Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Photo Essay: Las Vegas Springs



Sure, it was a good stopover point on the way to California for the gold rush, but like many desert towns, Las Vegas sprung up because of its proximity to natural springs.

The water made its way down in the form of snow melt from Mount Charleston, sunk into the ground and traveled downhill along an aquifer until it hit a fault line, which stopped the flow. Once enough pressure built up, the water traveled upwards, bursting through the surface, attracting plants, animals, and humans alike.

The Las Vegas Valley was once littered with the resulting spring mounds, though most of them have been bulldozed for commercial and residential development.

There exists a remaining historic spring mound at the sprawling Springs Preserve, which features acres of botanic gardens, hiking trails, museum exhibits, and historic structures...



...like a well...



...the old Spring House, now in ruins...



...the caretaker's house, also in ruins...



...and a chicken coop.



Plenty of life still thrives there...



...though Vegas has left its naturalistic past way far behind it.



But at the Springs Preserve, there is still a place to ramble in the wild...



...off the beaten path...



...but not so far from the Strip...



...with the Stratosphere tower in the visible distance.

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