree forests for the purpose of creating ground water based alf alfa farms in the Meadeview area. Perhaps we'll get a brief update this Thursday.

Jan is a walking desert encyclopedia. He is definitely a "person of cactus" as well as a dedicated environmentalist, and the owner builder of an "off the grid" home and garden at the edge of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Arizona.

This intro is from the Tuscon Cactus and Succulent Society in which Jan is a member.

In September 2016, Jan Emming joined five other members of the TCSS to make a several-week-long trip to the marvelous nation of South Africa. The excursion was specifically designed to take in many of the natural features of this very diverse country. While succulent plants were definitely a part of the itinerary there was much time spent on nonsucculent botanical features, as well as the various big game and smaller animals that South Africa is justifiably famous for. From elephants to elephant food trees (Portulacaria afra), penguins to cycads, and thornbush to fynbos, Jan's program will highlight some of the country's best natural features.

A note on the program itself: we did see numerous succulents, but we spent a greater share of our time in regions that are better known for nonsucculent plant species and big game animals, so the program will reflect this. I believe that many TCSS members have seen great programs that focused almost entirely upon the most succulent-rich habitats of the Western and Northern Cape Provinces, most notably the Karoo, Richtersveld, Namaqualand, etc, which were not actually regions we visited. We did spend two days in the Little Karoo and items we saw there will be reflected, but the program has lots of photos of animals, intriguing nonsucculent plants, and less-seen succulents in the north and east of the country. I am pleased with the numerous good photos I aptured and I think that the TCSS membership will be as well.

Jan Emming is the creator and operator of Destination:Forever Ranch and Gardens near Yucca Arizona, and Desert Sense Nursery which sells plants from the same location. He moved to D:F Ranch 19 years ago to build an off-grid lifestyle and large private botanical collection focused primarily upon cacti and succulents. He enjoys writing, photography, and travel to the world's hotspots of succulent plant diversity, including South Africa, the subject of this month's presentation.

Our meeting will take place Thursday at 7PM at the Nevada State Garden Clubs Center at Lorenzi Park, 800 Twin Lakes Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89107. Consider bringing along a friend, a refreshment, and a raffle plant or two, or even plant inspired art work. We have recently had some great raffles including dozens of plants, pots, and pictures. So if you like nearly free plants, please come along.

Check it out our Calendar We have a couple speakers left this year who've never given presentations to CSSSN before.


July 5, 2018 General meeting

Yes, we're going to meet the day after the 4th of July at 7PM at the Nevada Garden Clubs Center at 800 Twin Lakes Drive on the West of Lorenzi Park because we have speakers lined up. In this case, UNLV biologists will be giving a talk and signing their newly release tome on the Mojave Desert. Many of us have been out a lot on the back roads and trails of the Mojave. These guys have been out there as professional biologists for decades so bring your questions.

Here are some notes from the University of Arizona Press regarding their book. Please be sure to bring some cash as you'll want to pick up this book. We'll have our plant raffle as well. Bring a friend and a refreshment.

"A Natural History of the Mojave Desert explores how a combination of complex geology, varied geography, and changing climate has given rise to intriguing flora and fauna—including almost 3,000 plant species and about 380 terrestrial vertebrate animal species. Of these, one quarter of the plants and one sixth of the animals are endemic.

The authors, who, combined, have spent more than six decades living in and observing the Mojave Desert, offer a scientifically insightful and personally observed understanding of the desert. They invite readers to understand how the Mojave Desert looks, sounds, feels, tastes, and smells. They prompt us to understand how humans have lived in this desert where scant vegetation and water have challenged humans, past and present.

Lawrence R. Walker is a professor of plant ecology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the (co)author or (co)editor of nine previous books, including The Biology of Disturbed Habitats. Frederick H. Landau is a research associate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Walker and Landau have twenty-five years of scientific collaboration that includes projects in Nevada, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. They both enjoy hiking and back-road adventures throughout the Mojave Desert."

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